Target to Expand Same-Day Shipping Option to Compete with Walmart, Amazon

This week, Target announced the launch of a new same-day delivery option that will certainly help the brick-and-mortar retailer compete in today’s quickly-moving retail industry.  It is a somewhat risky move, but a necessary one, as its nearest big-box competitor, Walmart, has already made the transition to compete with fully online retailer Amazon. 

On Thursday, then, Target announced that shoppers in 47 states will now have the option of having their online orders delivered as quickly as the same day for a simple flat fee of $9.99, per order. To accomplish this, Target is leveraging the logistics force of Shipt. Shipt is a membership-based, same-day online delivery platform, which Target acquired in 2017 for $550 million. 

Prior to the announcement, Target shoppers could have access to same day delivery on all orders, but only with a $99 annual Shipt membership.  The monthly option makes it easier for shoppers to make shipping options focused more on a monthly or an order-to-order basis.  

Perhaps most importantly, these options appear to be better than what Amazon offers.  For example, Amazon Prime members pay an annual membership fee of $119, which includes free same-day delivery on more than 3 million items, as well as for orders of $35 or more.  Non-prime members, however, can also choose a one-day shipping option, but it will cost a simple $9.98 per item. 

Of course, this discussion would not be complete without noting the same-day shipping options that Walmart is offering.  It should be noted that Walmart’s same-day delivery program is only for groceries, and will double to 1,600 stores in the United States by the end of the year. The same-day shipping fee will vary by location.  

All of this boils down to the growing willingness to order online, at least in the United States.  More than half of American consumers said they had plans to up their online ordering in 2019, with the intent to pick up their orders at brick-and-mortar locations.  And of those who were polled, nearly a quarter said they planned to take advantage of same-day delivery options.