This week is the one-year anniversary of Walmart+, which is Walmart’s so-called answer to Amazon Prime. It was initially supposed to launch in spring 2020, but as we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic launched in the United States at that time instead.

Many of the features for Walmart+ were announced at its launch, giving potential subscribers a good idea of their investment. The one-year-old program has already grown to have about nine million users. While still well below the 200 billion estimated Amazon Prime members, it’s also fair to compare beginnings to beginnings. The earliest data we can find about Amazon Prime membership is that the program started in 2005 and, by 2008, had an estimated one million subscribers.

The pandemic may have delayed the Walmart+ launch, but we believe it also helped accelerate it in some ways. Comparing Walmart+ and Amazon Prime’s launches are almost not comparing the proverbial apples to apples. In recent years, the need and interest in online-based and rapid delivery services have skyrocketed, especially during the pandemic. In 2005, it was considered a big deal that Amazon Prime offered free shipping for patrons.

Here is a quick look at what Walmart+ offers subscribers for the $98/year, according to Business Insider:

  • Unlimited same-day delivery for 160,000 grocery items, tech products, and household essentials, with no minimum purchase required to qualify.
  • Access to two-hour Express Delivery for $10. Non-members must pay an additional delivery fee on top of the $10 Express Delivery fee.
  • Use of the Scan & Go feature on Walmart’s app for touch-free checkout.
  • Receive an up to five cents per gallon discount at 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express gas stations.
  • Receive up to 85% off thousands of prescriptions at Walmart pharmacies. This specific perk is unavailable to free trial users.

Critics and believers in the still-new program are eager to continue comparing Amazon Prime and Walmart+ (also sometimes referred to as Walmart Plus).

“Once the country’s top retailer, Walmart has watched as its rival Amazon has dominated online sales. Amazon now accounts for roughly 38% of all online retail sales in the U.S., according to eMarketer.,” said Louis Ramirez with Tom’s Guide. “By comparison, Walmart is a distant second place with just over 5% of the U.S. e-commerce market. The hope is that Walmart Plus will help it take some of that market share from Amazon.”

We agree with Ramirez that Walmart+ is for sure something to watch, but time will tell if it becomes as successful as Amazon Prime.

“Even on big retailer days like Black Friday, Walmart has shadowed Amazon with similar sales of its own. Walmart Plus is an extension of this ongoing battle, and only time will tell if it’s the true knockout punch that it needs to take on Amazon and its legion of subscribers,” he said.