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Walmart Takes on Amazon With One-Day Free Shipping and Shoppable Video

Walmart is going toe-to-toe with the biggest rival to its business: Amazon.

The company will begin rolling out its own free one-day shipping program this week, following last month’s announcement from Amazon about similarly expediting shipping for Prime members. Amazon has not formally announced a start date for its shift to one-day shipping, but has said it will roll out over the coming months.

Walmart’s expedited shipping program comes with a few strings, however. Though there’s no annual membership fee (like Amazon’s $119 per-year Prime offering), only orders over $35 will be eligible for one-day shipping at this point. The program will roll out in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Southern California first, and is expected to hit 75 percent of U.S. markets by the end of the year.

Upon launch this week, about 220,000 of Walmart’s best-selling items, like toys and electronics, will be eligible for one-day shipping. The retailer plans on expanding eligibility to more products over time.

Free, fast shipping isn’t the only new methodology that Walmart is using to drive sales.

The company announced last month that it will be adding shoppable content to its Vudu streaming service, which offers video content without a subscription fee, unlike Amazon Prime Video and other competitors. Vudu will release a new slate of family-friendly programming to coincide with the advertising play, according to Bloomberg.

The specific mechanism for converting these TV-driven purchases has yet to be announced, as the company is currently scouting advertising partners to implement the technology, Bloomberg reported. Walmart’s biggest suppliers have already contributed “tens of millions of dollars” to upfront advertising sales, the publication said.

The shoppable programming trend, while in its infancy, appears to be taking shape as an inevitable reality.

Last month, NBCUniversal debuted “ShoppableTV,” which works by allowing consumers to scan QR codes on their TV screens and check out on a brand’s website or relevant marketplace. The program launched this month with a test run on the “Today” show’s “Steals and Deals” segment, generating thousands of scans and six figures in sales “within minutes,” the network told TechCrunch.