Five months after Walmart's membership program, Walmart+, was released, data indicates that it has garnered between 7.4 million and 8.2 million members, signaling a promising start for a potential Amazon Prime rival, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners analysis released Wednesday.
Customers spend an average of $1,000 at Walmart.com per year, which is "remarkably similar to the long-term figure for Amazon," said Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP.
Walmart+ members currently account for about 13% to 14% of total Walmart.com shoppers as of Jan. 30, per the report.
Walmart has been steadily building out its ecosystem throughout the pandemic, developing new revenue streams to drive sales and giving shoppers alternative fulfillment options. And based on the new CIRP data, this strategy seems to be bearing fruit.
The big-box retailer took over Amazon's spot as the top grocery e-commerce platform, according to a survey from TABS Analytics in August. (Amazon disputed the claims). About 30% of online grocery transactions come from Walmart while Amazon accounts for about 27%, down from 33% in 2019, the survey found.
In the period leading up to the subscription service's launch, conversations around how it compares to Amazon Prime emerged.
Though Walmart delayed the rollout of its new subscription service for months, a survey from Piplsay showed that 11% of Americans subscribed to Walmart+ in the first two weeks of its launch. About 19% of those subscribers turned to Walmart+ from Prime, suggesting some competition between the two.
Despite the economic distress, the findings indicate that Walmart shoppers are willing to quickly spend the $98 for the subscription service.
Cowen analysts said they are optimistic about Walmart's Q4 given its physical sales, Walmart+ membership growth and increasing focus on e-commerce sales, according to an emailed report. The firm's own estimation of Walmart+ memberships, which is higher than CIRP's, shows 12 million U.S. households have Walmart+ memberships and 69.6% use them at least once per week.
"Our vision is that new retail will blend automation, multiple category relevance, membership and delivery innovation as well as relevance to households with respect to both healthcare and financial services," according to Cowen analysts Oliver Chen, Kimberly Hong and Max Rakhlenko. "[Walmart] is at the center of this kind of innovation, globally."
Consumers that shop for groceries at Walmart.com spend almost double the average online Walmart shopper per year, the CIRP survey shows, at $1,900.
"These shopping patterns make them ideal candidates for Walmart+ membership, and indeed, 26% of customers who purchased groceries in their last online order are Walmart+ members, compared to 13-14% for all Walmart.com customers in the quarter," said Mike Levin, partner and co-founder of CIRP.