Walmart introduces pet-telehealth perks to boost subscriptions for its Prime rival

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 by Snacks

It’s not a cat filter on the Zoom call… it’s an actual cat. Walmart is partnering with pet-telehealth provider Pawp to offer veterinarian video calls as a perk for Walmart+ members. Subscribers to Walmart’s Amazon Prime competitor can now get unlimited free virtual vet visits for a year (and Fluffy McFluffhead can meow his symptoms into the mic).

  • Not a streaming service: Launched in 2020, Walmart+ is the retailer’s cheaper Prime rival (cost: $13/month or $98/year).

  • Perks in the cart: The creatively named membership offers benefits like unlimited free same-day grocery delivery and fuel savings at 14K+ spots.

Grass-fed organic lamb for Fido… canned peas for Francis. While a lot of Americans have been cutting back on personal splurges, they’re not skimping on their fur babies. Adding pet perks to boost subs is a timely move by Walmart as spending in the category explodes: the US pet market, already worth $124B, is expected to balloon to $200B by 2030. Pet owners are spending on everything from premium treats to $250 salon groomings. Healthcare services, including vets and insurance, are driving the spending surge. Last month, Washington state rolled out a law to regulate pet insurance.


A niche can help you go mainstream… With an estimated 11M+ subs as of last year, Walmart+ is still far behind Prime (~200M members). But Walmart could inch closer to Amazon’s lead by leaning on its key strengths (like discount groceries) and unique perks (like pet telehealth). In a recent earnings call, Walmart said that members spend more than non-members. Boosting subscription revenue could become more important as spending on discretionary goodies sags.

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