Walmart on Wednesday sweetened the deal for its loyalty club members.
The retail giant unveiled Walmart Rewards, which allows members of Walmart+ to earn cash back on certain products to save for future purchases in-store and online.
It’s similar to Target’s Circle rewards program, which launched in 2019, replacing Target’s Cartwheel rewards platform.
Walmart, in a blog post, said it introduced Walmart Rewards because the company knows “our customers and members are mindfully managing their budgets these days.”
As shoppers look for items on Walmart’s website or app, they’ll see an option to add rewards from among “hundreds of bestselling items,” including groceries, household goods, pet care and more, Walmart said.
Walmart+ members can then bank those rewards in their digital Walmart wallet to save on future purchases.
Currently, the cash rewards are only available to Walmart+ members.
“We’re focusing first on providing rewards on items purchased by our members, and over time, we’ll continue to expand the program to deliver new ways to earn rewards,” Walmart said.
The item-specific deals are powered by the Ibotta Performance Network, a cash-back rewards platform that launched a partnership with Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart last year.
Walmart debuted its Walmart+ membership program in 2020, offering free delivery, fuel discounts and other perks such as “scan & go” functionality in its app, for $98 a year or $12.95 per month.
It has continued to add benefits to the program. Earlier this month, Walmart said its members would receive free subscriptions to the Paramount+ streaming service.
The new Walmart Rewards program is free for members. To redeem, shoppers can scan the Walmart Pay QR code and tap “use Walmart rewards” to subtract the balance from their bill. If shopping online, the option to use the balance will be given at checkout.
Walmart made clear that the new rewards offering will likely evolve over time.
“This opens the door to endless earning possibilities for members in the future,” Walmart said in a statement. “We’ll continue to build new ways to reward member loyalty within the Walmart Rewards program.”
Last week, Walmart executives noted the dramatic ways in which inflation was shaping its shoppers’ habits.
Record food-at-home prices helped drive grocery sales growth in the “mid-teens” during the second quarter, the retailer reported.
“The strong comps we see in food and consumables are leading to market share gains,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told analysts. “Pickup and delivery are strong. Growth is improving on Walmart.com … and more people are choosing to be a Walmart+ member.”
The company did not say how many Walmart+ members there are.
But Walmart did say that inflation is forcing some shoppers to trade down on their food purchases, seeking out less-expensive versions of favorite items.
McMillon also noted that Walmart has been seeing growing numbers of mid- to higher-income consumers shopping at Walmart in search of deals.
“As you would expect, food and consumables, in particular, are places where they’re looking to save money,” he said.