Walmart Launches Rewards Program

Walmart+ customers can earn points on certain items purchased in-store and online.

August 25, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Walmart is launching a new rewards program for its Walmart+ members. Subscribers can earn and redeem points both in store and online on certain items.

“We know our customers and members are mindfully managing their budgets these days. That’s why we’re excited to introduce a new member perk that delivers compounding value,” wrote Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president and general manager, Walmart+, said in a blog post.

When online and app Walmart+ shoppers search for products, they’ll see an option to add rewards on “hundreds of bestselling items,” including groceries, household goods, pet care and more. Members can bank their digital rewards in the Walmart wallet in the app and online and use them to save on future purchases in stores and online.

These item-specific rewards, powered by the Ibotta Performance Network, are available exclusively for Walmart+ members. It’s unclear whether the rewards program will be available to non-Walmart+ members, but Cracchiolo wrote that the company is “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 Rewards is a new and easy way for Walmart+ members to earn additional savings toward future Walmart purchases,” he wrote. “Let’s say after a few shopping trips or online orders, a member has accumulated $10 in Walmart Rewards. When they apply those savings at checkout, what was previously a $25 basket now only costs $15.”

Grocery Dives reports that Walmart executives noted on a recent earnings call that Walmart+ membership “continues to grow,” but the big-box retailer has not disclosed how many members it has.

“Walmart+ is an important component of our plan,” Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and CEO, told investors on the call.

Walmart plans to integrate this new rewards program with its digital advertising business by allowing suppliers to promote product savings within sponsored ads, according to Grocery Dive.

“Combining the power of Sponsored Products with item-specific rewards will enable suppliers to reap the benefits of both marketing strategies and help them to better engage with members and provide even deeper savings,” Walmart noted on the website for its media business, Walmart Connect.

Rewards and loyalty programs are being adapted by retailers, as well as the foodservice industry, as a way to gain customer loyalty, increase personalization, improve sales and gather customer data. McDonald’s launched its rewards program last year and reported that digital sales in the company’s top six markets exceeded $6 billion, or about one-third of total systemwide sales. Increased digital customers means more chances for the restaurant brand to personalize their experience.

Sweetgreen piloted a new digital feature that rewards its customers for healthy habits this summer. The feature is called Rewards and Challenges and gamified its loyalty program. Sweetgreen said that its total digital sales represented 66% of the company’s revenue in the first quarter of 2022.

Be on the lookout for the article “Leveraging Loyalty” in the September issue of NACS Magazine to learn how food and beverages play key roles in c-store customer loyalty programs.

A recent Harvard Business Review study on loyalty programs found three takeaways for loyalty programs. NACS Magazine dove into loyalty programs and how they can provide convenience retailers with key consumer insights and a competitive edge.

NACS offered a free webinar that shows retailers how to improve their current loyalty program.