"Primarily, Amazon wants to build Prime and is doing whatever it can think of to make that happen," he told Computerworld. "Walmart is one of Amazon's biggest rivals, especially as Walmart grows its online business. If Amazon wins more market share, they will take it from Walmart so Walmart is throwing up a pre-emptive block and counter punch."
Walmart also is looking to try to retain long-term customers.
The fear, says Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, is that once people spend nearly $100 to join Prime, they're less likely to spend their money on other e-commerce sites, like Walmart.com.
"Prime is a focused affinity program with built-in benefits and annual charges," Enderle noted. "Prime members are far less likely to even shop anyplace else. This is one of the main pillars under Amazon's strategy to gain unparalleled market dominance and sustain it. These two companies are primary rivals, and Amazon has been winning most of the battles. It's critical that Walmart push back if they want to remain relevant in what is becoming an Amazon world."
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