Technology

Target Raises Ante in e-Commerce Fight with Amazon, Walmart

In this Dec. 19, 2013, file photo, a passer-by walks near an entrance to a Target retail store in Watertown, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
In this Dec. 19, 2013, file photo, a passer-by walks near an entrance to a Target retail store in Watertown, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

 

(Fortune) – Target has lowered the minimum online order size by half as the e-commerce wars with Amazon and Walmart escalate.

The e-commerce wars continue to intensify in 2015.

Target is lowering the minimum online order size needed to get free shipping by half in a bid to squeeze archrivals Wal-Mart Stores, Amazon.com and Best Buy.

The discount retailer will now require a minimum order of $25 for free shipping, down from $50, and below the $35 thresholds at Best Buy and Amazon (excluding Prime), and half of what Walmart requires. (It also gets even cheaper compared to the $99 minimum at J.C. Penney and Macy’s, which are more indirect rivals.)

The move is the latest by Target to stop being what its executives call a “fast follower” in e-commerce—a company that lets others set the agenda and quickly mimics their pricing—and take the lead. As detailed in the cover story of this month’s issue of Fortune, Target was similarly aggressive this past holiday season by being the first in its peer group to offer free shipping on all orders regardless of size, a sharp contrast with earlier holiday seasons when the retailer took its cues from the competition and was a laggard in e-commerce.

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