Walmart Begins Testing Same-Day Delivery In Select Markets
The world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, Walmart, is today announcing its plans to test a “same-day” delivery service in select markets called “Walmart To Go.” The program, beginning now, will run through the holiday season and will be available in Northern Virginia (outside D.C.), Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and San Jose/San Francisco. During the test period, shoppers will be able to go online to shop for items like toys, electronics, sporting goods and other gifts, and then have them delivered to their address on the same day.
Walmart is charging a $10 fee for an unlimited number of items, with no minimum purchase required, and is working with UPS to deliver the orders. To get started, users in the supported markets first visit the Web site and enter in their delivery address in order to create an account. They can then browse the “Walmart To Go” selection of goods specific to their location – in other words, it’s not the entire Walmart online catalog that’s becoming available. The eligible items will be priced the same as those in the local stores.
Instead of shipping goods from its football-field sized distribution centers scattered across the country, Bentonville, Ark., based Walmart will pluck products from its vast network of more than 3,000 "supercenters."
Customers can place orders up until noon in their timezone, and then choose a 4-hour windows to take delivery that same day (i.e., 4-8 pm, 5-9 pm, 6-10 pm). For returns, customers can choose to take the item back to the store, refuse delivery, or schedule the courier to retrieve the time.
The move toward same-day delivery is the latest tactic Walmart is trying to beat back the threat from online powerhouse Amazon. Over the past two years, Walmart has been ramping up its e-commerce business and acquired nearly a dozen start-ups to help broaden its online presence. The retailer's Silicon Valley tech shop, called @WalmartLabs, has revamped the retailer's website and mobile applications, expanded a grocery delivery service that began in California in 2010, and launched Goodies, a monthly food subscription service.
SOURCE: TechCrunch.com, WalMart.com, WSJ.com