Walmart announced on Tuesday their store associates can now place item orders for customers from Walmart.com via an app on their handheld touchscreen devices.
This service combines the power of technology and Walmart associates to bring Walmart’s endless online aisle of merchandise to Walmart’s physical stores.
The new in-store service allows customers to pay using all acceptable payment methods, including cash, in one seamless transaction.
It appears this is the national rollout of a trial program we wrote about in July. In this trial, about 50 stores took part using in-store kiosks and an app on their handheld associates could use to place orders for customers.
Walmart calls this service the “Dotcom Store service.” Customers will have the option to order items sold and shipped by Walmart online and ship directly to them or to their nearest Walmart store, and can pay for the items in stores via cash, check, credit/debit or Walmart Pay.
This new service started today, December 4, in nearly all 4,700 Walmart stores except for stores in Alaska and Hawaii and it will be available year-round.
“The Dotcom Store offers customers even more assortment options than what’s on our physical shelves – whether that be different sizes, colors or varieties. As busy families come to our stores to prepare for the holidays, they can feel confident that our associates will get them everything they need and quickly – whether it’s an item they can find on our store shelves, or online.”
Tom Ward, senior vice president of digital and central operations, Walmart U.S.
How To Use
To use the service, customers locate a Walmart associate when they can’t find an item in store, such as the right size, color, or an item is out of stock or unavailable in stores.
The Walmart associate will look up items sold and shipped by Walmart online on a store handheld device and place the order on behalf of the customer, with the option of shipping directly to the customer’s home, or to the store for pickup.
After the associate places the order, the customer will receive either a printed ticket or email/text with a barcode that allows them to pay at any register in-store.
The shipment process begins after the customer pays for the item at the register and the transaction is complete.
Currently, the Dotcom Store app includes all products sold and shipped by Walmart.
What About Third-Party Marketplace Items?
Marketplace items are currently not included in this program. But Walmart plans to add marketplace items on Walmart.com to the app associates use in the store soon.
Marketplace inclusion has always lagged a little behind with Walmart as the company is expanding that business.
It wasn’t until just a few months ago when Walmart announced to their sellers that customers could return items purchased on Walmart.com to the store.
This was already possible with items purchased that were sold and shipped by Walmart, but in August the retailer announced the inclusion of marketplace items.
Walmart’s aggressive strategy to make up lost ground in eCommerce is paying off. It has become the third largest eCommerce retailer in the U.S. after Amazon and eBay.
The company could be on its way to overtake eBay soon.
For small businesses that are not yet on the Walmart marketplace platform, this growth could be a great opportunity to cash-in right now.
eCommerce is all about convenience, and with over 4,700 retail stores, Walmart adds a level of convenience no other online retailer can offer.
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