Walmart to Make eCommerce Returns Easier

Image: Walmart

Walmart announced they are launching a new return service that allows shoppers to return goods purchased on Walmart.com at local stores quickly and efficiently.

If you have ever shopped at a Walmart before, you know how long the lines can get in the returns department. With the new service, which Walmart calls Mobile Express Returns, a shopper can generate a QR code and then just go to a Walmart store to quickly return or exchange the item.

Mobile Express Returns will be available at all 4,700 U.S. Walmart stores in November, just in time for the Holiday Day season. The company plans to expand the return service to third-party marketplace sellers and goods purchased in their physical stores sometime in 2018.

There are no plans to include Jet.com, or any of the other eCommerce properties Walmart acquired earlier in the year in this returns program.

“We know that returning an item and waiting for a refund, especially for a product purchased online, isn’t always seamless, so we’ve completely transformed the process for our customers — whether they are shopping in stores or at Walmart.com.
By leveraging our physical stores and the Walmart app, we’re changing the returns game in ways that only Walmart can do.”

Daniel Eckert, senior vice president, Walmart services and digital acceleration, Walmart U.S.

WALMART’S FUTURE IS ECOMMERCE

Image: Walmart

Walmart continues to double down on eCommerce. In projections released on Tuesday before its annual investor day, the company said they expect U.S. online sales to increase by 40% in fiscal 2019.

With all the recent acquisitions, starting with Jet.com in 2016, Walmart is taking the fight to Amazon. While Amazon may still have a substantial lead in total eCommerce market share over Walmart, the giant retailer is making up a lot of ground.

The company is leveraging its retail stores and adding significant elements of eCommerce integration to its vast store network.

Typically Walmart in Canada follows closely on U.S. changes as many stores in Canada offer pickup for Walmart.com purchases.

The rise in popularity of the Walmart marketplace for third-party sellers is significant. It will offer small to medium-sized businesses the opportunity to take advantage of another sales channel that may be able to drive sales as much as Amazon.

What do you think about Walmart’s push in eCommerce? Do you think it can help your business if you are marketplace seller? Let us know in the comments section below.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I am all for these companies getting into E-commerce but I am a little more troubled by the return process. What happens to an item I sell to a walmart.com customer that is not part of Walmart’s retail stores? Will they ship the product back to me or does it just get lost in a giant walmart “pit” somewhere?

    • Walmart was not specific on how they may incorporate third party marketplace sellers into the return system. The first phase of the new returns policy is only for products sold by Walmart on Walmart.com. For third party sellers, the fundamental issue will be that Walmart basically takes anything in return. When dealing with Walmart as a vendor, the company effectively dictates that you must accept all their returns regardless of condition. So, since Walmart associates are used to take back just about any product in any condition, this may create a problem scenario for third party sellers. Amazon FBA is pretty lax on returns as well, so it is something that has to be considered when selling on Walmart or Amazon that you may not have direct control over the condition of the item being returned.

      Richard

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