According to CNN Business News, Walmart is unveiling a new service next month, nationwide, that will allow shoppers to order items directly from the local store’s inventory for pickup in four hours.
Place your order online and Walmart employees will pick your items from the shelves, bag them for you, and (I’m assuming this from my previous Site-To-Store experience) send you an email to let you know your order’s ready for pickup. Best of all, the service is completely FREE.
I think this is a terrific idea that may help Walmart get business professionals back through its doors. Many of us are simply too busy to spend an hour or more walking through a huge, crowded Walmart store just to buy groceries and other items.
This new service is also one way for Walmart to leverage itself in a highly competitive market.
Although Walmart (stock quote) has had seven consecutive losing quarters, it has built incredible efficiencies into its distribution systems that it can easily *exploit* with a service like this. Walmart also has “the power of presence” (stores are EVERYWHERE), so they have the enviable power to synthesize the online world with their brick and mortar stores, getting items into the hands of consumers even faster than online Titan Amazon.
Will it be a success? Are enough customers interested in a service like this? Only time will tell.
I’ll be interested to see how customer-friendly the experience will be.
Will my order really be ready to go when I am? Will I be able to prepay with my credit card or debit card (when placing my order) OR will I be expected to go through the conventional checkout line (if so, it’s absolutely a no-go for me). Will my cold items still be COLD? Will an employee escort me through the store after I’ve picked up my order? Will the Greeter at the front door understand how to handle customers with online orders?
We shall see–I’ll try it & let you all know how it goes. Personally, I prefer to do all my business online and I’m very hopeful this will be a service Walmart will provide for quite some time.
[Artwork Credit: Thanks to digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
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