Does Wal-Mart's Pick Up Today raise the bar?
Wal-Mart is rolling out its new service for online shoppers across the country. But is it better than what competitors offer?
This guest post comes from Ashley Watson at dealnews.com.
Wal-Mart is beginning a national rollout of its new Pick Up Today service, which allows customers to order items online and pick them up about four hours later for no additional fees.
Wal-Mart intends to expand Pick Up Today's inventory to include up to 40,000 items in various categories, from home décor to video games, all of which will be available for same-day pickup in 3,600 stores by June.
The goal is to combine Wal-Mart's large bricks-and-mortar footprint with the consumer demand for free shipping, which it hopes will top competitors like Amazon, which does not have the advantage of retail store locations, and Best Buy, which doesn't offer the same wide array of products.
Steve Nave, senior vice president and general manager of Walmart.com, says, "Wal-Mart is uniquely positioned to combine the power of e-commerce with our national retail footprint to offer a leading, multichannel experience that delivers the best savings and convenience to our customers." And he adds that, according to a Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey from BIGresearch, "63% of Wal-Mart shoppers said that free shipping is very important to them."
In contrast, Amazon.com already offers free shipping and an additional 15% discount on bulk grocery items through its Subscribe and Save program, and the items are delivered right to the customer's door. Even if customers are looking for items not eligible for Subscribe and Save, other departments within the site offer free shipping with minimum purchase. Amazon is also experimenting with its AmazonTote program, which will do same-day delivery in certain markets.
Other stores also compete. Best Buy even has a shorter turnaround time than four hours, with most items available for pickup in as little as 45 minutes after the online purchase, and select stores offer a reserved front-row parking spot for customers picking up orders.
Sears customers can make their store pickups even more convenient by using an in-store kiosk or curbside pickup. If the item isn't ready within five minutes after the customer presents a confirmation number, Sears will give away a $5 coupon.
So how will Wal-Mart stand out? For city dwellers who may not live anywhere near a Wal-Mart store, the Pick Up Today service gives the option of picking up orders at a nearby FedEx location. Wal-Mart also appeals to the mobile crowd with its iPhone app that allows customers to renew Wal-Mart Pharmacy prescriptions or order photo prints for pickup through their mobile Web browser.
Pick Up Today is not the same as Wal-Mart's Site to Store program, which has been in operation for five years. Site to Store offers free shipping only on eligible items that are available to be picked up at the store in four to seven days, as opposed to Pick Up Today's same-day delivery and larger inventory.
More from dealnews.com and MSN Money:
How about Wal(China)Mart rolling out a blast from the part. Offering more American made products instead of the current inventory of Communist made Chinese junk.
The government I fear not. The fear is from Wall street and corporate America which is driving this country into the ground in the want of avarice, greed, power, and unbridled profits.
How can a company like Wal(China)Wart place the welfare of the Chinese over the welfare of the working class in this country?
Not only did they screw the American worker when his job was outsourced, they are now screwing the Communist Chinese worker with substanderd pay.
Wake up people, Wall street is destroying this country.
Thank you big oil for the screwing you are dishing out to America.
I've read most of the recent comments here & just want to ad to them. In regards to statements made about the filthy parking lots, well, it wasn't Walmart employees who did this. It is the SHOPPERS who park there, dump their ash trays, plastic water bottles, fast food wrappers & bags, pop cans, and oh yea...the soiled diapers too!! Some people are pigs, have no respect for others that use the parking lot. Now, inside the store...same thing...the shoppers & sometimes their kids dropping tissues, etc.. Looking @ merchandise & then leaving it in other areas. Oh...and when people empty their merchandise to the car, well...just leave the cart in a parking spot next to them or better yet, between two cars.
As far as "rude cashiers," I've shopped many Walmarts throughout Indiana & have never came across one yet. Maybe that cashier was "rude" to some of the posters here because they were "rude" to them. Maybe??
Oh, you Wal-Mart bashers are hilarious. Fine - go to Target instead. You are only hurting yourselves. You'll wind up paying more in the end on most of the products you buy. Sure, you can quote half a dozen items that MAY be a few cents cheaper at Target than Wal-Mart, but overall you'll pay more at Target and the selection??? Laughable. Target comes up short, any way you cut it. Are you finding more American made products there than at Wal-Mart? I don't think so.
And to the person who suggested the American public boycott Wal-Mart until they can prove that 75%+ of their items are American made....why not require that of other retailers as well? Target, Best Buy, Kmart, Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, Pennys...to name a few. Good luck with that. You will really be able to save a LOT of money with this requirement because there won't be many products available for you to buy.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ross Perot said it - that giant sucking sound you hear is your American jobs leaving this country - NAFTA......and we thought he was nuts.
What happened to the so called "Mom and Pop" stores ? Here is a theory. Over couple of decades ago, Mom and Pop thought they had a monopoly on the local economy. Then a "Pop" named Sam Walton thought, "You know, if I work it right, I can become very wealthy." So Sam got right to work. He expanded his floorspace so he could carry a wider variety of products which allowed him to lower prices so he could under-sell his competitors and he had great advertising. He even pushed American products in his stores with his "Made IN USA" campaign. It worked ! Until one day, Sam died. His family then took over(Sam's stores) and lost sight of Sam's American dream of free enterprise in the USA ! They thought they could make even more(!) money by buying products made by the cheapest labor.
Now, here we are. Our American homes are full of items that are, "Made in China", products that sometimes had to be recalled because they were not made to American standards. Walmart Corp. will fail if they keep going the way they are doing to our economy, Americans are getting tired of it.
Walter has sucked, still sucks and will always suck. Inferior products, utilizing literally slave labor negotiated by Walmart buyers strong arm tactics have driven thousands of companies out of business or forced them to go overseas to be able to sell the products at the price DICTATED by Walmart. Add this to dirty stores, unkempt parking lots and rude cashiers and customer service folks and I wonder how they are even still in business. It is only because they come to town, destroy the local retailers and then the population has nowhere else to buy from. It is proven that after the initial 2-3 years building phase and hiring that 3 local jobs are lost for EVERY JOB filled at a Walmart. So if a Walmart opens and hires 120 people total then 3 years later 360 local jobs will have been lost. Then the Walmart raises their prices and have no competition. The electronics they sell are not on the same level as say an Office Depot or the like. They are not made to use for several years.........they are to use and throw away.
Walmart is a JOKE! I go maybe once a year only to buy something I have to have that I absolutely CANNOT FIND anywhere else.
Walmart cut their own throat when they discontinued layaway. I do most of my x-mas shopping online now thanks to Walmart. They used to be the store to go to, but poor Sam must be rolling in his grave knowing what they have become-no longer an American experience but a chinese nightmare run wild.
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