I am duly impressed with the heavies responding to this discussion. There is no incentive tool in use that will ever remove the upset a customer feels upon receiving any type of rejection when trying to make a purchase online. To focus merely on the shipping and delivery aspect is to find fault rather than solution, although to hide behind a false "out-of-stock" posting as a remedy shows that Walmart could certainly utilize the brilliant and qualified views of the contributors to this post.
Most definitely, the multiple-choice shipping option in my view, will alleviate this stress factor altogether. One factor I haven't seen in the discussion is that WM offers free shipping which puts the stress in their court and opens them up for CS problems coming out of the gate. They also use FedEx which is understandable but unfortunate.
I believe-in free checking and free shipping also, but the deck holder is there to win and the heaping upon oneself of a growing unsatisfied client database is a direct sign of poor managerial decision making. Where possible, "free" is the obvious E-ticket, but in the end, is it not the responsibility of the buyer to pay for the gas or to decide how to to get over to Walmart to buy something?
Likewise, online, they will welcome the customer choice position you put them in when you show items to be perhaps a bit out of their reach and to let them make their own decision on it as opposed to the cat which is already "out of the bag" on this getting-back to them and crushing their trust? Business Rule #1, "never count the customer's money."