Will last-minute pickup payoff for Walmart?
Doubling down on the service, Walmart announced plans to offer “more items for same-day pickup than ever before” to serve holiday procrastinators.
Like holiday 2016, Walmart is giving customers the option of reserving items bought online until 4 p.m. local time on Dec. 23 for pickup in-store on Dec. 24 by 6 p.m. local time. Qualifying items will be marked “Free Pickup Today” online.
Walmart promises the “hottest gifts at incredible prices” will be available for pick-up. They include the Samsung 58” Class Ultra HD TV for $548, Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones for $349, the Barbie DreamHorse and Barbie Doll for $75, and Keurig K-Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker for $49.96.
“We started the season by promising more – more assortment, more savings, more convenience and more fun,” said Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. in a statement. “We know the vast majority of our customers are still shopping and there is no more important time to deliver on our promise than the final days before Christmas.”
Walmart noted that 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of one of its stores, “making pickup a fast and convenient option for customers.” The retailer also noted that it sees demand for same-day pickup orders double during the last two weeks of the holiday season.
The increased items available for in-store pickup comes as Walmart has tripled the overall amount of items available on walmart.com under the guidance of Marc Lore, the founder of jet.com.
In-store pickup continues to be seen as a key advantage Walmart and other large chains vs. Amazon, which has comparatively few Whole Foods locations and Amazon Lockers spots to handle pickups.
Among those promoting the service:
- At Nordstrom, customers who have placed an order online for in-store pickup can call or text a curbside pickup phone number 10 minutes before reaching the store. A Nordstrom employee will meet them at a designated pickup spot. At 10 of its stores, Nordstrom has rolled out 24-Hour Curbside Pickup.
- Target claims that 95 percent of online orders are ready for pickup at a store within one hour.
- Gift like a Rockstar this December: Walmart Has Your Back Until the Very Last Minute with Great Prices in Stores and Online – Walmart
- Retailer Launches Last-Minute Online Destination, Unveils Holiday Shipping Cut-Off Dates – Walmart
- Target Brings Joy to the Holiday Season with New Brands, More Ways to Shop and Save – Target
- Nordstrom Q3 2017 Conference Call – Seeking Alpha
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see in-store pickup becoming a major holiday driver or will it become simply an everyday expectation for consumers? Is in-store pickup a big holiday season advantage versus Amazon for retailers with many physical stores?