Walmart tests same day delivery service
Have you ever ordered a gift, only to be disappointed that it did not arrive to the recipient until after the holidays? Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is seeking to rectify that. It announced that it will be trying out a new same day delivery service called “Walmart To Go” in some markets. The test will last through the holiday season.
Same day delivery trial
The test program is in operation right now. Until Christmas, shoppers in the Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and San Jose/San Francisco will be able to purchase electronic, toys and other goods and have them delivered to their home on the same day.
The areas for the test were selected because of their dense population and proliferation of stores. At this point, it plans to fill orders from existing stores, and not from a distribution center.
The move may be partially in response to Amazon’s similar test. Last month it was reported that Amazon is building new distribution centers outside of San Francisco and Los Angeles. It has similar plans for centers outside of major cities in Indiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. With pushes from state legislators to get the online retailing giant to add state sales tax to the cost of its merchandise, Amazon is losing one of its market edges. Therefore, it is trying to compensate by offering a one-day shipping option for customers.
In August, e-Bay also rolled out its same-day delivery service test in the San Francisco area.
The way it works
Walmart says it will charge a $10 fee for same day delivery, no matter how few or how many items the delivery includes. It is working with UPS to make that happen.
“Walmart To Go” actually started in 2010 in the San Jose/San Francisco area as a grocery delivery service. The current expansion of the service now includes other types of merchandise.
The way it works, shoppers in participating areas can order items at www.walmart.com/togo before noon, buying them for the same price they would pay in the store. Then, they can pick a 4 hour window during the day, up until 10 pm, for the item or items to be delivered.
‘Truly a test’
Whether or not customer demand will support the program remains to be seen. Amy Lester, Walmart’s PR Director for its Global eCommerce operations, said:
“This is truly a test and meant for us to learn. We’ll be constantly listening to our customers throughout the holiday test to better understand what they want, and we’ll use this feedback to determine our success.”