Walmart, the largest retailer of the world, is set to launch a new service to try and find a solution to one of the biggest points of pain for online shopping — the dreaded return of goods.
The company has struck a new partnership with the delivery giant FedEx through which the company will be picking up items shipped and sold by Walmart.com from the homes of customers, the United States based global retailer announced earlier this week. The “incredibly convenient” option is free and the company will continue to implement this service well past the very busy holiday season, Walmart said.
Customers have the initiate the return process on Walmart’s website or app in order to take advantage of the new service called “Carrier Pickup by FedEx”. Then the customers themselves will have to schedule a data and time for pickup and print a label. Following this the returnable products will be picked up from the house of the customers by a FedEx employee.
However, those customer who want to return items but do not have access to a printer can also make a return of the items at any of the about 2,000 FedEx Office locations in the United States by getting a QR code from Walmart’s website. Using that, a free return label will be printed by a FedEx employee and ship the item back. A service that is similar to this is also operated by Amazon in partnership with the delivery firm UPS.
In the most recent quarter, the online sale of Walmart in the US increased by 79 per cent and the new shipping options for customers was announced by the company amid that surge in online shoppers. The figure above also suggested that the company is currently in the middle of another strong holiday season particularly because people have shifted their shopping habits and now prefer to shop through online mediums more during the pandemic.
Walmart is currently trying to compete with its closest online rival in the in==online retailing segment, Amazon, and this new service offered by the former is a step to match Amazon’s services.
Amazon’s customers who want to make a return for items are allowed to drop off the returnable items at some Whole Foods markets, Kohl’s and UPS stores and lockers even without a box or label. The company also allows pickup of returning items from the homes of customers for certain items through its delivery partner UPS against a fee.
In order to allow customers to return products in person without a box or label from various retailers, a partnership was recently struck between FedEx and Happy Returns, which is an e-commerce return technology company.
Matthew Young, equity analyst at Morningstar Research Services, had previously said that online retailers are tweaking and enhancing their parcel delivery services “in order to remain an attractive partner with those shippers”.
(Adapted from CNN.com)