With their implementation of many different technologies aimed at bettering the customer experience, it’s clear that Walmart is out for blood in the online retail showdown. Walmart continues to show off their tech adoption chops with their new, sleek online return process.
According to a recent Retail Wire article by George Anderson, the retailer boasts a speedy 35 second return process with their new system for online transactions. Anderson reports that “customers who place orders online will be able to use Walmart’s mobile app to process returns, the company claims, in 35 seconds or less. Customers bring unwanted items to any Walmart store and scan a barcode with their phone. They then drop the items off with an associate at the store’s express lane or customer service desk. Walmart plans to offer a similar service for items bought in its stores next year.”
Adaptations like these show the increasingly blurred lines between brick-and-mortar and online retailing. Each sector seems to be borrowing tactics from the other in order to make an idyllic customer experience that addresses challenges and concerns across both arenas.
And retailing experts are definitely taking note. A sprightly discussion resulted from Anderson’s article with several participants singing the praises of Walmart’s decision to tackle a cumbersome return process and focus on elements that really matter to the customer: saving time and hassle.
Shep Hyken of Shepard Presentations LLC noted, “Easy returns aren’t just good for the customer. They are also good for the company. It proves to the customer that the company is customer-focused. It’s also good marketing. The company with a positive reputation for easy returns can tip the competitive scale.”
“This makes complete sense. All shoppers want is for retail to get out of their way,” stated Zebra Technologies’ Shawn Harris. “Return policy is the third consideration behind price and fulfillment options. However all three are equally critical to conversion. Walmart’s continued focus on convenience, assortment and price is a winning strategy.”
What’s more is these influencers recognize the metaphorical face lift the Walmart brand is undergoing. “Walmart continues to make the right moves!” Sterling Hawkins, Co-founder of the Center for Advancing Retail and Technology, explained. “This latest announcement of 35 second returns is another step in the right direction of removing friction in the customer experience. It’s also another step in redefining the Walmart image from, not just being low price, but being tech savvy and experience conscious as well.”
The Retail Technology Insider team is intrigued with Walmart’s customer journey tactics and we look forward to seeing their continued steps towards a more technologically thoughtful shopping experience.
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