Walmart is getting into the same-day delivery service. Walmart, the nation’s largest bricks-and-mortar retailer, is taking on ecommerce giants Amazon and eBay, which both launched same-day delivery services in select cities earlier this year.
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Walmart is beta testing the Walmart To Go same-day deliver in four regions: Northern Virginia (Washington DC area), Philadelphia and Minneapolis and San Jose/San Francisco (beginning in late October or early November). Walmart has been testing a same-day grocery delivery in the San Jose/San Francisco market since 2010.
The entire Walmart product line will not be available for same-day delivery. For now, items will be limited to four categories: electronics, toys and video games, sports and fitness and home. The same-day delivery charge is $10, and there is no minimum purchase requirement.
While same-day delivery may be seen as the next-big-thing for the retail channel, Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told The New York Times may not make financial sense for retailers.
“If you don’t care about losing a lot of money, sure, you can pull this off,” Mulpuru told The New York Times. “The question is: Can you pull this off profitably? I’m not convinced.”
Walmart has a same-day delivery advantage over Amazon and eBay because it is fulfilling Walmart To Go orders via its stores, Ashley Hardie, manager of media relations for Walmart, told Multichannel Merchant. Those orders are then being delivered by regional courier services, Hardie said.
In a recent Walmart customer survey, the majority of respondents said they would consider same-day delivery if the option were available to them and over half said they would use this feature monthly or more frequently. Also, electronics, toys, video games, movies/music/books and groceries were listed as the most popular items they would use for same-day delivery.
Here’s a look at how Amazon and eBay are fulfilling same-day orders.
Amazon is offering Amazon Prime members “Local Express Delivery” in 10 U.S. markets.
Customers are charged $3.99 for delivery of gift cards. All other items are delivered for an $8.99 fee, plus 99 cents per item. The service does not deliver to post offices, APOs, FPOs or DPOs, and items are shipped as late as 8 p.m., according to Amazon.com’s website.
According to Amazon, item eligibility is indicated on the product detail page and during checkout. If the order is placed after the deadline, the order will be delivered the next business day. If this shipping option doesn’t appear, the order isn’t eligible.
eBay has partnered with merchants such as Nordstrom, Best Buy, Target, Macy’s and Bloomingdales to test the eBay Now service. eBay Now users must make a minimum purchase of $25, and can only shop via an iOS app.
The eBay Now shipping fee is $5, and eBay is offering new users a $15 delivery voucher, so a user’s first three orders will be delivered for free.