In an effort to make ordering and receiving goods easier for the holidays, Walmart and Target have both announced upgrades to their omnichannel strategies as supply chain woes continue to impact inventory stock levels and consumers shop earlier out of concern that products won’t be available.
Speed, convenience and offering a variety of options for online shoppers continue to be key differentiators for retailers, and the biggest players keep piling on during the stretch run to Christmas in an effort to make themselves ever stickier and dig their moats deeper.
Target has introduced a new feature that allows shoppers to add backup items to their order in case things are out of stock, primarily aimed at grocery orders via Shipt pickers but also extending across the store to apparel, electronics, beauty and other categories. Customers can choose same-day, in-store pickup, curbside pickup – with 18,000 new dedicated parking spaces – or home delivery options, with no membership required.
Memory holes are also covered by another new feature from Target. Shoppers can navigate to a “forgot something” button in the app, add the item and have it ready alongside the rest of the original order. They can also deputize someone else to pick up their order, and have their information saved for the future.
On Walmart’s side, the Bentonville behemoth is extending store delivery hours, adding additional delivery windows and adding more items to the list of what can be delivered from local stores, including large items like flat screen TVs, Christmas trees and bicycles.
Home delivery hours are being extended from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. local time, and orders can be placed up to 6 p.m. for same-day or next-day delivery. Similar to Target’s move noted above, Walmart is also offering additional time for customers to amend their order after it’s placed.
Also, a new feature in the Spark delivery app called Shopping and Delivery adds new delivery windows for shoppers to select, in case existing ones are full. Shoppers pay a $10 express fee to get items delivered in two hours or less; those that aren’t Walmart+ members pay an additional $7.95-$9.95 delivery fee.