Did Walmart just one-up Amazon on next day deliveries?
No one expected that Walmart would stand pat after Amazon.com announced last month that it was cutting its standard two-day delivery time for Prime members to a single day. Now, the world’s largest retailer has issued its initial response with the announcement that it too is rolling out next day deliveries — no annual membership required — to about 75 percent of American consumers by year’s end.
Walmart said its NextDay delivery program for online orders will start in the Las Vegas and Phoenix areas today followed by Southern California before being expanded to 40 of the top 50 retail markets in the U.S. Initially, about 220,000 of the most frequently ordered items online, including consumer electronics, diapers, laundry detergent and toys, will be eligible for next day delivery. Free deliveries are available on purchases of $35 or more. Assortments will vary depending on location.
The retailer also emphasized that it beats next day deliveries with its various buy online pickup in or outside the store services as well as its same-day delivery of groceries in select markets. Walmart.com will continue to offer free two-day delivery service on eligible items not included in its new NextDay service.
“Our new NextDay delivery isn’t just great for customers, it also makes good business sense,” wrote Marc Lore, president and CEO, Walmart eCommerce U.S., in a company blog. “Contrary to what you might think, it will cost us less — not more — to deliver orders the next day. That’s because eligible items come from a single fulfillment center located closest to the customer. This means the order ships in one box, or as few as possible, and it travels a shorter distance via inexpensive ground shipping. That’s in contrast to online orders that come in multiple boxes from multiple locations, which can be quite costly.”
While much of the attention has been focused on the convenience competition between Amazon and Walmart, Target has not been standing idle. The retailer offers free two-day shipping for online orders, same-day delivery with its Shipt service in 46 states, Drive Up fulfillment at over 1,000 stores, in-store pickup and Target Restock next day deliveries in major metro areas, including Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
“Target is, hands down, America’s easiest place to shop,” said Brian Cornell, Target CEO, on the retailer’s fourth quarter earnings call in March.
- Free NextDay Delivery Without a Membership Fee – Walmart
- Should (can) rivals meet the free one-day delivery bar being set by Amazon? – RetailWire
- Target crushes it with strongest holiday results in years – RetailWire
- What will it take for retailers to win the last-mile race for customers? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you find Marc Lore makes a compelling business case for Walmart’s move into next day delivery of online orders? Is Walmart keeping pace or taking the lead against Amazon and Target when it comes to consumer perceptions of shopping convenience?