Walmart is deploying a new mobile app-based store service that allows customers to buy items on Walmart.com if the item is not available in-store. Store associates will place orders on their handheld touchscreen devices. The service lets customers pay for items via cash, check, credit, debit or Walmart Pay and have them shipped directly to their home or store location. The service is now available in all of Walmart’s 4,700 stores and will be offered year-round. After ordering the item through an associate, customers get a printed ticket, email or text with a barcode and can pay at any in-store register. After paying for the item, the shipment process begins. The Dotcom store app includes all items sold and shipped by Walmart.
Total Retail's Take: Walmart has been a leader in integrating shoppers’ online and offline experiences, recognizing that its national store footprint can be an advantage in its ongoing battle with Amazon.com for retail supremacy.
“At its core, this move from Walmart is one step further in seamlessly merging its online and offline experiences to ensure that the brand is present in all the channels the customer wants to shop in," says Danielle Roberts, senior product manager at Kibo. "The primary competitive advantage Walmart and other traditional retailers have over Amazon is leveraging their many stores to provide a better consumer experience. At least for now, Amazon doesn't have that option.”