Walmart Launches Product Return Service With FedEx
Walmart has launched a service that enables customers to schedule a return for a product bought online, in-store or from a third-party vendor. The new free service, called Carrier Pickup by FedEx, allows customers to initiate their return process on Walmart's website or app, schedule a date for pickup, and print a label. Then it will be picked up by a FedEx employee. For those who don't have a printer, customers can also make returns at any of the roughly 2,000 U.S. FedEx Office locations by getting a QR code from Walmart's website and a FedEx employee will print a free return label and ship it back.
Walmart is also making some changes to the in-store return process, while still keeping its normal, extended holiday return policy in effect. For example, if customers don’t have a Walmart account, they can type or click www.walmart.com/startreturn on the retailer's website to save time in line. In addition, in many stores, Walmart has opened an alternate location within the store to make returns and help maintain social distancing guidelines.
Total Retail's Take: With this new service, Walmart is attempting to solve one of the biggest pain points of online shopping: product returns. The new return options come as Walmart's U.S. online sales soared 79 percent in the most recent quarter, signaling that it's in the midst of another strong holiday season, especially as consumers shift their purchasing activity online during the pandemic. The move is also designed to compete squarely with Walmart's largest rival, Amazon.com, whose customers can buy items on its website but drop off packages to be returned without a box or label at some Whole Foods locations, Kohl's, and UPS stores and lockers. Some items are also eligible to be picked up at home through UPS with a fee.