Walmart to Offer Next-Day Delivery Without a Membership Fee
In a blog post yesterday, Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce, announced that Walmart will begin rolling out next-day delivery for more than 220,000 items on its website, including pet food, diapers, paper towels and laundry detergent, this week. Customers must spend at least $35 to be eligible for next-day delivery. "NextDay" delivery will be available first to Walmart.com customers in Phoenix and Las Vegas, Lore said, and will expand to Southern California later this month. It will roll out gradually over the coming months, with a plan to reach approximately 75 percent of the U.S. population by the end of 2019, which includes 40 of the top 50 major U.S. metro areas.
NextDay delivery is a being positioned as a complement to Walmart's same-day Grocery Pickup and Delivery options, and free two-day shipping on millions of items. The program figures to boost Walmart’s e-commerce sales. While still a small segment of its overall sales, The Wall Street Journal reported that e-commerce is Walmart's fastest-growing segment, with online sales in the U.S. increasing 40 percent in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31. The retailer has forecast its online sales in the U.S. to grow roughly 35 percent in 2019.
Total Retail's Take: The delivery wars between Walmart and Amazon continue to intensify, with Walmart claiming the latest victory. The announcement of Walmart's NextDay delivery program follows Amazon's announcement in April that it would begin offering free, one-day delivery to all Prime members. Unlike Amazon’s one-day delivery, which is available to Prime members who pay $119 per year, Walmart’s service will not require a membership fee.
The recent moves by Walmart and Amazon are in response to consumers continually increasing delivery expectations — i.e., faster and free shipping. Retailers have to keep up if they want to succeed.
"Between Amazon, Walmart and Target all pushing for convenience and speed, the competition is quickly heating up," says Charles Dimov, vice president of marketing at OrderDynamics, a retail order management system. "With three of the biggest retail players offering free, one-day shipping, membership required or not, customer expectations and the new industry norm have been set. But the good news is with the right order management technology in place, it’s not too late for other retailers to get on board with one-day delivery and meet today’s omnichannel shopper’s free shipping expectations.”