Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) played a new card to help it compete with Amazon.com. Customers will be able to return items they bought on Walmart.com in a matter of minutes. Customers also will receive almost immediate credit for the returns.
Walmart said of its new returns policy:
Walmart is now focusing its attention on returns, with the introduction of Mobile Express Returns – an innovative, industry-first experience that combines Walmart’s more than 4,700 locations with the Walmart app to make returning an item fast, easy – and maybe even a little enjoyable. The new simplified returns process will be available starting in early November for items sold and shipped by Walmart.com, followed by store purchases in early 2018. Walmart is also working to create a similar streamlined returns process for items sold by third-party sellers on Walmart.com.
According to Daniel Eckert, senior vice president, Walmart Services and Digital Acceleration, Walmart U.S.:
We know that returning an item and waiting for a refund, especially for a product purchased online, isn’t always seamless, so we’ve completely transformed the process for our customers – whether they are shopping in stores or at Walmart.com. By leveraging our physical stores and the Walmart app, we’re changing the returns game in ways that only Walmart can do. Throughout the year, we’ve added features to our app to make it an even more powerful, time-saving tool for our customers shopping online and in our stores; Mobile Express Returns is our latest enhancement.
The process is helped by the fact that, according to Walmart, 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store.
As the holidays approach and the number of returns increases, Walmart may have found an important edge over all its competition.