Walmart to Offer In-Store Pickup Discount

Walmart to Offer In-Store Pickup Discount

Beginning April 19th, Walmart will be offering discounts on select in-store pickup orders. The new Pickup Discount will start out with 10,000 items, and they plan on extending it to over 1,000,000 popular products by the end of June. The discount will only be applied to eligible online-only items, and the discount amount varies by item.

Walmart has been enhancing their pickup process frequently over the past few years. Aside from adding more staff to their pickup roster and offering an app that gives shoppers more options, Walmart has rolled out Grocery Pickup and Pickup Today to several of their stores -- and more are being added all the time. This is making shopping more convenient for customers, but the changes are also helping Walmart out. It costs Walmart less to ship to stores than to ship an item to a customers' home, so they are sharing some of those savings with their new Pickup Discount -- a move that gave a nod to Walmart-owned Jet's Smart Cart. In addition, most of Walmart's pickup counters are located near the back of their stores, which means customers are likely to do some shopping while picking up their order. Finally, and arguably most importantly, this calculated move widens the gap between Walmart and Amazon.

Since Amazon doesn't have brick-and-mortar storefronts, Walmart is focusing on areas where they can't compete. Back in January, Walmart announced that they would be offering free 2-day shipping on orders over $35 -- and touted the fact that shoppers didn't need to pay for a membership to take advantage of it. Amazon answered back a few weeks later by dropping their Free Super Saver Shipping threshold to $35. They may be able to compete online, but pickup discounts and other savings strategies limited to physical stores are uncharted territory for Amazon. It will be interesting to see how this change affects Walmart and Amazon's price-matching. Will Walmart consistently have the better deal for those who choose in-store pickup? Will Amazon factor in that discount when setting their prices? We're eager to see how this chapter in the Walmart & Amazon saga ends.

As far as Black Friday 2017 goes, we're hoping that Walmart extends their new Pickup Discount to the holiday season's hottest deals, but we aren't holding our breath. Black Friday specials are typically excluded from coupons and other promotions. However, if it means that people are more likely to impulse shop, it could prove lucrative for Walmart to offer a better deal for shoppers that choose in-store pickup. In the coming weeks we'll see how popular the new feature is with customers -- and just how good the discounts are. If the new feature becomes a way to make hot deals even hotter, we might see a new trend among big-box stores. We'll have to wait and see.

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April 14, 2017
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