Asda parent and US retail giant Walmart is working with its marketplace sellers to make millions of items available for free two-day shipping without a membership fee and simplifying the returns process for items purchased from these sellers, in time for the key festive period.
Walmart launched free two-day shipping, with no membership fee, two years ago on millions of the most-bought items on Walmart.com. In the coming months, it plans to extend this to its marketplace sellers for eligible items.
As part of the changes, customers will also be able to return products bought online from marketplace sellers to any one of Walmart’s 4,700 stores in the USA. The improvements are set to start rolling out next month ahead of Christmas.
Previously, customers returning a marketplace item via Walmart.com had to message the seller with a reason for the return and then wait to be contacted with information on how to send the item back. Walmart is currently in the process of introducing the capability to print a label from its website for mailing items back to the Marketplace Sellers but the new in-store returns policy will make the whole process far simpler – particularly given that 90% of Americans are said to live within 10 miles of a Walmart store
Explaining the reason behind the changes, Walmart said: “Regardless if the item is shipped by Walmart or a third-party, marketplace seller, we know they [customers] expect the same, seamless shopping experience.”
Whilst Walmart sells a broad range of home improvement lines directly, products listed by third-party marketplace sellers include building products, kitchen and bathroom furniture, tools, landscaping products, and specialist paints.
The retailer added: “The holidays are quickly approaching, and, with that, the annual increase in shopping for everything from everyday essentials to holiday gifts. We’re confident that, with these new changes to our marketplace, holiday shopping will be that much easier.”