The American multinational retailing company Walmart Stores Inc. announced its plans of launching a new process to speed up the time of returning products bought on its website, including allowing consumers to keep the item they don’t like and still get a refund. This is just ahead of the busy holiday season, as it looks to vie better with e-commerce giant Amazon.com’s aggressive moves to build its own brick-and-mortar presence.
Less Time Returning Process
Starting in early November, shoppers can start the return process using Walmart’s Mobile Express Returns. The process can be fully completed by bringing the product to a store, scanning a QR code with their smartphone, and handing over to an employee at an express lane at the customer service desk. Walmart said its technology would be able to sniff out people who try to abuse the system.
According to the company, this will take about 30 seconds or less. Currently, returns take nearly two minutes, not including the time consumers have to wait in line, they said.
The new return process also lets customers get refunds as soon as the next day. Some products, including shampoo and color cosmetics, will be qualified for instant refunds even without the products being returned to the store, the company said.
The retailer company has been increasingly maximizing its more than 4,700 stores to give easy and smooth shopping experience on its website by offering services that let customers get items bought online as well as make returns in store.
“The new process reduces the time taken for returning products at stores to as little as 30 seconds from the 5 minutes that the previous process required,” said Daniel Eckert, head of Walmart’s U.S. services and digital acceleration business.
The company said it planned to bring the new process to products bought in its stores by early next year and is working on the same returns policy for products bought from third-party sellers on Walmart.com.
With hopes that easy return will attract more consumers to buy online, online retailers continue to strive more in finding ways to make the return process more easy and convenient. For instance, Amazon.com Inc. recently signed a deal that allows Amazon consumers drop off their returns at some Kohl’s stores in Los Angeles and Chicago and have employees pack and ship products for free.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail company is planting $2 billion investment into its online business and has acquired a number of popular online retailers since last year, including Jet.com.
Meanwhile, Walmart’s shares were up 1.3 percent at $80.02 on Monday.
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