Walmart gun store partners with online shopping app

Dive brief:

  • Walmart announced on Tuesday the deployment of a new application for sellers which allows customers to order and pay for items through the retailer’s online shopping site in physical stores, according to a press release from Walmart.

  • Buyers using the service (which is available at all stores in the continental US) can pay using any payment method, including cash. A store associate assists with the ordering process and prints a receipt which the customer then takes to checkout. Customers can choose to ship the item purchased directly from their home or choose to pick it up for free at a Walmart store. In part, the service targets buyers who want to pay in cash and who may not have frequent internet access.

  • Although Walmart announced the app this week, a company spokesperson told Retail Dive that it has been tested in a pilot program in recent weeks. So far, the company has noticed that the service is particularly popular in the home department. The company is also testing self-service kiosks at the end of the aisle in 20 stores.

Dive overview:

Over the past year, Walmart has taken several important steps to merge its online and in-store experiences with the deployment of services that empower customers pay for in-store items on mobile devices. In January, Walmart announced Scan & Go, a service that allows shoppers to pay on their smartphones. It has aggressively expanded this offering only to end the deployment just as quickly. Then in April came Checkout With Me, an option that allowed buyers in Walmart Lawn & Garden departments pay on the go via mobile devices owned by store associates. Now there is an app to buy online from a store associate inside a store.

The wave of activity and the shift in focus may confuse some, but Walmart is still figuring out what digital capabilities to incorporate into its physical store experiences to enhance their value.

Industry watchers are already commenting that the new app is a big step in the right direction. “Basically, this move by Walmart is another step in seamlessly merging its online and offline experiences to ensure the brand is present in all the channels the customer wants to shop on.” Danielle Roberts, senior product manager at Kibo, told Retail Dive via email. “With this decision, when a consumer says, ‘I saw this product on your website,’ the Walmart associate will have an additional digital tool in his arsenal to not only save the sale, but instantly improve the business. buyer’s experience. “

Gavin Bisdee, vice president of global marketing at Zynstra, added, “We have known for some time that the future of the retail store will mean blurring the lines between online and offline stores, and leaders like Walmart are making it. more and more a permanent reality. ”He also pointed out that the new offering helps store associates increase their own productivity and value, by involving them in interactions that will lead to a sale.

This app reflects the reality of where retailers are in 2018 and where they are going in 2019: reaching customers isn’t just about making sure goods are available across all channels and devices, although that certainly helps.

Edwin S. Wolfe