Walmart App Promises Quicker, Easier In-Store Returns

Andrew Cummings
October 10, 2017

The process is easy, all customers have to do is go on the app, begin the return and then visit a store with a QR code scan.

Refunds will be credited to customers' payment accounts as quickly as the next day.

Starting in early November Walmart will institute a simplified, app-based returns process called Mobile Express Returns that will be available at all 4,700-plus stores. In early 2018, the service will expand to include store purchases.

As TechCrunch reports, the Mobile Express Returns service will allow Walmart products bought online to be returned in Walmart's physical stores. The company said a year ago that the app would have a feature to allow customers to receive a refund without having to visit a store.

The customer-facing mobile express option is expected to trim in-store returns to an average of 30 seconds. To increase its dominance, Wal-Mart offers a click-and-pickup grocery service, with its store employees speeding customers along by loading their cars. Its arch-rival Amazon has wasted no time in setting up a similar system with its new retail subsidiary Whole Foods, which started accepting Amazon returns last month.

The new program, Mobile Express Returns, has been set up to handle products sold as well as shipped through and that would exclude any third-party sales on its marketplace online. Historical returns can also be useful when estimating where future points of data may fall in terms of standard deviations.

Return of item at Wal-Mart will roughly take five minutes, but according to senior vice president of Wal-Mart Services and Digital Acceleration, the discount retailer is not prepared to drop that to 30 seconds. The in-store process will be limited to scanning the item and handing it over.

"We've invested a lot of time and energy in that technology to make sure that we're offering that capability to our customers who aren't being abusive", Eckert said.

Shoppers often consider returning unwanted or defective purchases to stores to be a hassle. If you are reading this news story on another publication, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of United States and global copyright law.

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Walmart is also introducing a "keep it" feature for certain goods.

Making it easy for customers is so important to the Bentonville, Arkansas, retailer that in December, some items no longer wanted will not even have to be returned. But Walmart has confirmed to me that there are "no plans" to add, an Amazon-style marketplace Walmart acquired for $3 billion past year, to that service. The older the historical return data is, the more likely it is to be less useful when predicting future returns.

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