May 14, 2019, Walmart eCommerce U.S. president and CEO, Marc Lore made an announcement that the company will begin to offer free next day shipping. Until just yesterday [May 15, 2019], Walmart was the world largest retailer, now surpassed by Amazon. Nonetheless, Walmart, with its 11,766 stores worldwide, saw the logistical advantage of their retail stores and is now rolling out a free next day shipping offering to customers that spend $35 or more online.
There are no membership fees like Amazon’s Prime has, however not all products are available for next day shipping. The most popular 220,000 items are available and eligible for free next day shipping. Lore stated in the announcement that Walmart is localizing their fulfillment, therefore shortening the distance a package must travel, utilizing ground shipping, and reducing the number of packages sent per order. The combination makes offering free next day shipping less costly than their existing model where products can be coming from various distribution centers in multiple packages.
According to Walmart, the process is as follows:
- A customer visits Walmart.com and toggles into the NextDay delivery experience to view items that are eligible for free NextDay delivery.
- After adding items to their cart, the customer proceeds to checkout. Everything in the cart must be eligible for NextDay delivery to qualify. Cut-off times vary by location.
Lore also points out that 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart, making this model a great fit for the retailer. The rollout will take place in Phoenix and LasVegas to start, followed by Southern California “in the coming days”. The plan is to have 75% of the U.S. population covered, including 40 of the top 50 major U.S. metro areas by the end of the year.