Walmart has begun a “pick up today” service for online sales of electronic appliances and video games in seven major U.S. markets. Customers placing an order before 6 p.m. will be able to pick up their purchases at Walmart stores in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Miami.
This is Walmart’s first foray into this type of same-day service, according to a report in The Financial Times. Other multi-channel retailers have achieved significant results with buy online/pick up in store services. Best Buy recently revealed that 40% of online purchases were picked up in a Best Buy store. This model provides retailers with additional opportunities to add in-store sales when customers come in to the brick-and-mortar location. Best Buy recently announced expanded store pickup options available for the 2010 holiday season.
Several leading retailers are betting that consumers will pay for the convenience of fast shipping. Toys R Us, Radio Shack, PetSmart, Barnes & Noble and Borders are supporting a new delivery service called ShopRunner, which is modeled on Amazon’s Amazon Prime program. ShopRunner offers unlimited two-day shipping for a $79 annual subscription fee, with free shipping on product returns.