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10/23/2018

Walmart expands shipping perks to third-party suppliers

As Walmart gears up for the holidays, it wants its shoppers to get their items fast — and make returns just as easily.

This year, the discount giant is making “millions of items” sold on its marketplace eligible for free two-day shipping on orders over $35. The service, which does not require a membership, will launch in mid-November.

“In the coming months, you will see millions of additional items with the two-day free shipping label as we work with hundreds of our high-performing marketplace sellers to extend the offer to their eligible items,” Scott Hilton, chief revenue officer, Walmart eCommerce U.S., said in a blog on the company’ website.

In addition, the company is making it easier for customers to return this merchandise. Customers have the option to return eligible marketplace merchandise to any of Walmart’s 4,700 stores in the United States. Once merchandise is received at store-level, Walmart will ship the item back to the seller.

Shoppers can also ship merchandise back to sellers directly. Customers can log into their Walmart account, print out a return label and ship the merchandise on their own. In both cases, the customer will receive the refund directly from the seller. Both options are currently rolling out company-wide.

The services will help the discounter compete against the likes of Target, which now offers Target REDcard customers or those who spend more than $35 free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items on target.com. Like Walmart, no membership is required to use the service. Walmart’s online rival Amazon also offers free two-day shipping for its Prime members.

Walmart’s other holiday initiatives include an expanded toy assortment both in stores and online; in-store “toy play dates” that feature specific brands or product roadshows, and digital content from online influencers, among other benefits.