Walmart customers won't get stuck on long checkout lines this holiday season
Deena M. Amato-McCoy
A discount giant is banking on a mobile line busting solution, digital maps, and other new enhancements to lure shoppers this holiday season.
Walmart on Tuesday unveiled a multi-pronged strategy that will enable store-level shoppers to digitally interact with its brand this holiday season. For example, starting Nov. 1, Walmart associates will use mobile devices and Bluetooth printers to check out customers, and provide them with a receipt on the spot.
The Check Out With Me solution, which launched in 350 stores’ Lawn & Garden Centers this spring, enables Walmart shoppers to bypass regular checkout lines, and pay for merchandise right in the department they are shopping in. These mobile-armed associates will be positioned in the busiest areas of the stores, according to a blog on the company’s website.
To make it easier for shoppers to find merchandise this holiday season, Walmart will offer store digital maps that are unique to each Walmart store. As customers launch the Walmart mobile app in store or at home, they can search for an item, and the map will show the product’s exact location. New in-store signage will also help customers quickly orient themselves within the store. The maps will be available in all stores in early November.
This holiday season also marks the first for Walmart’s redesigned website. Among the new services they can use include curated and editorial content that will make assortments more discoverable. Content will also be delivered in new ways, including through gift guides, and a “new deals” hub that will be refreshed regularly. Category shopping destinations will also deliver holiday-specific experiences.
The digital enhancements come on the heels of Walmart’s previously announced holiday initiatives. For example, 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.
This is in addition to the to more than two million items sold online that are also eligible for free shipping when orders surpass $35. No membership fee applies.
Walmart is also expanding its toy assortment by 30% in stores and by 40% online this year, and both offerings include “hundreds of new exclusive toys,” according to the company.
Walmart’s other holiday initiatives include hosting 19,000 in-store events and demonstrations that enable customers to “test” specific products, and take pictures with Santa, among other attractions. The events, which will be ongoing between Nov. 3 and Dec. 24, will be complemented by digital content from online influencers.
“Every day we’re committed to providing customers with the broadest assortment of quality products at great prices, but, during the holidays, we take that promise up a notch,” said Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S.
“This Christmas [there are] more items than ever before and new brands that customers will be surprised to see from us, all at the prices they expect from Walmart,” he added. “And, with new convenient ways to buy, we’ve never been in a better position to help our customers deliver for their families…”