The online battle between retail giants continues to rage as Walmart takes on Amazon with a better return service for unwanted items.
Walmart announced that it will pick up unwanted items shipped and sold by Walmart.com from customers’ homes through a new partnership with FedEx. The new service, called Carrier Pickup by FedEx, is being offered free of charge to Walmart customers.
“Now, customers can schedule a return through our new service, Carrier Pickup by FedEx, which is an incredibly convenient way to make that unwanted gift magically disappear. Even more magical, this new return option is not only super-easy but also free, and here to stay beyond the holiday season,” said the company.
Walmart customers will be able to initiate the return process through the Walmart app or on Walmart’s website. They then schedule a date for pickup for the package and print a label. A FedEx employee will come and get the package from the shopper’s home on the pickup date.
If customers do not have a printer, they can return packages through any of the roughly 2,000 US FedEx Office locations by getting a QR code for the package from Walmart’s website. A FedEx employee will then print a free return label and ship the unwanted package back.
The return method where customers drop packages at a shipping facility is similar to the return services offered by Amazon. However, Amazon does not have a service that picks up packages from a shopper’s house.
Walmart expanded its services in 2020 to compete with Amazon and capitalize on the massive online shopping market.
In September, Walmart launched its online service Walmart Plus which offered customers unlimited delivery in select areas if customers spend at least $35 per order. Other benefits of the service included discount fuel prices at Walmart, Murphy USA, Murphy Express, and Sam’s Club gas stations. Walmart intends the service to compete with Amazon Prime.
Walmart also teamed up with Instacart during the pandemic to offer same-day delivery to grocery shoppers. The partnership with Instacart positioned Walmart to compete with Amazon’s delivery of Whole Foods groceries. Amazon also offers services called Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now from its warehouses, which provide similar features.
Finally, the company recently announced pilot testing of a possible drone delivery service, but that service may take some time until it is launched for consumers. Amazon’s drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air, has been in the works for some time and recently received Federal Aviation Administration approval.
The new return service will also help Walmart as the company’s U.S. online sales soared 79% in the most recent quarter. The growth signals that the company is in the midst of another strong holiday season, especially as people shift their habits online during the pandemic.