Walmart Takes the Fight to Amazon With Mobile Express Returns System

October 11, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Online shopping can be a wonderful thing. A vast array of goods—far more vast than any one store or even a block of shops in some cases—available for your perusal and purchase 24 / 7 / 365 is a tempting notion to any shopper. However, if something goes wrong, the wait to get goods becomes double trouble for shoppers, and Walmart is making hay while that sun shines by introducing its new Mobile Express Returns system.

Walmart is taking advantage of its massive physical network to serve as a means to make returns as easy as going to the nearest Walmart. With better than 90 percent of Americans, at last report, living within a 15 minute drive of a Walmart, the plan is built on sound stuff.

With the program, users need only log into the Walmart mobile app, and then create a quick response (QR) code for the transaction in question. Take that QR code to the nearest area Walmart, and let them scan said code to start a return or exchange process. Some cases, like particularly bulky orders, it’s actually possible to keep the item in question and still get a refund, at least in some cases, in a program known as “keep it.”

The program is set to go live at all of Walmart’s stores this November—just in time for holiday shopping—and will actually expand to cover third-party sellers in 2018 as well. However, those thinking that service might step into that domain will be disappointed, as Walmart has “no plans” to make such a move.

The obvious point of concern here is the “keep it” program. After all, surely there will be some out there who decide that, once a year or so, they’ll get a free big thing from Walmart and call it a day.  Some might even go so far as to put up websites saying “This is what you can keep from Walmart today” and people will take the website up on it.

Of course, Walmart might consider that a small price to pay to get and keep customer business. Indeed, those who make returns this way may pick up something else while in store, and enough of that could outweigh some enterprising “keep it” users.