Walmart Just Got One Step Closer to 24-Hour Delivery
Get ready to see something new on your front porch from Walmart.
Walmart has seen its online sales boom during the pandemic as many customers do their best to avoid shopping in person. The third quarter of 2020 saw a 79 percent increase in the company's e-commerce sales, for example. And as customers continue to stay home, America's biggest retailer has been looking for ways to improve its delivery offerings. The latest innovation to come from Walmart? A temperature-controlled smart cooler for perishable goods that frees you up from the responsibility of waiting around for your groceries. Read on for full details of the latest service from the shopping giant, and for more from the superstore, check out Walmart Is Offering This for the First Time Ever.
The latest service from Walmart is called the HomeValet, a technologically advanced cooler system that allows for fully secure and contact-free grocery delivery at any time, keeping your goods safe and in a temperature-controlled environment.
The deployment of the HomeValet potentially makes receiving deliveries a far more flexible process. "For customers, they don't need to plan their day around when their grocery delivery will be made. For Walmart, it presents an opportunity to deliver items 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product at Walmart U.S., said in a statement.
The HomeValet cooler allows different items to be stored at different temperatures, with three zones of the container ranging from "freezing" to "cold" to "room temperature." Each box also comes equipped with a UV-C light technology system that disinfects the box by destroying pathogens, bacteria, mold, and mildew. The temperature of and access to the box can be controlled remotely via an app, while Walmart's delivery teams will have the ability to digitally lock and unlock the container in order to leave deliveries.
The pilot plan will first be trialed in Walmart's hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas starting this spring. How widely it's rolled out will depend on this dry run, but Ward's statement on the launch dangled the prospect of a future where Walmart is never closed. "While we don't have plans to do 24/7 delivery today, it certainly has a nice ring to it," he wrote.
The free delivery of unlimited groceries is one of the major perks of the new Walmart subscription service, Walmart+. Keep reading to learn what else it offers, and for more on the latest Walmart news, find out why If You've Made a Return at Walmart Lately, You May Be Owed More Money.
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You can get free overnight shipping.
In December, Walmart+ dropped its $35 order minimum for free one- or two-day shipping, though the minimum is still in effect for groceries. Just three months after it launched in Sept. 2020, Walmart+ got more competitive with Amazon Prime by dropping the minimum, allowing faster delivery for Walmart+ members. And for the one Walmart product you should ditch, beware that If You Bought This From Walmart, Get Rid of It Right Now.
You can get your groceries delivered in one-hour windows.
While the HomeValet could make grocery delivery even easier, for now, Walmart+ gives customers an hourlong delivery window so you won't be sitting around for hours waiting for your produce to arrive. And for more regular retail news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
You can save on gas.
Walmart+ members also save 5 cents per gallon on gas at Walmart, Murphy, and Sam's Club fuel stations. And for more on what's new at Walmart, check out Walmart Is Now Selling This For the First Time.
You can use contact-free checkout at Walmart stores.
If you prefer to shop in-store at Walmart but want to minimize your in-person interactions while shopping, the Walmart+ Scan-and-Go app is the answer. It allows members to scan items around the store, and check out without any contact with a cashier. And if you're more of a Costco fan, know that Costco Is Removing This From All of Its Stores in February.