As an experienced ecommerce seller, I know first-hand how valuable online pickup services have become for both shoppers and retailers in 2022. The global pandemic accelerated adoption of contactless pickup options. And data shows these services are here to stay as part of the larger ecommerce explosion.
In the US, pickup and curbside services grew 60% in 2020 alone. 40% of shoppers used BOPIS (buy online pickup in store) for the first time during COVID-19, and 70% of those new users plan to continue using it post-pandemic according to Feedvisor.
Clearly, pickup is rapidly becoming many shoppers‘ preferred purchase method. As an ecommerce seller, you need to meet this demand. Having the right pickup options and processes in place is key to providing a seamless customer experience, boosting sales and loyalty.
In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll dive into how one major pickup provider—Walmart—functions from the order process to locating stores. I‘ll also offer tips from my experience as an Amazon seller to help you maximize any retailer‘s pickup services. Let‘s get started!
How Walmart Pickup Works
Walmart offers two main pickup options: in-store pickup and curbside grocery pickup. While the processes differ slightly, both provide a convenient way for customers to quickly get their Walmart.com orders.
Step-by-Step Guide to Walmart Pickup
Here is an overview of what the pickup process looks like for each:
Walmart In-Store Pickup
- Customer places order on Walmart.com, selects “Pickup” option
- Customer chooses pickup day/time within 8am-8pm store hours
- Customer receives email notification order is ready
- Customer checks in via QR code at dedicated pickup counter or customer service
- Walmart associate retrieves order and hands to customer
Walmart Curbside Grocery Pickup
- Customer places grocery order on Walmart.com or grocery app, selects curbside pickup
- Customer chooses pickup day/time within 8am-8pm store hours
- Customer receives email/text notification order is ready
- Customer checks in via app, parks in designated curbside spot
- Walmart associate loads order into customer’s car
As you can see, the core pickup processes are straightforward. Customers simply need to order online, choose a pickup method, select a time, and grab items upon arrival.
Easy, convenient pickup improves customer satisfaction and loyalty. According to McKinsey, 95% of BOPIS users are highly satisfied and willing to recommend it to others.
What Can You Order for Pickup?
For regular in-store pickup, nearly anything sold on Walmart.com is eligible except select items like gift cards and alcohol. Groceries, clothes, electronics, home goods, toys, and more can be ordered online for quick store pickup.
Curbside grocery pickup includes fresh produce, refrigerated and frozen foods, pantry staples, household essentials, and more. Non-grocery items are limited with curbside but some locations allow orders like electronics and home goods.
Walmart does not publicly share data on what categories are most popular for pickup orders. But my experience with Amazon pickup indicates convenience foods, household consumables, and shelf-stable pantry items are common grab-and-go purchases.
Category Pickup Popularity
|Health and beauty||Medium|
|Fresh meat and produce||Medium|
|Apparel and accessories||Low|
Pickup Order Limitations
A few other order limitations to keep in mind with Walmart pickup:
- Minimum order size: $35 minimum for pickup eligibility
- Unavailable items: Out-of-stock or unavailable items cannot be ordered
- Item quantities: Limits apply to certain high-demand products like paper goods
- Order changes: Pickup orders cannot be edited once placed
- Returns: Must be done in-store after pickup
Knowing these order guidelines upfront prevents issues down the line. Proactively communicate restrictions, substitutions policies and other pickup details to customers to set clear expectations.
Tips for Maximizing Pickup Success
Now that we’ve covered the basics of how Walmart pickup functions, here are some best practices I recommend as an ecommerce seller to optimize the pickup experience:
Streamline the Checkout Process
- Allow pickup customers to checkout as guests to remove friction
- Pre-fill customer data like address and contact info for faster checkout
- Offer alternate pickup days/times if preferred slots are full
Improve Inventory Accuracy
- Provide pickup inventory in real-time to prevent overselling
- Integrate order management and warehouse systems
- Factor in pickup demand when forecasting inventory needs
Enhance Pickup Notifications
- Send text alerts when orders are ready since many ignore emails
- Include clear pickup instructions and reminders
- Allow shoppers to select notification preferences
Refine Substitution Protocols
- Train pickers on substitution guidelines to meet customer needs
- Offer specific replacement alternatives rather than vague options
- Explain out-of-stock subs proactively to avoid disappointment
Collect Customer Feedback
- Survey pickup customers to identify areas for improvement
- Monitor social media for complaints and service gaps
- Incentivize customer ratings to encourage feedback
The bottom line is that pickup should provide the same seamless, personalized experience as shopping in-store. Follow these tips to ensure your pickup service excels.
How to Locate Walmart Pickup Near You
If you’re a shopper wanting to use Walmart grocery or in-store pickup, you first need to check if it’s available in your area. Here are some tips to find participating stores:
- Go to the Walmart website and navigate to the pickup order page
- Enter your zip code to see if pickup is available nearby
- Filter the results to only show stores with “Online Grocery” and “Pickup & delivery”
- Select a store for more details on pickup hours, eligibility, etc.
- If needed, expand your search radius to locate additional pickup locations
I recommend using the website instead of Google maps to search, as it provides the most up-to-date information directly from Walmart on exact pickup services offered.
You can also download the Walmart app, click “Pickup”, enter location, and it will populate nearby stores. However, I find the website more comprehensive when initially scoping availability in your wider area.
How Walmart and Amazon Pickup Compare
Since many sellers utilize both Walmart and Amazon pickup, it’s helpful to contrast the two:
|Pickup Methods||In-store, curbside||In-store, curbside, drive-up|
|Pickup Locations||Walmart stores||Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Hub|
|Grocery Pickup||Yes||Yes via Amazon Fresh|
|Minimum Order||$35+||No minimum|
|Same-Day Eligible||Some items||50+ million items|
|Pickup Hours||8am-8pm||Varies by location|
A few key differences stand out:
Amazon offers more pickup points through Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh and Hub locations, while Walmart is limited to its stores. So Amazon likely has more geographic coverage.
Walmart has a higher order minimum to qualify for free pickup. Amazon has no minimum which provides more flexibility.
Amazon enables more same-day pickup due to extensive store network and optimized supply chain. Walmart same-day is more limited.
Evaluating these distinctions helps sellers identify the best pickup provider for your product mix, locations and supply chain capabilities.
The Bottom Line
Walmart pickup provides a valuable omnichannel shopping option that caters to the growing demand for convenience. Curbside grocery pickup in particular helps Walmart better compete with Amazon and its acquisition of Whole Foods.
As an ecommerce seller, ensuring you have flexible, reliable pickup services should be a top priority. When done right, order pickup significantly improves the customer journey while driving sales and loyalty for your brand. Use the tips provided to optimize pickup performance.