MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In an effort to compete with other retailers and make life easier for shoppers, Wal-Mart is promising 30 second returns in stores.
They will be launching “Mobile Express Returns” in November.
It will initially be for items sold and shipped by Walmart.com — everything from beauty products, to sporting gear, to children’s toys.
The move is another in the battle between brick and mortar retailers and online stores to make life easier for customers.
It’s estimated that U.S. shoppers return more than $260 billion worth of items every year.
So what are the tops things we return? Good Question
The way Wal-Mart’s 30 second return will work is customers will start the process on Wal-Mart’s mobile app before going to the store. Then once there they will use a Mobile Express Lane to get a refund.
“They are trying to loosen it because they see how important it is,” said George John.
John is a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota. He said what Wal-Mart is doing is trying to take advantage of being brick and mortar by loosening the return policy and getting people into their store. Something Amazon can’t do.
“They’re thinking, we’re in a position to actually steal from them by allowing people to buy online from us but returning it to our stores,” said John.
But what exactly are shoppers returning?
According to a survey of 1,000 online shoppers, 75 percent say they’ve returned clothing and accessories before. Electronics came in second at 33 percent and shoes were right behind at 32 percent of shoppers.
About 18 percent of shoppers surveyed say they’ve returned food before. Expect those numbers to go up as return times go down.
While Wal-Mart, Target, Costco and others look to make returns easier for customers, Amazon is trying to grow its brick and mortar presence.
More than 80 Kohl’s department stores are now taking Amazon returns, as well as some Whole Foods stores.