You may even get a refund on select items without visiting the store
Returning items you buy online or in a store is way too often a hassle. Walmart claims to have reinvented the returns drill to such a degree that it may even make it “a little enjoyable.”
While that may be a stretch, starting next month, the retailer plans to launch an initiative it calls Mobile Express Returns, a promise to let you use the Walmart mobile app to speed up and simplify returns on products purchased in Walmart stores and at Walmart.com.
Here’s how it is supposed to work. You select the item or items you want to return in the Walmart app on your phone and follow prompts in the app, indicating, for example, the reason for the return.
Walmart says refunds will be credited as soon as the next day.
The new returns process starts in November for products purchased and shipped online from Walmart.com. The retailer claims the service will allow for returns in as little as 35 seconds. The service will extend to store purchases in 2018.
Stephanie Nagy, a consultant with RetailNext says that “returns are a new front of competition for retailers,” not only to please customers who don’t want to spend a lot of time getting a different size or a refund, but to get those returned items back in stock to sell to someone else.
“There’s an expectation among shoppers of quick, easy returns in-store from purchases made online,” she said in an email. “But it’s every bit as critical for retailers . to manage the returns process as quickly and as inexpensively as possible, getting this merchandise back available for sale.”
Eventually, you may not even have to physically visit a store. As soon as December, Walmart also plans to give customers the option on select items to request a refund without having to go to a Walmart. Eligible products might include shampoos or perhaps lipstick you discover is the wrong shade once you’ve tried it at home. Walmart says you’ll be able to discard or donate such items.
A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
In a press release, Walmart senior vice president Daniel Eckert, says, “We know that returning an item and waiting for a refund, especially for a product purchased online, isn’t always seamless, so we’ve completely transformed the process for our customers – whether they are shopping in stores or at Walmart.com.”
Other retailers are also attempting to make the returns process a little simpler. Starting this month, Amazon shoppers, for instance, can return select items at 82 Kohl’s stores in Los Angeles and Chicago. The products will be packed and sent back for free.