Amazon’s yearly Prime subscription is supposed to be the ultimate in lazy shopping: pay an annual fee, and in return order as much stuff as you want for home delivery, thanks to the free two-day shipping.
In Amazon’s model, you trade a modest fixed fee for ultimate convenience and the wonders of never having to put on clothes and leave your home. But Walmart is trying something different.
Pickup Discount is a new Walmart program that offers customers a discount on items bought online, but only if they pick them up at a store. The discounts vary, but it seems like some items that would be expensive for Walmart to ship (a TV, for example) get discounted by up to $50.
That’s a good discount, which Walmart can fund as it’s saving big-time on the cost of shipping. It also gets you into Walmart, which means there’s also a chance you’ll impulse-buy a $3 pair of sunglasses, bumping up the margins even more.
Not everything gets a Pickup Discount. Initially, Walmart is planning on rolling the program out to 10,000 products across 4,700 stores. However, the ambitions go up from there, as Walmart wants to offer a discount on a million items by June.
Walmart is also taking this as a chance to make its in-store pickup system slicker and faster for customers to use. Expect to see curbside pickup and automated collection machines roll out, so that even if you have to go to a store to get your packages, you still won’t actually have to talk to anyone while doing it.