Walmart will expand its same-day delivery options to the early morning hours

Walmart says it’s expanding its same-day delivery options to the early morning hours. The move comes as online retailers compete to meet growing consumer demand for speed and convenience.

Starting in mid-March, customers who place an order online after 6 a.m. can have clothing, appliances, outdoor goods or baby supplies delivered within 30 minutes, Walmart said Thursday. Customers will pay $10 for immediate delivery or $5 to have their items delivered within three hours, a Walmart spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. The service will be free for Walmart+ members, the company added.

“With Walmart’s early morning on-demand delivery and a range of other convenient options, we’re making sure you get what you need, when you need it, so you can reclaim your time no matter what the clock says,” it said company. Thursday in a statement.

Executives at Walmart said the early morning feature is part of a list of delivery options the retail giant is launching in hopes of boosting sales. Walmart started offering a late-night delivery option in September, allowing customers to have orders placed before 9:30 p.m. delivered before 10 p.m. The company also offers on-demand delivery, where customers can select a specific day and time to receive an item delivered.

These delivery options are “a significant source of equity gains among upper-income households and are also the most productive channel for acquiring Walmart+ members,” Chief Financial Officer John Rainey said last month during Walmart’s most recent earnings call.

Walmart’s move comes just days after rival retailer Target announced it an unlimited free same-day delivery service called Target 360. Target said its service will deliver items to customers within an hour for orders over $35. Hoping the fast delivery option will boost sales, Target said it is offering the 360 ​​service for a promotional price of $49 per year to new members who sign up between April 7 and May 18 (at which time the price will increase to $99).

Amazon was the first to offer same-day delivery back in 2015, today charges its Prime members $14.99 per month, or $139 per year, for the service. Best Buy, Sam’s Club and Whole Foods (acquired by Amazon in 2017) also offer same-day delivery.

As Target and Walmart have expanded their delivery operations and also offered faster and more convenient delivery service, it’s clear that customer expectations have changed, retail experts say. Many consumers resent having to wait a few days for a product they ordered online, making delivery speed a big factor in choosing where to purchase the product.

A 2023 retail trends report from Shopify shows that 60% of consumers expect same-day, next-day or two-day delivery when shopping online, while 58% of those shoppers expect free next-day delivery. A 2022 survey of about 500 retailers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France and Italy found that 99% of those retailers said they will offer same-day delivery by 2025.

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