US retail giant Wal-Mart has continued to improve its customer service and user experience this week, announcing improvements made to the efficiency of its returns service.
The company has revealed that in store returns on items will now take just 35 second or less, reducing the time of a process that Wal-Mart admits currently takes approximately two minutes, not including queuing times.
The changes will be implemented next month when Wal-Mart rolls returns capabilities out on its app, where customers can begin the returns process. Following this, they can bring the item in to store, scan a barcode with their phone, and leave the unwanted product with an employee.
The improvement has been designed with Wal-Mart’s overall strategy of boosting its ecommerce presence in mind, with the idea that simplifying returns procedures will make customers more inclined to shop online.
The company has also revealed that it will some items will not even have to be returned in the future. Come December, items that Wal-Mart would otherwise discard if returned may be kept, whilst refunds will still be provided. This will include items damaged during delivery, or delivered not as described such as off foods and opened makeup.
The move comes at the same time that the company’s biggest ecommerce rival, Amazon, has made similar inroads in this venture, revealing that shoppers can drop some of their returns off direct to Kohl’s department stores and have them packed and shipped free for return.
This is part of the partnership the two retailers opted in to of late, with the main feature of the agreement being that Amazon would sell some of its own brand products, including its new Echo range, in Kohl’s department stores.