Axios reports that "Walmart+ members in some U.S. markets will be able to schedule to have returns picked up from their doorsteps starting the first week in October … 'Return Pickup from Home' is scheduled by app."
Walmart says that "members won’t need to provide a box or a label – simply hand off the return to one of our delivery drivers."
At the same time, Axios reports, "Walmart announced a 'holiday guarantee' Thursday that extends returns, starting Oct. 1 and running through Jan. 31. The window is starting more than a month earlier than in past years, Tom Ward, Walmart U.S. executive vice president, told Axios."
- KC's View:
This is one step beyond what Amazon has been offering at drop-off locations for returns, where you don't need packaging to make a return - just the item and a QR code generated online.
Can you imagine if those gray Amazon vans that make deliveries also picked up returns? It'd be a big deal .. but Walmart got there first. (I have to wonder if Amazon will quickly move to match this offering.)
This is all about eliminating friction - wherever and whenever you can. It takes different forms, depending on the venue and the marketplace and the consumer demographic. But finding friction points in the customer experience and cutting it out ought to be a high priority.