Wal-Mart tests in-store lockers for online orders

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 27, 2013 at 8:38 am •  Published: March 27, 2013
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Wal-Mart doesn't break down its e-commerce sales for the U.S., but officials reiterated Tuesday that it expects global e-commerce sales to hit $9 billion this year. That's still a small fraction of the company's overall sales of $443.8 billion in the latest year ended Jan. 31. But the company is fast expanding its global presence which include nine other countries outside the U.S. It's also making big improvements to its ranking among shoppers. For example, in Brazil, walmart.com is now the most popular retail website in terms of traffic, up from being ranked No. 8 last year. And the company is creating a global platform so that lessons in Brazil can be quickly adopted in other countries.

As for Wal-Mart.com's U.S. business, which sells more than 2 million items — including products it sells through other retailers like ebags.com — the company plans to expand the number of items. It didn't disclose by how much.

With the test of the new lockers, Wal-Mart is catering to shoppers who want to be left alone when they buy. Joel Anderson, president and CEO of walmart.com's U.S. division, says that 75 percent of its shoppers want to buy interrupted.

The new tests with lockers work like this: once shoppers buy the product online, they're emailed a password. They then can go to the store to pick up the items that are stored in the locker. Anderson says that lockers will vary in size, and the company is still figuring out where to locate them.

The service is an evolution of another shopping option called "site to store" launched in 2007 where shoppers can order online and then pick up the items at a special counter within two weeks. The company has also been testing an option where shoppers can pick up their purchases they bought online at select FedEx locations.

"The customer is in charge," Anderson. "The customer wants to control their own environment."

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