Walmart to Release Enhanced Returns Program this October
Walmart ‘s CEO, Doug McMillon, shared at a recent meeting that, “Our eCommerce business is now stronger, and we ‘ve made acquisitions to give our customers more choice.” Walmart ‘s e-commerce platform has become a thriving marketplace that offers customers options from hundreds of different brands that aren ‘t available in regular brick-and-mortar stores.
Similar to sites such as Amazon and Ebay, Walmart gives e-commerce businesses the opportunity to be listed on their website. Cowen & Co. analyst Oliver Chen has remarked that, “Walmart is fiercely holding its own in the competition vs. Amazon.” Walmart ‘s U.S. market share has increased in the past year, and is now the third largest online e-commerce platform right behind Ebay and Amazon.
Walmart continues to rival top online retailer Amazon with a new Enhanced Return Program, which is scheduled to launch on October 1, 2018. In an August announcement, the company states that the program, “will significantly improve the return experience for both customers and you, our marketplace sellers.”
October Launch Details
Although the Marketplace Returns Program will go live on October 1, 2018, sellers will have all of October to prepare their accounts for the program changes. Walmart wants to ensure that the program launch goes smoothly in order to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings for all involved with their e-commerce platform. To help sellers and developers, Walmart has outlined a detailed schedule to help educate business owners about the upcoming changes and how to activate the Marketplace Returns Program.
- On September 13, there will be a webinar for marketplace sellers about the basics of the new program and a general policy overview.
- On September 14, technical developers can register for a webinarfor an API overview about refunds and returns.
- The Seller Center changes for the returns program will be launched on October 1.
- Walmart recommends to activate the new program as soon as possible in October.
- October 31 is the deadline for businesses to switch over to the new program. Any accounts that don ‘t manually change their settings will be automatically updated after this date. Walmart also cautions businesses that the automatic update will apply their default settings to their accounts as well.
One of Walmart ‘s top values is that, “The customer is always #1!” This statement is the driving force behind their upcoming returns program. Walmart knows that a quick and easy return process for buyers is crucial, whether the purchase is from Walmart or a 3rd party seller. A few other customer benefits in the Enhanced Returns Program will include:
- Clear return policies written for each item on their individual item pages.
- Ability for customers to print shipping labels directly from their Walmart.com accounts for returning items.
- Assistance from Walmart ‘s customer service team to help buyers as needed with concerns about the returns process.
Walmart is also considering the possibility of allowing customers to return items from marketplace sellers directly to a Walmart store. Although this is just an idea (for now), this shows that Walmart is constantly working towards helping their customers have a quick and easy returns process.
Benefits for Businesses
No matter what products your business is selling, listing items on Walmart.com is a surefire way to grow your customer base and expand your company. When Walmart ‘s Enhanced Return Program launches, some benefits for sellers will include:
- Ability to set the return policy for each individual item you sell.
- Determining other factors in your return policy including return windows and any restocking or shipping fees.
- New functionality, which Walmart states will make it, “easier, faster and more efficient for you to manage returns.”
- The option to utilize Walmart ‘s discounted Returns Shipping Service.
Walmart ‘s popular e-commerce platform provides increased visibility for online retailers who sell everything from fashion to coffins. In Walmart ‘s FAQ section, it even states that, “You can sell just about anything on our site.” Sites like ListingMirror can help you showcase your products on Walmart.com and numerous other online channels. ListingMirror is currently offering free demos to e-commerce platforms who want to expand their customer base and sell their products on multiple sites.
Erin is the Co-Founder of Listing Mirror.