Walmart has announced an additional 500 new Pickup Towers to roll out into their brick and mortar stores by the end of 2018.
Pickup Towers are essentially tall automated vending machines located inside Walmart stores. Shoppers can buy products from Walmart’s online store and have them shipped directly to the closest Pickup Tower. This gives shoppers the opportunity to get online-only deals with reduced shipping delivered straight to their neighborhood. When the purchases are ready to pick up, the customer is notified to retrieve their package from the tower inside Walmart. You simply walk up to the Pickup Tower, scan a barcode that’s sent to your phone, and take your package once it is dispensed.
The initial 200 Pickup Towers installed in 2017 brought in over half a million orders, showing great potential in the program. Considering Walmart offers free 2-day shipping, exclusive deals available only on their online store, and thousands of easily accessible locations, Pickup Towers will be a serious competitor to every other online marketplace.
Walmart has also stated that these new Pickup Towers will be paired with Pickup Lockers. These allow shoppers to order larger products that were previously too big for Pickup Towers. Not only do these ensure larger products, like TVs, won’t be dispensed in the traditional vending machine fashion, it will also broaden the types of products shoppers can purchase through the program.
As Pickup Towers become more common, Walmart plans to implement new concepts and ideas to further improve the experience.
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Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.