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John Lewis shoppers are now able to return their unwanted online purchases through Waitrose drivers while receiving their grocery orders.

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Walmart ramps up its delivery services by offering this time a new subscription-based service which offers unlimited grocery deliveries.

$98 a year or $12.95 a month

The US retailer already offers an online delivery service whereby orders are shipped to the customers’ nearest store for free or to their home for a $9.95 delivery fee. The new service, however, requires an annual subscription that costs $98 a year (or $12.95 a month) which gives its subscribers the ability to take advantage of an unlimited number of free deliveries.

The move is another sign that underpins Walmart’s aim to offer its online shoppers more convenience and to encourage repeat orders. The introduction of the new service comes amid Walmart’s efforts, throughout the last few months, to enroll more online customers to its stores, such as the roll-out of free next-day shipping for orders over $35, new in-store tech at several of its stores and an in-home delivery service that allows Walmart’s employees to deliver groceries directly into customers’ refrigerators or countertops.

Please check our Customer centric hub and Walmart hub for more related content.

From next month, Waitrose will expand its rapid delivery service to Bath and Hove, in addition to 58 additional London postcodes, including Battersea, High Street Kensington, Bayswater, Victoria and Kingston, following a successful trial.

Delivery within a couple of hours

The delivery service launched last September thanks to a partnership between Waitrose & Partners and On the dot, a last mile retail delivery startup. It allows customers to select up to 25 grocery items from a choice of 2000 products at rapid.waitrose.com. The minimum spend value is £10 and a £5 charge applies for using the service. Customers are given the choice to receive their order within two hours or to specify a one-hour time slot on the same day.

Nicola Waller, head of business development at Waitrose & Partners, said: “Waitrose Rapid Delivery has had a really encouraging start, allowing us to provide even greater convenience and flexibility to work around shoppers’ busy lifestyles”. She adds: “There is a growing number of customers who want to get their shopping as and when they want it which gives us a great opportunity to continue testing the appetite for the service in new locations both inside and outside of London.”

98 postcodes and 1.2 million households

As of next month, the rapid delivery service will be available in 98 postcodes, enabling Waitrose to reach up to 1.2 million households. In addition, the number of average weekly orders has doubled since the launch.

Meanwhile, what are its competitors doing?

Morrisons has announced few weeks ago it’s been talking to businesses in the same sphere as Just Eat, Uber and Deliveroo to implement an ultra-fast delivery solution in urban areas where it doesn’t have a physical presence. Meanwhile, Amazon plans to introduce drones that are able to fly 15 miles in less than 30 minutes, although the type of packages that are due to be delivered can’t exceed 5 pounds in weight. In addition, US retailer Kroger has introduced recently a driverless delivery service in Houston, Texas, which offers either same-day or next-day deliveries, while Ocado is trialling a one-hour delivery service in West London since last March.

Please visit our Customer centric and Waitrose & Partners hubs for more related content.

Walmart has announced the launch of its ‘InHome Delivery’ service next Autumn.

Available to nearly 1 million people in three cities

The new service will be available to almost 1 million people in three cities: Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Florida. Start date of the service and cost to customers haven’t been disclosed.

Source: Walmart

How does it work?

After placing an order online, customers can simply select ‘InHome Delivery’ option at checkout. An InHome employee then collects the order and access the home to deliver groceries using the smart lock technology. In addition, each employee has a wearable camera that allow customers to track their progress within their homes. Later this year, InHome Delivery employees will be able also to collect returns on behalf of customers.

According to Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart e-commerce, each InHome Delivery employee will go through an “extensive” training on how to properly enter shoppers’ home and store their goods. According to the Wall Street Journal, they will also be required to have been with the company for at least a year.

What’s the competition doing?

Several Walmart’s competitors have recently implemented similar delivery solutions. Essentially, Waitrose has recently expanded its “While You’re Away” pilot which allows its employees to deliver groceries at shoppers’ home while they’re away. Along with Waitrose, Amazon, Edeka, Albert Heijn, Jet.com and ICA have all trialled delivery this way in their respective markets.

Please check our Walmart hub and Customer Centric hub for more related news.

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