By: Christine Blank
Walmart’s announcement that it will start testing an unlimited free shipping service this summer is shaking up the shipping world. Because the new service will cost around half as much as Amazon Prime at $50 a year, Walmart is likely to garner a significant number of new online orders from Americans as well as snag many loyal Amazon Prime customers.
“We’ve heard from customers that they want shipping that’s predictable and they want it to be affordable,” Ravi Jariwala, a spokesperson for Walmart, told USAToday.
The 5,000-store retailer’s unlimited shipping service test will include more than a million products, including home goods, toys and apparel. The test will be by invitation only. Walmart will deliver products within three days or less with the free shipping service, versus Amazon, which delivers products in two days or less and on Sunday to Prime members.
Already, Walmart offers free shipping on online orders of at least $50, or customers can order online and pick up their order in a store for free. Its pick-up in store service is what gives the retailer a big advantage over Amazon Prime.
Walmart’s new service is expected to give Amazon a run for its money – and produce millions of new packages to add on to the already heavy load of package delivery to U.S. homes, apartment communities and businesses daily. Already, FedEx, USPS, UPS and Amazon deliver a staggering 10 billion packages annually.
But Amazon is not taking the competition lying down. The online giant’s new delivery services are also pushing significantly more packages through all the mail carriers. After a successful test in New York City, Amazon recently said it will begin offering one-hour delivery service in Baltimore, Md., and Miami, Fla. For $7.99, Amazon ships any product in stock in under an hour to Amazon Prime members. If they want to receive the item or items within two hours, shipping is free.
Amazon will likely expand the one-hour delivery service to more cities this year. Plus, it recently added Amazon Dash, a button that comes with a reusable adhesive so residents stick it on appliances, in their pantries or anywhere they store their favorite products. Whenever they are running low on laundry detergent, bath soap or a number of other household items, they simply press the button and Amazon quickly delivers the refills of whatever products are needed.
What does all this mean for your business or community? Already, you have a mountain of packages waiting to be picked up or distributed. Your mailroom is full and it seems that there are more deliveries arriving by the minute. So how do you deal with this time-waster for your staff? The best way is to get the packages to their recipients as quickly as possible. This mean utilizing the cloud based package notification system known as PackageLog. After the initial notification is sent, PackageLog continue to automatically remind the recipient that they have a package awaiting them and even sends them a customized thank you message when they do pick up their parcel. The best part is that due to the increased communication, the packages leave your mail room / office faster and create less of a headache for you.