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Walmart China launches app-based store

Walmart China says it wants its customers to enjoy its products and services “anytime and anywhere”. So this week it has launched its hypermarket app store Walmart To Go in Shenzhen.

The platform consists of the newly launched Walmart mobile shopping app, To Go Service Center in stores for self pick up and multiple online and offline e-payment options.

Walmart will pilot “Walmart To Go” in Shenzhen (excluding Yantian and Dapeng) and provide quality E-Commerce experience to customers with its network of 23 stores. Walmart To Go will be adjusted and upgraded according to customers’ feedbacks and gradually expand its service nationwide.

Customers can now download the  app for both iOS and Android app stores.

Currently the app offers more than 10,000 items, with 1000 fresh/dairy/frozen SKUs as well as products covering grocery, health and beauty products and household chemicals. More items sold in physical stores will be added gradually.

Walmart To Go aims to provide “a quality shopping experience to customers” the company said in a statement.

“From ordering on the app, picking products from the shelf, to home delivery or in store self-pick-up, customers will experience a thoughtful service by Walmart dedicated teams.”

President and CEO of Walmart China, Sean Clarke, described Walmart To Go as “an important milestone”.

“It is an enhancement and extension to our brick and mortar business. We are uniquely positioned to integrate physical and digital retail seamlessly. Walmart wants to be a real O2O company. We will continue to innovate both online and offline to meet the changing demands of our customers, and will be the most trusted omni-channel retailer in China.”

To provide the best delivery services to Chinese consumers, Walmart leveraged its experience in the US, UK, and other comparably more matured eCommerce markets. Every physical store acts as an independent customer service and operation center with a dedicated team of Walmart staff responsible for app orders. The staff will cover the order preparation process from product picking, packaging, to delivering or handing the products to customers in store. For fresh foods that require a certain storage temperature, the Walmart delivery team will use special insulated bags to guarantee the same off-the-shelf freshness a customer expects in a Walmart store.

Meanwhile, Walmart works with professional logistics company to build dedicated delivery team responsible only for Walmart orders, and each delivery van has a vivid Walmart To Go logo on it.

If customers choose home-delivery services and complete an order before 11 am, the products can be delivered on the same day. Delivery fee will be free of charge if the purchase is over 188 RMB. Customers can also decide to pick up their order in any store they want. The assigned store will prepare the items within about four hours according to customer preference of the pick-up time.

After customers receive the reminder message on their mobile phone, they could go to the To Go Center to pick up the order by order number. For example, a working mother, who lives in Nanshan but works in Futian, can decide what to have for dinner at noon and place her order on the app. After work, she can pick up her order from a store near her house and bring the food home to prepare for dinner. It is worry free and time saving for customers demanding for convenience.

Products sold on the app are the same as the ones sold in physical stores. This guarantees that the products are from authentic sourcing channel. App users also enjoy the same price and after sales services as in physical stores. For instance, app shoppers can bring the products purchased online with the delivery note to any Walmart store for refund, and their money will be returned to their payment account. Walmart’s 100 per cent Worry Free Fresh Guarantee also applies on app. If app users are not satisfied with the fresh products they bought, they could refund within 14 days of purchase.

Customers can pay with Union Pay, Alipay and E gift cards on Walmart app. Physical stores will also have special e-payment checkouts to accept Alipay and other mobile payment methods. Walmart will add more e-payments in the stores and on the app in the future to provide more prompt, efficient, and convenient payment services.

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