Walmart extends express delivery and real-time texting hours

Walmart is offering 90-minute or less delivery later, including real-time texting with a personal shopper to discuss substitutions or add last minute items.

Walmart is offering 90-minute or less delivery later, including real-time texting with a personal shopper to discuss substitutions or add last minute items.

The retailer said it’s offering Express Delivery until 10 p.m., on orders placed by 9:30 p.m. previously reported most Walmart stores offer Express Delivery from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, meaning shoppers may have had to place orders by 6 p.m. to make the cutoff.

Walmart said Express Delivery can be “as soon as 30 minutes and up to 90 minutes.” When Walmart introduced Express delivery it took two hours or less.

In addition, its Live Shopper feature enables real-time text communication with a personal shopper, allowing customers to discuss substitutions or add items last minute. Walmart claims “the whole experience feels like you’re texting a friend to grab you something while they’re at the store, helping to further personalize our online shopping service.”

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon noted store fulfilled delivery is now growing faster than pickup across all three segments of Walmart, during the retailer’s Q2 2024 earnings call last month. He noted that in the U.S., more than 4,000 stores and nearly 600 Sam's Clubs making same-day deliveries and in nearly 2,000 stores and clubs are internationally. Walmart U.S. e-commerce sales were up 24% in the quarter, driven by store fulfilled pickup and delivery and advertising.

“We're increasingly measuring those deliveries in hours rather than days,” he said. “In China, where we deliver from all our stores, nearly 80% of digital orders are delivered in under one hour."

In the U.S., Walmart is leveraging its stores to fulfill more than 50% of digital orders and activating its local delivery networks to get product to customers faster at lower cost, according to Walmart's Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey. “One of our strategic priorities is improving digital margins with an eye toward e-commerce profitability."

“I like how we're constantly improving delivery speed,” McMillon noted. “It's important to our customers and to our strategy. And I like how we're building mutually reinforcing businesses. Running great stores and scaling e-commerce are and will be our top priorities.”

This story originally appeared on Retail Leader's sister publication RIS News.