The blueprint for express returns was in place when Walmart built its app to speed up money orders and pharmacy purchases.
In its presentation today, Wal-Mart maintained its fiscal 2018 earnings guidance of $4.30 to $4.40 a share, and predicted that its online sales could grow by 40% in fiscal 2019. Customers can initiate the return at home via their smartphones and complete the process at a dedicated Mobile Express lane at their local store's service desk. All a customer needs to do is use the Walmart app to log a product for return which then generates a QR code.
Wal-Mart's new app-based returns process will expand to include in-store purchases early next year, Eckert said.
The company's spokesperson said, "We will be using technology to help us spot irregular behavior".
"We're combining the accessibility of our stores with eCommerce to provide new and exciting ways for customers to shop", Wal-Mart Stores CEO Doug McMillan said in a statement ahead of the retailer's annual investor meeting.
"We've always had a great returns policy", Daniel Eckert, Wal-Mart's senior vice president for services and digital acceleration, said.
In the battle between online retailers, there's no greater rivalry than Amazon and Walmart.
Walmart wants to make it infinitely easier for you to return your products.
The reinvented return service continues Wal-Mart's efforts to make shopping more convenient for customers by integrating its vast network of physical stores with growing digital capabilities. The option will reportedly add more items later. Other items - those that stores can't reuse once they've been opened or damaged - are planned to be added to this particular offering over time.
The move comes at the same time that the company's biggest ecommerce rival, Amazon, has made similar inroads in this venture, revealing that shoppers can drop some of their returns off direct to Kohl's department stores and have them packed and shipped free for return. Once they hand over the merchandise, their refunds will be credited as soon as the next day. It's also rolled out curbside pickup of online grocery orders in about 1,000 of its USA stores, putting it way ahead of rival Target Corp., which only offers the service for non-perishable items in its hometown of Minneapolis. Wall Street is expecting the company to report earnings per share of $4.38 for the fiscal year.