Walmart upgrades apps due to coronavirus to combine groceries with
Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY Published 12:58 p.m. ET May 20, 2020 | Updated 4:18 p.m. ET May 20, 2020
Walmart recently combined its grocery app with its main app. (Photo: Walmart)
Shoppers can now order bananas, chicken breasts, a puzzle and a television in the same purchase on the Walmart app for curbside pickup or delivery.
The retailer has combined its Walmart Grocery app with its main app to allow consumers to shop for items in multiple departments, much like a trip to one of the company’s supercenter stores.
Until the recent upgrade, shoppers could only pickup groceries at curbside but were able to order items from other departments for pickup in the store.
The COVID-19 pandemic sped up Walmart’s plans to integrate the apps because of a surge in online and mobile shopping, Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside said in an interview with USA TODAY Wednesday.
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“The way I think about it is we don’t ask customers to go to two separate stores to complete their shopping,” Whiteside said, “So why do we ask them to do that with two apps?”
Because of the pandemic, shoppers have been turning more to curbside pickup and delivery to limit trips inside stores. Walmart saw its online sales grow 74% it reported Tuesday.
“As we’ve seen customers move over and start shopping in this new experience, we’ve also seen an uptick in general merchandise,” Whiteside said. “So when they’re buying their groceries, they are actually buying other things that they needed like toys, gardening tools, puzzles and nail clippers.”
When ordering through the Walmart app for pickup and delivery, shoppers need to select an appointment time and have an order of at least $35 to checkout.
“We walked in the shoes of our customers and selected their most pressing needs to solve for in days, not months,” Meng Chee, Walmart’s chief product officer, said in a statement about the updated app. “We launched contactless payment, Express Delivery, curbside pickup and thousands of new pickup slots – and at a time when our customers needed them most.”
The Walmart Grocery app no longer works for the majority of customers, who will be prompted to switch to the updated main Walmart app, which is available for download in the iOS and Android app stores.
Target also has experienced online sales growth and demand for its curbside pickup service called Drive Up during the pandemic, officials say Wednesday.
Walmart says the upgraded app has the following features:
- Pickup and delivery availability: Walmart says its added “hundreds of thousands of new slots for Online Grocery pickup” and added notifications via the app, email and text message.
- Special time slots: The app has been designed so that seniors, first responders and those with underlying medical conditions can easily identify and reserve “at-risk only” time slots.
- Express delivery: Where available customers can reserve a no-contact pickup or express delivery time to have items delivered in less than two hours. Walmart has expanded the service to nearly 1,000 stores, with plans to offer in 2,000 stores by the end of June.
- Prescription refills: With the app, consumers can refill prescriptions and can select “Curbside Pickup” or select a mail delivery option.
- Payment: Because of the pandemic, Walmart upgraded the app to allow for touch-free payments in the app with Walmart Pay.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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