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Walmart Installs Kiosks for Online Order Pickups

12 Jul, 2017 By: Doug McPherson

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart is rolling out “pickup towers” in a dozen stores across the U.S. as part of a move to make shopping easier – allowing online shoppers to get their products faster.

The towers are basically self-service kiosks in store entrances. Customers simply scan a barcode from their purchase receipt, and within 45 seconds, a door on the machine opens and the items appear on a conveyer belt.

A customer of the Gilbert, Ariz., Walmart store told Business Insider that the service is a vast improvement from the retailer's regular in-store pickup process.

"Compared to the normal pickup of going to the back of the store, waiting for an employee to see you, then waiting for them to go in the back, this really sped things up," the customer said. "Obviously being in the front of the store next to an entrance really makes it convenient. I also don't need to show security my receipt because they see me getting the item."

Mark Ibbotson, executive vice president of central operations, Walmart U.S., compares the kiosk to “a high-tech vending machine” for online orders. “This feature...allows you to pick up items in less than a minute by scanning a barcode sent to your smartphone.”

Ibbotson said the pilot was successful when tested last year, so the company is now rolling out kiosks in Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia.

It’s part of the company’s effort to compete with Amazon. Earlier this year, Walmart introduced a new discount for shoppers who buy items online and pick them up in stores. Online shoppers can save as much as $50 on purchases of large items like televisions.

Walmart recently started testing a similar kiosk concept for online grocery orders.

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