I have to admit I have never been a fan of Walmart.
The staff was indifferent, shelves poorly stocked, and no one around to answer a question. One time, I wanted to buy some storage containers to reorganize my basement, and found the tubs but there were no lids that fit. It felt like I was shopping in a ghost town and everyone had already gone home for the night. Home Depot turned out to be a good alternative; there I was helped and found what I needed.
When I moved to Manhattan from New Jersey a few years ago, the challenge was buying bulky items, like cleaning supplies, paper towels and toilet tissue. Stores in New York City don’t carry large quantities of anything and even if they do, it’s difficult to navigate the subway or find a cab to get the stuff home.
A few weeks ago we invited our extended family for a holiday dinner and needed extra chairs and a folding table. Google told me that Walmart had the best prices and free shipping over $50. How much easier could it get? We clicked and in two days had the table and chairs delivered by FedEx to our front door. So effortless! We decided to order Windex, laundry detergent, and Kleenex and all those other awkward things that are hard to carry. Again, hassle free. Two-day delivery was not promised but, beating our expectations, all the items arrived almost overnight.
With one of our orders, we received an apologetic email that said an item we wanted, tin foil, was on back-order and would not be received timely. We got our delivery, again, in two days, minus the foil. The following day, another box arrived, and there is was. Now that’s exceptional delivery and service. Because we were alerted that there would be a delay, our expectations were exceeded creating a good customer experience.
How does Walmart and FedEx make a profit? I’m not sure, but guess they do. Personally, I still like to shop at a brick and mortar store with personalized service and stock to match. But, when I know what I want and need it quickly, the online retailer is a perfect fit.
Thank you, Walmart. You turned me from foe to fan.