• 77°

Walmart, Kroger unveil Online Grocery Pickup services

Imagine a world where grocery shopping can be done entirely from home, and the only effort required is driving to the store to pick up the items requested.

Thanks to recent innovations by Walmart and Kroger, that world exists. On June 21, the Oxford Walmart officially started its free Online Grocery Pickup service. Kroger will soon follow suit, launching its partnership with online grocery shopping site ClickList in the next two weeks.

Lavina Woodfin, a Walmart associate, said the service couldn’t be simpler to use.

“It’s one of those things that, if you try it once, you’re hooked,” Woodfin said. “You do not have to get out of your car. We have our own orange parking spots, so you can park there and we’ll do the rest.”

Customers can begin their orders by visiting http://walmart.com/grocery or downloading the Walmart grocery app. Once an account is made, shoppers can start adding items to their shopping carts.

The site and the app place goods into categories, such as vegetables or dairy, and it also has seasonal tabs as well. For example, a visit to the site will show customers a section entirely devoted to grilling for the Fourth of July.

Woodfin also mentioned several coupon codes customers can use to celebrate the launch of the service.

“You just pick whatever items you want and the quantity, and at the end, if you’ve never used our service before, we offer promotion codes,” she said. “We have one that is WOWFRESH, and that gives you $10 off your first order. We have another one that is TRIPLE10, which gives you $10 off your first three orders.”

There is also a refer-a-friend program, where customers can send a link to the service to a friend. If that friend clicks the link and tries Online Grocery Pickup, both the friend and the person who referred them get a $10 off coupon.

Once the customer has completed their shopping, they can schedule a time slot for pickup up to seven days in advance. Online Grocery Pickup is available every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Customers will get a notification 15 minutes before their pickup time, Woodfin said. From there, they can check into the store and receive notifications about their order. At 10 minutes, another notification will alert employees that the order is ready for pickup, and at two minutes, another notification will be sent to employees, so they will be ready outside with the customer’s groceries as soon as they pull into the designated parking spots.

“We have really set it up to be not just a time saver but a money saver as well,” Woodfin said. “It’s great for people on-the-go, people with small children, folks that don’t really want to come in and walk around. It’s a service for everybody.”

And, she added, word has spread quickly. In its first three days, every time slot for Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup was filled by noon.

For more information or to sign up for the service, visit http://walmart.com/grocery.

A representative from Kroger was unavailable for comment.