- I started using Walmart’s grocery pickup service last summer.
- I order through Walmart’s app and pickup groceries at my nearest location.
- It’s my preferred way to shop now, and I have no plans to stop using it.
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Experts predict that the shift to online grocery delivery will continue even as the pandemic subsides, and COVID-19 advanced the industry several years.
I’ve been doing curbside pickup at Walmart since the summer using Walmart’s app. Here’s what it’s like.
When you open the app, it prompts you to choose your nearest location for pickup, or add your address for delivery.
The time slots come in hour-long blocks. At the beginning of the pandemic it was hard to find a spot, but now I rarely need to book more than a day or two in advance to get my choice of time.
Once you’ve selected a time, create your list. The app is organized into sections that change seasonally, like spring produce, but you can also search for items or look through past orders.
See what’s available, and get suggestions for similar items to picks that are out of stock. Just add enough items to hit the $35 minimum and pickup is free.
Once your order is created, you have until about midnight the night before to continue adding to your list. For me, this is one of the most useful features, because I almost always realize we need something else before it’s actually time to pick up groceries.
A few hours before pickup, Walmart will send a text notifying you about any substitutions or weight adjustments on produce.
I’ve always had good experiences with substitutions that are nearly identical to what I ordered, at the same cost.
Once you accept or reject any substitutions, the shoppers start preparing your order.
You’ll also get a text letting you know your order is ready for pickup.
Check-in on the app when you leave home so Walmart has an estimate of when you’ll arrive.
A side area of the parking lot was marked for grocery pickup. When you pull into a spot the app knows you’ve arrived and prompts you to enter your spot number and color of your car.
My Walmart has about ten pickup spots. I’ve occasionally had to wait, but the process usually moves quickly.
Walmart shoppers use small carts to pull crates with grocery orders.
Masked shoppers come up to the driver’s window to double-check the name on the order with a handheld tablet that they carry.
Then, groceries get loaded into the trunk.
Shoppers will usually bag groceries in your reusable bags if you bring them, but I usually just ask them to load groceries into my trunk to save time and bag them myself at home.
Sometimes they are more organized in my trunk, but as long as eggs and anything else with the potential to get crushed is supported, I’m happy. I’ve never had any issues with this.
At first, I was unsure about using a grocery pickup service, but now I’m never going back. I love the convenience, especially because I can add things to my order over several days and have them all ready and waiting for me.
I also find I avoid overspending on impulse purchases because I’m browsing aisles where I don’t need anything, and I avoid purchasing too much of staples because I can look at my pantry as I shop.
I see why online grocery orders have exploded over the last year, and I have no plans to go back to shopping in-store on a regular basis.
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