Walmart.com is now letting customers shop on the web and pay in cash. It’s all the convenience of online shopping without the on-the-grid hassle of using a credit card!

How the heck does that work? you may ask, with visions of confused consumers feeding dollar bills into CD drives.

It’s simple, actually. You complete the online transaction by marching yourself into a nearby Walmart, paying the required amount in cash, then waiting for the desired item to arrive in the mail.

It sounds backward, but before you pass judgement, Mister Big City Latte Fancy Pants, consider the many millions of consumers who are different from you. As Walmart.com CEO Joel Anderson told All Things D, a relatively small percentage of Walmart’s physical store customers use credit and debit cards. This could mean that a large portion of Walmart.com’s audience is also unwilling or unable or simply doesn’t prefer to use plastic.

And why deny those dollars just because they’re green and non-magnetically striped? “The fact that only 15 percent of our transactions are done in the form of credit at our stores means there’s a large percentage of Walmart customers who are dependent on cash to transact online. We definitely think it is a big opportunity,” he said.

Since not all Walmart stores carry all Walmart inventory, the new option could make a lot of sense and open up new floodgates of sales for the tech-forward retailer. Time will tell. For now, we say kudos to Anderson et al. for thinking outside the (big) box.

Image courtesy of Feng Yu, Shutterstock

VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform
  • networking features, and more
Become a member