Walmart Plus Review: A Dietitian’s Personal Take
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Grocery delivery services offer an easy and convenient way to stock up on all the items on your shopping list.
Walmart+ is one of the most popular services available, especially among those who frequently shop at Walmart.
In addition to boasting a wide selection of products on its website and app, the company offers curbside pickup and delivery depending on your location.
As a busy working mom, I rely on grocery delivery services to help make my weeks a bit easier and have personally used Walmart+ many times.
Keep reading to find out what Walmart+ is and whether I’d recommend it to others.
Walmart+ is a Walmart membership that offers grocery delivery and free shipping on online orders, along with several other benefits.
It provides an alternative to popular grocery delivery services such as Amazon Prime, Instacart, and Shipt but is exclusive to Walmart stores and products.
While grocery delivery is included in a Walmart+ membership, the company also allows nonmembers to place free curbside pickup orders using the Walmart+ app. Nonmembers can also place delivery orders for an additional fee.
What services are included with a Walmart+ membership?
A Walmart+ membership comes with several perks, including:
- free grocery delivery on orders over $35
- early access to sales
- free shipping on Walmart.com with no minimum
- prescription discounts
- $0.05 off per gallon of fuel at Walmart and Murphy gas stations
- access to member prices at Sam’s Club gas stations
- “Scan & Go” contactless checkout in stores
While it offers other services, the primary function of Walmart+ is ordering groceries from your local Walmart store.
To place a pickup or delivery order, you simply use the company website or app to select from a variety of foods, drinks, household items, and home decor items. Just keep in mind that pickup and delivery both require a $35 minimum.
You then reserve a time slot to pick up your groceries or, depending on your location, have them delivered. Note that Walmart delivers to only certain zip codes.
Another key benefit of Walmart+ that I use regularly is free 2-day shipping on any order placed on Walmart.com. It’s extremely convenient to have this option, especially for items that are the same price as, or cheaper than, those you’d find on Amazon.
What’s more, if the item is already in stock at your local Walmart, you may receive your item the same day you place your order.
Walmart+ costs $98 per year if billed annually or $12.95 per month if billed monthly.
There’s also a $35 minimum for all orders placed online and an optional tip for your delivery driver.
While curbside pickup is free for members and nonmembers, delivery costs $8–10, depending on the time and date you select, if you don’t have a Walmart+ membership.
Both members and nonmembers also have the option to place an Express Delivery order for $10 during certain hours. Note that these orders don’t have to meet the $35 order minimum.
The reviews for Walmart+ are mixed.
This isn’t surprising, as the experience with Walmart+ can vary significantly from store to store and may depend on the individual employee who assembled your order.
Many customers complain about the quality of substitutions. Unfortunately, Walmart doesn’t have a way for you to communicate the types of substitutions you’d like to receive if one of your items is unavailable.
I’ve never had any major issues with the substitutions I’ve received, though I have gotten one or two that have left me scratching my head (for example, a bag of frozen meatballs as a substitute for frozen chopped steak).
Several reviewers have also experienced frequent delays with receiving their orders.
While I’ve had a few late deliveries, it hasn’t been a huge problem for me. However, I can imagine that it could happen more frequently in larger areas with more delivery customers or even in smaller, more rural counties with limited delivery drivers.
Finally, there are some poor reviews regarding customer service. I’ve always found it much easier and more convenient to communicate with Walmart’s customer service via email rather than to call the store directly, and I haven’t had any trouble getting my issues resolved.
Walmart+ offers a wide selection of foods and products.
Using the website or app, you can easily shop for many types of meats, eggs, dairy products, canned goods, condiments, grains, seasonings, snacks, frozen foods, prepared products, and supplements.
You can also choose from an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, including conventional and organic varieties.
Many other goods are also available, including kitchen appliances, dinnerware, home decor items, and food storage containers.
However, Walmart+ doesn’t allow you to purchase bagged ice. And you can’t select items that weigh 50 pounds (22.7 kg) or more on delivery orders — which is inconvenient at times because it requires me to make a trip to the store when we need these items.
Product availability is subject to what’s in stock at your local Walmart. When an item is out of stock, a similar product will be substituted unless you’ve specified otherwise.
Keep in mind that you have the option to refuse a substitution if it doesn’t suit your needs or preferences. Simply inform the Walmart associate at curbside pickup, and they’ll remove it from your order. For delivery orders, you’ll have to request a refund through the app.
Variety and brands
In addition to carrying Walmart’s own brands, such as Great Value, Marketside, and Sam’s Choice, Walmart+ offers several household names, including Kraft, Hormel, Tyson, Bob’s Red Mill, Bolthouse Farms, Birch Benders, and Tattooed Chef.
The Walmart+ website includes detailed information about each item, including whether the ingredients are organic, grass-fed, or sugar-free.
Thus, you can easily buy items that fit your needs, budget, and personal diet preferences.
The taste and freshness of your order will largely depend on which items you select.
Certain foods, such as canned goods, boxed dinners, snacks, drinks, and cooking supplies, are likely to arrive safe and undamaged.
However, fresh fruits and vegetables may vary in quality.
If you have an issue with anything in your order or if an item arrives damaged, you can request a refund using the app or website.
After you submit your order, a store associate collects and bags your items. A contracted delivery driver then delivers the items to your home.
Any applicable bag fees in your region are automatically added to your order.
One downside is that you cannot currently use your own bags or opt for reusable bags to reduce your use of plastic. However, some locations have collection bins for plastic bag recycling, which are usually located at the front of the store.
Still, if you prefer not to use plastic bags, you may want to shop in-store or seek a more sustainable grocery service.
With some of my orders, I’ve noticed that almost every item was bagged separately, leading to an excessive amount of plastic waste.
Walmart+ boasts a variety of foods that fit nearly any diet.
For example, people following a vegan or vegetarian diet can purchase fruits, vegetables, canned goods, tofu, and plant-based meat alternatives.
Likewise, meat, eggs, butter, vegetable oils, and dairy products are available for those following a ketogenic diet.
There are also many options for people with food allergies or intolerances, including lactose-free milk and gluten-free products.
Keep in mind that Walmart+ doesn’t allow you to filter items based on dietary restrictions or specific ingredients. Therefore, it’s important to carefully check the labels and ingredient lists of products before purchasing them.
To get started, you’ll first need to create a Walmart account if you don’t already have one.
Next, you can either place an order and enroll in Walmart+ during checkout, or you can enroll in Walmart+ before placing an order.
To enroll before placing an order, navigate to your “Account” page and then “Walmart+.” You can see an example of what this page looks like on the Walmart app below, but because it’s a renewal page, yours might look a bit different if you’re new to Walmart+.
Using the app, you can search for the grocery items you need and add them to your cart.
After you’ve added all the items you need, you’ll reserve a delivery or pickup time.
On the final checkout page, you can choose whether you’d like to receive substitutions (you can decline substitutions on individual items if you need a specific product), add a tip, confirm your payment method, and choose whether you’d like the delivery to be contactless.
You’ll receive notifications about your order through the app.
If an item you requested isn’t available, you’ll be given a substitution window during which you can accept or decline the substitutions chosen by the Walmart employee who picked your order (unless it’s a same-day order).
You’ll also be notified when your driver leaves the store, when they’ve arrived at your home, and when your order has been delivered.
Walmart+ is most similar to Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh, as it also offers free 2-day shipping and grocery delivery.
Amazon Fresh, a grocery delivery service that’s included in Amazon Prime, is also available only in certain zip codes. In fact, I live in the outer suburbs of a large city, and Amazon Fresh isn’t available in my area.
Walmart+ costs $98 per year, so it’s significantly less expensive than Amazon Prime, which requires a $139 annual membership fee.
However, while Walmart+ provides fuel discounts at certain gas stations, Amazon Prime offers benefits that Walmart+ doesn’t, such as Amazon Prime streaming.
Instacart and Shipt are two other alternatives worth considering. Unlike Walmart+, which limits you to products found at Walmart, these competitors allow you to order items from almost any local or national grocery store in your area.
Instacart’s same-day delivery starts at $3.99 for orders over $35, while fees for orders under $35, 1-hour deliveries, and club store deliveries may vary.
You can also purchase an Instacart Express membership for $99 per year or $9.99 per month to unlock free delivery and reduced service fees for orders over $35.
Shipt offers one-time orders for $10, or you can purchase a membership that includes free delivery on orders over $35 for $10.99 per month or $99 per year.
Walmart+ could be a good option if you’re looking for a fast, convenient, and affordable way to order your weekly groceries.
It’s especially useful for people who already purchase most of their groceries from Walmart stores.
Additionally, because Walmart+ offers not only prepared and frozen meals but also a variety of fresh ingredients and produce, it’s a good option regardless of whether you’re short on time or you enjoy cooking fresh meals at home.
However, if you don’t live near a Walmart store or prefer to shop elsewhere, a service like Instacart or Amazon Fresh would be a better fit.
I used to be an exclusive Walmart+ shopper for groceries, but in recent months I’ve found that the app doesn’t accurately reflect what’s in stock at my local store — though this seems to be a problem at other grocery stores too.
I’ve also noticed that it’s getting harder to snag convenient delivery slots, and I find it annoying that certain grocery and household products that Walmart carries are not available through Walmart+.
Recently, I’ve been using Instacart instead, and I’ve been impressed so far.
Specifically, I appreciate that there aren’t limits on what I can order (including bagged ice and large bags of dog food), that I can specify the exact substitutions I’d like if an item is out of stock, and that my shopper can text me to ask questions while shopping to ensure my order is correct.
Plus, I can usually get my order within just a couple of hours of placing it. The drawback is that prices are usually higher on Instacart, whereas Walmart+ delivery prices are the same as in-store prices.
Regardless, I no longer find the same value in Walmart+ and am debating whether to renew my membership.
With that said, if you’re a current Walmart shopper and interested in both grocery delivery and free 2-day shipping, I still think Walmart+ could be a good fit.
Is Walmart+ delivery reliable?
In my experience, yes. While I’ve gotten one or two substitutions in the past that I didn’t like, most of the time the substitutions are adequate.
I’ve also had very few orders that were delivered late, though I’ve noticed that Walmart+ pickup and delivery is much busier right around holidays, before and after severe weather, and when COVID-19 cases are up in my area.
Fortunately, when there is a problem, the customer service team seems to be very responsive to email. I haven’t had any problems getting my money back for damaged or missing items.
How fast is Walmart+ delivery?
It really depends on the available delivery slots when you place your order. If you’re struggling to find good delivery slots, I recommend scheduling your order several days, or even 1 week, ahead of time.
Once your delivery slot is confirmed, you can still edit your grocery order, usually up until the early morning hours of your delivery day. This allows you to easily add items throughout the week as you think of them.
Alternatively, Walmart+ offers an Express Delivery option during certain hours. For Walmart+ members, the fee for this is $10, but it guarantees that your order will arrive within 2 hours of placing it.
Do you tip Walmart+ delivery drivers?
While it’s not required, it’s strongly recommended that you tip your driver. Walmart+ drivers aren’t Walmart employees, so they don’t have a set hourly rate — and they often depend on tips to make up a significant portion of their income.
You can add a tip to your order during checkout, and you can change it up to 24 hours after you receive your order. I rarely change my tip after I place my order, but I have increased it if the driver ended up delivering my order in bad weather.
One important thing to note is that your driver is not the person who picks your groceries. Therefore, if you receive produce that’s not up to your standards or you don’t like your substitutions, it shouldn’t affect the tip you give to your driver.
Walmart+ is a service that offers free delivery and 2-day shipping for groceries and other Walmart products.
It may be worth a try if you purchase most of your groceries from Walmart and are looking for a quick and convenient way to stock up on your favorite foods.
While it allows you to purchase products only from Walmart, the service boasts a wide selection of groceries and is simple to use.
source : https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/walmart-grocery-delivery-review