Walmart has altered its e-commerce system to avoid orders considered too expensive to ship to consumers.
The Wall Street Journal reported some online shoppers are being notified that certain products are out of stock. It is being done to save on costs if Walmart determines an item is stored in a warehouse too far away from the destination.
A company spokesman told the Journal this is part of a test to try to deliver more goods via ground shipping rather than air shipping. In addition, Walmart hopes to cut back on online orders that arrive in multiple packages from different warehouses.
The change means suppliers will need to stock products at more warehouses around the country so the goods are located closer to more customers. Household cleaners, nonperishable groceries, pet food, and cosmetics are among the products included in the test.
An unnamed executive at a supplier for Walmart told the Journal the policy is the proper in order to make shipments more profitable, but has created some confusion due to the new policy being rolled out without advanced notice.
During August, Walmart announced the customers beginning this fall will be able to print return shipping labels from the company’s website, even if they are buying products from third parties.