What happened: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said that same-day delivery has been well received. But in Denver, the pickup option is growing faster than home delivery. Executives reason that shoppers don't want to be holed up at home waiting for deliveries. It doesn't have any plans to roll it out nationally yet.
Lessons learned: Ravi Jariwala, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said the retailer is encouraged by the results of the tests. "We're trying to understand how we can provide convenient options for customers to shop online for groceries," he said.
In late 2012, Wal-Mart launched Goodies.co, a mail snack subscription service that lets shoppers taste five to eight different surprise snacks that weren't sold on the discounter's shelves for a monthly fee of $7. Wal-Mart then solicited feedback from customers in the site's social community so that it could use the responses to spot food trends.
Watch: The Wal-Mart play
What happened: Goodies.co closed down a year after it was launched even as the subscription business has been a hot area as companies test shoppers' appetites to have everything from socks to razors to beauty products delivered on a regular basis. For some services, the exact products remain a mystery until they're shipped.
Wal-Mart declined to elaborate, but analysts say Wal-Mart customers weren't interested in paying for surprise items.
"I think any subscription service Wal-Mart puts forth has to be aimed at the sweet spot of their shopper — straight up groceries and toiletries," said Scott Shamberg, a managing director at Chicago-based TPN, a retail marketing agency.