Walmart tests new delivery service
Walmart (WMT) is testing a new delivery service where the company will deliver items directly to a customer’s fridge. Walmart announced that it is partnering with August Home, a provider of smart locks and home security accessories, to test this new delivery mechanism.
Under this new delivery service, a Deliv associate will pick up the online order, enter the customer’s home through the pre-authorized one-time passcode, and leave the package in the homeowner’s foyer or unload the groceries in the fridge. Meanwhile, the customer will get notification on their smartphone about the delivery or can watch the entire delivery process on the August app.
Walmart’s recent move could take shopping convenience to the next level. However, security and privacy concerns could pose challenges.
Also, the company is testing several other delivery services that include package delivery through Uber, through its own fleet of trucks, and even through its associates. All these measures have been popular with consumers, which is evident in the company’s stellar e-commerce sales growth. In a short time span, the company has emerged as the second-largest online retailer in the US (SPY) in terms of revenue, and the company’s app continues to generate significant traffic.
Walmart’s recent initiatives
Ever since Amazon (AMZN) entered the grocery space with its much talked about Whole Foods acquisition, retailers have also evolved and are coming up with time and money-saving ideas to provide ease of shopping to their customers. Shopping convenience not only helps retailers in generating incremental sales but also positions them well against the growing threat of Amazon and other deep discount chains.
As for Walmart, the company in the past few months has evolved quickly to the changing needs of its customers and has rolled out series of customer-friendly services, in addition to offering low prices.
Recently, the company expanded modes of payment for online grocery orders to the customers receiving government assistance through the EBT (or electronic benefit transfer) program. These customers will now be able to pay for their online grocery orders with food stamps.
In addition to the expansion of online grocery pickup services to more than 900 stores, Walmart introduced order dispensers, called pickup towers, to save customers time. Meanwhile, the company has also partnered with Google (GOOGL) to offer voice-based shopping. Moreover, the company provides free two-day delivery on orders over $35 and also offers pickup discounts.
Rival Target (TGT) isn’t sitting idly by either. The company has expanded its popular Restock program to new markets and is expanding its fast-growing exclusive brands. Plus, the company recently announced price cuts to drive store traffic.
Meanwhile, Costco (COST) continues to offer low prices and has partnered with Shipt to deliver its online orders.