Ride-sharing, home-delivery services, and mega-online grocery shopping are each somewhat disruptive, but what happens when you mash them together? That’s what Walmart and Sam’s Club want to find out, according to TechCrunch. Walmart is testing multiple responses to Amazon’s online shopping and delivery, and is also curbing its bets by expanding customer pickup into more cities.
Walmart is going to test last-mile delivery from its online grocery service. The company will use Uber and Lyft in Denver and Phoenix starting this week or next, with one ride-share company tested in each city. The company is continuing a similar test program it started in March in Miami for general merchandise ordered online from Sam’s Club and delivered to homes via Deliv parcel service. There is no premium price on groceries or other goods with home delivery, but customers are charged a delivery fee of from $7 to $10 when they place their orders.
The Walmart online order and delivery process is pretty straightforward. Customers shop and place their orders online. When they check out, they can select home delivery and a scheduled delivery time window. Curbside delivery, with no extra fee, is available as another choice in the same cities. In both cases, trained Walmart personal shoppers select the groceries and other products and then the order is stored in a cold room.
For home delivery, Walmart notifies Uber or Lyft, depending on the city, and the usual app and drivers are alerted that it’s a home-delivery order. When the orders are picked up Walmart calls the customers to let them know their orders are on the way.
Walmart is already testing its own home-delivery service in Denver, Colorado, and in San Jose, California, but has not announced an expansion of that program.
Walmart’s curbside delivery is expanding and by the end of June it will be available in more than 50 cities across the U.S. Customer pickup may speak more directly than home delivery fee-based service to what Walmart describes as its cost-conscious market. “Part of pickup’s success has not only been saving time, but also saving money — you’re not paying more for the convenience … that’s the reason why grocery pickup has been so well-received by our customers,” said Ravi Jariwala, Walmart’s director of public relations.