A Walmart grocery delivery test is underway as the retail giant has announced that it is piloting delivery with Uber, Lyft, and Deliv. Suddenly, the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans are just within reach.
Walmart grocery delivery does already exist in San Jose and Denver, but the new pilot could be just the beginning of a major expansion. The tests will begin with Uber in Phoenix and Lyft in Denver. Walmart expects these to get underway within the next two weeks. The company is also piloting Sam’s Club delivery with Deliv, which actually began in March with business members in Miami.
Customers in the areas for Walmart grocery delivery testing can place an order online and select a delivery window. From there, Walmart employees, who are “highly trained” associates — which Walmart refers to as “personal shoppers” — will select and prepare the order. After that, Walmart will request a driver from one of its partner services, who will then come to the store, pick up the customer’s order, and take it directly to the customer. There is a $7 to $10 delivery charge for the customer, which is paid online along with the order total. No payment is given to the driver. Walmart will let you know if the order is being delivered by Uber or Lyft.
Customers place their orders at grocery.walmart.com, which offers over 35,000 items to choose from.
The Sam’s Club service works basically the same way, except that (at least for now) orders all go through Deliv rather than Uber or Lyft.
“We’re thrilled about the possibility of delivering new convenient options to our customers, and about working with some transformative companies in this test,” says Michael Bender, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of Walmart Global eCommerce said on the Walmart Today corporate blog. “We’ll start small and let our customers guide us, but testing new things like last-mile delivery allows us to better evaluate the various ways we can best serve our customers how, when and where they need us.”
For its Uber partnership, Walmart will test UberX drivers, according to TechCrunch. UberX is Uber’s lower-cost ride option.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart is spending $2 billion over two years to grow its ecommerce business to compete with Amazon, which has been expanding its AmazonFresh grocery-delivery service over the past year.
Walmart has been rapidly growing the areas in which it offers online grocery shopping, which enables customers to shop online and pick up their merchandise. The company released this video illustrating said expansion.
While this service has been growing quickly, you can see from the video above that there is still a long way to go for the store to offer the services throughout the entire country.
Walmart has also been in the news for its plans to test drones in an effort to streamline warehouse work in the next six-to-nine months. As Inquisitr recently reported, Walmart demonstrated its drones on Thursday, showing one moving up and down an aisle stocked with various products. While it’s clear that Walmart sees drones as a significant part of its future productivity, critics aren’t incredibly keen on the idea of human employees being replaced by robots, which they fear will interfere with workers’ ability to find and keep jobs.
Walmart rival Amazon already famously wants to deliver items to people’s homes via drone, so it stands to reason that as Walmart gets further into both drones and home delivery, it too will eventually push in this direction.
The new Walmart grocery delivery test was announced at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Arkansas. You can watch the event in its entirety below.
[Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images]