Walmart has announced that it will begin to offer its logistics and delivery services to other third-party companies. Walmart is hoping that the move will play a key role in its last-mile delivery services over the coming months. The new service will be called Walmart GoLocal and it is looking to grow into a white label delivery option designed for both big and small businesses.
It’s also another strategy by the retail giant to match up to Amazon. We still don’t have a lot of details about the service or how it will be rolled out. The only thing Walmart has put out is the fact that the service will be “competitively” priced. The retail giant has also noted that it has already developed contractual relationships with several retail clients both nationally and internationally.
The company also notes that it does not intend to have a flat fee for the service. In a statement sent to one major new publication online, Walmart notes that it will approach pricing on a case-by-case basis. In essence, the fees paid will depend on the needs of the clients and what they want to offer to customers.
But how would such a program work anyway? Well, from what we know so far, Walmart will, first of all, get into agreements with local businesses or vendors. After that, customers will be able to make orders on these local businesses after which the local business will ping Walmart based on the agreement they have.
Once this happens, Walmart will take care of the delivery and logistics of the products at a fee. The retail giant will then collect customer feedback and use that information to improve the service further. It's more or less a shipping contract that allows small companies to take advantage of Walmart’s massive shipping and warehouse capabilities.
Nonetheless, this type of service is not new. In fact, companies like Postmates and DoorDash already have these agreements with local businesses. But of course, Walmart brings something new and different to the table. As one of the largest retailers in the US, Walmart has a massive reach and its superior technology will provide a much better incentive for local businesses to use its new service.
The retail giant is also saying that deliveries will be done via drones and in some cases via autonomous vehicles. Drone delivery, in particular, could be in focus as it is less costly and besides, Walmart is a big investor in a company called DroneUP.
The startup has up to 10,000 FAA-approved drone pilots and as such, it could be a huge talent pool for the retail giant to use in its drone delivery program. As for autonomous car delivery, Walmart also has an interest in the self-driving car company Cruise. Although autonomous vehicles still have a long way to go before they become massively available, there is enough technology available to do deliveries using self-driving vehicles.