Walmart considers paying in-store customers to deliver online orders

By on March 28, 2013, 11:00 AM

Walmart is reportedly considering a new service that would add an unusual twist to the delivery process by crowdsourcing it to customers. Under the plan, which is still in the early planning stages, the company would pay in-store shoppers to rent space in their vehicles and have them deliver products it sells online.

According to Reuters, the move is aimed at competing with same-day delivery initiatives from Amazon and Google -- which just launched a trial in the San Francisco Bay Area in partnership with Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle, and Toys"R"Us, as well as local coffee shops.

Walmart currently relies on FedEx to deliver products from its stores to customers. They are also testing a service called Walmart To Go in five metro areas, under which the company uses its own vehicles to deliver products to customer homes on the same day they're ordered. By bringing in-store customers into the mix, Walmart would be able to cut transportation costs while providing the same expedite delivery service, but of course there are numerous legal, regulatory and privacy obstacles the company would have to clear first.

Walmart has been launching a number of initiatives that merge its online business with the power of its 4,000 stores. Starting this summer, they will start testing a new service for online buyers that involves installing lockers in about a dozen U.S. stores to hold goods until shoppers pick them up -- not unlike Amazon started doing last year with brick-and-mortar partners. Walmart doesn’t break down its e-commerce sales for the U.S., but the company recently said it expects global e-commerce sales to hit $9 billion this year.

If the proposed crowd-sourced delivery system eventually materializes it would still be a year or two away, according to Jeff McAllister, senior vice president of Walmart U.S. innovations. 

Would you be okay with a random stranger showing up with your packages at home -- or conversely, would you be willing to deliver stuff to strangers in exchange for a discount on your own bill?




User Comments: 28

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1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Brings a new twist to washing dishes for grub.

5 people like this | Guest said:

Having seen pics on peopleofwalmart I am somewhat scared of having a customer deliver my purchases.

1 person liked this | Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I personally wouldn't do it. "Ain't nobody got time for that"

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Having seen pics on peopleofwalmart I am somewhat scared of having a customer deliver my purchases.
For all those peopleofwalmart you are referring to, I wonder what they would think if they saw your picture. Honestly, what difference does it make as long as the package is delivered unharmed?

1 person liked this | Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For all those peopleofwalmart you are referring to, I wonder what they would think if they saw your picture. Honestly, what difference does it make as long as the package is delivered unharmed?

I believe he was referring to the atrocious personal hygiene of some of the people pictured. That would matter a lot to me, as I've seen plenty of pictures of people in Walmart that can't wipe their ass right, and look like a walking infectious disease.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Oh Hell No! At least if it's a company employee, the employee is screened. Asking ordinary customers to do delivery you don't know who these people are. This is an open invitation for murderers and rapists. This would open the door for huge liability claims.

I think Walmart needs to seriously rethink this idea.

2 people like this | Guest said:

Good idea, let a pure stranger deliver that new 42" TV to my home and then come and pick it up the next day while I am out.

I am sure a lot of "honest" people are going to start shopping at Wal-Mart just to go deliver stuff around.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

People will just hang out at walmart waiting for orders to come in. same thing as having a full time delivery boy on staff only you don't have to pay them regularly. this is just a delivery fee for each item take for delivery?

they say "boxes by the curbside makes your home a target for thieves." this seems similar to that some how. I mean a house that bought a new xbox is definitly a worthwile target, if not for just the xbox alone I guess.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Wal-Mart need to concern themselves with the criminal element who would jump at the chance to steal the intended delivery and or target the recipients for additional crimes....I would not request delivery if it is not performed by a recognized delivery service such as USPS, UPS and FEDEX.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

I'm sure you could put a limit on what items could be customer delivered. For example, an expensive tv wouldn't be allowed for obvious reasons but smaller items like clothing, small electronics, and perhaps sealed foods would qualify. This avoids people coming back and stealing expensive items. Also, if someone just walks off with items that are to be delivered Walmart would have information on hand to charge the deliverer for that item. (Credit card #, checking account, whatever..)

Imo this is why Walmart continues to excel despite their size and age. They continue to experiment and innovate. Innovate or die is a common phrase in business.

I would take it one step farther and offer in-store credit for delivering as an extra option. Inevitably people would deliver but never get around to using their in-store credit as intended so it would essentially be free delivery for Walmart. More savvy shopper may find in-store credit more convenient and so increase the number of people willing to deliver.

Guest said:

Have any of you looked at the calendar recently?

5 people like this | fimbles fimbles said:

Ding dong...

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Seeing as it's being reported from multiple sources, it's not April, and Walmart doesn't participate in such Tom-foolery I think we can conclude its not an April Fool's joke.

2 people like this | wastedkill said:

Have any of you looked at the calendar recently?

Ye looks like March 28th 2013 to me..

Guest said:

Why did you tell people look at the calendar, could of had even more stupid comments on this!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Ding dong...

By time you get your order it's time for an upgrade.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wal-Mart need to concern themselves with the criminal element who would jump at the chance to steal the intended delivery and or target the recipients for additional crimes....I would not request delivery if it is not performed by a recognized delivery service such as USPS, UPS and FEDEX.

I highly doubt they will allow anyone to deliver merchandise regardless of price, without taking credentials first. Do you honestly think someone would target a house, that they had personally signed as the delivery person?

Buster Keaton Buster Keaton said:

"CrowdSourcing"? I think I'm gonna throw up.

Prosercunus said:

I don't order things on walmart.com in any case.

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

Ding dong...

By time you get your order it's time for an upgrade.

Have you even seen Family Guy?

2 people like this |
Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Do you honestly think someone would target a house, that they had personally signed as the delivery person?

Have you noticed that the average IQ of your day to day criminal is equal to that of a jellyfish?

2 people like this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

Do you honestly think someone would target a house, that they had personally signed as the delivery person?

Have you noticed that the average IQ of your day to day criminal is equal to that of a jellyfish?

What justification could you possibly have for blatantly insulting a jellyfish like that?

Everybody knows that the intellect of common criminals is comprable only to a symposium of lithoids: [link]

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What justification could you possibly have for blatantly insulting a jellyfish like that?

Everybody knows that the intellect of common criminals is comprable only to a symposium of lithoids: [link]

lmfao!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Have you even seen Family Guy?

Unfortunately not. I'm not even sure if it was screened in South Africa.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

@davislane1 good one, I was actually meaning to write exactly that but I could not find the correct words so I gave up

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Walmart should only be concentrating on adequately staffing it's stores so they can get their shelves stocked and open more than few of their 30 checkout lanes.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I'm not 100% sure that is basalt...

Also, I want to also defend walmart a bit here. I doubt this made it to news without at least some consideration on how it would be implemented, and that surely, they thought of what the first few comments to such a story would be and therefore, not let that happen in their ultimate plan.

But I also want to agree with TS-lotsofnumbers that walmart really really sucks at having people operating registers when you want to check out. My local one introduced some 'newfangled' self check outs, yes its different at least in layout than the old self checkouts, and it is horrible.

wiyosaya said:

Wal-mart is having major problems even keeping things in stock. This is just another symptom of the problem. Give it a few years on their current course. My bet is that they will end up going the way of Lechmere, Service Merchandise, Two Guys, etc.

[link]

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