Walmart is considering a plan that could see the retailer turning its customers into a make shift delivery force for its online orders.
Apparently the world’s largest retailer is playing around with even more delivery concepts. Earlier this week it was the addition of deliver lockers in the stores, and now its a form of non-traditional deliveries. A recent report from Reuters cites comments from executives that monolithic retailer Walmart is contemplating a plan that would see it “crowd-source” online order delivery to its customers. Following in the footsteps of multiple startups that see users hire people to run errands for them, Walmart would allow its customers to sign up to make deliveries of products to those that have ordered that are on their routes home from the store. In exchange for making the deliveries the retailer would offer them a discount on their purchases.
Speaking with Reuters, Jeff McAllister, senior vice president of Walmart U.S. innovations, said, ”This is at the brain-storming stage, but it’s possible in a year or two.”
There will be many hurdles for Walmart to overcome depending on the markets it decides to introduce this concept to such as insurance for the packages, privacy laws, courier licenses in cities such as Chicago and so on, so this is not something that will just happen over night.
Of course, the big question is if customers will want complete strangers coming up to their doors delivering a box of diapers. While the majority of UPS drivers are not someone you know, you know they are professionals and they have a job to do and be on their way. With random Walmart customers coming up to your house, would you even want to open the door when they ring the bell. One has to look no further than the infamous People of Walmart site to be frightened by what they may encounter on the other side of their home’s threshold.
While we’re fairly confident that this will receive a test run in a market or two, our gut feeling is this will never become the norm at the company’s over 4,000 stores.