Walmart Asks Shoppers: Will You Drop This Off On Your Way Home?
Walmart really is intent on competing with Amazon.com by any legal means necessary and the latest idea the chain is kicking around truly involves thinking outside the big box.
According to reports, Walmart is considering paying customers in its stores to make deliveries to other shoppers. Right now, according to Reuters, the retailer is using FedEx to make deliveries, or its own trucks in the case of its Walmart to Go same-day delivery test.
For making deliveries to others, Walmart would give shoppers a break on their own purchase. The discount would be the rough equivalent of the cost of gas needed to drop off packages.
"This is at the brainstorming stage, but it’s possible in a year or two," Jeff McAllister, senior vice president of Walmart U.S. innovations, told Reuters.
Walmart would not be the first company to use crowd sourcing to match people who have spare time with small jobs. Startups including Fiverr, TaskRabbit and Zipments are already operating in the space.
A number of concerns could affect the viability of the service, including the discomfort that some may feel with a stranger pulling up to their door to deliver products to their home. Zipments, which uses crowd sourcing to find people to make deliveries, screens the individuals it hires.
A MoneyWatch piece pointed to a number of negatives associated with having shoppers deliver orders to other customers. These include:
- Walmart’s possible liability for accidents that happen during the delivery process.
- The chain being held responsible for worker comp claims if customers making deliveries are injured in the process.
- Customer complaints when deliveries are not made according to the planned schedule.
- The possibility of drivers engaging in criminal activity.
- Wal-Mart may get customers to deliver packages to online buyers – Reuters
- Walmart to customers: Drop this off for us, OK? – MoneyWatch/CBS News
- Ding Dong: It’s Your Fellow Wal-Mart Shopper With Your Delivery – Fox Business
- Walmart Considers Paying Its Customers To Deliver Online Orders – Consumerist
What do you think of chains such as Walmart using crowd sourcing to find shoppers to deliver online orders to other customers?