Walmart today announced a new delivery service business called Walmart Go Local, which allows merchants both large and small to contact their customers on Walmart’s own delivery platform to place orders. Merchants can choose to use this service for a variety of delivery types, including scheduled and scheduled delivery, including one-day delivery, and they can increase their delivery capacity and coverage as they see fit. Need your customer’s demand.
GoLocal is powered by services that Walmart has already developed for its delivery needs. For the past three years, Walmart has been working on its in-country express delivery service, which promises delivery in two hours or less. The company says the service now offers 160,000+ products in about 3,000 stores, reaching about 70 percent of the US population. It now believes it is ready to make the same capabilities available to other merchants across the United States through GoLocal.
While the new B2B service allows merchants to take advantage of Walmart’s Last Mail network and logistics, it does not necessarily mean that Walmart employees will provide at least the first packages.
Instead, GoLocal’s last-minute capabilities will be handled by JigWorkers of Wal-Mart’s Spark Driver program. They also support Walmart’s same-day grocery delivery. But while one-day service additionally relies on third-party delivery services – such as Rudy, Door Dash and Ober’s Post-Matt – Walmart tells us that third-party delivery services will not be included in GoLocal.
Instead, Walmart plans to expand GoLocal over time to include more associate-driven shipments. Already, Walmart is testing associate delivery in electric vans in northwest Arkansas, for example. This will allow Van Walmart to deliver electricity to a wide variety of merchants – such as those with larger products that will not fit into Spark drivers’ personal cars and trucks. Walmart also plans to develop round-the-clock delivery with new inventions such as drones and autonomous vehicles, which Walmart is testing through its express delivery service.
“We have worked hard to develop a reliable last-minute delivery program for our customers,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of Walmart USA. “Now, we’re happy to use these capabilities to serve another set of customers – local merchants. From local bakeries to national retailers to auto supplies, we’ve got Walmart Round Local all sizes and Customized for category merchants so they can focus on their best performance, excluding delivery speed and efficiency, “he added.
Participating GoLocal merchants do not have to be of a certain size. Anyone from mom and pop to the national retailer can choose to use the service. They don’t even have to be sold in the Walmart.com marketplace, as it’s not a completion service where Walmart provides both home and third party inventory – it’s only part of the last mail delivery. Merchant inventory remains at their own local stores.
Although any retailer can use GoLocal, there is a need for technical integration in the retailers section to get started. Walmart provides an API that plugs into their existing e-commerce platform that will ping the round local when customers place an order. It says that GoLocal sends the driver while Walmart takes the opinion of the delivery experience. If adopted on a large scale, it could give Walmart access to local delivery data to be analyzed that could help it improve its own delivery business or inform decision-making decisions about the completion center. Can
Walmart says it already has some merchant partners signing up for GoLocal, including agreements with some national enterprise retailers, but is not yet allowed to reveal those names. It will not specify the price of the service, explaining that as a white label option with various features, the prices are tailored to the individual needs of each retailer.
The service is one of several initiatives Walmart is now pursuing to generate revenue while meeting the needs of other retailers. Recently, Walmart announced that it would sell access to its e-commerce technologies to retail businesses, for example. It’s part of Walmart’s broader strategy to make a profit based on providing it with access to technology and services that were once only used for its own purposes.