Walmart reported a 37% increase in ecommerce sales in Q2, the same as in Q1 and supported by strong growth in grocery, as its massive digital investments and focus continue to pay off in its locked battle with Amazon. The company is projecting full-year ecommerce growth of 35%, leveraging its huge store base for fulfillment.
Israeli firm CommonSense Robotics is building what it says is the world’s first underground automated fulfillment operation for grocery delivery, anticipating a future where facilities like this will occupy abandoned urban spaces above and below ground to fulfill one-hour deliveries for city dwellers.
In the never-ending quest for delivery immediacy, grocer Kroger is testing out 30-minute deliveries in its home market of Cincinnati, cutting the promised time from Amazon’s Prime Now in half. Called Kroger Rush, the service costs $5.95 per order, with the first order free, and requires an app download.
After weeks of concentrating its fire on Amazon, Walmart is now dealing with a flank action from Target as the latter has fully integrated its Shipt same-day delivery service with Target.com. Walmart, for its part, just launched a $98 per year subscription program for same-day grocery delivery, a service that normally costs $9.95 per order.
Demand from e-grocery and meal kit sales will lead to development of 70 million-100 million sf of cold storage space over the next five years, up from 214 million square feet, according to a new report from commercial real estate firm CBRE. The 18-29 year old age group is the fastest growing in terms of e-grocery activity.
While retailers pursue same-day delivery, grocers often complete and ship orders in an hour, while restaurants get even less time. Merchants in food delivery thus have to make instant decisions about the legitimacy of a purchase or risk upsetting their customers. The trick is implementing fraud prevention without ruining the experience.