In a move surprising no one except for the timing, Walmart announced it’s dropping the $35 minimum order threshold for shoppers to qualify for same-day delivery with its Walmart Express service, just months after doing the same for members of its Walmart+ subscription program. Walmart’s ecommerce growth “fell” to 69% in Q4.
Same day delivery
Walgreens is launching same-day delivery with partner Instacart, starting in Illinois and rolling out to its 8,000 stores nationwide by the spring, beginning with express stops in Southeast Florida, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and New York. Through the partnership, tens of thousands of items can arrive in as little as an hour.
First it was AI-equipped onboard cameras watching Amazon’s contract drivers along their routes. Now an app called Mentor monitors driver performance, which can interpret legitimate activities as risky ones, resulting in lower scores and sometimes termination. The company has reportedly been using Mentor for years.
Discount retail chain Family Dollar is jumping on the same-day delivery bandwagon through a national partnership with last mile leader Instacart, covering 6,000 of its stores in the U.S., the companies announced. They ran a successful pilot program in late 2020 at 275 Family Dollar stores and are now expanding it nationally.
FedEx is acquiring ecommerce platform ShopRunner, which offers subscribers guaranteed two-day delivery for $79 a year, looking to bolster its ecommerce offerings and bulk up in the battle against ex-partner Amazon, which is expected to restart 3P fulfillment in 2021. ShopRunner, based in Chicago, will be operated as a subsidiary.
Amazon and Best Buy are both touting their expanded network of alternate pickup locations to deal with the holiday crush ahead of Black Friday, giving shoppers more options for getting their stuff fast. Amazon said it has Hub locations in more than 900 cities and towns, while Best Buy’s network is over 16,000.
The harsh truth is that this holiday season will be a true test for retailers and brands – can they meet demand while exceeding high customer expectations? Those that can’t quickly adapt will lose out to fierce competition. Technology can help them scale up and optimize their fulfillment and delivery to win the 2020 holidays.
Walmart on Sept. 9 launched a second pilot drone delivery program, this time in Fayetteville, NC, using a control system from Israeli firm Flytrex, zipping grocery and household items to nearby customers. This is in addition to a program drone program Walmart launched in April in Grand Forks, ND, again with Flytrex.