Wal-Mart Could Use Customers to Deliver Online Orders

There's nothing easier than online shopping. A couple of clicks, some payment information, an address, and it's all done without your ever having to leave the house. However, while it's fierce handy for customers, an online ordering system can be expensive for retailers, especially when it comes to delivery. Wal-Mart is apparently thinking of approaching delivery from a completely different angle, though.

Reuters reports that Wal-Mart is contemplating a new program that would see its own customers deliver products to eshoppers. Reuters cites Wal-Mart execs that say the idea is still in the early planning stages. Currently, Wal-Mart stores that offer delivery from stores do so through the likes of Fed-Ex. However, Joel Anderson, CEO of Wal-Mart US, told Reuters that he sees direct-from-store deliveries being crowd-sourced.

Anderson went on to detail a program that would see shoppers telling Wal-Mart where they live and signing up to deliver packages (presumably in their area) in exchange for a store discount.

"This is at the brain-storming stage, but it's possible in a year or two," Jeff McAllister, senior vice president of Wal-Mart U.S. innovations, told Reuters.

Of course, a system like this would be a complicated one to put in place. You'd have to have some way of verifying those that sign up to deliver goods. There's also the issue of privacy, for both the delivering customer (who has to provide Wal-Mart with their address) and the online order (who has to trust their package with a third party). Still, Wal-Mart reckons the whole thing could come to fruition within the next year or two.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

About the author
Read more
This thread is closed for comments
24 comments
    Top Comments
  • I can just see the finger-pointing when something is delivered broken. I think this will be studied and then (wisely) forsaken in favor of their existing site-to-store model. If a customer doesn't have the means to pick up something (e.g. due to size/weight restrictions), it's almost certain it should be delivered by pros, not random strangers.
    14
  • This idea just screams "Giving away free stuff" to anyone willing to walk in and elect to 'deliver' a package.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • I can just see the finger-pointing when something is delivered broken. I think this will be studied and then (wisely) forsaken in favor of their existing site-to-store model. If a customer doesn't have the means to pick up something (e.g. due to size/weight restrictions), it's almost certain it should be delivered by pros, not random strangers.
    14
  • Just get the neighborhood ice cream truck to do the deliveries. How hard was it to come up with that?
    9
  • This idea just screams "Giving away free stuff" to anyone willing to walk in and elect to 'deliver' a package.
    12
  • Latest in