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Wal-Mart Could Use Customers to Deliver Online Orders

By - Source: Reuters | B 24 comments

Could your neighbor soon be delivering your packages?

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.

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  • 14 Hide
    Onus , March 28, 2013 1:08 PM
    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.
  • 12 Hide
    slomo4sho , March 28, 2013 1:26 PM
    This idea just screams "Giving away free stuff" to anyone willing to walk in and elect to 'deliver' a package.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    Onus , March 28, 2013 1:08 PM
    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.
  • 9 Hide
    fnh , March 28, 2013 1:20 PM
    Just get the neighborhood ice cream truck to do the deliveries. How hard was it to come up with that?
  • 12 Hide
    slomo4sho , March 28, 2013 1:26 PM
    This idea just screams "Giving away free stuff" to anyone willing to walk in and elect to 'deliver' a package.
  • 3 Hide
    Johmama , March 28, 2013 1:48 PM
    This isn't actually being thought about, it's just Wal-Mart saying they might do something so people will talk about them and give them free advertising. There are so many things that could go wrong with this. Privacy of both parties, liability if something is delivered broken etc. The biggest I think is if someone that is delivering a package gets in a car accident, there are a bunch of liabilities there too. Who pays for it? Of course, knowing Wal-Mart (and all big companies), if they were to implement something like this, they would require any delivery drivers to sign a liability release.
  • 4 Hide
    griptwister , March 28, 2013 1:56 PM
    What a stupid ploy... I mean... It might work and all... but people are dishonest these days!!!

    I, for one, am an honest person, but I would rather prefer a payment rather than a discount...
  • 4 Hide
    danielravennest , March 28, 2013 2:18 PM
    WalMart has enough employees that they can use them to deliver stuff on their way home, and just include the extra time and mileage as part of their regular pay. No extra third party liability, or theft risk above whatever the employee already represents.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , March 28, 2013 2:18 PM
    i dont' shop at walmart... but if i did i wouldn't want a discount... but is they had a system li8ke this and said "hey we have a delivery to a house 3 doors down here's $5 if you'll take it to them and ge tthem to sign this/email us a photo or mail us back the signed copy i'd be glad to do it. heck if they paid enough people might actually be abel to work ust doing private delivery. interesting idea
  • 0 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , March 28, 2013 2:20 PM
    LOL
  • 1 Hide
    internetlad , March 28, 2013 3:26 PM
    danielravennestWalMart has enough employees that they can use them to deliver stuff on their way home, and just include the extra time and mileage as part of their regular pay. No extra third party liability, or theft risk above whatever the employee already represents.


    What's the difference to me if the guy who delivers my TV is a random stranger, or a random stranger who is also a WAL*MART employee?

    Like their 8 dollar an hour job is incentive enough to stop them from taking off with a pickup full of electronics.

  • 1 Hide
    otacon72 , March 28, 2013 3:36 PM
    Um I wouldn't trust someone who frequents Walmart as far as I can throw them.
  • 2 Hide
    abbadon_34 , March 28, 2013 4:21 PM
    Where were their lawyers when some idiot thought this up?
  • 2 Hide
    DookieDraws , March 28, 2013 4:40 PM
    I have an AWESOME idea for Wal-Mart...HOW ABOUT HIRING SOME FACKIN' CASHIERS TO WORK ALL THOSE EMPTY REGISTERS! I swear to God, every Wal-Mart I go into seems to have only 4 or 5 open registers at a time. I always end up standing behind some precious old lady who smells like hairspray and Bengay. Then, when it's finally her turn at the register, she then realizes she forgot the moisturizer for her 83-year-old husband's dry ballsack. Now, I have to stand there another 45 minutes while Pearl makes a moisturizer run for Barney's dry balls.

    For God's Sake, just hire some cashiers, Wal-Mart!!!!!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    10tacle , March 28, 2013 5:15 PM
    DookieDrawsI have an AWESOME idea for Wal-Mart...HOW ABOUT HIRING SOME FACKIN' CASHIERS TO WORK ALL THOSE EMPTY REGISTERS! I swear to God, every Wal-Mart I go into seems to have only 4 or 5 open registers at a time.


    I've got an even MORE AWESOME idea: USE THE FACKIN' SELF CHECKOUTS!!!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    Draconian , March 28, 2013 7:07 PM
    Walmart already has to pay for an item you buy online to be shipped to their store.

    Seems like they would need to provide steep discounts in order to make it worth putting wear and tear on your car and using your own gas money.
  • 0 Hide
    bennie101 , March 28, 2013 9:33 PM
    Wow if walmart isn't cheap enough already that they are willing not to pay 5 bucks to 10 bucks to keep a customer happy when joe hick will drop it off for 2 bucks and if he drops it off at all wow walmart take your chances on that one I wouldn't!
  • 1 Hide
    tokencode , March 28, 2013 10:24 PM
    Yea like I want some random walmart shopper showing up at my house to deliver something.... Next thing you know you're robbed. If you're not killed, the lawsuit against walmart would be the equivalent of hitting lottery.. I you kidding walmart? Sending your greaters to deliver it on the little electric scooters would be a better idea
  • 0 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , March 28, 2013 11:28 PM
    lol discounts that it? no gas cards or mileage pay that you put on your car to deliver these packages? yeah what a dumb idea. i'm surprised they just don't make employees do it cause this is walmart we are talking about. they are a bunch of cheap asses when it comes to labor work. Just ask all those 12 year olds in Asia working to make their products for 50 cents an hour.
  • 0 Hide
    janetonly42 , March 29, 2013 5:03 AM
    Considering the thieving low life welfare types that frequent Wally World this will never work.
  • 0 Hide
    Parrdacc , March 29, 2013 8:12 AM
    Me no like. Bad Medicine.
  • 0 Hide
    blurr91 , March 29, 2013 11:16 AM
    I think it's a brilliant idea. Not all merchandise can be delivered by the shoppers. Not all shoppers are qualified to deliver anything at all. But enough of the crowd will be qualified and enough (small and light) items will be deliverable by the shoppers. With Walmart's volume, even a small percentage will cut down on a lot of shipping cost. The shoppers who deliver stuff get something. Watmart get something. Win-win for everyone.
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