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The fast delivery race heats up as Walmart strikes back at Amazon

The fast delivery race heats up as Walmart strikes back at Amazon
The fast delivery race heats up as Walmart strikes back at Amazon

The battle for fast delivery dominance is heating up as Walmart fires back at Amazon with impressive delivery numbers. The retail giant delivered more than 4.4 billion items in the US over the past year, according to CEO Doug McMillon.

This is a direct response to Amazon’s February announcement of delivering more than 4 billion items in the US, through either next-day same-day delivery. And while both retailers focus on fast drop-offs, their approaches are vastly different. 

Why does this matter? The fast delivery race is crucial if retailers want to meet the ever-growing demand of customers who want their purchases to arrive quickly and efficiently. 

Fast delivery: Efficiency and cost cuts

Walmart relies heavily on its extensive network of more than 4,600 stores in the US. This network allows the company to quickly and efficiently fulfill online orders without having to spend money on network adjustments or new infrastructure. 

In contrast, Amazon had to boost its fulfillment network since it didn’t have the same brick-and-mortar presence. 

What about customer satisfaction? Walmart aced it once again. The retail giant has been delivering more items per route. According to Walmart’s EVP and CFO John David Rainey, this resulted in nearly 40% improvement of its net delivery cost per order (in the US.) 

During Walmart’s recent earnings call, McMillon said Walmart delivers approximately 20% of its online purchases in under three hours. “Delivery times are getting faster, and the cost of delivery is coming down at the same time,” he added.

Walmart also had a difficult decision to make: “We made the necessary but difficult decision to close our U.S. health care clinics. […] Given reimbursement rates and costs to serve, we could no longer see a path to achieving an acceptable level of profitability.”

Walmart vs Amazon: Global delivery dominance

Walmart’s success also extends beyond US borders as it works to improve delivery speeds on a global scale. In India, same-day delivery has spiked by more than 150%.

Meanwhile, in China, one-hour delivery surged to an impressive 55 million orders. 

Amazon also ships globally and has increased its global reach through Amazon Global Store. In the US for instance, it offers Standard Global Shipping with delivery speeds of 9 to 12 business days for items from the UK.

The future of fast delivery

As e-commerce continues to innovate as a whole, the ability to deliver products rapidly has become the main differentiator in the highly competitive retail landscape. This progress is sped up as Walmart and Amazon continue to push the boundaries.

Customers now expect nothing less than speedy and efficient service, and retailers must adapt to stay competitive. Walmart’s use of its vast network has proven to be effective in managing customer expectations. 

As the fast delivery race intensifies, it will be interesting to see how retailers respond and innovate to keep pace with the two giants. 

NOW READ: Same-day delivery: Expert unveils key challenges and solutions

Image source: Flickr

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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