It’s a race for speedy last-mile delivery in the retail space this month. Walmart plans to have seven new automated market fulfillment centers up and running by Thanksgiving.
It’s also stepping up the delivery game, allowing customers to use Express Delivery and receive parcels as soon as 30 minutes later. Alternatively, customers can choose Late Night Delivery services until 10:30 p.m.
“As we head into the holiday season, we feel confident that we’ll deliver on these propositions with speed. Thanks to stores being staffed and ready, as well as more independent contractors driving on the Spark Driver platform than ever before,” Walmart announces.
The giant retailer is maximizing the use of its stores and leveraging its last-mile network to give customers what its competitors can’t keep up with. “Same-day delivery to more than 80% of the US population,” according to the company.
Customers want delivery time options
Customers like to choose from various options available when they can expect their parcel to be delivered instead of being told when it will arrive.
Walmart is giving customers a choice with time windows. Locate2u CEO Steve Orenstein says different time windows for deliveries allow businesses to be more efficient when it comes to the pick-and-pack process. “It’s also more efficient in terms of drivers being able to go to that one location,” explains Orenstein.
It makes sense from a business perspective to allow customers to choose from multiple time windows available throughout the day. “Whether that is during the beginning or the end of the day,” advises Orenstein.
He says leveraging your business’ internal footprint of retail stores can help make delivery faster. “This will allow them to deliver the product directly to the customers. Taking products, probably from their stores, and consolidating them into a single warehouse in a particular area. The drivers will be able to turn up and pick up their 50 or 80 parcels to be delivered,” says Orenstein.
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This will allow drivers to deliver the parcels on a particular route, providing customers a live tracking experience until delivery.
Convenience and speed
“We know convenience and speed of delivery are top of mind for customers, and we’ve done a lot to prepare in advance of the holiday season. We’re ready to deliver the holiday magic to our customers with speed and precision, helping them spend less time worrying and more time focusing on what matters most,” says Walmart in a statement.
The seven automated market fulfillment centers, which will be up and running before Thanksgiving, are strategically located within the stores. It stocks the most sought-after items.
“The inventory within these centers is distinct from the items available on the store sales floor, set up specifically to fulfill pickup and delivery orders,” says Walmart. This, it says, is to ensure accuracy and minimize the need for substitutions.
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