Walmart has already been experimenting with grocery delivery, and especially the specific logistical issues associated with what is called the “last mile” … namely, that distance from the nearest store or distribution point to the consumers home. In 2018, Walmart has been relying heavily on third-party providers like Doordash and Postmates to handle this piece of the delivery puzzle; however, with the recent announcements it looks as if Walmart is looking to take control over some if not all of the “last mile” components.
The solution, still in pilot phase, includes both software and fleet elements.
For the software component, Walmart has developed some capability in-house while integrating software from Bringg, which powers last-mile deliveries for Panera Bread and restocks for Coco-Cola, among others. The software piece of the puzzle will help keep drivers connected with orders, dispatchers and customers. This solution also offers live-tracking to the consumer, similar to the Uber platform of car tracking, which is rare in grocery delivery sector and potentially a significant market differentiator.
For the fleet solution, Walmart is working with a crowdsourced model partnering with Delivery Drivers, a nationwide firm specializing in last-mile contractor management.