Walmart is teaming up with Wing for on-demand drone delivery; Credit: Walmart
Walmart is rolling out initiatives emphasizing engagement and expanding consumer offerings, including drone delivery and developing experiences within Roblox's virtual gaming platform.
Walmart is partnering with Wing, the on-demand drone delivery service powered by Google’s parent company, Alphabet. In the coming months, Walmart will launch the service in two Dallas metro stores, expanding their reach to an additional 60,000 homes.
These drones can fly beyond visual line of sight, allowing the retailer to provide delivery service within an approximate 6-mile range of the stores providing this service. These drones can fly beyond visual line of sight, allowing the retailer to provide delivery service within an approximate 6-mile range of the stores providing this service.
The program will first launch within the 8555 Preston Road location in Frisco, Texas, joining an existing network of 11 drone hubs in the Dallas area. Customers can download the Wing app from the App Store or Google Play, enter their address to see if it is within range, and place their order.
The continued expansion of drone delivery allows the retailer to find innovative and eco-friendly last-mile delivery solutions to guarantee customers have greater access to the products they want.
Two years ago, the retailer incorporated drone delivery into their service model. It has expanded across seven states and 36 stores, with drone delivery hubs operated by partners Zipline, DroneUp, and Flytrex, completing over 10,000 deliveries.
The retailer believes there are several markets open for possible expansion. With 4,700 Walmart stores located within 90% of the U.S. population and 85% of its products meeting weight (10 pounds) and volume requirements for drone delivery, it could be an incredibly scalable operation for the retailer. Walmart is working on future iterations of the service that will up the weight limitations to 15 pounds while also tripling the amount of cubic space the drones can carry.
The retailer views drones as a more sustainable alternative than trucks and is exploring leveraging drones to retrieve goods, looking at potential partners utilizing mailboxes to do so.
“You can imagine a world where you have a return that comes back to a Walmart Supercenter that's picked up by a drone because that drone was delivering pharmaceuticals to your home or delivering lunch for you and your family,” said David Guggina, Walmart executive VP, supply chain operations.
In January, the retailer reported that 6,000 deliveries via drones were completed in 2022 alone, with an average fulfillment time of 30 minutes or less once the order was placed.
Roblox experience Supercampus; Credit: Walmart
To create more engaging experiences for its customers, Walmart has entered the metaverse and created Supercampus, a new back-to-school adventure designed through the experiential gaming platform Roblox.
Supercampus allows players aged 13 and above to put their puzzle-solving skills to the test, filled with exciting challenges and the ability to collaborate with other players on the platform.
Popular back-to-school brands and supplies like B1C Highlighters, Crayola Crayons, and 3M’s Post-it-Notes are featured throughout the experience.
This isn’t Walmart’s first collaboration with Roblox, having previously designed two experiences on the platform: Walmart Land and Walmart Universe of Play, which provided “the ultimate virtual toy destination” ahead of the 2022 holiday shopping season.
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