Walmart’s Latest Last-Mile Grocery Delivery Pilot
Walmart has announced a new last-mile delivery pilot – Spark Delivery – exploring an additional way to get groceries from stores to doors.
Spark Delivery is currently being piloted in Nashville and New Orleans with plans to roll out to a few more metro areas this year. Nothing changes for delivery customers in these markets as they still follow the same process to get groceries delivered to their doors.
Spark Delivery is a crowd-sourced delivery platform, which uses an in-house platform to provide drivers with the ability to sign up for windows of time that work best for their schedule as well as grocery delivery order details, navigation assistance and more. Components of Spark are powered by Bringg delivery logistics technology platform.
Spark Delivery engages the services of independent drivers who partner with Delivery Drivers, Inc, (DDI) a nationwide firm who specializes in last-mile contractor management, to complete deliveries.
DDI, the administrator of driver management for Spark, manages recruiting, screening and background checks, payment, and accounting, among other services for drivers. Drivers are paid by the delivery. They also have access to helpful services and information through DDI, including assistance in understanding order flow, group discounts and a Contractor Entrepreneurial Program that helps drivers establish their own small businesses.
“It is important to us at DDI that we help each independent driver run their transportation business correctly,” said Aaron Hageman, CEO, Delivery Drivers, Inc. “We are excited to partner with Walmart to allow them to focus on providing great products while we can build and support a professional driver network to focus on the delivery side of the business.”
Combined with third-party crowd-sourced delivery providers, Walmart is well on its way to bringing delivery to 100 metro areas covering 40% of U.S. households. Today, the retailer’s grocery delivery service is available in nearly 50 markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Miami and Seattle.
Walmart employs more than 25,000 personal shoppers, up from 18,000 earlier this year. Associates must complete a three-week training program to learn how to select the freshest produce and the best cuts of meat for Online Grocery customers.
“Our customers love grocery pickup and delivery – it offers convenience paired with the everyday low prices customers expect from us,” said Tom Ward, vice president, Digital Operations, Walmart U.S. “We’re always looking for the best ways to serve them, so we’re exploring a number of different options for getting groceries from our stores to the customer’s front door – some in-house, some third-party.”