Money

Walmart May Get Customers to Deliver Packages to Online Buyers

| by Michael Allen

Walmart may soon have their store customers deliver packages to Walmart.com online buyers in an effort to gain an edge over Amazon and other online retailers.

Walmart currently uses FedEx for delivery from stores, or its same-day service 'Walmart To Go,' which is being tested in five cities.

"I see a path to where this is crowd-sourced," Joel Anderson, chief executive of Walmart.com in the United States, said in a recent interview with Reuters.

Anderson said that some frequent Walmart shoppers could sign up to drop off packages for online customers who live on their route back home.

In exchange, Walmart would offer a discount on the customers' shopping bills and covering the cost of their gas. However, customers would not actually get paid any money for their labor.

"This is at the brain-storming stage, but it's possible in a year or two," said Jeff McAllister, senior vice president of Walmart U.S. innovations.

"I'm sure it will be a test in some stores," said Matt Nemer, a retail analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. "But they may only keep it for metro markets and for higher-priced items."

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Websites such as TaskRabbit and Fiverr already let people rent out their time and expertise to companies for small jobs, including deliveries.

Zipments.com is a crowd-sourced delivery network that allows anyone over 18 years old with a vehicle, a text-enabled phone, and a PayPal account to deliver items.

However, it is worth noting, there is always the possibility that online packages delivered by customers may never reach their destination, either through theft or fraud. That is something Walmart will have to deal with.

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Source: Reuters and Zipments.com