Wal-Mart’s same-day grocery delivery is a potential new trend

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 22nd November 2012

US-based supermarket giant, Wal-Mart’s trial delivery service is a possible sign that retailing is no longer about waiting for the customer to come purchase from the store, or even about offering ‘click and collect’ options. The successful retailer may need to respond to consumer demand, which could require full integration of a logistics and transport operation to better serve customers.

Wal-Mart’s recent expansion into same-day delivery in selected US cities is anticipated to win points with consumers seeking cost-effective convenience in their busy daily schedules. The Wal-Mart To Go service is offering “now” delivery to Northern Virginia, Minneapolis, San Jose, San Francisco and Philadelphia, a move in the same direction as online retailers Amazon and Ebay.

The holiday period trial in the US sets a standardized $10 delivery fee for anywhere in the Wal-Mart To Go locations, with the goods to be delivered on average around 5 hours later.

Business media brand Fast Company has reported  that US technology marketing guru, Regis McKenna speaking on how retailers can better meet the needs of customers by offering choice, said Wal-Mart has 17 regional managers but none of them has an office. Mr Regis said Wal-Mart manager’s office “is with their customers.” He said that Wal-Mart was an example of delivering business wherever, and described them as being a “logistics delivery system.”

In Australia, both of the major supermarket groups Coles and Woolworths each offer a delivery service for a similar price (between $10 – $13.) The Coles and Woolworths websites indicate that an early morning delivery order is booked out for a delivery window commencing on the same day and extending half way through the next day. Wal-Mart’s focus is on immediacy.

In the UK, supermarket giant Tesco also offers similar delivery options until 11pm; however same-day delivery is not yet guaranteed. Similarly to Wal-Mart, Coles and Woolworths – Tesco also provides consumers with the option to “click and collect” or order groceries for delivery on a smart phone application.

Tesco CEO Phillip Clarke speaking at the “FT Innovate 2012” conference last month said retailers need to embrace the digital revolution in order to meet customers’ needs.

“No one – no organisation, no retailer – can hide under the duvet and hope that change will not affect them.  We need to embrace change and create new ways to harness its power,” Mr Clarke said.

The move into better logistics delivery systems for quicker delivery of goods offers an extra marketing niche for those who become good at it.

Wal-Mart is trialling same-day delivery services.