This fall the retail giant will expand its unlimited grocery delivery service nationwide with a goal of reaching 50% of the country by the beginning of 2020. The service is going to be available in 1,400 of Walmart locations. This unlimited service is not free, but after you pay $98 yearly fee, you can order groceries every day and get them delivered same day at no extra cost, making it really unlimited.
So far this unlimited service has been tested in Houston, Mimi, Salt Lake City, and Tampa markets. The results were so good that the upcoming nationwide expansion will include 200 major metro areas, where grocery delivery is already available and which makes 50% of all potential market in the U.S.
Those who won’t want to pay $98 yearly fee, can choose to pay $12.95 each month for the same service. Regular delivery would cost about $10 per order, so $12.95 per month for unlimited number of deliveries doesn’t sound so bad. The unlimited service now also includes some general merchandise items, such as light bulbs and toys, in addition to over 100,000 perishable and not grocery items.
Every order will have to be at least $30 to qualify for unlimited deliveries and will be fulfilled by local stores. Customers will have to allow a minimum of 4 hours between the time the order is placed and delivered. Walmart is going to continue using Postmates and DoorDash for its delivery operations.
The newest expansion is just another part of online grocery business puzzle, which Walmart has been focused on lately. The retailer is improving the order and pick up service as well, calculating that thanks to its size and scope, and now delivery options, the domination in grocery market is not far off.
According to Walmart, it has 45,000 personal shopper fleet, where every employee undergoes extensive 3-week training before they are allowed to pack groceries for people. The online grocery pick up service is currently available at 3,000 locations, so the base is definitely well developed. Additional 100 stores are scheduled to offer free curbside pick-up later this year.
- $10 OFF Grocery Order
- Free 2-Day Shipping on Orders Over $35
- $10 OFF First Grocery Pickup of $50+
Walmart competitors are scrambling to beat each other to the online grocery pie. Target has Shipt platform, which delivers groceries to customers for $99 per year. Amazon is known for its $119 yearly membership, which also includes same-day delivery and discounts at Whole Foods. It also offers AmazonFresh for $14.99 in every city in the US. Instacart and FreshDirect are competing for the same business too. Instacart went as far as $50 discount for yearly delivery service and is now charging $99.
In the constant battle between Amazon and Walmart, the former had to cut its 2-day delivery time to one-day after Walmart rolled its free 2-day delivery with orders over $35 with no membership fees. This service will be available to about 75% off shoppers by the end of the year.
Whatever Walmart is doing, it’s definitely working as its shares went up by 25% this year. The retailer has no plans to stop and fall asleep on the throne. Walmart is testing in-home delivery for near future, which might be just what millions of busy customers need.
Based on consumer trends and preferences, grocery delivery expansion can only intensify. People continue to choose convenience in their fast-paced lives and gladly forgo grocery shopping if they can. Their time is much better spent with family and friends rather than driving from one store to another. It remains to be seen how our grocery shopping will look a few years from now and if we will unflinchingly allow people into our homes to deliver groceries into our fridges and pantries.