first_imgIn the world of online shopping everyone is trying to compete with Amazon, including retailers who have in the past relied on the presence of physical shops for their sales. The first assault on Amazon and other online retailer’s growing market share was to match online pricing in-store. Both Target and Best Buy attempted this last year with varying degrees of success.Wal-Mart is taking a different approach and has started offering same day deliveries using its own delivery trucks at some locations. But now it’s considering another, more radical online order delivery system–it wants in-store customers to deliver packages to online customers.The system would work by giving customers the option to sign up as a mini delivery service for Wal-Mart. They would agree to take packages to people in the area where they lived in return for a discount on their shopping. That discount would cover the cost of the gas they used to make the deliveries, and therefore to travel home, effectively making their shopping trip cheaper.Implementing such a service does mean a number of hurdles need to be overcome, though. Wal-Mart would need to fulfill online orders directly from stores, meaning keeping more stock at each location to meet demand–something it currently only does at around 25 stores (there are over 4,000 in total).There’s also the issue of privacy and trust to overcome. Will customers appreciate another customer delivering their package? How do you assess whether a customer can be trusted to deliver the packages they are given? And what happens if a package is damaged when it arrives?If it worked as a system, customer deliveries would allow Wal-Mart to drastically increase the number of same day deliveries it carries out, while at the same time cutting out the need to run its own vehicles and drivers. It’s therefore potentially a major cost saver as well as a new way to compete with online retailers.last_img

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