Walmart and Amazon launched new delivery initiatives, facing off yet again in their tit-for-tat fight to expand fulfillment options and speed up delivery to customers.
Amazon unveiled a plan to allow online purchases to be dropped off in the trunks of customers cars. The plan is initially available in 37 cities for two makes of cars (Volvo and GM), while users must be Amazon Prime members and use the Amazon Key app to grant access to couriers.
Walmart, for its part, announced a partnership with DoorDash in a grocery delivery trial limited to Atlanta for now. The retail giant is already delivering on-demand groceries in some markets through Instacart, Deliv and ride-share services like Uber.
What’s unusual in this case is that, to date, DoorDash has been strictly a restaurant delivery service, but also that it is foregoing its red t-shirt and delivery bag branding in this venture with Walmart. A Walmart.com shopper would have no idea their groceries were coming via an outsourced service. And do they really need to be?
Consumers don’t particularly care who delivers items as long as they are professional, according to a February 2018 survey by Dropoff. Only 12% of US internet users said they wanted packages delivered by the merchant they bought from while 75% thought professionalism was important. On the other hand, 70% said a delivery person in uniform would increase their trust and only 14% trusted “peer-to-peer” delivery services, which is a gray area that would include crowdsourced delivery by individuals but also could include companies like Uber or Walmart’s use of in-store staff to deliver packages on their way home that was introduced last year.