Wednesday June 8th, 2016
Retailers are increasingly looking to on-demand delivery services to get their products to consumers faster than ever. The latest such announcement comes from Walmart, who has partnered with Uber and Lyft to offer last mile delivery to customers in two major markets. The move appears to be a response to Amazon’s Prime Now service, which promises 2-hour delivery on a wide array of products. Despite a few hiccups and a pending lawsuit from its drivers, Amazon’s service is currently leading the market due to the online retailer’s enormous reach.
While same-day delivery isn’t a new concept, the partnership allows Walmart to compete with Amazon’s service in terms of delivery speed. And other retailers and restaurant chains, such as Target, Whole Foods, Costco, McDonalds, and Darden restaurants, will be watching as they prepare to compete against the industry leader. With so much on the line, the rollout needs to go perfectly. Yet potential gaps in the consumer experience remain, and Walmart will have little control over the actual delivery process. Here’s how the company can improve its offering:
Consumers will surely appreciate the expedient service – but will the process be as seamless as ordering through Amazon? Despite some gaps with delivery process, in Amazon’s case, orders are fulfilled and delivered by Amazon, through one interface. Customer has single point of contact which is Amazon in this case. Patrons of this new partnership know their orders will be filled by Walmart and delivered by Uber or Lyft – which could lead to confusion. For example, when an order is late, should the consumer complain to Walmart, or to the delivery partner? Where do customers leave reviews? Who keeps track of driver reviews and monitors performance? Walmart would do better to consider a white-label option that provides a simple, integrated ordering and delivery platform that makes things easy for consumers to track their order deliveries to rate and review drivers.
Giving up control of the delivery process is also a bit risky. By contracting delivery agents, Walmart is staking its reputation on the performance of Uber and Lyft drivers. Just a few poor-performing drivers or bad reviews could do irrevocable harm, so one must wonder what power the retailer has over the delivery process. Having access to individual driver statistics and reviews is important – Having the power to use that information to select qualified representatives is critical. Are Uber and Lyft willing to cede this kind of control? If the answer is anything other than a resounding “yes,” Walmart needs to consider a new partner.
MunchEm, Inc. offers such power with seamless delivery integration with delivery partners while keeping the delivery process monitoring and control within the organization. Founded in 2013, MunchEm provides last-mile delivery service and plug-and-play ordering technology to retailers. Unlike other providers, MunchEm gives both retailers and customers the opportunity to select drivers based on performance and ratings. A suite of tools allows retailers to manage and analyze orders, users, driver performance and analytics, and more, as well as providing driver tracking capabilities and individual driver reviews for consumers. The n-tier system is highly customizable, and can integrate seamlessly with virtually any type of merchant. For more information about how MunchEm can empower retailers, please call (407) 996-6666 or visit www.OrderEm.com.