In an effort to cut costs and speed up e-commerce fulfillment, Walmart is testing a pilot program that allows employees to deliver online orders on their way home from work. Potentially a win for everyone, the completely voluntary program lets staffers earn extra cash and helps customers receive their orders faster.
How It Works
Employees that choose to participate in Walmart’s delivery program download a mobile app showing orders that could be dropped off on their commute home. Built-in technology lets them set preferences, including the number of packages they can deliver on a daily basis, package size and weight limits, and the days they want to perform courier duties.
To make delivery convenient, employees are only assigned to deliver packages that fall within a certain distance of their route home. When their shift at the store ends, they simply head to the back room to pick the packages up and use their GPS to drop them off at the specified delivery addresses.
Will It Last?
The program saves Walmart money, because employees are already at the store, and they’re only assigned packages headed to destinations on their route home. This eliminates the need for a third-party to drive out of their way to the store and embark on deliveries all over town. The company hasn’t revealed the amount of money employees earn from participating in the delivery service — and if the fee includes extra for gas money — so it’s hard to say if this is a good deal for workers.
Currently, this pilot program is only in place at one store in Arkansas and two in New Jersey, but will likely be rolled out to more stores if it’s deemed a success. The idea of associates doubling as delivery drivers is certainly an interesting concept. Stay tuned to see how this program plays out because if it works, it could cause a major shift in the retail industry.
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