Walmart today introduced a new last-mile delivery pilot, exploring an additional way to get groceries from their stores to customers’ front doors.
Spark Delivery is a crowd-sourced delivery platform that provides drivers with the ability to sign up for windows of time that work best for their schedule as well as grocery delivery order details, navigation assistance and more. Components of Spark are powered by Bringg, a leading delivery logistics technology platform.
Spark Delivery utilizes the services of independent drivers who partner with Delivery Drivers Inc. (DDI), a nationwide firm who specializes in last-mile contractor management, to complete deliveries. DDI manages recruiting, screening and background checks; payment; and accounting, among other services for drivers. Drivers are paid by the delivery and will also have access to helpful services and information through DDI, including assistance in understanding order flow, group discounts and a Contractor Entrepreneurial Program that helps drivers establish their own small businesses.
“It is important to us at DDI that we help each independent driver run their transportation business correctly,” says Aaron Hageman, CEO, DDI. “We are excited to partner with Walmart to allow them to focus on providing great products while we can build and support a professional driver network to focus on the delivery side of the business.”
Combined with third-party crowd-sourced delivery providers, Walmart is well on its way to bringing Delivery to 100 metro areas covering 40 percent of U.S. households. Today, the retailer’s grocery delivery service is available in nearly 50 markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Miami and Seattle. Walmart’s work with third-party delivery providers continues to be a leading part of delivery strategy and important to the future, even as this pilot begins.
Spark Delivery is currently being piloted in Nashville and New Orleans, with plans to roll out to additional metro areas this year.
“Our customers love grocery pickup and delivery; it offers convenience paired with the everyday low prices customers expect from us,” says Tom Ward, vice president, digital operations, Walmart U.S. “We’re always looking for the best ways to serve them, so we’re exploring a number of different options for getting groceries from our stores to the customer’s front door–some in-house, some third-party.”