With most brick-and-mortar retailers now fully enmeshed in e-commerce, the next great differentiator, after price, is delivery time.
And Walmart, which has been on an acquisition rampage to ramp up its online operations, is now hot on Amazon’s heels in the fulfillment arena.
As the No. 1 e-tailer extends same-day and two-hour delivery to a widening range of markets, the No. 1 discount chain is likely preparing to follow suit with its Sept. 29 purchase of Parcel.
The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based delivery business provides same-day and overnight service throughout New York City using routing algorithms, a fleet of leased vehicles and an in-house workforce to quickly sort, load and convey perishable and non-perishable packages.
In a corporate blog, Nate Faust, Walmart U.S.’s e-commerce supply chain senior VP, said the retailer plans to leverage Parcel for “last-mile delivery” of orders from Walmart.com and its other recent acquisition, Jet. Parcel will also continue serving its current clients, although its new owners expect the company to scale over time.
“Delivery is increasingly one of the most important elements for today’s online shoppers, as demands for speed, flexibility, and reliability continue to grow,” Faust noted. “This acquisition allows us to continue testing ways to offer fast delivery while lowering our operating costs.”
Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce operations, now under the aegis of Jet founder Marc Lore, are well on their way to parity with Amazon, having implemented free two-day delivery in February and, three months later, discounts on online orders retrieved at the stores.