The grocery delivery market battle continues to heat up with major players investing more in resources and technology. As the following TechCrunch article reports, Walmart is partnering with Bringg to help manage a gig economy-style solution for last mile delivery to customers.
Walmart announced on Wednesday a new last-mile delivery pilot program, called Spark Delivery, which focuses on fulfilling customers’ online grocery orders. The retailer is working with delivery logistics platform Bringg, a company that offers an Uber-like or Amazon-like level of visibility to retailers’ delivery operations.
Also similar to Uber, Walmart’s Spark delivery program relies on a crowdsourced workforce. That is, drivers will sign up for windows of time when they’re available to deliver groceries, and will then be provided with the order details and navigational assistance during their shift.
Bringg, fresh off its $12 million Series B earlier this year, tells TechCrunch it’s helping Walmart by offering the retailer the ability to optimize driver schedules, automatically dispatch orders, and allow drivers to communicate their availability. It will also send drivers smart alerts to ensure they don’t miss deliveries.
“By automating key parts of Spark’s dispatcher, driver and customer components, Bringg helps the service operate at optimal efficiency by enabling it to manage the fleet at scale, quickly on-board drivers, offer real-time visibility to everyone involved, and create seamless customer delivery experiences,” a company spokesperson noted.
Merchants have entered the age of concierge commerce where it’s the customer who decides when, where, and how to shop and pay. Add convenience and immediacy to the mix and you have the business model for many of the mobile ordering, self-checkout, and fast delivery services offered by major retailers. Delivery services have become table stakes in the grocery vertical, so it’s no surprise that big national players like Walmart, Kroger, and Whole Foods are rapidly expanding this offering.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group