Walmart, looking to expand their field of services with the first major addition to their business model in recent memory, will be amplifying their lineup with the newly-announced Spark Services, which promises to make the purchase and obtainment of groceries easier than ever.
This new service has been birthed out of the shopping giant’s new partnership with a delivery service called Bringg, which states to offer other companies a way to compete in a world with Amazon, and a world where customers expect free, fast, and direct deliveries of products and purchases straight to their front doors. Bringg has offered to help with this process by developing top-level logistics software for Walmart that will make their deliveries easy to monitor, easy to track, and as cost-effective as possible.
Spark Delivery will pay for its deliveries through its customers, and will gain drivers and movers through its customers as well, using a similar business model to the people-run companies of Uber and Lyft. Customers can sign up to be spark drivers and to purchase and deliver groceries to other customers, who will pay the delivery people at their front door.
Walmart also helps that the new service will allow it to compete more effectively compete with the growing dominance of Amazon, giving it an edge over Amazon in terms of online purchases of groceries. With Walmart’s Spark service, groceries purchased by consumers on the web could be delivered in as little as a few hours, while Amazon purchases would get their products in two or three days, if they were lucky.
Walmart has also been engaging in an aggressive number of partnerships with different smaller food delivery companies to attempt to reach global markets using local drivers – the only logistically feasible way the company can see to offer shipping and delivery times of online products that are faster than those offered by Amazon, giving them an edge of the aforementioned giant in at least one aspect of online purchasing. For this reason, Walmart has partnered with Postmates to secure a market in the city of Sothern Carolina and with Doordash to gain delivery services in Atlanta.
Spark is not ready for its worldwide premiere, however; At least, that’s what Walmart is saying. According to the company, the service is currently being restricted to New Orleans and Nashville, although this may be equally due to Walmart’s lack of practice on running a service of this kind and magnitude as it is to the lack of available manpower to suddenly make something like this available on a global scale.
Most likely, Walmart hopes good news about the Spark delivery system will spread to nearby town and cities, and as the company begins a broader and more expansive rollout of the systems across towns and cities nearby, people in those areas will already be excited for its arrival.
This kind of crowd-funded advertising is essential for a service such as Spark, which relies so heavily on the contributions provided by interested community members. If Spark begins to recieve a poor reputation, however, its expansion may be much more gradual as Walmart aims to fix its problems. Even if it gains drivers under a bad reputation, those drivers would become stigmatized for the poor services of the company and other drivers, and would be encouraged to drop it as a result.
However, if Walmart is able to successfully advance this service to the general public, they would have a functioning grocery delivery service that would make the physical act of shopping in stores feel even more like a thing of the past.