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The rivalry between Walmart and the Amazon turns into a food fight

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Walmart announced Wednesday the extension of its online grocery delivery service, currently available in six markets, more than 100 metropolitan areas of the United States. His plans are to cover more than 40% of US households by the end of the year.

Walmart will use more than 800 of its stores to fulfill orders, and it will add thousands of personal buyers to the more than 18,000 already employed. Buyers must complete a three-week training program on food selection.

Walmart's online grocery delivery service offers same-day delivery. The minimum order is US $ 30 and the delivery fee is $ 9.95. There is no price increase or subscription.

"With the help of our personal buyers and third-party delivery services, customers can deliver quality grocery products directly to their doorstep," said Walmart spokeswoman , Molly Blakeman.

Walmart has worked with third parties such as Uber and Deliv, which she will soon add to her lineup, she told the E-Commerce Times.

Throughout the coming year, Walmart will add 1,000 stores offering its online pickup service to the 1,200 stores that already offer it.

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Worth a ten-Spot

In some respects, Walmart's fee structure gives it a competitive advantage, "said Ray Wang, Principal Analyst at Constellation Research.

"No markup, reasonable minimum, $ 10 service fee – more like the business model of Uber Eats," he told the E-Commerce Times. "People are willing to spend the $ 10 instead of spending 30 to 60 minutes to find everything they want."

However, Walmart's $ 9.95 fee and the $ 30 minimum will face serious opponents.

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His main competition will come from "a few models," Wang observed. "The target is the most important, but we will also see intermediate distribution networks like Instacart and Google Express, grocery chains like Safeway and Aldi, and of course Amazon and Whole Foods."

Instacart Express, for example, reportedly offered an hour-long delivery program at $ 5.99 for orders of $ 35 or more from a number of stores and chains. The minimum for a delivery order is $ 10.

Google Express would charge $ 10 a month or $ 95 a year for membership in a program that offers free shipping on eligible orders or a $ 3 order fee. Non-members pay $ 4.99 per delivery. Google Express also delivers from Target and Costco.

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Costco has no minimum for delivery, but charges a fee for orders under $ 35

Walmart has a better reach than Amazon in terms of brick and mortar stores, but it needs to build its delivery infrastructure, Wang noted. Safeway is the grocery chain with the most advanced model, and Google Express is the delivery service that drives the innovations.

The bumpy road of Walmart

"The move from Walmart to grocery delivery is a clear sign of competitiveness in the grocery category, which has seen tremendous growth over the past year," said Karin Borchert, chief executive of
1WorldSync.

It also "highlights [Walmart’s] expanding delivery ambitions as it moves to be more competitive in e-commerce and synchronized with the way consumers buy," she said. E-Commerce Times

.

However, the path will not be smooth.

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"Quality, freshness and maturity are factors that consumers traditionally control when they shop in traditional stores, but this is not the case when one buys products. Online groceries, "said Borchert. "Walmart will need to find a way to make sure its product information is reliable and accurate … to succeed in this new venture."

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Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network journalist since 2008. His areas of interest are cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, the 39, mainframe and mid-range computing and application development. He has written and edited for many publications, including Information Week and Computerworld . He is the author of two books on client / server technology.
Email Richard.

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