Anyone tired of the hassles of grocery shopping? The concept is anything but new. A few years ago, a number of companies sought to solve the problem of grocery shopping by opening up an online grocery store that would deliver groceries straight to the customer’s home. Webvan went belly-up, while SuperValu stopped their deliveries, claiming that their customers preferred to get their groceries at the store.
Some grocers like Safeway and Peapod still offer an internet-based delivery service. Fresh Direct and AmazonFresh are also among the online grocery delivery services available, but these two aren’t affiliated with any physical storefront. These companies charge a delivery fee on top of the cost of the groceries.
Now, Walmart is testing the waters with Walmart to Go. The supermarket giant began pilot tests in San Jose, CA. Consumers can order their groceries online and have them delivered the next day. Walmart will pack the groceries in totes and ship them in a temperature controlled truck, which they own. Delivery charges start at $5.
At least for now, Walmart to Go leans toward prepackaged goods. Customers cannot order beef cut to specs, and produce cannot be ordered by the piece. Overall, the prices for the products being offered at Walmart to Go are considerably less when compared with other online grocery delivery centers, and the selection appears to be broader as well.
Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, says the move makes sense. He warns, though that Walmart must still tackle some issues, like how to safely handle, package, and deliver prepared foods like sandwiches and ready-made entrees. Walmart must also decide how best to deliver groceries on a broader scale, should they decide to pursue grocery delivery beyond the test market.