Self Service Vending Machines to Facilitate Online Orders

May, 2018

The Retail sector is pushing for technology that can help customers order online and save money on shipping. Wal-Mart’s self service vending machines installed across their stores is the first step towards achieving this goal, wherein customers order items online and pick them at stores by using their phone to scan the barcode items. It has plans to expand this facility by adding close to 700 pickup towers by 2020 making it available to almost 50% of country’s population.

Innovative order and delivery methods:

  • Pickup Lockers: The self-serving machines were initially installed to retrieve items like toothpaste ordered online, which have now reached a stage where the high-tech pickup towers are installed with pickup lockers to help deliver larger items like speakers and TVs. The entire process is carried without much interaction with the store employees.

  • Enhanced buying experience: The pickup tower is used to provide multiple utility by offering same day grocery ordering and pickup facility in some markets. This service is provided in collaboration with Mobile Express Scan & Go, which will help to skip checkout line in stores by simply walking through the Mobile Express lane to their way out. It not only saves time but also helps to manage budget easier, as customers can see prices of individual items while scanning along with running total.

  • E-commerce - the way forward: Walmart has got into an alliance with Google Express delivery service, wherein Google will create buzz in Google product searches to push ecommerce acceleration of Walmart products, providing them immediate upscale in consumers, online and ecommerce sales. This innovative initiative will allow advertisers to reach consumers via multiple outlets creating a pathway for enhanced ecommerce buying pattern.

  • Hub delivery lockers: It has launched a new concept called ‘Hub delivery lockers’ installed in residential apartment complexes to help people to pick up their deliveries in their adjoining living areas.

  • Stepping up the delivery game: Walmart has partnered with August, a smart-lock company and its partner Deliv will help retailers open the front door and bring packages directly into customers’ home when they are not present in the house. Deliv will act as the last mile delivery solution covering broad network of retailers across the country, with August stepping up as the technology partner which will take the final step into the customer’s home to create a seamless delivery experience.

The Walmart Order and Delivery Formula

Immense competition with Amazon and other retailers has pushed Walmart to provide Pickup services wherever customers precisely want them to be delivered. More than 80% of the American citizens are within the range of 10 miles of a Walmart store, with close to 150 million buyers a week. This unique proposition has given Walmart an opportunity to innovative and design new buying and ordering strategies.

– Pavan Mudholkar,
Infoholic Research