Amazon has made online shopping almost too easy: You can buy pretty much anything, from patio furniture to pet food, and have it delivered, in some cases, within two hours. Now brick-and-mortar retailers are finding creative ways to compete.
Gordon Dickson, a technology reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, says Walmart and Target are testing new delivery services so customers won’t necessarily have to visit stores in person.
Dickson says Walmart teamed up with Uber to offer a new grocery home-delivery service. Consumers who prefer to visit the store can download an app that scans items as they’re put into cart; those items are automatically paid for through the app without having to visit the checkout stand.
Target has a program that is similar to Amazon’s Prime Pantry, in which consumers can order up to 45 pounds of non-perishable merchandise, delivered in a single box for a flat fee, Dickson says.
These services are only available in a few areas for now, but Dickson says it’s very likely they will roll out nationwide.
“They’ve got employees now who are personal shoppers — that’s their job title. …I think you’ll see steady growth of this for many years to come,” Dickson says.
Smaller businesses may struggle to compete with this kind of service, Dickson says. Blue Apron, an online meal-delivery company that just went public, is an example of that, he says.
Written by Caroline Covington.