Walmart has been developing a drone delivery program in several locations in the United States since 2020. Now, the e-commerce behemoth claims it is poised to extend its services.
Walmart to Expand Delivery Program
The store wants to expand its DroneUp network by 34 new locations by the end of 2022. Around four million households in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, Utah, and Virginia will be able to get drone deliveries as a result of the expansion.
You may order up to 10 pounds of food and home products and have them delivered to your doorstep for $4, according to CNBC.
Walmart claims that if you use the service, your delivery will arrive in 30 minutes.
Walmart forecasts that by the end of 2022, it will be able to deliver 1 million packages per year by air. To be sure, it’s a significant achievement, but it doesn’t mean the program is yet profitable.
Businesses and local governments will be able to use drone services, according to the retailer. Drones, for example, might assist construction companies with one-site aerial imagery, according to Walmart.
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The additional income will not only help offset the overall cost of delivery, but it will also benefit the entire drone business by allowing them to collect more flight data as they collaborate to expand drone operations in a safe and controlled manner.
In Texas, Walmart won’t be the only retailer with a drone delivery service; Alphabet’s Wing business just expanded its delivery service to cover the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Walmart Testing the Drone
Walmart has been experimenting with small unmanned planes to see if they may disrupt the retail game, drive e-commerce growth, and turn stores into a tool to compete with Amazon on speed, according to Engadget.
It signed agreements with three operators in 2020: Flytrex, Zipline, and DroneUp. Customers received groceries, household basics, and at-home COVID-19 test kits as part of a pilot experiment.
The new distribution method is seen as an extension of Walmart’s strategy of leveraging its huge physical base to gain a competitive advantage.
Nearly 90 percent of Americans reside within 10 miles of one of Walmart’s 4,700 locations. Walmart has a growing range of rapid online options through those locations, including curbside pickup, Express Delivery, which delivers things to customers’ doorsteps in two hours or less, and InHome, which delivers straight to customers’ refrigerators.
Customers who live within the delivery range of a Walmart drone can order thousands of things between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
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A $3.99 fee is charged for each drone delivery. Customers can place orders for up to ten pounds of groceries, according to TechCrunch.
Each order is chosen, packaged, and loaded at the stores before being flown to the customer’s yard or driveway by a professional pilot. The package is subsequently delivered to your door through a cable on the drone.
DroneUp’s website or the websites of the two other operators must be used to place orders. Walmart plans to integrate order-placing functionality into its own app and website.