Walmart launches new InHome Delivery service
The new deliver...
The retail giants, Walmart, has launched its new service aimed at serving over 1mn customers in Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Vero Beach.
The new delivery service, InHome Delivery, is aimed at giving time back to families by delivering fresh groceries and everyday essentials into customer’s kitchens or garage fridges. Walmart has introduced simplified grocery shopping in a bid to find alternative ways to make customers’ lives easier. The service enables customers to go about their day-to-day lives without the worry of making it to the store or being home to accept a delivery.
As long as the customer’s address is eligible, residents across Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach can choose either the kitchen or garage fridge as its delivery spot. At $49.95 for the corresponding smart device, free professional installation is also provided. Following the installation of the lock, there will be unlimited deliveries for the introductory price of $19.95 per month.
At the time of delivery, associates will have the capability to use smart entry technology and a proprietary, wearable camera that grants access to a customer’s home. This allows customers to control access to their homes and provides the ability to watch deliveries remotely. While the service is only exclusively available to Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach for the time being, the innovation is just the initial step for Walmart as it seeks to leverage unique assets to better serve its customers in new ways. The InHomeDelivery is considered an expansion of its existing suite of grocery options, from shopping in store to "Grocery Pickup" and "Delivery" options as well as its recently expanded "Delivery Unlimited" membership.
The news follows Walmart’s celebration of its first official class at the Walmart Supply Chain Academy at its Sanger, Texas, distribution centre. “Within the Walmart Supply Chain, we are focused on creating a great place to work where our more than 100,000 associates can be empowered to solve problems for our business,” commented Greg Smith, EVP of Walmart U.S. Supply Chain. “This first Supply Chain Academy is a pivotal step on that journey. North-central Texas customers will see the impact of the training and hard work of these graduates on the shelves of the more than 140 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs this distribution centre serves.”
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Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.