Walmart opens its delivery network to mom-and-pop shops — because un-branding can be big business

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |

Hold on to your cupcakes and car mufflers… There’s a new last-mile delivery service in town. Walmart is opening up its delivery network to outside retailers with a new program called GoLocal. The deets:

  • Retailers won’t need to sell in Walmart’s marketplace to use GoLocal, so even small shops can deliver products from store to customer. And don't expect those giant Walmart trucks: GoLocal is un-branded.
  • Only Walmart workers will fulfill GoLocal deliveries — unlike existing Walmart delivery, which also uses third-parties like FedEx, Doordash, and Uber.

Racing for the last mile... The same-day delivery market is expected to triple between 2020 and 2026. Amazon set the standard: Prime same- and one-day shipping was available for 72% of Americans in 2019. But Walmart has invested heavily in its same-day Express Delivery in the past three years. It now covers 70% of the US population. Here’s how the mega retailers compare:

  • Similar most of the way: Walmart and Amazon both operate massive ecommerce sites and shipping networks, and Amazon’s slowly expanding into IRL stores, where Walmart has long thrived.
  • Different for the last mile: Walmart’s doubling down on last-mile delivery. But Amazon’s going the opposite direction — it shut down its delivery platform for retailers in 2020 and prioritized warehousing instead.

“Un-branding” can be big business... Corporate giants can use their massive footprints to help other businesses scale — and profit in the process. With its white-labeled delivery service, Walmart — the second biggest US ecomm retailer — will have a new revenue stream. Other big businesses also sell unbranded services B2B: Target sells delivery tools to 120 retailers, Zoom sells its video-conferencing tech to other apps, and DoorDash sells its backend platform to stores that want delivery services.