Walmart opens marketplace to non-U.S. sellers, hears DoorDash drivers’ gripes
Two news stories breaking in recent days have Walmart’s digital operations in the spotlight again. The retailing giant has announced plans to open up its online marketplace to non-U.S. sellers and is also addressing a report that DoorDash drivers, who make grocery deliveries to Walmart’s customers, are not happy with the process or the pay associated with doing the job.
Walmart’s success through the pandemic has largely been tied to the steps the retailer has taken in recent years to build up its omnichannel capabilities. The chain has succeeded by scaling its offers across its U.S. store base and by offering customers the options to shop and take possession of their orders in ways that align with their individual preferences and needs.
One area that Walmart has concentrated on building is its online marketplace. The retailer has not flung the door wide open, however, requiring that sellers be registered in the U.S. and go through a vetting process before selling their goods on walmart.com. That, Bloomberg reports, is changing. Walmart is dropping its requirement that sellers either have a U.S. address or business tax identification.
“We have strong relationships with many reputable companies around the world and we have some of the most rigorous seller requirements in the industry,” Walmart wrote in an emailed statement to the news service. “As a result, we are opening our U.S. marketplace to a limited number of international companies who share our commitment to customer trust and safety.”
Closer to home, Reuters reports, third-party drivers that make grocery deliveries to the chain’s customers are complaining of long waits to pick up orders and then of low tips once they complete the task. Drivers for DoorDash say that it is less of a hassle and more financially rewarding to deliver meals from the service’s restaurant customers than for Walmart.
The issue with DoorDash drivers can be seen as a worrying sign. The retailer ended similar arrangements with Lyft and Uber to make deliveries and also ran into problems using its own employees to do the job.
DoorDash and Walmart have added tips to their respective apps to help drivers out as the two companies seek to refine the delivery process.
- Walmart Opens E-Commerce Marketplace to Non-US Vendors – Bloomberg/Transport Topics
- Low tips, long waits: DoorDash takes on drivers’ Walmart gripes – Reuters
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you predict will be the effect of Walmart opening its marketplace to non-U.S. sellers? What do you see as the challenges facing Walmart’s grocery delivery operations in the U.S. and what are some possible solutions?