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Discussion => Shipping => Topic started by: pine on May 04, 2013, 06:00 am

Title: [intel] The Future of SR Deliveries for our Customers.
Post by: pine on May 04, 2013, 06:00 am


Walmart Rattles Amazon's Locker

By Erika Morphy
E-Commerce Times
03/27/13 12:08 PM PT

Walmart wants people to stop thinking of it as just the largest chain of retail stores in the world. The company has e-commerce envy, and it's going after Amazon by setting up some lockers in its stores -- much like the ones Amazon has located in 7-Elevens and such -- for online customers to pick up their goods. The thing is, Walmart already has in-store pickup, so the lockers may be more for show than customer convenience.

Walmart ratcheted up the e-competition a notch with the announcement Tuesday that it would soon begin offering a locker service similar to the one Amazon recently rolled out.

There appear to be few differences between the two offerings: Both provide secure locations, available 24 hours, where consumers can pick up purchases they made online. Users will be notified when their item has arrived at a locker and given an access code to open it. Amazon already has a number of lockers available around the country; in the Washington D.C. area, for example, there are about 20 locations.

Walmart will eventually leverage its formidable brick-and-mortar network of stores and superstores for the service. For the start of its test run, scheduled to begin this summer, the locker service will be available in about a dozen stores.
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A Persistent Push Into E-Commerce

From one perspective, the new service is just an incremental add-on to Walmart's array of existing customer offerings.

"The locker service is just removing some of the friction from the in-store pick up process," noted Michael Harvey, COO of CorraTech.

"Now they don't have to walk into the store, find the customer service desk, wait in line and so on to get their purchase," he told the E-Commerce Times.

However, from a big-picture standpoint, the locker service is very telling. It illustrates Walmart is going to keep pushing into the e-commerce space despite the huge lead Amazon has.

It intends to be "tenacious" in its pursuit of e-commerce marketshare, said Neil Ashe, president and chief executive of Walmart Global eCommerce, when announcing the service.

A League of Its Own

"Clearly Walmart is looking at and responding to what Amazon is doing," CorraTech's Harvey said. "Walmart is among the top e-commerce sites in the world, but it is not in Amazon's league."

One challenge Walmart has is expanding its image as a physical store to include its virtual real estate.

"For most online purchases, people automatically think of Amazon -- and not Walmart, despite the huge number of online sales it has," Harvey pointed out.

That said, its physical store network is a big e-commerce advantage, he continued.

The company might not have attained McDonald's supposed goal of having a location within one mile of every American, but most people are within driving distance of a Walmart, noted Harvey. "There is no way Amazon could ever offer anything comparable, short of, well, partnering with Walmart."


As all observant members of SR know, Pine has been raving about the concept of Virtual Offices for a while. They indeed have dozens of advantages, diverse propositions and even fringe benefits like coffee and mints (together, it is my new thing, delicious!). The central problem though with VOs is that they are expensive. For vendors, this is just another business expense. The whole process of anonymizers -> regional VPN or proxy, switching back and forth between various nyms and associated papers is not really a hindrance to our brave, intelligent and attractive vendors, for whom the main threat model for running circles around LE is dizziness and blurred vision from staring at monitors all day.

However! Be that as it may!

Virtual offices are expensive. For a humble newb to investing that much time and energy into simply obtaining a real life proxy, it is just too much for almost anybody save the most paranoid or law abiding individuals.

Happily the cost of the basic service a virtual office provides is about to drop by one or two orders of magnitude soon. Swapboxes, bufferboxes, Amazon lockers, Walmart lockers and so on, we love them all. Practically every major company is saying Fuck You to UPS, USPS and Fedex, and deciding it wants to join the package delivery game. Since many of these are sprawling multinationals online or offline, such as Google, Walmart, there is huge opportunities for them to carve up the postal pie, and offer many useful services to happy SR customers.

Now, initially many of these companies may adopt a "company town" model, such as Amazon locker, where only packages from Amazon or approved partners are delivered to the locker storage location. But the trend is clear, in the future practically everybody is going to have an extra address or two at the local fast food outlet or some other chain. There are simply far too many advantages to opening up a freely addressable locker to all.
Title: Re: [intel] The Future of SR Deliveries for our Customers.
Post by: dirtybiscuitzz718 on May 04, 2013, 06:27 am
+1 Pine, good read.
Title: Re: [intel] The Future of SR Deliveries for our Customers.
Post by: Jack N Hoff on May 04, 2013, 06:43 am
I've seen many VOs for $25 a month with no contract.  They sign for your mail too.  You loose all plausible denyability though so I wouldn't ever suggest that unless you are actually running a real business with said VO and receive many legitimate packages.
Title: Re: [intel] The Future of SR Deliveries for our Customers.
Post by: Jack N Hoff on May 04, 2013, 06:48 am
VOs are really cool for legitimate businesses though.  The ones that are $25 a month have confrence rooms that you can rent by the hour really cheap.  They will forward packages if you want.  You can upgrade to a real office.  The more expensive ones come with a certain amount of hours a month hat you can use conference rooms.

An actual office is cheap in some places.  I've seen many offices for $250 - $300 a month.  Most of them have have a mail drop and packaging materials.  They will sign and hold your mail too.  Most offer mail forwarding.

Prices really depend on the location.
Title: Re: [intel] The Future of SR Deliveries for our Customers.
Post by: XXXotica on May 04, 2013, 07:03 pm
Great read Pine! Thats very interesting to say the least.
Title: Re: [intel] The Future of SR Deliveries for our Customers.
Post by: lookinurmind on May 04, 2013, 08:58 pm
yeah fuck walmart!

but if they help me pick up drugs anon...hmm
Title: Re: [intel] The Future of SR Deliveries for our Customers.
Post by: wraithe on May 05, 2013, 01:07 pm
Very good, thanks for the read on VOs!

On a side note...  ::) We are not fans of Wal-Mart on any level. Regardless of them joining the ranks of companies aiming to corner their own logistics, and do away with third party parcel services, or not. Wal-Mart places huge bids on various merchant's and vendor's bulk stock; offering the companies "guaranteed sales" in that they will put multi-million dollars into down-payments on X amount of units for their stores annually. Because they put money into the pockets of the vending companies before the companies have even rendered or distributed the products is how Wal-Mart is able to do their 'price rollbacks', and "guaranteed lowest price", since technically they get it cheaper than any other retailer by undermining and undercutting other contracts with other retailers.

My second issue with Wal-Mart is that they either choose not to approach, or simply get rejected by most of the major 'Certified Organic' vendors. Thus, Wal-Mart's grocer only caries commercial GMO, and sub-par food items. Nutrition is absent in the Wal-Mart food market. But they also offer the cheapest prices on groceries in the United States... much like McDonalds sells cheeseburgers cheaper than your grocery store sells carrots for.

Starvation and obesity are both epidemics in the United States, and more often then not... both are experienced by the same group(s) of people. The low-income, and lower and middle classes.

Aside from that, I thought this was an excellent read. Thanks for the info Pine... SR's best and brightest! :)

walmart also has horrible employee policies and treats them like shit.

this is why it is recommened to use Lotus' coupon pack and fuck them weekly for $200 of free food.  lol i use atleast 75-125 aweek of lotus coupons to frak walmart.  they deserve it.

i am interested in the locker idea.
as for the virtual office, you could just send someone in to get your package, u see dea come running u , you leave him there LOL(he wouldnt be a friend)