If a new plan from Walmart comes to pass, it could be a neighborly way to get people to connect to one another, in real time. The company is considering a system in which customers receive discounts for delivering other shoppers’ online purchases.
Interested parties would be able to sign up online to take part in the service, adding their addresses to a database of local information. The idea is that they’d be assigned packages of online deliveries to bring to other shoppers, while on their way home from the local, physical Walmart store.
Of course, there are various legal issues that still need to be worked out. We’re curious what happens when a customer/deliveryperson fails to deliver, for whatever reason. Who pays: Walmart, the deliverer, or the recipient? (The program will be short-lived if it’s the last option) On the other hand, successful implementation of the program could be an interesting way to add to the online-meets-offline sphere of retail — this new component entails a way for people to meet and interact with their neighbors by shopping online. The volunteer delivery force just has to live up to its assignments — Walmart has enough enemies; they wouldn’t want to turn neighbors against each other, too. What do you think? Would you ever sign up as a deliveryperson for a retail chain in exchange for a discount on your own shopping list?