Helping consumer to save cost via group buying. Local community can save cost by sharing the delivery fee and get lower price with bulk buying. Economies of scale is the key.
Covid-19 has transformed many companies from brick and mortar to online business/e-commerce. Particularly, the consumers' buying behavior has also changed by the impacts of lockdown/movement restriction during the peak Covid-19 season (consumers are more preferred online purchase compared to the past). In early 2022, e-commerce retail trade sales amounted to around three billion Canadian dollars per month, and approximately 29 million Canadians were expected to purchase online by the end of the year. Therefore, Walmart offers online shopping for its customers is a must in order to gain the market share and to stand out from competitors.
However, to stand out from competitors, doing better is not enough. Walmart needs to be different from its competitors instead. The proposed idea is focusing on cost saving with bulk/group purchase. This idea came from my personal experience which happened when my neighbor sent me a message to ask "Do you need anything from XXX bakery store? I am going to buy something from the shop online."
I would suggest to develop a platform (mobile app is preferable) which allows us to share the buying information among the local community. The intention is to gather the buyers from the local community with their buying quantities on a particular product. By doing so, economies of scale can be achieved as they can share the cost of delivery and to get cheaper/lower price of the product when buying in bulk.
The concept is simple, if there is anyone would like to buy a product from Walmart, his/her buying (not including the personal data) information will be uploaded and shared onto the platform right after he/she added the product to cart. A "Let's join me to buy..." notification will be sent out to the local community and at the same time, others from the local community who might interested can join the buying by adding the quantities they need to the cart created by the initiator. The system will be able to identify/track who is the one adding the quantity as the buyers perform the buying using individual account. Once the buying completed, the goods will be delivered to the buys door to door (since most of the buyers are from the same area, it is more cost saving and easy for Walmart to arrange logistic), or it can be
also done via dropping the goods at a collecting point nearby the buyers' area.
To make the "cloud buying" more interesting, Walmart can set the duration with flash sales or target quantity to be achieved in order to enjoy the discounted price (provided the price must be attractive). Besides that, this cloud buying activity could help Walmart to achieve sustainability by reducing carbon emission (one round trip compared to several rounds of delivery; buyers can purchase goods without travelling by cars), building better society/community with trust, create more job opportunities (delivery man and in-house programmer), and boost the economy with more local purchase.
To achieve sustainability is the objective of this idea.
IoT is the key of this application. With the 5G development, everyone and everything can be connected faster than ever. Also, statistic shows that the number of smartphone users in Canada is estimated to reach 33 million in year 2024.