Retailers

Delivery From Independent Grocers, Powered by Walmart

Cognetry Labs teams with Walmart GoLocal to boost delivery capabilities for small and midsize grocers
Walmart GoLocal driver
Photograph courtesy of Walmart

Walmart's newest client for its "delivery as a service" offering, Walmart GoLocal, specializes in enabling delivery for ... other grocery retailers.

Cognetry Labs, a startup founded in 2019 and based in El Dorado Hills, Calif., provides e-commerce technology for independent and midsize retailers looking to launch or ramp up their omnichannel offerings, including local delivery. On Feb. 23, Cognetry and Walmart GoLocal announced an integration of their two platforms so that Cognetry customers will be able to access Walmart GoLocal's nationwide delivery network and capabilities—letting smaller and regional grocery players expand their delivery coverage and capacity, according to a news release from the two companies.

"Walmart GoLocal and Cognetry Labs have a shared priority of supporting midsized and independent businesses and providing efficient, reliable delivery to families in communities across the country," Walmart GoLocal General Manager Harsit Patel said in a statement. The partnership between the companies, said Cognetry Labs VP Ryan Maurer, "levels the playing field for midsized and regional retail chains to compete for customers buying online."

That's a playing field already dominated by the likes of Walmart itself, as well as Target-owned Shipt (whose delivery customers include CVS, GNC and, in Southern California, Cardenas Markets) and third-party players like Instacart and DoorDash. Walmart launched its GoLocal white-label delivery offering in August, with the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant looking to its Spark Driver network of on-demand delivery drivers to handle many of the delivery runs for GoLocal customers. The Home Depot signed on as a big-name GoLocal client in October, and Chicos became the platform's first apparel customer in December, but no small grocery chain has publicly taken up "Fortune 1 company" Walmart on its offering of delivery help, for a price. 

That doesn't change with Cognetry Labs' announcement: It's the e-commerce tech provider, not Cognetry Labs' retail clients themselves, teaming up with Walmart GoLocal. But Cognetry and GoLocal highlighted a testimony from an independent grocer and Cognetry Labs customer already using the expanded delivery capabilities.

"As an independent grocer, the need to offer our customers convenient access to online shopping and local delivery has never been more prevalent," Ediberto Hernandez, owner of Ideal Food Basket in Dania Beach, Fla., said in Cognetry Labs' and Walmart GoLocal's news release. With Walmart GoLocal integrated into the Cognetry Labs platform, "we've been able to ramp grocery delivery in a matter of weeks, providing our customers with reliable delivery at an affordable price," he stated.

For Walmart, GoLocal represents an additional source of revenue and data, like the company's growing Walmart Connect advertising platform and its own offering of e-commerce fulfillment technologies, including smart inventory management, available through the Adobe Commerce platform.

Walmart executives, in the company's fourth-quarter and full-year fiscal 2022 earnings call last week, indicated that diverse and expanding alternative revenue streams not only generate a wealth of valuable data but also play a role in helping the retailer keep its low-prices promise to customers. And in a time of heightened inflation and increased price sensitivity, maintaining a strong value proposition with grocery shoppers is as critical, and as challenging, as ever.

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