Coronavirus lockdowns have fueled a massive surge in online shopping, with American e-commerce growing a staggering 44 percent in 2020 and online spending representing 21.3 percent of all sales.
Brick-and-mortar retailers have responded to this demand by rethinking their business models and expanding the resources they dedicate to fulfilling digital orders. The resulting innovation and competition in the evolving same-day delivery market has expanded access to goods and services for American consumers and increased job opportunities for American workers.
Walmart now has over 170,000 “personal shoppers” dedicated to fulfilling online orders. These shoppers receive online orders, pick the items off of shelves, then prepare them for delivery to customers’ homes. These jobs start at over $13 an hour, more than Walmart’s $11 minimum wage, and approximately 40 percent of personal shoppers are existing Walmart employees looking to advance in the company.
The rise of personal shoppers expands access to goods and services for American consumers. With government-mandated lockdowns forcing the entire country into self-isolation, online delivery services have been a lifeline for Americans that need groceries, prescriptions, and other household essentials delivered directly to their door. With stores like Target and Bed Bath and Beyond adding personal shoppers to their respective workforces, consumers will have more places to shop from without leaving their homes.
Competition between companies in the same-day delivery market will also benefit consumers in the form of lower prices and greater perks. Walmart has rolled out Walmart+, a new membership service that directly competes with Amazon Prime by offering same-day delivery, as well as two-hour delivery for an additional fee. Increased competition in the same-day delivery space will only continue to benefit consumers as choices increase.
This new market also benefits American workers, especially those who saw their jobs vanish due to the pandemic. As retailers continue to amp up their online presence, new jobs will need to be filled, and plenty of Americans will be available to fill them.
Ultimately, competition is a rising tide that lifts all boats. The rapid expansion of the same-day delivery market will benefit American consumers through increased access to goods and services, lower prices, and better membership perks. American workers will benefit through increased job opportunities as demand for personal shoppers increases.
As our country attempts to recover from the economic damage inflicted by COVID-19, the evolving same-day delivery market is a welcome reminder that American innovation will always adapt to new challenges.