Walmart drone deliveries Wing

Walmart app gets drone delivery feature, solidifying retail investment in UAS

Here’s yet another sign that Walmart is increasingly committed to drone delivery. While Walmart has been offering drone delivery as a service at a handful of its stores (primarily in Texas), it wasn’t always the most intuitive for customers. A big Walmart app update changes that.

Up until recently, Walmart shoppers who wanted their orders brought to them via drone had to place their order through a separate app. Walmart partners with a few different drone delivery companies, including DroneUp, Flytrex and Zipline. Things really leveled up in August 2023 when Walmart added Wing as a drone delivery provider.

But for a customer ordering Walmart products, they’d have to place their order through the app of the drone delivery company — despite the fact that goods ordered for pickup or car delivery would have to be placed in the Walmart app.

Walmart app drone delivery

But as of June 2024, Walmart is rolling out steps to transition its customers to order directly from the Walmart app. It’s happening in a phased approach, so for now only a few stores offer drone delivery as an available service directly in the Walmart app. When it rolls out fully though, it should remove the friction for shoppers who’d otherwise have to download and log in to an entirely separate app just to particpate in drone delivery.

“We are enhancing the customer experience and making the process more streamlined by integrating it into the Walmart app where our customers are already going for their other shopping needs,” according to Walmart spokesperson Lindsey Coulter. “Customers can open the Walmart app, see what items are eligible for drone delivery, build their baskets and checkout – all with just a few simple clicks.”

Beyond a more streamlined experience, the integration also expands the catalog of goods that can be delivered.

How ordering through the Walmart app works

Customers who currently use one of Walmart’s drone delivery partners and order through their respective apps will receive a notification of the new ordering capability through the Walmart app once it’s made available. (Eligibility is based on the customer address associated with the account).

Just like with the Wing app, will be able to see where their order is and keep up-to-date on its arrival time, in real-time. 

Though the ability to order drone delivery directly through the Walmart app will take off in June 2024, Walmart emphasizes it’ll be done in phases.

“Creating a more seamless shopping experience on the Walmart app is the next evolution of Walmart’s investment in drone delivery technology, further reaffirming its unwavering commitment to finding innovative experiences and delivery solutions for customers,” according to a news release from Walmart.

Walmart app drone delivery

Walmart’s drone delivery service: how it’s been going

Walmart runs deliveries in more than a half-dozen states in the U.S., including Arkansas (which is the home state for Walmart headquarters) and Texas. Texas has been among the biggest drivers of growth for Walmart drone delivery. In fact, roughly 75% of the Dallas Fort Worth population is now eligible for drone delivery.

For example, as of June 2024, Wing (the sibling company of Google) powers drone delivery out of the following stores:

  1. 9101 N Tarrant Pkwy, North Richland Hills, TX 
  2. 6401 NE Loop 820, North Richland Hills, TX
  3. 801 W Main St, Lewisville, TX
  4. 8555 Preston Rd, Frisco, TX

Walmart has had fun with the drone delivery project, as evidenced by a goofy, albeit delightful social media stunt in August 2023. That’s when Walmart dunked a giant Oreo cookie into milk via drone.

So far, drone delivery has been good for Walmart and its customers — so the company says.

“The communities have been very receptive to adopting drone deliveries and we’re confident that enthusiasm will continue as we enhance the customer experience,” Coulter said.

And the numbers back it up. Since Walmart began trialing drone delivery in 2021, Walmart and its drone delivery partners have made a combined 30,000+ drone deliveries to date.

Leave a Reply