Walmart gives a makeover to challenge Amazon’s delivery heft

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Facing increasing pressure from Amazon's retail innovation, Walmart has retooled its e-commerce unit to make it more appealing to a younger audience.

Jet, which Walmart acquired for $3.3 billion two years ago, has added a range of improvements including voice-controlled shopping lists, faster delivery turnarounds and customized delivery options including same-day grocery delivery in Manhattan. Walmart's move coincides with myriad Amazon projects that enable faster and more accessible home delivery.

Jet users may build shopping lists via iOS’s Siri and shoppers in New York may specify a three-hour delivery window for same-day and next-day orders. The faster arrivals are powered by Parcel, the delivery service Walmart purchased last year, according to a Friday release.
The Jet makeover features a local spin for each major market. In New York, for example, the site touts local brands Bedford’s Cheese Shop and Just Bagels, with local and craft beers also available for same-day and next-day delivery in coming months.

Beginning in October, a marketing deal with Nike will produce “curated” Nike and Converse shoes for Jet customers. Jet’s use of iOS for voice ordering is consistent with its support of Apple Pay, in contrast with parent Walmart, which continues to shun Apple Pay.

The makeover follows a Walmart pilot for delivery powered by self-driving cars in Chandler, Ariz. for groceries, which launched in July.

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