Recently Walmart and Doordash signed an exclusive deal where they will receive all the orders that Walmart gets in order to make more money on their system, and on the surface, that was a great plan and would be good for business for both parties involved.
However, ever since they signed that deal it has been a downward spiral for Walmart as they tried to figure out why their orders were not being delivered, and frankly it was because Dashers on the platform would not accept those orders.
Who can blame us for not wanting to accept a $3 order for driving over 100 items going absurd distances?
Doordash has been throwing these orders at us for years now, before the partnership was made and this is something that would be taken into account right? Of course not, in fact I am starting to wonder how good a salesman these people are that they managed this.
However, while it is easy to criticize Doordash and Walmart as a whole they did do somethings right and they should be recognized for that.
So in this article, we are going to go over what Walmart did right and wrong, What Doordash did right and wrong, and how they can potentially remedy these challenges.
I am also going to give some advice to Dashers who may have some negative views towards them and how I think all Dashers should respond to this.
But before that however, My name is Joseph Mandracchia, I have been working full-time with the gig economy since 2018 and have completed over 9400 orders and deliveries across several different platforms and pay models, as well as other forms of income.
It is my hope to impart some of my knowledge and experience unto you to help you make the most money in your side hustle and help you on your journey to achieve financial independence so you can choose to live your life in anyway you would find valuable to you.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial, tax or legal advisor of any kind. I am not giving you financial, tax or legal advice. I am simply expressing what I have done to overcome in this area and hoping you can find a take away for yourself within this article.
Why Should Dashers Care About this Partnership?
Dashers should care because what happens with this partnership can and will have a serious effect on the future of the Gig Economy as a whole. Love them or hate them, this is going to be a tone setter of a partnership.
Most Walmart orders are low paying to begin with and now that there is a partnership and Doordash is doing everything in their power to entice Dashers to take low paying orders by promoting taking as many orders as possible.
Now with that said, most Dashers are aware that waiting for a good order and having patience with it is going to yield better results financially than aiming for Top Dasher or Main Street Pledge while it is still around.
Newer Dashers not so much, but they will in due time after gaining even a little bit of experience since they will realize that it is not sustainable to take $3 orders of any kind.
What Walmart did Right
I feel like we need to talk about what Walmart did right first because I feel we need to give credit where credit is due, especially since they did some things perfectly where most retail stores have failed to recognize is important to us Dashers.
Having In-Store Shoppers On Staff
One of the best things Walmart did, that I wish more retail and grocery delivery platforms should have done better, is have someone on staff do the shopping and packing for each order to make sure the proper items available in-store for you.
Unlike pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, where you have to search throughout the store for items that may or may not be there, go through the whole deal of calling the customer about items that are unavailable and then contacting Dasher Support to change items.
Yeah, none of that with these orders. They have it packed and ready for it to be delivered for you to bring to your customer, like it should be on Doordash. If someone wanted to do the shopping themselves, they can hop onto Instacart or Shipt.
In fact, they even said that they will be expanding their teams of people who do the shopping so that orders can come out faster than they were previously.
Having People Available to Bring Bags to Car
Now this is a nice perk with these orders, they have a team that brings the order to your vehicle and packs it for you. This is a nice addition, especially with Walmart Grocery orders that include items like eggs, milk and other items that require you to bag them properly.
Also, it is in the best interest of Walmart to make sure that the orders that they have delivered by Doordash drivers be packed in such a way that allow the least risk of damage during transit.
Not to mention, not having to do it yourself does allow you to relax in your vehicle while waiting for an order to be finished loading up.
Designated Parking for Dashers
This has been one of my greatest struggles when working with Doordash, UberEats, or any platform that requires me to leave my vehicle to pick up something, and Walmart really did something special with this by having a designated parking area for delivery drivers.
This is especially important because Walmart is notorious for having a challenging parking situation for their customers and not having to compete with them for parking is a great perk for Dashers everywhere.
Normally, when a Dasher cannot find parking they leave their hazards on someplace, whether that is in front of the store in a "self-made parking spot" or what I like to call a parking NOT, run into the store as quickly as possible and run back to your car.
With Walmart, you are expected to go to a designated parking area and then you will be approached by someone who will ask you about your order, keeping you and your vehicle safe.
What Walmart did Wrong
Now that we talked about the good that Walmart did, let's get into what Walmart did wrong, because some of these things are more than just surface level, some of it is hidden and revealed later, and some are obvious.
"Don't Tip the Driver"
Whoever did this, must have been a literal idiot for think that this is okay, and that is telling their customers not to tip their drivers. Regardless of how you expect your employees to act, it is not cool under any circumstances to say "Don't Tip the Driver".
Especially when most of us drivers are out there making ends meet with the tips we receive. I don't understand the mindset behind this, although I have theories about why they did this.
While I cannot confirm or condone the reason that ended up on their website, I can imagine that someone in a back office simple copied and pasted this from some terms of service in some employee handbook and did not check their work.
Now even after they changed their side of things, they still conditioned the customer to opt for not tipping the driver and that is what most customers are choosing to do because that is how they always did things.
So even after they fixed it you put Dashers and customers in a position where most of us don't trust Walmart orders anymore, and that is hard to make any kind of comeback from.
Trust is something built over a lifetime and gone in a moment.
Not Having an Item Limit or Using Doordash Drive
While I understand why a customer is going to want to order over 100 items to their home or business, I don't think it makes sense to mix in orders that big into the main Dasher pool, especially since Dashers may not be prepared for an order like that.
Most Dashers don't have the trunk space or space in general for over 100 items in their car, although it is possible that they do. For most however, they have to cram so may items into a small and likely view obstructing places where they can be pulled over and get a ticket.
Now personally, I believe an order like that should be on Doordash Drive, which is literally a service designed for large catering orders, so people should expect to have a lot of items and they can prepare for an order like that.
Otherwise, you risk having people waiting for Dashers choosing to not take the order even if the tip is solid. Good Dashers would make it work, but there have been people who would say that they would not bother.
Not Evolving Upon Walmart Spark
So for those who don't know, Walmart actually has their own delivery driver platform where drivers can sign up and take Walmart orders specifically. Similar to how Amazon also has their own delivery platform, and for some reason never took off.
Maybe it was expensive, maybe it was just not the right timing, whatever the reason they never really expanded upon it, therefore it never took off. So instead they turned to Doordash to handle the bulk of their deliveries.
To me this is a missed opportunity, but no one really knows the full story about this.
What Doordash did Right
Now that we covered what Walmart did right and wrong, let's look to Doordash. As always we give credit where credit is due and talk about what Doordash did right here, since most people only highlight what they do wrong.
Partnering with Walmart to Remedy this Issue
Now one thing I like about this partnership is that they looked to make a partnership with Walmart to help remedy this issue, because in my opinion both sides are equally at fault.
However, if they are going to properly remedy this issue, they need to be on the same page and moving together. That way they can compare notes, see what the issues are on their end and see what they can do about solving them.
This is going with the assumption that they are willing to truly work together towards making these orders more acceptable for Dashers so the customers will be happier with the wait time.
Looking to Make Low Paying Orders More Enticing
While so far Doordash has been unsuccessful in making this happen so far, finding a way to make low paying orders more enticing is a great way to make these orders get to their customers faster.
So far, setting up Top Dasher and Milestone rewards (while that was a thing) was a great start to solving the problem of Dashers accepting bad orders, even if the system needs to be refined a bit more.
I am personally looking forward to seeing how they will be developing this system more and more to best help these customers properly.
Expanding the Market Share
One thing that I think is a smart move on Doordash's part is that they are doing everything in their power to expand market share and work from a place of abundance. With the number of people who decide to partner with Doordash, they can work from a place of abundance.
When operate from a place of abundance, you can grow much faster and on a wider scale because you are not dependent on one source of income to grow your business. So investing in a retailer such as Walmart was a good call.
Now Doordash can deliver almost anything, and soon they may even achieve their goal of being the next FedEx of the world.
What Doordash did Wrong
Okay, now that we gave credit where it was due, let's talk about what Doordash did wrong. I am going to try not to sound like ever other article out there on this subject, but there are some repeat challenges that need to be addressed.
No Change in Base Pay for Walmart Orders
If you know that Walmart orders are normally an issue for Dashers, one of the most effective solutions would be offering more money to complete them within the base pay.
Personally, I think the pay they are offering isn't the core issue, since most people complain on how they aren't being paid enough anyway, but there is a point to be made about enticing people with guaranteed pay as opposed to "potential bonuses".
Now if the base pay was naturally bigger, then we can consider doing those orders more often, otherwise there is no way I personally would consider doing those orders, especially when those orders always take a while to come out too.
But until then, you will have to look for another driver to take your nonsense.
Not Making Walmart Orders a Drive Order
Some of the orders on this platform are crazy as far as the number of items involved, some even holding over 100 orders and ask for unreasonable driving distances. With that said, that would make for a great Drive order!
An order of this size is to be expected as a long distance delivery, with a large amount of items and it would be expected not to be available in the area if it paid the right amount.
So most Dashers would be fine with that if they got the order because they would choose it themselves.
Now this doesn't apply for every Walmart order, I know that there are some with just about 3 bags and that is it. However, it should be expected that after a certain item count that the order becomes a Drive order so people can be prepared for that.
Failing to Make Walmart Orders More Enticing
Now for the most part Walmart orders have been low quality orders, especially for those of us with a large amount of experience in dealing with Doordash as well as Walmart. So naturally it would make sense for them to make Walmart orders more enticing right?
Well, they haven't.
The closest thing they have done is instill the benefits of Top Dasher and trying things like Milestone Rewards to entice Dashers into taking lower quality orders, and this has been like watching a kid fall flat on it's face repeatedly.
Fun to watch, but just wrong and concerning for all parties involved.
The problem I am having is thinking of a way to entice Dashers to actually take these types of orders without seeming manipulative, but honestly I just don't see it. So maybe the problem should be understanding that Dashers won't take bad orders.
How Should Dashers Respond to This?
Now let's talk about how we should respond to this as Dashers, because I think that if we know what to do in response to these actions then I think we can make educated decisions about whether or not we should take Walmart orders.
Business As Usual
For now, I think it only makes sense to continue our business as usual and wait and see how much change will actually happen. I wouldn't change anything about how this affects your day-to-day deliveries as of yet.
Be Open Minded Towards the Future
Since Doordash and Walmart are looking to make this more enticing for us Dashers, I think it only makes sense to be open-minded about taking them in the future. Just because they are bad now, doesn't mean they will be bad in the future.
People have Walmart as a whole on their no-go list, although now that they are saying they are taking steps towards making Walmart orders more lucrative for Dashers, I think it only makes sense that we wait and see how they improve upon these orders.
Who knows? They may end up being more than just off your no-go list.
Diversify into Other Apps and Platforms
I said be open-minded not stupid, you can't take anything at face value without taking necessary precautions against potential challenges such as Doordash adjusting their pay model in such a way where they can make good orders harder to get.
Which seems to be the direction all these companies tend to be taking, and is a shame because it makes it harder for us to make ends meet, customers wait for their orders longer then they should and give a poor reputation to their companies as well as their drivers.
However, that doesn't mean that you should rely on only one company to pay you for your work. Make sure you sign up for other companies as well so you can make the most of your time and resources.
And don't be stuck on choosing a driver or delivery platform either. So that way there is always a way for you to make ends meet, and depending on what you choose to use, you can make an even more money or end up making something that can grow exponentially.
There is no telling if right now if Walmart orders are going to be better for people in the future and I know that there are some people that genuinely like taking Walmart orders and find them lucrative, and more power to them.
I hope one day that all drivers can feel that way about Walmart orders as much as they do, but for most of us that just simply not the case and it is a shame.
However, I am looking forward to seeing how these companies will be growing and evolving in the future because who knows how this can turn out.
With that said, thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! I hope you found some value in what you read here and will apply this information in your life and success in your side hustle!