Walmart Inc (WMT.N) is starting a new same-day delivery service where customers can place orders using a text message, another step in its effort to scale up its e-commerce offerings and compete with rival Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).
The service, called Jetblack, allows shoppers to order items from Walmart.com and even websites of rival retailers. It is a part of Walmart’s internal start-up incubator, Store No. 8.
Jetblack has been launched in parts of New York City, with plans to roll it out to the rest of the United States over time.
“The goal is to think about game-changing technologies that will change the way people shop,” said Jenny Fleiss, co-founder and chief executive of Jetblack, who also co-founded popular online fashion website Rent The Runway.
Fleiss said one of the technologies that will usher retail into the future will be the ability to have a personalized shopping experience through text messaging and online chat.
The U.S. retail giant is pouring billions of dollars into beefing up its e-commerce business and has recently announced partnerships with logistics companies to deliver groceries ordered online. Two such partnerships Walmart had struck with ride hailing services Uber and Lyft have ended, however, Reuters reported earlier this month.