Thanks to a partnership between DoorDash and Walmart, DoorDash customers can now order groceries from Walmart and have them delivered to their door. Convenient, right?
But there’s a problem: DoorDash drivers hate doing Walmart orders. Take one visit to the DoorDash subreddit you’ll see daily posts like these by drivers complaining about Walmart orders.
“Walmart orders are making me lose money”
“I decline all Walmart orders”
“200 items up to a 3rd story apartment and no tip”
“Just remember, Somewhere in the world right now….someone is on a $3 Walmart order”
The disdain for Walmart orders is so strong that some drivers even request to be removed from Walmart orders entirely (pic).
So what are the main complaints from drivers? Low pay, slow service at Walmart, infrequent tipping, and simply too much work for too little money.
Just check out these estimated payouts to see why drivers are upset: $3-$5 to spend 30+ minutes hauling heavy groceries, with no guaranteed tip. Normal Food deliveries are faster, easier, and frequently pay more.
It’s clear that DoorDash drivers don’t like Walmart orders. To get to the root of the issue, let’s look at how Walmart orders on DoorDash work, and what DoorDash and Walmart can do to improve the situation.
How the Pickup and Delivery Process Works for Walmart Orders on DoorDash
Here’s what the overall delivery process looks like for a Walmart order:
- Accept or decline the Walmart order request
- Navigate to the Walmart pickup area
- Wait for Walmart employee to load the order into the car
- Navigate to the customer
- Drop off the groceries at the customer’s door
Walmart orders might not look too different from a typical DoorDash food delivery, but the problems lie in the execution.
Problems with the DoorDash/Walmart Delivery Process
A Walmart order request looks the same as any other request: Drivers see the location of the Walmart, the customer drop off location, and a base payout amount.
A lot of complaints are with the pickup experience. Drivers say that pickup areas can be disorganized, and wait times vary wildly. It’s not supposed to take more than 5 minutes to get the groceries, but DoorDash drivers regularly report that it can take 20+ minutes.
Drop offs are another point of friction for drivers: Food deliveries are typically just a light bag or two, but Walmart orders can contain dozens of heavy items that must be dropped off at the customer’s door.
Imagine taking several trips to the car to haul cases of water up the stairs at an apartment complex. It’s a lot more work than a food delivery for the same, or sometimes less, pay.
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How DoorDash Drivers Get Paid for Walmart Orders
Payouts for DoorDash orders work the same way as a typical food delivery order: Drivers receive base pay + promotions + 100% of tips. Base pay is an algorithm that accounts for time, distance, and ‘desirability.’
The issue is that base pay can be quite low, sometimes as low as $3, and tipping for these orders seems to be less frequent than regular orders. Many DoorDash drivers share screenshots of orders in the $6 – $8 range, which isn’t terrible as long as the entire order doesn’t take too long. But when wait times are 20+ minutes with a long drive & delivery to follow, $6 doesn’t look so great.
One major difference is that Walmart customers can only tip AFTER the order is complete. On a typical DoorDash food delivery order, customers can tip during the checkout process. And tips are added to base pay on the order request screen, so drivers can see up front that the payout will be a lot higher than just the base pay. That’s not the case with Walmart orders.
Which would you accept: A food delivery that shows an up front payout of $10 to deliver a bag of food, or a Walmart grocery order with 25 items that shows a $5 payout and no guarantee of a tip?
Controversy: Does Walmart ‘Keep’ Tips on DoorDash Order? (Probably not)
Tips on Walmart orders can be so few and far between compared to food delivery that some drivers suspect that there is an issue with the payment system that prevents them from receiving tips.
There are a few issues at play: Unlike food delivery orders which allow tipping before or after an order, Walmart customers can only tip after the order is complete. This could result in a lower tipping rate because customers typically forget all about DoorDash once the delivery arrives on their doorstep.
The way payments are handled with Walmart orders might also cause a delay in tipping, or potentially missed tips.
I asked DoorDash for more clarity on how the payment system for DoorDash/Walmart orders works, and if it’s possible for Walmart to ‘keep’ tips that are intended for drivers.
A DoorDash rep said, “[Walmart order pay] is the base pay plus 100% of the tips. However, for Drive and Grocery order, the customer’s are placing the order directly to the store. We cannot see here in our system if there’s a customer’s tip or none. It still depends on the store if they will provide the tip or not.” [Pic of conversation]
With a typical food delivery order, payments are directly handled by DoorDash. With a Walmart order, payments are handled by Walmart. So it’s possible that Walmart settles orders differently than DoorDash, potentially sending out tips a later date than DoorDash typically would.
My take: Walmart isn’t keeping tips, but they might be slow to deliver them. And app design issues don’t encourage Walmart customers to tip.
Walmart Workers Chime in
DoorDash drivers don’t like Walmart orders, and it turns out that the feeling is mutual for Walmart workers. Walmart employees complain of impatient DoorDash drivers who become rude when wait times are longer than a few minutes. And then there’s the time a frustrated DoorDash drivers dumped a load of groceries in the Walmart loading area without telling anyone.
Another point of friction is that Walmart instructs workers not to load an order into a car if the driver or vehicle appears disheveled or unclean, or if the driver has young children in the car who can’t be left unattended. Imagine how uncomfortable it is for employees to turn a driver away, or to be turned away as a driver!
How Can DoorDash and Walmart Improve The Situation?
DoorDash drivers don’t like them, and Walmart workers aren’t big fans either. What can be done?
An easy improvement would be to allow and encourage Walmart customers to add a tip during the checkout process, then include that tip in the estimated payout that drivers see before they accept an order. That’s how it works for food delivery, and drivers vastly prefer that system.
One solution that’s easier said than done: Improve logistics. One of the major complaints from DoorDash drivers is that they have to wait far too long at Walmart to pick up an order. Some type of logistical upgrade is needed to streamline the process, but there’s no guarantee that DoorDash and Walmart will be able to sort that out.
DoorDash drivers: If the payout doesn’t look right, decline it! You can’t be deactivated for a low order acceptance rate, so you’re free to decline any order that doesn’t meet your standards.