- Walmart has made its online grocery-ordering services available on the Avanlee Care app, which provides tools for caregivers of older adults, Avanlee announced Tuesday.
- People who use the caregiver app can now place grocery orders for delivery or pickup, which are then fulfilled by Walmart. The app also allows users to monitor health and mood, coordinate care, track medication usage and plan social activities.
- The partnership comes at a time when the grocery and technology industries still face challenges in making online shopping more accessible to older adults even as the pandemic has encouraged e-commerce adoption.
For Walmart, the partnership expands its customer base for e-commerce as the retailer leans into offering an omnichannel experience that builds on its extensive fleet of stores across the country.
“We've been trying to position the company everywhere to be a bit indifferent as it relates to how people want to shop,” President and CEO Doug McMillon said during a Q&A with the investor community last Friday.
“If they want to pick up an order, great. If they want delivery, great. If they want a different kind of delivery, great. If they want to come to the store, great. And we think families are going to do all of the above,” McMillon added.
Avanlee app users can make multiple in-app grocery shopping lists for different family members to speed up the online basket-building process and make it faster to reorder items. Users can also set up in-app messages and calendar reminders to let their family members and caregivers know the status of the orders.
The announcement from Avanlee about the partnership cited an AARP report indicating roughly 90% of people ages 65 and older in the U.S. want to “age in place” in their homes and communities. The report also estimates that more people in the U.S. will be over the age of 65 than under the age of 18 by 2034.
As the U.S. population gets older, Avanlee noted caregivers are facing more pressure. While e-commerce can help overcome some of the barriers older adults may face in getting groceries, they can have unique challenges with online ordering, from lacking digital literacy skills to missing the social components of in-store shopping.
A case study about designing an e-commerce grocery product geared toward people ages 55-60 identified three main challenges: vision, motor control and cognition, product designer Megha Goyal shared on Medium.
Earlier in the pandemic, several companies announced new digital options to attract older shoppers. In March 2020, H-E-B rolled out a dedicated delivery service for people ages 60 years and older with a limited assortment of items available to order via phone, the H-E-B app or its website. Meanwhile, Instacart has placed an emphasis on boosting services to make it easier for older shoppers to use its service, like launching a Senior Support Service in late 2020 for people over the age of 60 in the U.S. and Canada.