Are you searching for the best delivery driver gig? If so, you’re probably well aware of your numerous options. From Uber Eats to GrubHub, the gig economy offers a ton of possibilities for you to choose from.
One of them is becoming a Walmart Spark Driver. And if you’re here, it means you’re considering Spark as a legitimate candidate for your future food and grocery delivery endeavors.
Is becoming a Spark driver worth it, however? What are the requirements to become one? And how does the Spark Driver app compares to other delivery services?
Read our guide and learn everything you need to know before applying for the Spark delivery gig.
What Is Walmart Spark?
Walmart Spark is a delivery app that allows users to order groceries and food online from Walmart stores. To provide their delivery service, Walmart works with Spark, which is a third-party delivery platform.
That’s the first thing you need to learn. Walmart doesn’t own Spark.
Spark is a separate entity. It’s a delivery service, just like Uber Eats or DoorDash, that hires drivers as independent contractors. These drivers can then pick their routes and batches, delivering food, groceries, and other products to the Spark App users.
In other words, as a Spark driver, you won’t be responsible just for Walmart deliveries but for other orders as well. But let’s focus on the Walmart-Spark relationship here.
As a Walmart Spark delivery driver, you will be responsible for delivering goods from Walmart stores to the customers’ doorsteps. The process here is simple:
- A customer places an order using their Walmart app.
- The Spark Driver app then assigns the nearest driver to deliver the order.
- If the driver accepts the delivery order, their job is to collect it from the store and deliver it to the customer.
Sometimes, Walmart delivery drivers are required to do the shopping themselves. In most cases, however, the driver only has to go to a designated loading area and pick up the completed order.
And what can that order be? Anything from food and groceries to general merchandise, such as electronics, cleaning supplies, etc.
How To Start Delivering for Walmart Spark?
The first thing to do when signing up for the Spark Driver program is to check whether it’s available in your location. To do that, head to the “Join Spark Driver” page on their website and go through the list of available cities and states.
Scroll down until you find your preferred location. Once you do, click on the region to begin the enrollment process.
The case may also be that Walmart may not need new drivers in your local Spark Driver community. In such a case, you can either wait until a new driver slot opens or search for another area near you with open driver slots.
What Are the Spark Driver Requirements?
Although the exact requirements may depend on specific states, typically, to become a Spark driver, you will need to:
- be at least 18 years old,
- have a reliable vehicle,
- have a valid driver’s license,
- have proof of car insurance.
Obviously, you will also need a smartphone to use the Spark app.
What Is the Application Process?
If you meet all the above requirements and Spark Driver deliveries are available in your location, you can fill out the enrollment form that pops up after you sign up.
Once you apply, you will receive an email from Delivery Drivers, Inc (DDI), Spark’s third-party administrator. You’ll then be asked to log into their platform to complete more paperwork.
Once you finish everything, DDI will start your background check. It usually takes between 2 and 7 business days, but it can take longer, depending on the location.
Once DDI completes your background check, you will receive the confirmation email with info on how to finish your signup process. The last thing to do is register your vehicle, download the app, and wait for your first delivery order.
How To Use the Spark Driver App?
To start, you need to open your Spark Driver app and turn on the “Spark Now” feature to show you’re available and ready to receive delivery requests.
Once you receive the delivery request, it will provide you with all the necessary information, including:
- the guaranteed minimum payout,
- store location,
- pickup and delivery timeframe,
- and type of order.
Based on this data, you can decide whether to accept or decline the offer.
If you accept the order, you will need to drive to the specific Walmart store and follow the instructions to pick it up. Typically, you will pick it up from the Walmart parking lot, but you may sometimes be required to go inside or even do the shopping yourself.
Once you pick the order up, you need to deliver it according to the instructions stated in the order.
Types of Spark Delivery Orders
You can come across three types of delivery when driving for Walmart Spark. These are:
- Round Robin Orders. Round-robin offers are sent directly to an individual driver, depending on the proximity, availability, and several other metrics. When you receive such a request, you will have several minutes to accept it.
- First Come, First Serve Offers. Such an offer is sent to all Spark drivers available in the specific delivery area. The first driver to accept it gets to deliver it.
- Surge Orders. Sometimes, when the demand for drivers is high, but the supply is low, you may come across offers labeled as “Surge Pricing.” These offer higher earnings as an incentive for the available drivers to accept.
As for the orders themselves, they divide into four categories:
- Curbside Orders. In this case, Spark drivers are to arrive and check in at a reserved parking space. They will then need to wait for a Walmart associate to load the order.
- Dotcom Orders. These are non-grocery delivery orders, for example, cleaning supplies, electronics, home accessories, etc. A driver needs to pick them up inside the store.
- Express Deliveries. An express delivery option allows Walmart customers to receive their grocery delivery within two hours time. Drivers pick these up inside the store as well.
- Shopping and Delivery Orders. As the name suggests, when delivering such an order, you will have to go to the store and collect the order item-by-item. You will then pay using the QR code in the app and deliver it as usual.
Driver Performance Metrics
Speaking of orders, how you complete them plays a massive role in your work. Spark uses four metrics to measure its drivers’ performance: acceptance-rate, on-time arrival, drop order rate, and customer rating.
- Acceptance Rate. It refers to the number of accepted offers you receive. For instance, if you received 50 offers and accepted 40 of them, your acceptance rate would be 80%.
- On-time Arrival. The metric measures how often you arrive at the store within 15 minutes of the scheduled pickup time.
- Drop Order Rate. It calculates how many orders you canceled less than 30 minutes before the pickup time.
- Customer Rating. Customers can rate the driver on a 5-grade scale, where 1 is the lowest and 5 is the highest.
These are calculated based on the 50 most recent orders completed. Drivers with the best performance ratings receive order priority, so it’s best to keep them all in check.
How Does Walmart Spark Pay?
Now to the most important reasons you’re reading this guide: how much do Spark drivers make?
A short answer would be $19.68 per hour. That’s the national average calculated using a handy tool from Indeed.
These are just rough estimations, though. In reality, it’s difficult to tell how much you might earn as a Walmart Spark driver. There are several factors that come into play here, including:
- the number of hours you work,
- the type of your order,
- potential tips,
- additional factors, e.g., distance traveled, delays encountered at pick-up, order size, etc.
That said, calculating the exact amount is practically impossible. Generally speaking, you should expect to earn something between $13 and $30 per delivery.
Your delivery area also plays a significant role in your earnings. For instance, driving in a bigger city with numerous Walmart stores means higher demand for Walmart delivery drivers.
The more deliveries you make, the more money you can earn.
On the other hand, driving in a city also comes with several challenges, including higher parking rates, traffic, and higher competition.
How Are Spark Drivers Paid?
Spark drivers get paid via the Branch app every Tuesday. The Branch Wallet allows you to receive your payments, which you can later store, transfer, or spend. The app also allows you to track your payment history.
Another essential thing to note here is that Spark drivers need to pay their fuel and vehicle expenses as independent contractors. As a Spark driver, you will also pay your own taxes each year.
Can Spark Delivery Drivers Accept Tips?
Yes, they can. Moreover, if you become a Spark delivery driver, tips will play a rather significant role in your total income.
And the best part is that you can keep 100% of your tips.
A customer can include a tip when placing an order or do it post-delivery. Sometimes, you may even expect an extra cash tip.
Side note: Customers have 24 hours to adjust their tip. That may lead to tip baiting. It is when a customer offers a lucrative pre-delivery tip for completing an order to incentivize the driver, only to decrease it after the delivery is complete.
Are There Any Spark Driver Promotions and Incentives?
Okay, tips are one way to increase your Spark delivery earnings. The second is taking advantage of a number of incentives offered by the Spark Driver platform.
Spark drivers qualify for four different bonus incentive offers:
- Lump-Sum Incentives. Get a bonus payment for completing a given number of deliveries.
- Tiered Incentives. These are a series of lump-sum incentives offered in tiers. For example, earn extra 30 bucks for completing five deliveries and 60 for completing ten.
- Guaranteed Payment Amount Incentives. Spark will pay the difference if a driver doesn’t earn a guaranteed minimum amount after completing a given number of orders.
Pay-Per-Trip Incentives. An additional amount is paid for a trip. For example, Spark can grant a driver an extra $5 for each delivery completed after a given hour.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Being a Walmart Spark Driver?
Do you live in an area with busy Walmart stores? If yes, then becoming a Spark driver might be an excellent choice to get into the delivery gig.
However, like every other similar gig, delivering for Spark has its pros and cons. Pros and cons you need to consider before you decide whether it’s the best option for you. And while many of these pros and cons coincide with the ones concerning other delivery apps, several unique features will affect your final decision.
Below, we’ve listed some of the most significant advantages and disadvantages of Walmart Spark:
- Delivering for Spark offers an excellent way to earn extra money;
- As a Spark driver, you’re your own boss. Adjust your own schedule and work flexible hours;
- Spark drivers operate only out of the Walmarts in their zone;
- A handful of promotions and incentives to boost your earnings;
- Spark drivers get to keep 100% of their tips;
- You can be only 18 years old to start delivering for Spark.
- You may not earn much when driving within a smaller market;
- Spark algorithm requires drivers to maintain a high acceptance rate (over 70%). That means accepting low-pay orders you’d have otherwise skipped;
- You may be forced to carry heavier items, such as electronics or home supplies;
- The app itself lacks quality compared to other similar services.
What Separates Spark From Other Delivery Apps?
At first glance, Spark looks like your other average food and grocery delivery app. And while it offers many identical features, several features set it apart from its competitors.
First, while most other similar apps, like Uber Eats or GrubHub, offer only grocery and food delivery, Spark also offers general Walmart merchandise delivery. That means Spark users can also order electronics, clothes, or home goods besides ordering food and grocery items.
The second thing is that Spark drivers only operate within a pre-determined delivery zone. That said, you can expect only to deliver orders within a given range, providing you with more flexibility and avoiding driving too far from your location.
Is Walmart Spark legitimate?
Of course, it is. However, you must remember that you won’t be a Walmart employee. As a Spark delivery driver, you are an independent contractor for DDI, which is Spark’s third-party administrator.
This means it’s not Walmart that pays you for the deliveries but DDI. Walmart can only expect you to complete a given number of daily deliveries, which depends on your assigned area. Besides that requirement, you’re your own boss.
How much can I make as a Spark driver?
An average base pay per hour for a Spark driver in the US is $19.68. How much you’ll earn, however, will depend on numerous factors, including how many and what types of deliveries you complete. In some instances, Spark can offer great pay, with many drivers treating it more like a full-time job rather than a gig.
Does Spark have a referral program?
Yes, it does. In fact, it offers drivers an excellent way to earn a few extra bucks. Referring a friend can grant you between 200 and 300 bucks. And if they become a new driver for Walmart, they can expect to receive extra pay up to $150 after delivering the first four orders.
What vehicle can I use for Spark deliveries?
Spark allows drivers to use any vehicle they want as long as it’s a car with valid auto insurance. Bicycles and scooters aren’t accepted, as they don’t have enough storage room for Walmart deliveries. That’s another thing that separates Spark from other similar services.
Can I drive for other delivery apps while being a Spark driver?
Yes, you can. Moreover, we strongly recommend that. As long as you have your own vehicle and more time on your hands, driving for several delivery services simultaneously can earn you a lot of money.
Become a Spark Driver and Earn Extra Money
Wrapping things up, becoming a Spark delivery driver for Walmart is an exciting opportunity to earn extra money. Walmart remains the undisputed king of retail in the US, and with online orders becoming more popular each year, now is the right time to turn that trend into profit.
Sure, Spark may not be as popular as other similar services, but given its clear and acceptable requirements, rules, earning opportunities, and bonuses, it’s one of the best delivery services available for drivers.
If you like to work on your own terms and schedule, Spark grants you the freedom you need to thrive. Apply today and reap the numerous benefits of Spark Walmart deliveries.
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I loved the way Todd left our groceries neatly on the porch with a cute little note!
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