Walmart this week said it would roll out in three cities what it has dubbed InHome Delivery, a high-touch version of unattended delivery whereby a Walmart associate will deliver groceries direct to customers’ refrigerators.
The service will launch this fall in Pittsburgh; Kansas City, Mo.; and Vero Beach, Fla.
Customers in those cities will have the option to select InHome Delivery on their online grocery orders. At the time of delivery, associates will use smart entry technology and a proprietary, wearable camera to access the customer’s home, allowing customers to control access into their homes and giving them the ability to watch the deliveries remotely.
Walmart tested a similar solution in San Francisco two years ago, using smart locks from August Home and delivery provided by Deliv. The new service will use trained Walmart employees to make the delivery and enter the home. Walmart did not make it immediately clear whether it would provide or sell the smart lock technology required, but videos posted online would indicate it would work with a Walmart app.
Officials of Deliv and August Home said customers in the 2017 test were highly satisfied with it, indicating a willingness to both recommend the service to friends and to pay for it.
The test was also effective at reducing lost and stolen items and was seen as a potential way to offer consumers additional comfort in buying high-value items online for delivery, they said.
Walmart said it would announce a price for the service later this year.
In a blog, post Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart e-commerce, said it was “exciting how leveraging our stores and amazing associates for services like this opens up more possibilities in the future. For example, later this year, InHome will also accept returns for items purchased on Walmart.com–customers can just leave them on the counter and their InHome Delivery associate will return the items on their behalf.”