Walmart has unveiled a new delivery service in collaboration with smart lock firm August Homes which will see a delivery person from the retail giant deliver groceries straight into the fridges of shoppers. The service is aimed at shoppers who have no time to do grocery shopping or even organize the items they recently bought.
“What if we created a service that not only did my grocery shopping and brought everything to my home, but even went so far as to put it directly into my fridge?” posed the e-commerce vice president at Walmart, Sloan Eddleston, in an online post aimed at promoting the service.
Currently Walmart’s fridge restocking service is available to August Home users in Silicon Valley. Shoppers will receive a notification via their August Home mobile app the moment their purchases are dropped off by a delivery person. The delivery guy will get a one-time passcode which a customer has to pre-authorize in order for the smart lock to open. A home owner will receive a notification once the doorbell is rang and no one answers it. Home owners will also be in a position to watch every step the delivery guy makes inside their house in real-time on their mobile devices.
Items that are not perishable are dropped off at the entrance by the delivery person while those that are perishable are placed in the fridge inside the kitchen. Once the delivery has been completed, home owners will get a notification in their mobile devices indicated that the door to their house has been locked.
From social media comments however, some people think the delivery service is a bit creepy and would not try it. The chief executive officer of eMeals, Forrest Collier, says this is to be expected since adoption of new ways of doing things take time before it enjoys mainstream acceptance. Collier cited the case of both Airbnb and Uber which have revolutionized home stays and transportation respectively though a couple of years ago no one would have thought allowing strangers stay in one’s houses or letting strangers ferry them would become the norm rather than the exception.
Compared to its rivals such as Target Corporation and Kroger, Walmart is proving to be more innovative according to the chief executive officer of meal kit firm Terra’s Kitchen, Michael McDevitt. Other delivery services that Walmart offers include 2-day shipping. Walmart’s employees can also deliver online orders to shoppers as they go home from work.