Walmart’s new service, InHome Delivery, delivers fresh groceries directly into refrigerators within shoppers’ homes and garages.
Customers place a grocery order online, select InHome Delivery and pick a delivery time. The homeowner gets an alert when the delivery person is near their house and is able to watch the delivery live or view it later. Walmart wrote on the InHome Delivery’s microsite, “You’ll be able to see the whole process, from the opening of your door, to the stocking of your fridge and every step in between, until our associate leaves and locks up.”
InHome works similarly to the Amazon Key delivery service. Among the differences:
- Amazon Key requires that homeowners purchase an indoor security camera and a compatible smart lock. Homeowners grant temporary access to delivery couriers, guests or non-Amazon services such as dry cleaners and dog walkers. Customers using Walmart’s InHome must have the company install a smart lock on the outside of their home or garage, and the device specifically supports the retailer’s delivery service. Walmart’s delivery people gain one-time access.
- Amazon Key couriers drop off the packages inside to avoid items getting stolen. Walmart InHome Delivery is tailored for fresh grocery items, with deliveries landing in the fridge.
- Couriers using Amazon Key’s system may be from third-party delivery services. Walmart InHome Delivery couriers are exclusively Walmart employees who are required to have worked at the local Walmart for at least a year to be eligible for the job, which becomes the employees’ main responsibility. In a blog entry, Marc Lore, president and CEO, Walmart e-commerce U.S., said the couriers “go through an extensive training program which prepares them to enter customers’ homes with the same care and respect with which they would treat a friend’s or family’s home — not to mention how to select the freshest grocery items and organize the most efficient refrigerator.”
- Customers will eventually be able to leave items on the counter to be returned.
The service is being tested this fall in three cities: Kansas City, MO, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, FL. Pricing will be provided closer to launch.