Would You Let Walmart Unlock Your Front Door?
People who want their groceries delivered straight into the fridge, you're in luck—Walmart is testing a system that will send delivery drivers through your locked door and all the way into your kitchen.
The new frontier of delivery was announced today with a post in the "innovation" section of Walmart's blog by VP of eCommerce Strategy and Business Operations Sloan Eddleston, who says the service began with the company wondering how it could help busy families like his own ensure that heir fridge was always stocked.
The potential answer, which is currently being tested within the fairly specific demographic of "people in Silicon Valley who own smarthomes from August Home," currently involves several steps. First, users will place an order on Walmart's website for their groceries, which will dispatch a driver from Deliv, a Walmart-owned company that uses drivers on services like Uber and Lyft for last mile deliveries, to bring it to your smarthome.
If no one answers when they ring the bell though, things get interesting. Using a pre-authorized one-time passcode, the deliverer can unlock the smarthome's smart lock, and take the groceries right into your kitchen, where they'll unpack and store them for you. Don't worry though! You'll receive a phone notification that it's happening, and if you want, can watch the delivery in real time with your smarthome's security camera system via the August app, so, as Eddleston says, you'll be "in control of the experience the entire time."
Whether shoppers in Silicon Valley (or anywhere) actually want delivery drivers walking around their empty homes, however smart, remains to be seen, but the retail giant clearly thinks it’s a boundary worth pushing. "Think about that," Eddleston encourages busy families like his: "someone else does the shopping for you AND puts it all away."
While Walmart doesn't mention how long or where else the test will run, it hopes to further expand deliveries to "whatever location works best for [their] customers," so whether the boundaries of delivery are shattered or remain intact just may be up to you.