Very soon, Walmart shoppers will be able to buy fresh groceries without ever stepping foot on the store’s campus. The retail giant is rolling out a delivery service this fall in the U.S., which will allow customers to have their groceries brought directly from Walmart’s food aisle to their home’s refrigerator. Perhaps the most interesting detail about the new service is that customers don’t even need to be present at home when the groceries are delivered.
According to The Verge, the InHome service will be available to customers in select cities across the U.S. Walmart employees, wearing proprietary cameras, will deliver the groceries via Walmart vehicles. They will use undisclosed “smart entry technology” to deliver the food straight to the fridge. Meanwhile, customers can control access and watch the entire delivery remotely.
Walmart explained in a statement that their employees will receive “extensive training” to ensure that they “treat customers’ homes with the same care and respect with which they treat a friend’s or family’s home.”
Employees will also be trained on efficient ways to organize a refrigerator.
The new service will be available to over 1 million customers in Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Vero Beach, Florida. Walmart has not announced delivery fees or explained how employees will gain access to homes.
Following the InHome launch, customers will eventually be able to return Walmart.com items by leaving them on the counter in their home. Employees will collect the items upon delivery. However, it is unclear how customers will receive their refund.
“Now we can serve customers not just in the last mile, but in the last 15 feet,” Walmart said of the service.
No thanks! Liability comes to mind, what if: the delivery person gets hurt; or lets the "inside only" cat out; or something "goes missing"? So much can go wrong. https://t.co/5wSKMbDGw4
— Natalia Corres (@Ncorres) June 7, 2019
The retail giant rolled out a grocery pick-up service earlier this year, which allows customers to order groceries from their local Walmart and pick them up at a designated time. Walmart employees deliver the groceries directly to customers’ trunks, so customers never have to leave their cars.
Business Insider reported that the Store Pick-Up option has seen tremendous success, with 76 percent of Walmart curbside pick-up customers saying they save time by shopping online. Meanwhile, 64 percent feel the experience is enjoyable.
According to Reuters, Walmart’s InHome service will follow an attempt previously made in 2017 with smart security company August Home and third-party courier Deliv. The trial ended one year later.
InHome will directly compete with Amazon’s Key home delivery service, which allows packages to be delivered inside customers’ homes, garages, or cars.