Walmart is set to conquer last mile delivery by going the last few steps. Starting this Fall it will offer more than a million customers grocery delivery directly into their refrigerators.
After piloting the service the mega retailer is ready to expand. Walmart calls the service InHome Delivery and it allows the delivery driver to enter the customer’s home and place their grocery order into their fridge even when they aren’t there. Walmart announced the service will launch this Fall in Pittsburgh, PA, Kansas City, MO, and Vero Beach, FL, and expand soon after.
Customers place a grocery order and then select InHome Delivery and a delivery day at checkout. Then a Walmart associate picks the grocery order for them and when it’s delivered, the driver uses smart entry technology, thanks to a partnership with smart lock manufacturer August Home, to access the customer’s home and deposit the groceries directly into refrigerators.
The delivery associate wears a proprietary camera, allowing customers to control access into their homes and giving them the ability to watch the deliveries remotely. Customers can watch the entire delivery live as it's happening or view the archived video later. They will be able to see the whole process, from the opening of their door, to the stocking of their fridge and every step in between, until the associate leaves and locks up.
The delivery associates, whose jobs are focused on this service, go through an extensive training program to prepare them to enter customers’ homes and teach them how to select the freshest grocery items and organize the most efficient refrigerator, according to Walmart.
Walmart has yet to say how much it will charge for the service. The retailer did note that it also plans to add an additional InHome service “later this year,” in which Walmart will accept online returns – customers can just leave them on the counter and their InHome Delivery associate will return the items on their behalf.