Delivering orders inside customers’ homes tops Walmart’s to do list for 2022 – and it means the retailer is creating a new full-time position for retail workers.
The retailer plans to scale its InHome delivery service, taking InHome from being available to 6 million households to making it accessible to 30 million U.S. households by the end of the year.
Launched in 2019, Walmart’s InHome delivery service includes associates dropping off online orders, including groceries, directly into customers’ homes. The associates place items straight into customers’ kitchen or garage refrigerator and will also pick up Walmart.com returns left out. According to Walmart, associates take appropriate safety measures, including wearing a mask, sanitizing surfaces and locking up.
[See also: Walmart to Pilot New Form of Grocery Delivery]
To support the rapidly growing service, this year Walmart plans to hire more than 3,000 InHome associate delivery drivers and equip them with a fleet of 100% all-electric delivery vans. The implementation of electric vehicles (EV) supports the retailer’s goal of operating a zero-emissions logistics fleet by 2040. Walmart has 1,396 EV charging stations at stores and clubs across 41 states so far.
The role of associate delivery driver is a new, up and coming full-time position in Walmart stores that is focused on employing highly-qualified associates. InHome drivers are employed by Walmart and receive an extra $1.50/hour from most current store roles, a pay differential designed to attract top talent.
Associates qualify for the retailer’s total rewards and benefits plans, including medical, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) matching, paid time off, no-cost counseling and access to a free college degree, with Walmart paying for 100% of tuition and books through its Live Better U program.
Walmart said it will fill these roles by promoting its own associates from within. InHome drivers receive in-depth training conducted both in-person and using virtual reality, further enabling them to build their skillset around using innovative tools and technology to manage the delivery process.
“This new role is yet another example of how technology is enabling us to offer new career opportunities that just didn’t exist a few years ago,” said Julie Murphy, executive vice president and chief people officer, Walmart U.S. “Expanding our number of InHome associates is a testament to the trust and confidence we have in them and their continuous commitment to delight our customers. There’s a path for everyone to build a career here at Walmart, and this position is further proof of that.”
Walmart’s InHome Delivery service is $19.95 per month or $148 per year, with no additional fees, including tips, which are built into the membership price.
Once signed up for InHome, a customer places their order on the Walmart App and selects InHome as their preferred delivery option. Upon arriving at the customer’s home, the associate uses a one-time access code to unlock the customer’s door or garage through their InHome app, which pairs with smart entry technology. The app notifies the customer at every step and a camera, worn on the associates’ vest, records the entire delivery, which customers have access to from their phones for up to a week after each delivery. Customers can extend one-time access to their InHome associate using an existing smart lock, a garage keypad, or by purchasing a new smart lock from InHome for $49.95.
“We’ve been operating InHome in select markets over the last two years and have found it is a perfect solution for customers who want to live their lives without worrying about making it to the store or being home to accept a delivery,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president, last mile at Walmart U.S. “Identifying ways to help our customers save time and money is our purpose, and nothing showcases that better than InHome delivery, which is why we’re excited to bring the convenience of InHome to even more customers in 2022.”
Walmart also offers delivery and Express delivery on 160,000-plus items from more than 3,400 Walmart stores, and is trialing solutions like drones and self-driving cars. More recently, Walmart began commercializing its nationwide delivery capabilities through Walmart GoLocal, a white-label delivery as a service business focused on providing third-party retailers a local delivery solution.