There's no arguing that a grocery delivery service would make shopping for groceries much less of a chore. And with the service that Walmart is testing out, you'd be able to get your full list of items delivered right to your fridge—even when you're not at home. The company announced that they're testing this delivery service in the Silicon Valley to a small group of August Home users. August Home is a company that creates smart locks that allow for a keyless entry into your home. Through the app that comes along with the service, you'll be notified if your door's left unlocked and have the chance to lock it through the app. It's like home security on-the-go. And Walmart's delivery service takes the convenience of this home system to the next level.
How Does It Work?
OK, so here's how it works: You place your order for the groceries you need online through Walmart.com. A driver with the service Deliv will drive your items to your home (Deliv is a delivery service Sam's Club started testing in Miami last year). You'll get a notification on your phone when the driver arrives. If no one is home, the driver will use a one-time code given to access your August Home lock and will let himself/herself into your home and put your groceries away. If you have the August Home cameras installed in your house, you can watch this happen live though the August Home app. When the driver leaves, you'll get a notification that the door is locked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bOuVjbcTgs
How Will This Work On A Larger Scale?
According to the announcement from Walmart, this is just the beginning for their in-home delivery service. But, they don't have solid answers to how exactly this will work for those who don't have smart home locks. Here's what they said in a statement:
And we want to do more in the future by delivering groceries and other orders in whatever location works best for our customers – inside the house for some and in the fridge/freezer in the garage for others. The possibilities are endless, and we look forward to exploring how we can further serve our customers’ needs.
So, they are willing to take customer feedback, which is important. Of course, Walmart already offers a delivery service for when you are home. Plus, they also offer free curbside pickup at their stores, which means you can order your groceries online but never step foot in the store—just drive up and load them into your car. They're also testing some other pretty quirky concepts, such as a massive vending-machine-style pickup building in some locations.
What Are The Reactions?
But, based on the reactions online, more people seem to be into the idea of getting their groceries all on their own. Twitter user CeeJayMac850 has an excellent point about pets. They might not react so well to strangers in the house. https://twitter.com/CeeJayMac850/status/912261352206618625 And most people seem to think this is just all-round a bad idea. https://twitter.com/jonathan_leigh/status/912260570195390464 Most agree that there are some safety considerations to take into account, too. https://twitter.com/LupeSiddharth/status/911805741383565312 Although, there are some who like this idea—especially if the Walmart delivery service cleans the house while they're there! https://twitter.com/emmeyc/status/911813905256714245 But, on a serious note, there are some who really like the convenience aspect of this service. https://twitter.com/petedalliday/status/912286629334798336 There's also a great point that this could work well for elderly folks or disabled individuals who can't make it to the grocery store easily. https://twitter.com/property1/status/911893140541493248
The Future of Walmart
Overall, it seems as though it's a little soon to tell how this will pan out. But, this is just one of the ways Walmart's looking to keep up with online retailers such as Amazon.
These tests are a natural evolution of what Walmart is all about—an obsession in saving our customers not just money but also time, making our customers’ lives easier in the process. What might seem novel today could be the standard tomorrow. This may not be for everyone—and certainly not right away—but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future.
So, even if this delivery service doesn't seem like the best idea, Walmart certainly seems willing to exploring new options—which could be a great thing for consumers in the long run.