Walmart, the retail giant, is not resting on its laurels. It is embracing technology to continuously enhance its service offerings and achieve greater customer satisfaction. In an innovative new offering, Walmart recently announced it’s planning to deliver its customers home delivery packages inside their homes. This goes a step beyond leaving the packages at their doorsteps. This offering will be, however only for those customers who have August Security devices such as security locks, cameras, and doorbells. August offers home security solutions to provide homeowners controlled access to different people.
Customer is Always in Control of Delivery
The customer will always be kept updated about the order and the exact delivery time by sending notifications on his/her mobile phone. When the delivery person comes to deliver the groceries at customer’s house, the customer can allow time-bound, one-time access using the August smart lock to let the delivery person come in and place the groceries in the refrigerator or leave the package inside the home. The customer can watch the live feed of the delivery on his/her smartphone using security cameras. As the delivery person makes the delivery and exits customer’s home, the customer also receives a message on his/her phone when the door automatically locks. Furthermore, the company plans to deliver packages anywhere the customers specify.
Walmart is still working out the exact modalities for the service and the field testing will start soon. Currently, the program covers only select customers who have opted for the service. Walmart has chosen Silicon Valley for the testing of the new delivery program. Deliv will make the deliveries.
Multiple Delivery Options for Customers
This new inside-home delivery service is one of the several measures Walmart is adopting to rival the likes of Amazon. Walmart clearly wants to go all out to ensure its customers have the delivery option of their choice. The options introduced include 2-day shipping without any membership obligation, pickup discounts, curbside grocery pickups, and partnering with Uber for delivery. Walmart even asks its employees to deliver packages on their way home.
The delivery testing is currently limited to homes equipped with August security device. If, however, it proves successful, Walmart plans to partner with more smart-home device manufacturers to deliver groceries.
As fascinating as it may sound, the questions around safety and insurance are already coming up. Clearly, allowing entry to a stranger in your house is fraught with risk. Especially when you yourself have authorized the entry. What happens if a burglary or theft takes place? Will an insurance claim in such case be valid? What if the delivery person is attacked and injured inside your premises by someone such as your pet? There are multiple contentious questions around the service for which there are currently no clear answers.
The service is still in the early stages of development. Among other things, Walmart hasn’t yet decided on the pricing. However, Walmart has given the idea a serious thought before entering the fray. It is targeting urban population who are already comfortable with the idea of people such as cleaning crews entering their homes while they are away. If successful, this could unlock a great new door to customer satisfaction for Walmart.