The retail grocery industry has been on edge as of late in the wake of Amazon’s recent takeover of Whole Foods. As the dust settles on this massive acquisition announcement, Walmart just let us know they’re willing to try one pretty novel idea to stay competitive – taking their grocery delivery service all the way to your fridge. The retail giant is beginning a test where grocery delivery workers can go ahead and stock your fridge with the food you ordered even if you’re not home.
Don’t worry, they won’t be breaking any windows or door locks to do this. Walmart is partnering with smart-doorbell company August Home as well as same-day-delivery service Deliv so they can walk right in.
How it works is you order your groceries on Walmart’s website first. A Deliv associate will bring your order to your home and give your smart doorbell a ring. If you’re not home, they get a one-time password to let them enter and drop your groceries off inside your home or directly in the fridge.
As the customer, you’re notified of the delivery from start to finish on your smartphone and you even get to monitor the delivery worker from afar using the August Home smart cameras you’ve installed in your house. The initial test is limited to volunteering customers in Silicon Valley, likely to gauge the creepiness factor before trying to expand to other places.
Walmart does admit the service isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea: “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,” wrote Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s VP of eCommerce strategy and business operations, in an announcement.
Still, the company should get some credit for creative thinking with this service. It just might find its niche as the perfect solution for the busy family willing to pay for the convenience of guaranteeing a full inventory every time they open that refrigerator door.