Not home? Walmart wants to walk in and stock fridge
New York — Would you be OK with letting a stranger into your house for the sake of convenience?
Walmart is testing the idea with a new service that lets a delivery person walk into your home when you’re not there to drop off packages or put groceries in the fridge.
“This may not be for everyone,” wrote Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s head of e-commerce strategy, in a blog post Friday; “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.”
The retailer said it is trying out the service with a small group of tech-savvy Walmart.com shoppers in California’s Silicon Valley who have internet-connected locks. The delivery person is given a one-time code to open the door and customers get an alert on their smartphones when someone enters. If they have cameras set up in the home, customers can watch as their orders are dropped off.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other brick-and-mortar retailers have been working to make online orders easier for shoppers as they face increasing competition with online retail giant Amazon. Walmart, for example, recently teamed up with Google to offer voice-activated shopping on the tech company’s devices.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart said the in-home delivery service is aimed at busy families that don’t have time to stop at a store or unpack their groceries.