Smart home partnership opens doors to more in-home delivery
Last year news broke about the two titans of today’s retail world, Amazon.com and Walmart, working independently on methods to deliver products directly into smart homes rather than leaving packages on the porch. But now, thanks to one startup, in-home delivery is no longer limited to retail’s two biggest names.
August Homes, a smart home locks startup, which partnered with Walmart on its initial in-home delivery initiative, is now working to enable the service for customers of delivery startup Deliv, according to CNBC. Deliv’s retail accounts include Macy’s, Plated, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Walgreens. As with the Walmart service, a Deliv employee who is making a smart home delivery will be given a unique code that gives them one-time access to the residence. August Homes is planning relationships with other delivery services as well.
The prospect of delivery inside private residences has garnered both praise and criticism.
On one hand, it offers a way to stop the “porch piracy” — theft of packages from a porch or front stoop — which is perceived to be on the rise with the ascendancy of e-commerce. It also prevents customers, especially those who are not home during conventional delivery hours, from missing deliveries and getting into protracted back-and-forth interactions with logistics companies to find a suitable delivery window.
On the other, it gives a stranger full access to individuals’ homes.
Amazon has sought to address this with a particular feature of its Amazon Key in-home delivery service for Prime members. Amazon Key includes a security camera as part of its package, which allows customers to watch the delivery remotely as it occurs. Amazon also stated that it had a vetting process in place for delivery personnel.
It is not clear if there is an additional vetting process for Deliv drivers tasked with in-home delivery.
August Home is also making its platform for in-home delivery available to other smart lock companies, according to CNBC. Yale residential and commercial locks are slated to begin using the platform.
- Retailers (not just Amazon and Walmart) can unlock your front door now — if you let them – CNBC
- Amazon to begin making in-home deliveries in 37 cities – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you expect that smart home owners will regularly use in-home delivery from multiple retailers in the years ahead? Will customers be more likely to use in-home delivery services from retailers partnering with services such as Deliv? Do you expect UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service to move into in-home delivery, as well?