Will customers give Walmart the keys to their homes?
Walmart has announced that it is launching its InHome Delivery program in the Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Vero Beach markets. The service gives Walmart delivery people access to customers’ garages or homes where they will put refrigerated and frozen products away in refrigerators.
Customers participating in the program are required to purchase a smart door or garage lock kit for $49.95. Membership to the program is being billed at an introductory price of $19.95 a month for an unlimited number of deliveries. The new service is seen by many as Walmart’s answer to Amazon.com’s Key Service.
Delivery associates will use smart entry technology to enter the homes of customers. Their actions are tracked through wearable cameras. While Walmart typically uses third-party couriers to deliver groceries, only employees who have been with the company for a minimum of a year are eligible to participate in training to work in the InHome program.
“With InHome Delivery, we’re putting more well-deserved time in the hands of our customers,” wrote Bart Stein, SVP, membership and InHome, in a blog post on Walmart’s corporate site. “Take Laura, a mom of three in Kansas City with a full-time job as a graphic designer. Laura loves baking banana bread with her kids but doesn’t have enough time to shop for the ingredients after work and get it out of the oven before bedtime. Now, with InHome Delivery, Laura can order all the ingredients she needs and have them delivered directly into her fridge while she’s at work — no more late-night trips to the store or taking time out of Sunday afternoons with her family.”
Walmart, Mr. Stein told CNBC, intends to use learnings from the test markets “to grow and scale” the program on a national level.
InHome Delivery is the latest signal that Walmart intends to be aggressive in pushing what it sees as its grocery advantage. Last month, the chain announced the expansion of its Delivery Unlimited grocery subscription program to 1,400 stores across the U.S. Customers have the option of paying a yearly fee of $98 or $12.95 a month to entitle them to delivery of an unlimited number of grocery orders. Walmart expanded the program after conducting tests in Houston, Miami, Salt Lake City and Tampa earlier this year.
- InHome Delivery Service Officially Launches in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach – Walmart
- Walmart will now put groceries right in your fridge, starting in 3 cities Tuesday – CNBC
- In power move, Walmart expands Delivery Unlimited – RetailWire
- Walmart debuts store-to-fridge fresh food delivery service – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you expect Walmart to learn in the three initial markets for InHome Delivery? Do you see large numbers of Americans participating in the program as Walmart rolls it out on a national basis?