Walmart employees will deliver groceries directly into your fridge
It’s the next frontier of trust economy. Walmart today announced that it was launching Walmart InHome Delivery, a new service designed to directly stock customers' homes, thus helping them avoid a trip to the grocery store. Customers can order fresh groceries and everyday essentials and have them delivered directly into their kitchen.
According the Arkansas-based retail giant, the new service will help customers save time and offer a convenient choice for grocery shopping. Making this announcement on the sidelines of the shareholders' meeting at Bentonville, Arkansas in the US, President and CEO, Walmart Inc. Doug McMillon, said, “Once we learned how to do pickup well, we knew it would unlock the ability to deliver. But what if we not only cover the last mile to customers’ homes but even the last few steps? What if we put their groceries away inside their kitchens or garages? Imagine keeping homes in stock like we do stores.”
The InHome Delivery will start this fall in the US and will be available for nearly one million customers, across three cities: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Vero Beach, Florida. Doug McMillon added, “We’ll learn, and scale from there.”
To a question by YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma on what more will this lead to, President and CEO of Walmart ecommerce US Marc Lore, said, “Once trust is established we will see where all that can be extended to as a service which will make lives easy for our customers.”
Here’s how it works
- Customers place a grocery order and then select InHome Delivery and a delivery day at checkout – Walmart will take it from there!
- Customers can then go about their day while a Walmart associate takes care of their grocery shopping for them – from food aisle to fridge.
- At the time of delivery, associates will use smart entry technology and a proprietary, wearable camera to access the customer’s home – allowing customers to control access into their home and giving them the ability to watch the delivery remotely.
- These associates, whose job is focused on this service, will also go through an extensive training programme, which prepares them to enter customers’ homes with the same care and respect with which they would treat a friend’s or family’s home – not to mention, how to select the freshest grocery items and organise the most efficient refrigerator.
The company noted that it was exciting how leveraging their stores and associates for services like this opens up more possibilities in the future. For example, later this year, InHome will also accept returns for items purchased on Walmart.com – customers can just leave them on the counter and their InHome Delivery associate will return the items on their behalf.
Part of Walmart’s core ecommerce strategy is to innovate for the future and leverage its unique assets. President and CEO of Walmart ecommerce US Marc Lore said in a blogpost.
“The technology powering InHome Delivery combines the power of our store footprint, store associates, and world-class fresh supply chain. Now we can serve customers not in just the last mile, but in the last 15 feet. And that’s truly inspiring."
The India connection
After the $16 billion deal with Flipkart in India in May last year, Walmart is bullish about its India online strategy. The Indian ecommerce major first formally announced the launch of Flipkart Supermart last August after it was acquired by US retailer Walmart.
Though Flipkart leads in the fashion category, it’s competitors like Amazon and Big Basket have a lead over it in the FMCG and grocery segment. With Walmart’s unmatched global retail experience and knowledge of the Indian supply chain thanks to its wholesale business in the country, the US behemoth is pushing ahead to build this category.
However, its InHome Delivery may yet take a few more years to come to India. Just like Amazon’s Amazon Key, Walmart too will have to wait till the Indian customer is ready to allow strangers access to their homes and their kitchens in their absence.