Walmart is stepping up its game in its fight with Amazon for online shopping supremacy with a new InHome Delivery service. Faster shipping is one thing, but Walmart's new InHome Delivery service takes things a step forward by allowing trained workers to enter a customer's home and stock their refrigerator with groceries.
I'm having a hard time discerning whether this is absurd or creepy, or perhaps both. Maybe neither—I come from a time that predates online shopping, and used to walk 10 miles in the scorching hot snow, uphill both ways, to fetch groceries. Depending on where you live, it's now as easy as tapping your smartphone and calling it a day.
Both Amazon and Walmart have announced 1-day shipping initiatives. This InHome Delivery service, however, ups the stakes even further.
"Walmart InHome Delivery is a new service designed to help customers save time and offer yet another convenient choice for grocery shopping. The service does so by delivering groceries even when customers can’t be home," Walmart explains.
There is obviously some cause for concern, which Walmart anticipated. Walmart associates who deliver the actual groceries will go through an "extensive training program" where they are taught to enter homes "with the same care and respect with which they would treat a friend's or family's home." In other words, don't steal anything, and refrain from kicking back on my couch playing video games. Or at least hope that is part of the training program.
To get inside a home, associates use "smart entry technology," so it sounds like customers would need a smart lock. They are also equipped with wearable cameras so customers can monitor the deliveries remotely.
Walmart hasn't said what the cost for InHome Delivery will be. However, the retail chain plans to kick things off in the fall for over 1 million customers in Kansas City (Missouri), Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), and Vero Beach (Florida).