Not long ago, my mom ordered a box of tea online, which a guy in a pizza delivery car tried to steal from her front porch while she was at work. Obviously, she’s not the first person to ever experience this. In her case, a neighbor happened to catch the guy in action and set the cops on his trail, recovering the package in process. Most folks, though, aren’t so lucky, and lots of them are ordering much more than a $20 box of tea.
All the same, risk of theft doesn’t deter most who order goods via same-day delivery. As we get busier and more mobile, we rely more and more on the convenience factor for anything from stereos to dental floss. And since this is as unlikely to change as mankind’s need to steal, it makes sense that that same-day, in-home delivery is rapidly becoming an option for both consumers and retailers.
News from August Home should help accelerate that option. The smart-lock maker just announced that it is opening up it’s in-home delivery platform to any retailer, and that it has formed a partnership with same-day delivery service Deliv for last mile delivery fulfillment.
It’s a pretty straightforward operation. August owners can order at a participating retailer and choose “same day” at checkout, along with their desired time window. Once the transaction is completed, they can opt to authorize “secure in-home delivery.” If no one answers the doorbell, the delivery driver can access a one-time-use passcode to unlock the door and leave the package. Users are notified via phone, so they know a delivery is occurring, even if they’re up the block folding the last of their laundry. If they have the equipment, customers can also choose to watch the delivery in real time through the August app (or view a recording of it later).
August’s move to expand its platform comes after Amazon launched Amazon Key in late 2017, which uses its own combination of smart lock and cloud camera, and helped make the concept of in-home delivery more prominent with mainstream consumers. Just last month, Amazon also purchased the maker of Blink security cameras, in a move that could bolster Key offerings.
August and Deliv partnered with Walmart this past September to test drive their new service. Not only did consumers have the option of in-home delivery, they could also get “in-fridge” delivery, where the driver enters your pad and puts any perishables in the fridge or freezer. Presumably, the same option will exist for this wider rollout of the August-Deliv service.
I’d love to say I’m weirded out by the idea of some dude walking into my house and opening my fridge, but I’m not. People open their homes to strangers all the time— cleaning services, maintenance work, and pet care, for example. And while a camera and a one-time passcode don’t guarantee complete security, they beat having your groceries swiped off the front porch by, of all things, the local food delivery guy.