Today, Walmart announced Walmart InHome, a new service today that not only delivers your groceries but also puts them into your fridge while you’re away.
InHome will be available this fall for 1 million customers across Kansas City, MO, Pittsburgh, PA and Vero Beach, FLA (Florida gets everything). Walmart shoppers at participating stores will be able to select the InHome delivery when they place an order. Delivery people will be granted access through a homeowner’s existing smart home/lock set up. The Walmart delivery people will also be wearing connected cameras, and will livestream their delivery, which the customer can watch on the Walmart app.
There are some things Walmart didn’t call out specifically with today’s announcement. We don’t know how much an InHome delivery fee will be as opposed to standard delivery. And Walmart said the delivery drivers would undergo an “extensive training program,” but didn’t mention anything specifically about background checks. And the company didn’t say whether the livestream of the driver includes audio or two way communication.
This isn’t the first time Walmart has tried to go from grocery aisle to home fridge. About two years ago, the company partnered with smart lock maker August and third-party delivery provider Deliv for an in-home delivery service, but that obviously didn’t pan out as people can now use whatever smart locks they have to grant home access.
Walmart’s persistence however, comes at a time when its arch rival, Amazon, is trying to make deliveries into your home as well with its Key program. Rather than having drivers wear cameras, Amazon works with a series of approved smart locks and connected cameras to stream deliveries. Perhaps seeing that people were squeamish about letting strangers into their homes, Amazon has also launched delivery into a shopper’s garage (one step removed from the actual house), as well as into car trunks.
The question remains, however, for both Amazon and Walmart, exactly how many people will let strangers in their house (even while livestreamed) and into their fridge.