Online grocery shopping took another big step today… inside your house. Walmart officially launched its InHome Delivery service in the previously announced cities of Kansas City, MO; Pittsburg, PA; and Vero Beach, FLA.
For those unfamiliar, InHome uses a combination of smart locks and live streaming so Walmart delivery people can get inside your house (or garage) to drop off your groceries, and even put items in your fridge.
Customers in these select cities interested in trying out the service can go to InHome.Walmart.com to see if their address is eligible. If so, they select whether they want delivery in a kitchen or garage fridge and also need to buy a fifty dollar smart lock (which includes professional installation). Once the smart lock is set up, customers get unlimited deliveries for an introductory price of $19.95 per month (with a $30 minimum per basket).
When a delivery arrives, the customer is notified and then the delivery person gains access via the smart lock. The delivery people wear cameras that livestream their actions so shoppers can watch deliveries remotely on the Walmart app.
What Walmart didn’t address specifically in its post is how long this $19.95 introductory price will last, or how any change in price will square with other delivery options. Just last month, Walmart announced it was expanding its Delivery Unlimited service, which hands items to you at your door, nationwide for $98 a year or $12.95 a month. How much more will people pay to get their groceries put in the fridge while they are out?
While online grocery shopping is still a small percentage of overall grocery shopping, it’s definitely growing. Retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Kroger are all working on ways to make the process more fast and convenient. Robotic warehouses, micro-fulfillment, self-driving delivery vehicles are just a few ways supermarket chains are transforming how we get our groceries.
But is in-home delivery a bridge too far? I’m a bit older so the idea of letting a stranger into my home just to drop off food seems ridiculous. But we live in a time of letting strangers ride in our cars and sleep in our houses, so maybe it’s just a generational thing.
InHome may not be for me, but I’m curious if any of you will try it. If you’re InHome curious in Kansas City, Pittsburgh or Vero Beach and try it out — drop us a line to let us know how it goes!