Wal-Mart planning food delivery directly to your refrigerator

Allan Goodman
September 23, 2017

The company is announcing a plan that would involve delivery drivers entering your house to deliver your groceries directly to your refrigerator even when you're not home. From there, the Deliv employee puts all the groceries away under the remote video surveillance of the homeowner.

If no one answers the doorbell, the Deliv driver will be given a one-time passcode that is pre-authorized by the customer and will open the home's smart lock to allow entry.

The retailer, looking to get any new advantage it can in grocery delivery over Amazon.com (amzn) now that its biggest rival has bought Whole Foods, is testing the idea in Silicon Valley only for now and restricting it to August Home customers who opt in.

"Think about that - someone else does the shopping for you AND puts it all away", Sloan Eddleston, Walmart's vice president of e-commerce strategy and business operations, wrote in a blog post Friday.

The service is weird, to say the least, but it's worth commending the retail giant for progressive thinking.

For instance, the retail giant has an ongoing pilot where store associates deliver ecommerce orders on their way home from work.

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This new delivery method is still in the early stages of testing.

In addition to saving customers the task of unloading their groceries and planning time at home around a delivery, "it makes the unexpected easier, too", Eddleston said.

Plus, the retailer isn't forcing the test on anyone - only August customers in Silicon Valley who opted in to the service will have Walmart groceries delivered.

If the tests goes well, the Walmart is interested in expanding the service.

While this is only a test for now, Walmart suggested it is likely to roll this out further if it takes with customers. Online sales across Walmart grew 73% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2017, with grocery making up 26% of the company's USA e-commerce sales for the quarter.

"What might seem novel today could be the standard tomorrow", it said.

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