Walmart has started a new in-home delivery option, as has been announced by Walmart today at its annual shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas. This in-home delivery project is led by Bart Stein who has been surreptitiously testing in-home delivery with customers of Walmart in New Jersey.
To avail Walmart's in-home delivery, customers must have Walmart install a smart lock on the outside of their home or garage.
To place a grocery order from either the Walmart website or app, customers can select the 'InHome Delivery' option and a specific delivery day at checkout, and opt for in-home delivery to the garage or to the kitchen.
At the scheduled delivery time, the assigned Walmart employee would use a proprietary, wearable camera device and enter a one-time code on a smart lock to access the customer’s home, so as to ensure the customer's safety.
Walmart has stated that the employees to be put on in-home delivery runs must have been working with Walmart for at least a year, be vetted by the company and must have a W-2 form on file. They would also undergo an "extensive training program".
Moreover, Walmart might even deliver general merchandise into the home without boxes, which counts as an environmentally friendly move.
According to a study conducted by Coresight Research, 23.1% of US consumers bought groceries online in 2018, which has increased to roughly 36.8% this year.
Coresight has also stated that the percentage of consumers purchasing groceries online from Walmart rose from 25.5% in 2018 to 37.4% in 2019 (up to April).
Walmart’s move might be a comeback at Amazon's speedy home-delivery options for items, especially grocery.
Both Amazon and Walmart have taken up next-day delivery ventures, with Walmart promising to provide faster shipping options to most American consumers by the end of the year, and Amazon launching several 'Key' devices that allow delivery to customer's homes, cars and garages.
This in-home delivery options of grocery becomes crucial in the face of a growing market because statistics point at the increase in online grocery shopping in the US.
Walmart also expects to begin accepting returns in a similar fashion later this year.
Once we learned how to do pickup well, we knew it would unlock the ability to deliver… Imagine keeping homes in stock like we do stores - Doug McMillon, CEO
This facility can be initially availed by the residents of Kansas City, Missouri, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Florida from sometime in this year's fall onwards. Only after Walmart "learn(s) and scale(s)" this new move would it spread to other areas of the US.
Apart from this, the company did not mention any further expansion plans.
The additional price of the in-home delivery service to customers would be announced when this service launches this fall.