Yes, you’ve read that right. But that’s not the most surprising part. Walmart wants to do it even if you aren’t home. Even if no one at all is there to open the door – or physically supervise the delivery person. The (very limited) trial for this new kind of delivery is already under way in Silicon Valley, and when I write very limited, it’s because there’s a catch. To be able to take advantage of this very personal intruding like service, you need a smart-lock to allow the delivery person access to your home, which he or she will do with a one-time passcode of your choosing.
Here’s how it works: you’re at the office, busy, about to head toward another boring staff meeting, when, woe is you, you remember that you’ve invited a few friends for dinner tonight, but being so busy at work, you forgot to get the groceries you need. You’ll more than likely be stuck at work late (again) and will only have just enough time to cook dinner, but there’s no way you’ll be able to stop by the grocery store on the way home. Well, never fear! Walmart direct-to-fridge delivery is here!
So you whip out your smart phone, select the items you need for your dinner party, order and pay, select your smart lock passcode and you’re done! If you have a smart lock, chances are you also have security cameras in your home, and so you settle into the boring meeting and watch your still kitchen on your phone’s screen (but if you don’t have security cameras at home, that’s ok. Walmart does not require you to have them for this service, and if you’re willing to trust a complete stranger not to steal anything in your house delivering groceries, then you’re all set. Unfortunately, with nothing to look at, you now have to endure the boring meeting.)
Soon, the delivery person arrives, rings the bell for good measure, gets no answer and opens the door to your home. You watch him put your items away in the fridge (or freezer), then you watch him leave and lock the door behind him. Voilà! You are now ready for your party.
Walmart does say that this technique of delivery will not work for everyone or everywhere, but it’s ready to adapt and find solutions based on their customers’ needs, like delivering goods to the garage if it makes customers more comfortable.