Starting this fall, Walmart customers can not only buy groceries online, they can then have them dropped off right in their kitchen.
More than 1 million shoppers in Kansas City, Mo., Vero Beach, Fl, and Pittsburgh, Pa. will be able to use Walmart’s new “InHome” service, the latest volley in the delivery wars being waged by retailers racing to woo customers with convenience and speed.
Walmart employees will first pick the produce or other household items, ordered by a shopper online. They will then deliver food items into the customer’s refrigerator, using smart technology that enables the homeowner to let them in and watch what they do while they’re there
“Once we learned how to do pickup well, we knew it would unlock the ability to deliver,” Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “But what if we not only cover the last mile to customers’ homes but even the last few steps? What if we put their groceries away inside their kitchens or garages?”
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Shoppers will pick the day they want the delivery to occur after checking the InHome Delivery option when they complete their grocery purchase online.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has gone tit for tat with e-commerce giant Amazon in the competition to shrink the amount of time it takes to get packages to customers’ doors. As the battle has escalated, each has become increasingly creative in dropping off packages wherever a shopper might want to receive them.
Walmart conducted a pilot test in which grocery orders were placed in a customer’s refrigerator in 2017.
Amazon just announced that it could begin using a self-driving drone to deliver orders within a matter of months. And earlier this year, it began testing a delivery robot. Also this year, for the first time, it delivered items to the desert-based music festival Coachella. And it has also set up Amazon lockers, where customers can retrieve items, at locations ranging from hotels to local banks.