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Walmart is set to Deliver Groceries to Your Fridge

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Yes, you read it right. Starting this fall, you will be able to get groceries not only to your door, but the refrigerator too. The new service will be tested in three cities – Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Vero Beach. From there the service will only get better and expand to cover more places and serve more people.

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Who is leading this Walmart venture?

The retail giant is seeking to get ahead of the competition and lead the way to in-home delivery, fronted by Bart Stein, a Google alum and Wim founder. Wim is a hardware company that had aspirations to become a Keurig for frozen yogurt and lead Project Franklin. Project Franklin came from Walmart tech incubator and enabled Stein to test in-home delivery with Walmart in New Jersey, which gave good results.

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What about Walmart competition and their moves towards in-home delivery?

Walmart has been entangled with Amazon for the biggest bite of grocery delivery pie. The competition is based on speed of delivery and the seamlessness of service. Both retailers are planning next-day delivery, so nobody is winning at that and something extra needs to be done. Walmart is planning to reach 75% off all consumers with its speedy delivery by the end of this year. Amazon has not been idle and recently launched some devices to deliver groceries to people’s cars, garages, and homes. The race for grocery delivery leader’s position continues and is set to intensify in the future.

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The online grocery ordering market keeps growing, so the race is not likely to slow down. While it doesn’t look like many people are in a rush to let deliveries into their homes just yet, it is predicted that they soon will.

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How many people are using grocery ordering online and delivery?

According to research about 35% of people have tried grocery delivery this year, which is up from 23.1% from last year. In total, almost 35 million people are buying groceries online. Given these numbers, it’s still only 2.2% of consumers are buying groceries this way, so the potential for the future is huge.

When it comes to Walmart, 37% off all online grocery buyers are buying from the retailer. It was 25% last year.

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How will the new delivery method work?

  • Walmart will have to install a smart lock on the door or garage
  • People placing an order on Walmart’s website or app will have to select “inhome delivery” option, choose delivery day and time
  • Customers can choose to get groceries to the house or garage
  • Walmart will then select an employee to pack all the groceries
  • During the following delivery an employee will wear a camera and will enter a one-time security code on the smart lock to get into the home and deposit the groceries
  • The security will be of prime concern as delivery personnel will be entering consumers’ homes

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According to CEO Doug McMillion it’s very important to learn how to do the pickup fast and efficient in order to expand and serve better. The goal is to keep consumer homes in the same shape as the store, stocked and tidy.

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The price of this new in-home delivery is kept secret until it gets unveiled this fall.

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How will Walmart ensure the qualifications of delivery personel?

Walmart is promising to pay extra attention to people who will be delivering groceries to people’s homes. The associates will go through extensive training. The goal is to enter customer homes with the same care and respect as friends’ or relatives’ homes would be treated. The employees will have to work for the company for at least a year, be selected by their supervisors, and will have to have W-2 forms on files.

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Later, as time goes on, consumers will be able to simplify the return process by leaving the unwanted items on the counter to be picked up by one of Walmart’s trusted in-home delivery employees.

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The retailer recognizes that it will be hard to get people to trust such service at first, but then there will be early adopters and word of mouth.

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People value time savings more and more as lives are getting busier and busier, so the perceived value of in-home delivery is huge. Plus you will have somebody organize your fridge for you, leaving you opportunities to use your time for something more important.

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Will in-home delivery service be expensive?

Walmart is not expecting the in-home delivery to raise the price for the store or for the people. The deliveries will be bunched up to offset the cost of time spent organizing one’s fridge.

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In the future, further down the line Walmart hopes to be able to deliver general merchandise into consumers’ homes without boxes, further cutting down the price. In addition to cutting financial costs, this move would be very beneficial for the environment.

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Walmart did a trial of smart locks in some homes in Silicon Valley with smart lock company August Home in 2017, but it didn’t pan out. This fall the in-home delivery will be Walmart’s own and with its own technologies and resources, so the expectations for success are running high.