Walmart is all set to deliver groceries to their shoppers’ homes into kitchen refrigerators. Kansas City, Vero Beach, Missouri, and Pittsburgh will be able to access this option. Based on inputs from here, it plans to expand to other states and countries accordingly. No plans have been released so far.
Bart Stein is leading this project. The project has been undergoing testing so far and is a product of Walmart’s own tech incubator. Walmart is competing with Amazon for enabling faster delivery periods. Walmart has promised to attract 75% of Amazon customers by offering next-day delivery, while Amazon is launching features that allow delivery to garages, homes, and cars.
The online grocery shopping market is competitive and is expected to widen further. Around 37% of US consumers bought their groceries on the Internet in these 12 months, compared to 23% in 2018, which meant an increase of 35 million people. However, beverage and food sales were less than 2.2% in 2018.
Walmart has seen a 6.9% growth in online grocery sales this year. Walmart’s new system will work by customers have a smart sensor lock installed in their homes. When groceries are ordered, an employee will walk into the house and place groceries in the consumer’s fridge. Access will be granted via the lock, with consumers monitoring employee behavior.
Pricing hasn’t been announced as of now. Workers in this project will undergo thorough training and vetting procedures, which will ensure they treat customer’s house with respect. Returns can also be accepted this way, by leaving items on countertops. Marc Lore of Walmart stated that as its popularity grows via early adopters, more people would start using it like Airbnb. Walmart would do batch deliveries to reduce delivery costs. Boxes could also be eliminated this way, ensuring significant cost-savings. The company had announced a similar service in 2017. However, that failed soon. This current service would incorporate those efforts too, Lore said.