Walmart is piloting the service in conjunction with same-day delivery service Deliv and August Home, a keyless home-entry technology provider.

Imagine coming home to a refrigerator full of groceries that you ordered online without having to do anything but place the order.

That’s the premise behind the newest online grocery delivery service that Walmart is testing in Northern California’s Silicon Valley. The pilot program is being conducted in conjunction with August Home, a keyless home entry technology provider, and same-day delivery service Deliv.

Walmart vice president of e-commerce strategy and business operations Sloan Eddleston explained how the service works in a blog post.

“I place an order on Walmart.com for several items, even groceries,” he writes. “When my order is ready, a Deliv driver will retrieve my items and bring them to my home. If no one answers the doorbell, he or she will have a one-time passcode that I’ve pre-authorized which will open my home’s smart lock.”

The Deliv associate will carry groceries to the kitchen, place perishables in the refrigerator or freezer and leave, Eddleston says. Shoppers can watch the delivery via home security cameras linked to the August Home app to assuage any safety or privacy concerns.

advertisement

A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesman says the retailer, No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, is testing several prices for the service during the test, but he declined to specify them. Walmart aims to assess demand for the program before it determines whether it will test the service beyond Silicon Valley.

 

Forrester Research Inc. senior analyst Ananda Chakravarty says the test represents Walmart’s latest attempt to improve upon its last-mile delivery capabilities.

Where such a pilot program will lead is unclear. “For customers who have smart locks at home, this can be valuable—but it’s a tiny part of the market today,” Chakravarty says. “There are expectations that smart homes will become prominent. Lugging groceries from the car and then stocking the fridge can be a pain point, but [for this program to work] this needs to outweigh privacy concerns, customers must adopt smart locks and the delivery costs need to work out for Walmart.”

Internet Retailer data shows that Walmart had 24.0% of the overall online grocery market share in the U.S. in 2016, trailing only Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1).

advertisement