Ever wish your refrigerator would just magically restock itself? Walmart hasn’t cracked sorcery yet, but it is testing a grocery delivery service that would bring food right into customers’ homes — while they watch remotely.
Going to the store? No one has time for that anymore, Walmart says. And forget going to the door, even that is just too much work.
“What if we created a service that not only did my grocery shopping and brought everything to my home, but even went so far as to put it directly into my fridge?” writes Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s VP of eCommerce strategy and business operations. “And, what if it was even more convenient because this ’in-fridge delivery’ happened while I was at work or off doing other things?”
Walmart will not be asking delivery personnel to break into your house, however: It’s working with a company called August Home, that makes smart locks and other smart-home accessories, to test the new system with a few customers in Silicon Valley.
Here’s how the company says it would work:
1. Place an order on Walmart.com for groceries or other goods.
2. A driver for Deliv — a same-day delivery service — retrieves items when the order is ready, and brings them to the customer’s home.
3. If no one answers, the delivery person can use a one-time passcode that’s been pre-authorized by the customer to open the home’s smart lock.
4. The customer receives a smartphone notification when the delivery is occurring, and can choose to watch it all play out in real-time on home security cameras through a dedicated app.
5. Delivery person leaves packages in the foyer, then brings the groceries to the kitchen, unloads them into the fridge, and leaves.
6. Customer receives notification that the door has locked behind them.
Walmart seems aware that this could totally creep out some people.
“This may not be for everyone – and certainly not right away – but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future,” Eddleston says.