walmart-grocery-delivery-in-home.gif All photos courtesy of Walmart
Walmart InHome Delivery enables associates to bring online grocery orders right to the customer's refrigerator.

Walmart brings grocery delivery inside shoppers’ homes

New service will let associates drop off orders in the fridge

Walmart aims to expand online grocery delivery not just to more homes, but also inside them.

Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S., on Friday unveiled Walmart InHome Delivery, a new service launching this fall in which associates will deliver groceries right to a customer’s refrigerator.

Walmart_InHome_Delivery_camera.gif

InHome Delivery staff wear a camera that lets customers watch the delivery remotely.

Described by Lore as a “food aisle to fridge” service, Walmart InHome Delivery personnel will use smart-entry technology and a proprietary, wearable camera to enter a customer’s home. He noted that the digital home technology will enable customers to control access and view the deliveries remotely. Deliveries can be made to a customer’s refrigerator in the kitchen or elsewhere in the home, such as the garage.

“Walmart InHome Delivery is a new service designed to help customers save time and offer yet another convenient choice for grocery shopping. The service does so by delivering groceries even when customers can’t be home,” Lore said in a blog post on Friday. “Customers place a grocery order and then select InHome Delivery and a delivery day at checkout. We take it from there. Customers can then go about their days while a Walmart associate takes care of their grocery shopping for them.”

Walmart_InHome_Delivery_home_access.gif

Smart-entry technology allows InHome Delivery personnel to enter customers' homes.

Plans call for InHome Delivery to initially roll out to more than 1 million customers in Kansas City, Mo.; Pittsburgh; and Vero Beach, Fla. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is slated to introduce the service today onstage at the company’s annual associate and shareholder event.

Lore said InHome Delivery staff must complete an extensive training program that prepares them “to enter customers’ homes with the same care and respect with which they would treat a friend's or family’s home.” The training also includes instruction on how to select the freshest groceries and organize an efficient refrigerator.

Offerings like InHome Delivery that leverage Walmart’s stores and associates create opportunities for other services, Lore added. Later this year, for example, the InHome service will accept returns for items purchased on Walmart.com. Customers will leave the product in a designated place in their home, and the InHome Delivery associate will return the item for them.  

“Part of our core e-commerce strategy is to innovate for the future and leverage our unique assets,” Lore said in the blog. “The technology powering InHome Delivery combines the power of our store footprint, store associates and world-class fresh supply chain. Now we can serve customers not just in the last mile, but in the last 15 feet.”

As of mid-May, Walmart offered free grocery pickup at 2,450 of its U.S. stores and same-day grocery delivery at nearly 1,000 stores. During fiscal 2019, Walmart had expanded online grocery delivery to approximately 800 stores and pickup to more than 2,100 stores in the United States.

“Online grocery remains a meaningful contributor to e-commerce growth,” Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said in a conference call on Walmart’s fiscal 2020 first-quarter results. “The U.S. business continues to benefit from a healthy economic environment, but we’re also pleased with customers’ response to our integrated omnichannel offering. Market-share gains this quarter in key grocery and general merchandise categories reflect our progress. Comp-sales growth reflects strength in grocery, including private brands.”

By the end of this year, Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart plans to expand same-day grocery delivery to 1,600 stores and grocery pickup to 3,100 stores. That will extend Walmart’s online grocery coverage of the U.S. population to 50% for same-day delivery and almost 80% for pickup.

“Customers continue to really appreciate our grocery pickup and delivery offerings as we scale them across the U.S.,” Biggs said in the call. “Customers want product faster than ever before, and Walmart is the best-positioned in the industry to deliver grocery same-day.”

TAGS: Technology
Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish