You don’t often find “Walmart” and “cool” written in the same sentence, however, this time around Walmart has done something really cool. They’ve teamed up with smart home lock system August to disrupt the home delivery industry.
Amazon already tried it a while back by announcing Amazon Prime Air – a 30 minute delivery service using drones. Although they launched a trial here in the UK, the concept may take a few years to be introduced widely. It’s more of a “pie in the sky” idea, no pun intended. Mainly due to the potential of abuse such drone delivery service is open to.
It’s different with Walmart and August collaboration. Yes, there is a potential for abuse but if approached correctly, this idea will change the way you shop for food. Not being able to commit to be at home to take the delivery is the biggest issue with online shopping. Especially when perishable goods are concerned. Uncooperative customers and missed deliveries are costing the UK e-commerce industry £771,000,000 each year. Retailers have tried to solve this issue for years by offering alternative delivery options, click-and-collect and by generally improving communications with customers to ensure they are able to pick up the ordered goods. Nevertheless, missed deliveries will still cost billions of pounds on a global scale.
The answer that Walmart has come up with involves well-trained and background-checked delivery men bringing goods inside customers’ homes and even putting food into their fridges using a temporary security passcode to open the door. This is only possible in houses that have the August smart lock installed. The limited tests will begin soon around Silicon Valley in California. That’s where the majority of world’s geeks and early adopters reside and that’s why they are always the first to get to test the cool stuff. If the tests prove to be successful, the scheme is likely to spread to other parts of the USA.
Potentially, the main problem is that despite rigorous background checks, it’s still a stranger entering your private space. If, however, the concept proves itself, it could disrupt the delivery industry on a massive scale.