Walmart plans to roll out direct-to-kitchen delivery in three U.S. locations in the fall.
Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S., made the announcement at the company’s Associate and Shareholders’ Meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas earlier this month.
With the new InHome Delivery service, the Walmart associate can deliver groceries when the customer isn’t present, accessing the home using smart entry technology and placing ordered items in the refrigerator and on kitchen shelves.
With trust an obvious concern, Walmart will equip each associate with a wearable camera so the customer can watch the delivery in real time or later via a recording. Only associates who have been with Walmart for at least a year will perform the deliveries.
An expansion of Walmart’s same-day grocery delivery service, InHome Delivery has already been field tested for six months in New Jersey. Now it’s scheduled to be rolled out this fall to nearly one million customers in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, FL. Customers will place an order online normally, and then select InHome Delivery at checkout.
Walmart also expects to have in-store grocery pickup in 3100 of its stores by the end of 2019.
Mercatus president and CEO Sylvain Perrier suggested regional grocers can and should take advantage of the same kinds of technology giants like Walmart are using.
“As technology drives more of Walmart’s approach and corresponding success, regional grocers need to be prepared to implement similar tactics to ensure their success,” Perrier said. “As they do so, they should remember that, interestingly, the same technology Walmart is using is available to them and, more importantly, technology can help grocers return to their roots.
“Regional grocers succeed because of their personal approach with shoppers. Developing a digital strategy that builds on this personal touch by tailoring the omnichannel experience to individual shoppers will allow grocers to be the trusted local retailer for shoppers, no matter whether they get groceries in person or delivered.”