Walmart and Amazon Prime are in a tight race to see who can be the first company to make sure we never have to leave our homes. Amazon recently rolled out free one-day shipping on more than 10 million products with no minimum purchase. Then, Walmart introduced next-day delivery in select cities, with plans to reach 75% of the U.S. population by the end of 2019, and no membership required (Amazon members pay $119 for annual memberships).
Not to be outdone, Amazon announced last week it’s “this close” to using drones for package deliveries after Google was the first company to obtain FAA permission to use drones to deliver consumer goods in Virginia.
Now, Walmart has upped the home-delivery stakes by adding in-home delivery, which means we’ll barely have to lift a finger to do any shopping.
How does in-home delivery work?
In-home delivery at Amazon is nothing new. Amazon has been doing it for a couple of years with a service called Amazon Key. Prime members can opt-in for in-home deliveries using a smart lock kit, which Amazon sells on its website in the $200 range.
When you’re a Prime member and you buy something from Amazon, you can select the free in-home delivery option when you check out. On the morning of your delivery, you get a notification that you’ve got a package on the way, and when the delivery person arrives, your smart lock lets them enter your home through a door or garage. Because you’ve got the smart technology, you’ll get alerts that there’s activity in your home so you can watch the delivery.
Walmart takes in-home delivery a step further. Or make that about 20 steps further. Walmart’s delivery service will not only bring your packages inside, but they’ll put your perishables in the refrigerator for you. You read that right: Walmart will put away your groceries.
Walmart’s in-home delivery details
Back in 2017, we learned that Walmart was testing its from-store-to-refrigerator home-grocery delivery service in the Silicon Valley area. Now, Walmart is expanding in-home delivery to three markets in the U.S. — Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Vero Beach — “with more great cities coming soon.” According to Walmart’s In-Home Delivery page, it’ll have trained and vetted Walmart employees who must be with the local store for at least one year.
You decide how they enter your home — front door, side door, garage — and you don’t need to worry about installing cameras to monitor their activity because all delivery people will be equipped with wearable cameras.
Still, if you have delivery and service people entering your home when you’re not there, whether they’re equipped with body cams or not, it’s always good to have an added layer of protection. Get the only home security system Kim recommends. (Go to Simplisafe.com/Kim right now and receive a 60-day money-back guarantee, free shipping and free returns.)
Not only is the food-to-fridge feature an advantage Walmart has over Amazon, but the other advantage is it doesn’t charge a membership fee. Walmart hasn’t said how much its delivery services will cost; it said it’ll share the cost when the service launches in the fall of 2019.
When Walmart goes up against Amazon, we win
What does all this mean for us, the customers, as Walmart and Amazon battle to be the go-to sites for at-home and in-home delivery?
Well, for one, our lives get easier and we spend less. Amazon Prime members who pay the annual fee and don’t use the myriad of other perks you get with a Prime membership, other than free shipping and one-day deliveries, might find the Walmart shopping option a better deal.