USA – Walmart is relaunching its service to deliver groceries directly to shopper’s refrigerators at home in a move to revamp its last mile delivery service.
The in-home delivery platform will serve nearly 1 million people across three cities — Kansas City, Missouri, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Florida starting this fall.
The service headed up by Bart Stein, a Google alum may be expanded into the rest of the US with time, looking to offer customers cheap and convenient ways of doing their shopping.
Walmart said it will use its own workers, who have worked with the company for at least a year, and its own vehicles.
The platform utilizes a smart entry technology and a proprietary, wearable camera to access shoppers’ homes, letting customers control access into their home and watch a delivery remotely.
Walmart had started testing the service in 2017 with smart security company August Home and third-party courier firm Deliv, which used gig workers to make the deliveries.
The service which looked to fend off the likes of Amazon.com ended its pilot a year later.
Aiming to lower the retailer’s shipping costs by tapping its massive workforce, the program was part of a multi-pronged strategy to boost its US$11.5 billion U.S. e-commerce business and tackle last mile delivery challenges.
The company recently launched free one-day online shipping, soon after Amazon announced plans to upgrade its Prime membership program in the US from two-day shipping to just one day.
To keep pace with Amazon, Walmart bolstered its online capabilities with the purchase of Jet in 2016 and a majority of India’s Flipkart last year.
Earlier this year, the company expanded its grocery delivery team with the addition of four companies; Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire and Roadie in the race to become a leader in the retail space.
The partners are to help it expand Online Grocery Delivery platform to metro areas across four states with plans to further roll out in other places in the future.
For convenient shopping, the retailer also offers an Online Grocery Pickup service that allows customers to order their groceries online and pick them up in stores without ever getting out of their cars.