Walmart is expanding its InHome service, which delivers groceries into customers’ refrigerators while they’re away. That’s according to Bloomberg, which noted that the service still faces a pretty significant hurdle: the question of whether people trust the world’s largest retailer in their homes when they’re not there.
InHome debuted in several cities in 2019. It recently started serving customers in southeast Florida and Walmart’s home state of Arkansas and will expand to Atlanta in July.
“A successful rollout could help solidify it as the biggest player in the $1.8 trillion U.S. grocery market, a position under attack from the likes of Aldi and Amazon,” noted Bloomberg. “Grocers gained millions of online customers last year, and now the challenge is keeping them. While Walmart’s low prices usually give it an edge, convenience and speed are crucial on the web.”
Walmart pointed out that people have gotten used to grocery delivery, but will soon have to contend with returning to work. The company is positioning InHome as a way for them to continue to get their groceries delivered without having to worry about being there to receive the order.
Customers who sign up for the $19.95-per-month program — which also offers a free 30-day trial — will meet with their delivery person before the first order. These are longtime Walmart employees who are trained on how to properly stock refrigerators. They wear masks, gloves, booties and body cameras, which provide a live broadcast and record of the delivery.
But that still might not be enough to ease most consumers’ fears. Bloomberg cited a survey by market researcher CivicScience that found that 90 percent of respondents weren’t likely to try InHome. The story quoted consumer psychologist Peter Noel Murray, who noted that safety and security are “paramount” for post-pandemic shoppers.
News of Walmart’s InHome expansion comes just one day after Amazon announced it would roll out its Key In-Garage delivery service to 5,000 new communities. That program gives Amazon Prime members the option to have Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods groceries delivered to their garages.
Selected by EFXA