Walmart pilots fresh deliveries with smart box tech
One question brought about Walmart's new delivery pilot: what if we could conveniently deliver fresh groceries to a customer’s front door any time of the day, whether they’re home or not? That’s what the company will be exploring in its new pilot with HomeValet.
Beginning this spring, participating customers in Bentonville, AR, will be able to receive deliveries from their local Walmart directly into a temperature-controlled HomeValet-powered smart box placed outside their home. This gives customers the ability to receive secure, contactless deliveries with the peace of mind knowing their grocery items will stay fresh.
"The prospect of this technology is intriguing, both for customers and for Walmart’s last mile delivery efforts," said Tom Ward, Walmart U.S. senior vice president of customer product. "For customers, they don’t need to plan their day around when their grocery delivery will be made. For Walmart, it presents an opportunity to deliver items 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While we don’t have plans to do 24/7 delivery today, it certainly has a nice ring to it."
HomeValet’s smart box is powered by an internet of things platform that has three temperature-controlled zones, so it can properly store frozen, refrigerated and pantry items. And when it’s time for a delivery to be made, the smart box communicates with the delivery provider’s device, giving them secure access to the smart box to complete the delivery.