- Amazon on Tuesday said that it’s expanding its Amazon Key in-home delivery service to customers’ cars.
- With “Amazon Key In-Car,” Prime members with “compatible vehicles” can opt to have packages delivered inside their cars when parked in a publicly accessible area. Amazon expects those locations to typically be at a customer's home or workplace, according to a company press release. Compatible vehicles include 2015 or newer Chevrolets, Buicks, GMC, Cadillacs or Volvos with active roadside assistance accounts.
- The service carries no charge for Prime members and is available starting now in 37 U.S. metropolitan areas, the same areas where Amazon Key is already available. More cities and more vehicle makes and models will be added over time, Amazon said.
So now Amazon wants to Key your car.
The Amazon Key App now lets customers with the appropriate vehicles check to see whether they’ve parked within range of the delivery location. The app also provides notifications with an initial four-hour delivery window, when the delivery is on its way and again when it's been delivered. Customers can track when their car was unlocked and relocked in the App’s activity feed and rate their in-car delivery, Amazon said. Alan Batey, president, General Motors North America, said in Amazon's press release that there are more than 7 million owners of General Motors vehicles that could take advantage of the new service.
The online retailer's in-home delivery service launched last November aims to smooth over a major pain point for e-commerce customers, especially those in urban areas without a doorman — how to get packages when they're not at home and how to keep fresh and frozen food cold enough.
But the idea of moving these over to people's vehicles could be a defensive move, considering that so far the home delivery service appears to be wildly unpopular, according to recent research. More than three quarters (75.9%) of women said they're unwilling to use it, as did 60.9% of men — a 68.8% average for all, according to a study by InsuranceQuotes. It's not much better for Prime members, with only 34.3% saying they are willing to use Amazon Key. That's low considering the 63.7% trust Amazon in general, versus 53% for Google and 27.9% for Facebook.
People are leery of giving Amazon a key to their homes. Almost 80% said they are afraid that Amazon Key couriers will steal something (80.4% of women and 78.4% of men); 76.9% of women and 69.9% of men worry about a breach of privacy; and 61.8% of women and 56.2% of men are concerned about "malicious exploitation" of the service.
In his statement on Tuesday, Peter Larsen, Vice President of Delivery Technology, Amazon, presented a different picture, saying that "in-car delivery gives customers that same peace of mind" as Amazon Key. “Since launching Amazon Key last November, we’ve safely delivered everything from cameras to collectible coins inside the home," he said. "Customers have also told us they love features like keyless guest access and being able to monitor their front door from anywhere with the Amazon Key App.”
Amazon is not the only retailer working to get into people's homes. Walmart has partnered with Deliv and August Locks, a "smart locks" company to test a service that delivers food products inside customers' homes, putting away fresh and frozen products in refrigerators and freezers when people are not home.