Smart lock and home access company August Home and same-day delivery startup Deliv on Tuesday announced a new partnership offering retailers in-home delivery services, according to a company press release.
August Home customers will be able to opt for in-home delivery after they’ve chosen same-day fulfillment with Deliv and completed their transaction with a participating retailer, the companies said.
The companies already work with Walmart in a Silicon Valley-area pilot to deliver food products inside customers' homes and perishables into refrigerators even when nobody is home. Walmart’s Jet has also partnered with ""smart lock" company Latch, installing the locks in 1,000 apartment buildings in New York City.
In-home delivery is a new front in same-day delivery competition. Amazon is well ahead of Walmart in the space, with its Amazon Key service available at no extra cost to Prime members in 37 cities across the U.S. as of Nov. 8 last year, and more locations are on the way.
While Walmart’s pilot, Amazon Key and the latest offering from Deliv and August Home are designed for single-family homes and the Jet-Latch project for multi-unit dwellings, they all aim to solve two basic retail issues: The secondary one is convenience, but the primary one, arguably, is a conundrum for e-commerce — package theft.
Many companies are coming up with different ideas for how to address the issue — including smart lockers and smart car trunks (Amazon has dabbled in both.) Such approaches involve having the delivery diverted in one way or another from a customer's doorstep, which undermines convenience. But in-home delivery hopes to cure that.
Yet, the solution brings about its own problems, including security and privacy concerns. While many participating homeowners have become comfortable with the security precautions, like limited access to homes and screening of delivery personnel, others are less keen on the equipment's ability to gather information. And for many, the idea of letting strangers into an empty home may never be worth the convenience.