Is it worth it to have stores like Walmart deliver your groceries—and even stock your fridge?
This is not a drill
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It’s official—Americans have reached peak laziness when it comes to grocery shopping. First, there was buy online and pick up in store. Then there was Amazon Prime and Instacart. And now, there’s InHome Delivery by Walmart, a new service that not only delivers groceries to your home but will also take them directly to your refrigerator.
While we love the idea of coming home after a long day of work to a fully-stocked fridge (there are few things worse than the grocery store at 5:30 pm), our experts are more than a little skeptical. The biggest concern? Privacy, of course, as the service will require you to let a complete stranger into your home while you're away. Below, we deliberate whether InHome Delivery is pure genius or if it's too good to (safely) be true.
First, how do services like InHome Delivery work?
Most grocery delivery services (think: Instacart, Shipt, or AmazonFresh) have a similar process: You order your items online, pick a day for delivery, then kick your feet up and let the company handle the rest. Walmart's InHome Delivery is the same, except this time your groceries won't be left outside but instead expertly placed in your fridge. Each of Walmart's delivery employees will be thoroughly trained on everything from how to safely enter someone's home to how to most efficiently organize a refrigerator.
As for security, you'll be able to watch the employee as they deliver your groceries via a camera that they'll be required to wear whenever they're inside a customer's house. Walmart also says it will also use "smart entry technology" to allow customers control over access to their home at all times.
How do we feel about it?
While Walmart has emphasized the security measures that will be part of InHome Delivery, our experts don't feel so great about trusting a stranger in their homes. Senior E-commerce Writer Courtney Campbell, who admits to not loving grocery delivery services to begin with ("I don't like other people picking out my produce as it tends to not the be the size I wanted"), says, "The idea of someone putting groceries in my fridge scares me even more."
E-commerce Managing Editor Samantha Gordon is of a similar opinion, citing Amazon's failed attempt at a similar service. "Amazon tried something like this a year or two ago with its own smart lock system called Amazon Key and you know what? No one talked about it after they first launched it because no one wanted to use it," she says. "Maybe some folks did, but having a complete stranger enter your home, no matter how secure they make it seem, is just too invasive for most of us. I can only imagine Walmart will have similar success or lack thereof."
Is the convenience of InHome Delivery worth the risk?
It all comes down to how trusting you are—and how desperate you are to avoid the grocery store. InHome Delivery may also be ideal for people who are very busy or who can't get home at a reasonable time to put away groceries that may be sitting on their doorstep. Although she herself is not a fan, Campbell admits, "I could see how this feature could be convenient for a trusting person who is worried about their perishables going bad with their grocery delivery."
How much will it cost and how can I use it?
Walmart has yet to reveal the price of InHome Delivery. However, we suspect that the "smart entry technology" will require you to purchase some sort of special device for your home so there may be more of a cost involved than simply the delivery fee.
As for when and where the service will be available, Walmart said it will roll out InHome Delivery in three cities this fall: Kansas City, Mo.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Vero Beach, Fla.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.