Walmart’s New Smart Box Technology Makes 24/7 Grocery Deliveries Possible
Walmart is set to launch a new service that will allow the retailer to deliver groceries to customers 24 hours per day. The retail giant has announced a partnership with HomeValet, the maker of a temperature-controlled smart box that’s placed outside the home. This open up the opportunity to deliver customers’ groceries contact-free, to the secure box and kept cold at any time, even if the customer isn’t at home.
The pilot program is set to launch this spring in its hometown of Bentonville. HomeValet’s smart box is powered by an internet of things (IoT) 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.
The prospect of this technology is intriguing, both for customers and for Walmart’s last mile delivery efforts, the retailer said in its blog post. “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.”
According to the HomeValet FAQ, the boxes also disinfect the exposed surfaces of delivered items as well as the inside of the box itself, in between deliveries, using UVC light. That is an added incentive during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This pilot program is the latest step from Walmart to focus on more delivery options for its customers. Online shopping and especially grocery shopping has seen a huge boost in 2020. Walmart recently launched the Walmart+ membership as well, which offers free deliveries. You can also get discounts when ordering through Instacart.