Walmart wants to put groceries in your refrigerator when you're not home

(BY: KATE TAYLOR, BUSINESS INSIDER) – Walmart is testing a service that delivers groceries straight to your fridge when you’re not home.

On Friday, the retail giant announced a partnership with August Home, a smart-lock startup, that would allow a delivery person to enter customers’ orders and put groceries away in their refrigerators.

The test will take place in Silicon Valley with a small number of August Home users who have opted into the service.

“Think about that — someone else does the shopping for you AND puts it all away,” Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s vice president of e-commerce strategy and business operations, wrote in a blog post on Friday.

Eddleston laid out the step-by-step process of “in-fridge delivery” in the post.

Delivery drivers will have a one-time passcode that allows them to unlock the August smart lock if customers do not answer the door when the delivery team arrives to drop off groceries. They will then drop off packages in the foyer, unload groceries in the fridge, and leave — with the door locking behind them.

Customers get a notification when the driver rings the doorbell. August home-security cameras allow them to watch the entire process from the app if they wish.

Walmart has been making major investments in its e-commerce business as it faces off against an increasingly dominant Amazon. Online sales across Walmart grew 73% year over year in the second quarter of 2017, with grocery making up 26% of the company’s US e-commerce sales.

“What might seem novel today could be the standard tomorrow,” Eddleston said. “This may not be for everyone — and certainly not right away — but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future.”

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