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by Kevin Coupe

There is a continuing discussion in the e-commerce business about who is going to dominate “the last mile” leading up to the consumer’s home.

Walmart, as it continues to look for ways to challenge Amazon in this segment, seems to have found one way to dominate not just the last mile, but the last few feet.

According to a story in TechCrunch, Walmart has announced that “it will begin testing a new service that will allow customers with August smart home devices, like the August doorbell and security cameras, to have their packages delivered inside their home instead of left on the doorstep. This test will also include online grocery orders, which won’t just be placed inside the house like the packages, but will be put away in the fridge and freezer, when appropriate … The customers will utilize an August smart lock to allow delivery drivers a one-time entry into their home. By using these smart home devices, the customer can see the entire delivery process from start to end, beginning with a notification sent to their mobile device.”

The test of this new service is scheduled to begin soon, in the Silicon Valley area, where it is believed that shoppers will be more open to the concept.

The story notes that “while August is the first smart home partner that Walmart is working with on this effort, presumably, if the tests were successful, Walmart would add other smart home device makers to the list of supported device in the future.”

Strikes me as an Eye-Opener.
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