Walmart – which generates more than half of their annual revenue through its grocery department – is seeking to grow that side of the business even more by waltzing around in Americans’ kitchens while they’re at work, at play, or otherwise not around.
After a successful pilot program, Walmart is rolling out full-service grocery delivery to over a million customers this autumn. And by full-service, they mean it. The company’s delivery people will enter the home, go into the kitchen, and put the groceries away. They’ll gain entry to the home via a special lock, and customers can access a live video feed to observe the Walmart worker putting the peanut butter in the cupboard.
Are Americans ready for this type of boundary-breaking?
Some are. CivicScience asked 2,200 U.S. adults how interested they were in a service like this, and 10% say they are at least “somewhat” interested.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, those under 25 years of age are the most comfortable with the idea, with 23% being at least somewhat interested. Interest levels go down with age, and 35 appears to be the cut-off. People under that age are more than twice as likely to have an interest than those 35 and older.
City residents are twice as likely as suburban residents to be interested in at-home, in-your-kitchen delivery, and rural residents are 60% more likely than suburban residents.
Non-pet owners are slightly more likely than pet owners to be interested in this in-home delivery, perhaps because pet owners are worried about Fido (or Fifi) getting out / being disturbed by the delivery person. Walmart should have an answer to this concern.
Interestingly, there is no statistically significant difference in straight-to-the-fridge interest when comparing people who have favorable views of Walmart and Target; in fact, fans of the two stores both have the same level of people “very” interested in the delivery concept. But note there is a small segment (5%) of those with an unfavorable view of Walmart who are interested in this service.
People who have a favorable view of the shopping experience at Amazon.com, however, aren’t nearly as interested in having a Walmart delivery person in their kitchen. Perhaps the front stoop is close enough for this segment of the population.
And while 10% of Americans surveyed said they were interested in the concept, those who said they are likely to actually use it dropped 30%.
A major potential hurdle for Walmart is the need for the customer to have a special lock installed on their door, purchased by the customer (Walmart has yet to announce the cost for the lock). Seventy percent of Americans said this initial step would make them much less likely to try the service.
The use of cameras for a live look into what’s going on in the kitchen is a hoped-for major selling point for Walmart. And overall, 16% of Americans said they would be at least “somewhat” comfortable, in general, with a delivery person inside their homes as long as they could monitor them.
But when asked specifically how they felt about a Walmart employee entering their home, only 9% of respondents said the video feed would make them feel comfortable about the experience.
Lastly, Walmart also announced a new way to return items, grocery or otherwise: Leave it on the kitchen counter, and a delivery person – much like the grocery delivery concept – would come in the home, pick it up, and handle the return for the customer. Americans are more interested in this concept overall, with 15% liking the idea.
Walmart, in their ever-growing battle with Amazon and Target, is seeking to bring the experience of shopping directly (and physically) into Americans’ homes. Clearly, the country isn’t completely sold on this idea yet, but with younger generations more interested than older generations, it seems as if Walmart’s plan has some merit.