Most people wouldn’t particularly like the idea of a stranger walking around their home while they’re out at work, but that’s exactly what Waitrose is proposing to their customers in a bid for your busines.
The supermarket is to test a new delivery service that not only brings your food to your door, but pops it in the fridge for you too – and you don’t even need to be at home when they call.
For anyone who has ever waited in all day for a delivery time slot (wishing you’d been less lazy and just gone to the shop yourself), it might seem like the ideal solution. But others aren’t so sure.
Waitrose will begin piloting the scheme later this month with 100 homes in south London already fitted with the Yale smart lock technology (required for delivery staff to get into your property).
It allows customers to set an access code for their door lock, which is sent to Waitrose via a secure app, then on to the driver at the time of delivery. And when the delivery is complete, the one-time code is deleted.
The driver will also wear a body camera and customers will be able to view the video the next working day if they want to check what they’ve been up to.
Despite attempts to make the service seem as secure as possible, people are yet to be convinced by the offering.
While Waitrose – owned by the John Lewis partnership – is the first supermarket to trial the service, last year Amazon announced its Amazon Key that would let couriers into your home using a smart lock.
Similar to the Waitrose scheme, the idea was that they wouldn’t need to leave your delivery on the porch and could instead drop it safely in your living room. And it would all be recorded on the Amazon Cloud Cam.
Profit margins on home deliveries are thin and Archie Mason, Waitrose head of business development, said that the supermarket has been looking for ways to make shopping even more convenient and fit in around busy lifestyles.
Mason said: “The concept of ‘in-home delivery’ has started to prove popular in other countries so we are keen to establish if there is an appetite for it in the UK.”
Last month, Waitrose published results for the six months to September which showed like-for-like sales were up 2.6 per cent, but operating profits fell 12 per cent to £96.4m.