Walmart Adds IoT Delivery Box to eCommerce Toolkit

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Walmart has expanded its digital commerce arsenal with a 24/7 home delivery “smart” receptacle from HomeValet and an e-shopping tool from Sifter SP that enables customers to find foods matching their dietary needs.

This month, Walmart is slated to begin offering the HomeValet Smart Box to users of its Walmart InHome delivery service, in which groceries ordered online can be delivered directly to refrigerators in customers’ homes or garages. The HomeValet rollout follows a pilot of the technology with Walmart that launched last spring in its hometown of Bentonville, Ark.

Participating InHome customers will be able to receive deliveries from their local Walmart store in a HomeValet temperature-controlled box outside their home. The unit’s Internet-of-Thing (IoT) platform has three temperature zones for storage of frozen, refrigerated, and pantry items. At the point of delivery, the box communicates with the courier’s mobile device to provide access and complete fulfillment of the order.

HomeValet said the Smart Box is being made available to selected Walmart InHome customers for early delivery and at a special introductory price in January. The Tysons, Va.-based company noted that InHome customers served by participating Florida stores will be the first to receive the HomeValet IoT delivery boxes. Last week, Walmart unveiled plans to extend InHome’s reach from 6 million US households to 30 million by the end of 2022.

Wider consumer availability for the Smart Box is slated for early 2022. HomeValet said the Smart Boxes are now available for pre-order with an initial downpayment of $50 to reserve. Pricing varies by design and style. The HomeValet app is now available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for a monthly subscription of $15.

Smart Box works with a dedicated mobile app that lets customers shop for groceries, track the delivery of their order and adjust temperature settings, which change automatically before the delivery is made. Users also can control permissions for access, such as family members and neighbors; secure their box remotely; and receive notifications for deliveries and unauthorized access, as well as temperature alerts.

“The rapidly maturing eCommerce market exposed a vital need for increased package security and food safety in supply chain last-mile delivery to consumer homes, which HomeValet is designed to solve,” John Simms, founder and CEO of HomeValet, said in a statement. “By connecting consumers, retailers and couriers to a secure endpoint outside consumers’ homes, we enable automated delivery of packages, groceries and other goods and reduce consumers’ time burdens of home delivery and offer convenience and freedom, avoidance of logistics issues and capture large-scale efficiencies, improving the home delivery experience for consumers and retailers.”

An estimated 200 million-plus consumers follow diet or health-related programs, and 85 million shop for groceries based on food allergies or sensitivities, Sifter reported Walmart customers can access the Shop-by-Diet tool at walmart.sifter.shop on their mobile phone for scanning and shopping in-store or at the Walmart Wellness Hub for shopping online.

“Partnering with Walmart to support customer wellness is exciting for all of us at Sifter,” stated Andrew Parkinson, co-founder of Sifter with his brother Thomas Parkinson. Both also are co-founders of Peapod and ItemMaster. “Our passion is to make healthy eating easy for everyone, and we believe Walmart’s Shop-by-Diet tool will help millions of its customers better manage their health through diet and nutrition.”