With porch piracy on the rise around the country and more retailers looking for solutions to get e-commerce orders to customers in a timely and safe fashion, solutions for doing so are beginning to reach the market.
HomeValet, which arrived on the scene early in 2021 when it was announced it would provide its Smart Box to Walmart, said on Wednesday that pre-orders for the home delivery box are now taking place with the first boxes available to Walmart InHome customers in Florida this month. Wider consumer availability will follow later this year, the company said.
“The rapidly maturing e-commerce 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,” said John Simms, HomeValet founder and CEO. “By connecting consumers, retailers and couriers to a secure end-point 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.”
According to C+R Research, 59% of respondents to a package theft survey of 2,000 consumers conducted in 2020 reported receiving a package at least once a week. That is up 10 points from the 2019 survey. Forty-three percent reported a stolen package in 2020, up from 36% in 2019, and of those who had a package stolen, 64% had been a victim more than once.
The average value of a stolen package was $136 in 2020.
On Jan. 5, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced a major expansion of its InHome service, promising to hire 3,000 delivery drivers for the service that was launched in 2019. InHome Delivery enables grocery and other essential items to be delivered where the customers want — inside their garages, at their front doors, to kitchens or even directly into refrigeration.
The HomeValet Smart Box is a temperature-controlled and internet-connected outdoor box. HomeValet’s mobile app and subscription service allows consumers to customize, manage, monitor and remotely control their Smart Boxes, which are lockable and secure. Delivery, temperature alerts and unauthorized access alerts are included.
Powered by an Internet of Things platform, the box can be configured for multiple deliveries at multiple temperatures through its adjustable dividers. It requires a power source but has a battery backup system that can power it for up to 36 hours. It includes an anchor point for attachment to the ground through a stake, chain or other security method.
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An app allows the customer to track deliveries in real time, adjust the temperature inside the box, and secure it or provide permissions to other family members, friends or neighbors to access the contents.
The Smart Box can be pre-ordered on HomeValet.co and requires an initial down payment of $50. Pricing varies by box design and customized options. Financing is available through Affirm. The HomeValet app is available in Google Play and the App Store and requires a $15 monthly subscription. Verified Walmart InHome customers will receive special introductory pricing, HomeValet said.
“The adoption of the HomeValet Smart Box will create a whole new category within the home appliance industry, which hasn’t changed much since the introduction of the microwave in the 1970s,” said Jack Simms, HomeValet co-founder and COO. “More importantly, HomeValet-powered, IoT connected Smart Boxes will put the control in consumers’ hands, so home delivery is designed for the convenience of shoppers, not just retailers.”