Will you trust a delivery service to leave packages inside your home when you’re not there? That’s the big question behind a potential delivery option that may be offered to Amazon Prime members, according to a TechCrunch article based on a report on The Information (subscription required).
If you’re one of the more than 63 million Amazon Prime members in the United States — a number reported by Fortune in early July — chances are you order a lot of stuff. The same Fortune report stated that Amazon has more Prime members than nonmembers as customers and that while nonmembers spent an average of about $500 in 2015, Prime members averaged $1,200. So that’s a lot of Amazon Prime deliveries.
According to the TechCrunch report, two smart home connected lock companies are “working with retailers on technology that would allow delivery people temporary access when they’re making deliveries.”
Connecting the dots on the companies involved, the two lock companies are smartphone-controlled lock company August and Garageio, a connected garage door opener startup. Locks from both companies work with Amazon Echo, and both companies have existing relationships with Amazon. So what other company would it be?
In the tests of August locks with an unidentified retailer in Seattle — Amazon headquarters, wink, wink — shoppers are given the option for in-home delivery during checkout. If a shopper gives the OK, a one-time access code is issued. The delivery service uses the code to open the front door or garage door, leave the package, and close the door. The code can’t be used again.
In the August lock testing, the goods were reportedly delivered without external protective packaging. If the shirt, book, or computer you order has its own packaging anyway, why use an external box to protect the goods from the weather when they will be left in the house? Inside delivery would mean not only that deliveries would be protected from weather and potential theft, but the retail company would also save money on packaging. Landfills across America would be happy, too.
Amazon continues to grow, and in many cases continues to amaze and please customers with rapid delivery, which is free for Prime members. As TechCrunch notes, not many homes currently have August smart locks, and fewer have Garageio garage door openers. The potential of in-home delivery service might be a factor that prompts more sales of the connected home devices — although they’ll be left on the steps until installed.