A new, "hyper-convenience" delivery service is being trialled by US giant Wal-Mart. They're testing the market viability of delivering goods directly into consumer's refrigerators.
This bold move is seen as a direct challenge to online retail heavyweight Amazon.
King Retailer Roars a Challenge
Given that Wal-Mart is the largest "bricks and mortar" retailer in the world, this will undoubtedly cause ripples with both online and offline businesses. To effect this service proposition, Wal-Mart has teamed up with strategic partner August Home, who provide home accessories and smart locks.
Is a Retail War Inevitable?
This development comes (presumably) as a response to Amazon's recent foray into both the bricks-and-mortar grocery market. Amazon acquired retailer Whole Foods a month ago in another strategic deal to provide groceries and thereby take a provocative step into the space dominated by Wal-Mart.
As Amazon is apparently investing more resources within their (already-established) restaurant market, the fight between these retail heavyweights for wallet-share will inevitably heat up.
How Do The Delivery People Gain Access?
Clearly, issues surrounding trust need to be overcome whenever someone needs to gain access to a private residence to deliver goods.
Innovative solutions are being tested, such as providing the delivery person with a "one-time-access-code", a similar principle used by some people letting out rooms by, for example, Airbnb.
Recipients of the goods can also watch (and record) the whole process via an online video feed for their own piece of mind.
Amazon - The Restaurant
In the latest twist, Amazon's restaurant business (aptly named Amazon Restaurant) paired up with Olo last week, a food ordering company with an enviable network of restaurants to their name.
How Does This Affect Your Business?
Hyper convenience within the retail sector is a growing marketplace and exciting times are now here. From drones delivering books to robots providing pizzas, this retail-revolution shows no signs of slowing down.
Brands that were historically either purely online (e.g. Amazon) or offline (e.g. Wal-Mart) appear to be converging around (and competing in) a hybrid online/offline proposition.
This, in turn, is pushing innovation across the board to offer a joined-up-service with the consumer being able to satisfy their ever-insatiable need for instant gratification like never before.
A golden nugget to take away from this example is the synergy created when joint ventures are brokered between non-competing brands.
As well as being able to leverage a larger joint client base and capitalise on the scale of economies and ready-made specialist knowledge, the benefits (in this instance) include literally "bolting on" other services such as delivery, security, logistics et al, thereby massively increasing sales opportunities.