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Amazon Counters Walmart Delivery with New

Amazon Counters Walmart Delivery with New "Amazon Key"

SEATTLE, WA - Amazon has announced two new products that, when combined, ensure its ability to deliver to its shoppers when they aren’t home: Amazon Key and Amazon Cloud Cam.

“Amazon Key gives customers peace of mind knowing their orders have been safely delivered to their homes and are waiting for them when they walk through their doors,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President of Delivery Technology, in today’s announcement. “Now, Prime members can select in-home delivery and conveniently see their packages being delivered right from their mobile phones.”

Prime members can now select in-home from their mobile phones

Available on November 8 in 37 cities to its Prime members exclusively, the new offering works with Same-Day, One-Day, Two-Day, and Standard Shipping at no extra cost to members. Amazon said that it will roll out more locations over time across the U.S.

The state-of-the-art technology doesn’t simply replace a key with a digital passcode, according to the release. Instead, Amazon verifies the correct driver is at the right address at the intended time, through an encrypted authentication process each time the program is requested. Once the requirements are met, Amazon Cloud Cam starts recording, and the door is then unlocked with no access codes or keys ever provided to delivery drivers.

Amazon now offers in-home delivery, including "Direct to fridge"

For those of us still thinking this might be a bit nerve-wracking, Amazon said that, for added peace of mind, in-home delivery is backed by Amazon’s Happiness Guarantee.

The technology rolls out not long after Walmart announced its “direct to your fridge” delivery partnership with August Home announced at the end of September, which similarly allows online grocery orders to be delivered inside your home, even placing your perishables inside your refrigerator.

With Amazon Key users can view a live feed of their in-home delivery

While Amazon’s statement didn’t include grocery specifics such as putting food away for the shopper, it did note Amazon Key would make customers’ lives easier in many ways beyond delivery. The service offers keyless access for family and friends, for example, allowing customers to set the frequency and length of time a person has access and add or remove contacts as they see fit.

Prime members can pre-order the Amazon Key In-Home Kit, which includes Amazon Cloud Cam and one of several compatible smart locks, starting at $249.99.

What will the latest convenience strategy be as retailers fight to be the consumer favorite? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.