Are garages optimal delivery drop-off points?
Amazon.com has announced plans to ramp up Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery to over 4,000 cities.
Originally launched in 50 cities in April 2019, Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery enables couriers to open garages and so they can drop packages inside. Drivers receive temporary, one-time access to the garage after the Amazon app confirms the driver’s identity and delivery route via multi-step authentication. Drivers are instructed to go no more than five feet inside the garage.
Optionally, users can watch their courier in real time using a comparable camera (sold separately) and receive delivery notifications on their mobile device.
Homeowners must be Prime members and have a MyQ device ($29 at Amazon), the popular smart garage door opener that lets users control their garage door through an app.
Also launching is Key In-Garage Grocery Delivery, enabling grocery orders from Whole Foods Market or Amazon Fresh to be delivered to garages.
Amazon’s landing page said the company has made over one million successful in-garage deliveries, with a customer delivery rating of 4.7 out of five as of October 2020.
“Customers tell us they appreciate the convenience and peace of mind that in-garage delivery offers, and we’re happy to expand the service to thousands of additional cities,” said Pete Gerstberger, head of Key by Amazon, in a press release.
Amazon Key had also enabled courier delivery inside homes and inside car trunks, although both options are “currently paused” due to concerns over COVID-19. As with garage delivery, the services were touted as a way to avoid packages being stolen from stoops or having packages damaged by nature’s elements, whether inclement weather or rodents.
Walmart also recently suspended a pilot delivering groceries straight to customers’ refrigerators when they aren’t home due to COVID-19.
Post-pandemic, garage delivery may be a more favored option than in-home delivery in part because it’s less expensive for the customer. In-home delivery requires a home smart lock and camera that, combined, costs north of $200. Homeowners are also expected to feel less squeamish about providing a courier with access to their garage than the front door.
Since 2011, Amazon has also offered secure lockers for urban customers.
- Amazon In-Garage Delivery Expands to Millions More Prime Members in Over 4,000 Cities – Amazon.com
- Amazon Key | Key by Amazon In-Garage Delivery – Amazon.com
- How In-Home Delivery Works – Amazon.com
- Key for Garage Available Starting Today – Amazon.com
- Amazon expands its in-garage delivery to 4,000 cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York – The Verge
- Amazon’s in-garage delivery is now available in 4,000 US cities – TechCrunch
- Amazon’s in-garage delivery is now available in over 4,000 US cities – Engadget
- Will Prime members give Amazon the key to their cars? – RetailWire
- Will customers give Walmart the keys to their homes? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you expect that Amazon customers will be more willing to give the e-tailer access to their garages than their homes or car trunks? What benefits and pitfalls do you see to in-garage delivery vs. other options?