Waitrose & Partners Launches 'While You're Away' Service
Waitrose & Partners has launched a new service that will see the retailer access customers' homes and fill their fridge while they are away.
The retailer will test demand for the service, called 'While You're Away', with 100 customers located in the vicinity of its dotcom fulfilment centre in Coulsdon, south London.
Smart Lock Technology
Waitrose delivery drivers will be granted access to customers' homes using Yale smart lock technology, which creates a temporary code facilitating access for a limited period.
The whole delivery process is captured on video, on a 'chest-cam' worn by the driver, and can be accessed by the customer, to guarantee peace of mind.
There is a minimum order of £25 to use the service, and should the trial be successful, Waitrose & Partners plans to roll it out to more than 1,000 customers next Spring.
"There is certainly an increasing demand among our customers to make shopping with us even more convenient to fit around their busy lifestyles," commented Archie Mason, head of business development at Waitrose & Partners.
"Rather than waiting for a delivery or trying to put everything away, it gives customers more flexibility to use that time differently, including more time enjoying cooking and eating the food they've bought."
Last month, Waitrose announced that it was rolling out a 'two hour delivery' service for the first time, called Waitrose Rapid Delivery, whereby customers in select London postcodes can avail of speedy delivery of up to 20 items.
“This latest move from Waitrose is an example of existing players in the market investing in their service," commented Vanessa Henry, shopper insight manager at IGD. "And for some shoppers, this could be the ultimate convenience – they don’t have to go in-store to buy their groceries but they also don’t even have to wait in at home for their groceries to be delivered.
"Some 19% of shoppers say they in next couple of years they will be buying their groceries online and getting them delivered to a secure, refrigerated locker near their home. So there is clearly demand from some shopper groups for even more convenient ways to get their groceries to them."
Henry noted, however, that one "very important challenge to overcome will be convincing a broader group of shoppers of the security of this service, which Waitrose clearly has though through with time sensitive access codes and cameras fitted on delivery drivers. This is a really interesting move by Waitrose and one which could drive significant appeal with shoppers who are particularly time pressured.”
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.