Don’t want boxes of books or bags of athletic socks sitting on your porch? Amazon hopes you’ll let a stranger inside to drop them off. . . . and buy a camera from the company too. On Wednesday Amazon announced it’ll launch Amazon Key next month. Users of the service can allow Amazon to unlock their doors when they’re not home—so packages can be left inside out of the weather and away from prying eyes.
In-home delivery is part of Amazon’s plan to make shopping with the giant e-company so convenient that consumers don’t want to buy elsewhere.
There are some catches: First, customers who want to use the service need to be Amazon Prime members. Then they must buy a camera and a $250 Wi-Fi-connected lock. . . . also from Amazon. When the delivery person shows up, he or she will knock first and scan the package. Amazon will make sure the person is at the right home and unlock the door—no codes or keys needed. The indoor camera will record the delivery.
The proposal drew humorous reactions on social media, as well as concerns about safety. Amazon says drivers would be well-investigated. And experts believe the company has built up trust with customers. They point out that millennials are already comfortable posting photos and their whereabouts on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. “They’re less concerned about privacy than older generations are,” says Tim Carone, a university business professor.
Amazon.com Inc. says in-home delivery will be available November 8 in 37 cities, including Atlanta, Cleveland, and Denver.
(AP Photo: An employee packages a product at an Amazon fulfillment center.)