Would you feel comfortable giving Jeff Bezos your house keys? Amazon is hoping that the answer is yes.
The e-commerce behemoth and creator of a global deflation impulse on Wednesday introduced a connected door-lock and security-camera system to let package carriers, guests and dog walkers into your home using an app, WSJ reports. The so-called “Amazon Key” will be available for the bargain price of $25. “This is not an experiment for us,” said Peter Larsen, vice president of delivery technology at Amazon. “We think this is going to be a fundamental way that customers shop with us for years to come.”
Of course, one Amazon executive insisted that the key isn’t an experiment: the e-commerce monopolist fully expects this entry process will soon be common features of the homes of Prime customers, giving Amazon direct access to millions of homes. And that’s no accident: The key is essentially Amazon’s coup de grace in its battle to master “the last mile” of delivering packages – a phrase denoting the last leg of a package’s journey as it’s processed, placed on a delivery truck, and spirited to the customer’s door.
As we reported last week, Amazon recently struck a deal with some of the largest landlords in the country to install electronic lockers that delivery people will be able to access for the purposes of dropping off packages. The lockers have a dual purpose: They will help landlords reduce the building staff’s workload (and wages) while also cutting down dramatically on the rate of lost or stolen packages, an area that Amazon has identified as a potentially significant source of cost savings.And, as WSJ points out, in-home delivery is the “next logical step.”