Couriers to let themselves in with new Amazon app

AmazonA sample text message is shown here demonstrating how a customer can initiate in-home delivery for their packages using Amazon Key

What's worse, from Amazon's POV, is that "fear of theft affects online spending, according to the survey, with 41% of respondents saying they don't buy items such as electronics online because they're afraid the packages will get stolen". But imagine if a courier could temporarily be given access to your home, so they could drop off your package and leave. And you can create all sort of scenarios in your head where someone can take advantage of this, probably from all the movies, TV shows and real-life incidents we've seen.

The system is not compatible with alarm systems, which must be turned off prior to delivery, or free-roaming house dogs, Amazon said on its website. The delivery person is given a one-time code to open the door and Walmart said customers will get an alert on their smartphones when someone enters.

How does Amazon Key work? Same goes for Amazon Key. "The camera talks to the lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol utilized by many smart home devices", they explained.

The online retail giant is launching the service in some parts of the USA in November and is selling an Amazon Key starter kit - including a camera and smart lock - for $US250 ($A324). While that may help you sleep easier at night knowing it's only Amazon who has a key to your home, it's also problematic for anyone living outside of the 37 cities where Amazon actually handles its own deliveries. When buying the Amazon Key In-Home Kit, you will see the option to have it installed by a professional (learn more) or do it yourself. For those who might not feel comfortable with strangers letting themselves in and out of their home, Amazon is trying to ease your anxious mind with its smart security camera.

Speaking to SmartCompany, retail expert and lecturer at University of Queensland School of Business Professor Gary Mortimer says Amazon's offering builds on the same principles established by Volvo, but is "very innovative" and serves to further progress the desire for efficient delivery systems.

We do not recommend using in-home delivery if your pet can access the front door on delivery day.

You order something for delivery and click the "in-home" shipping option. For example, the delivery service's app allows you to grant access to others.

While it appears impossible for grocers to compete with Amazon on this level, there remains potential to capitalize on making sure their convenience and personalization strategies are on par, Patel said.

In a move aimed at protecting packages from would-be thieves, Amazon is rolling out a security camera/smart lock bundle that would allow deliveries to be left inside the home. It also lets you lock and unlock your door lock.

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