- Amazon announced a new service called Amazon Key.
- It is designed to allow in-home delivery when a customer isn’t there.
- It requires a special Amazon camera and compatible smart lock.
Amazon will now allow deliveries inside your home when no one’s there.
It’s part of the new Amazon Key program that was announced on Wednesday. To participate, customers need to be Amazon Prime members and own some special equipment, including a compatible smart lock and a security camera specially made for the program.
The service will launch on November 8 and will be available in 37 cities and regions, with more to come.
Amazon has begun selling bundles of the cameras and smart locks, which start at $250. Amazon Key can also allow access to your home for other services besides delivery, like the cleaning service Merry Maids.
The new Amazon Key app will let customers watch their delivery, lock or unlock their door, or watch a clip of the delivery.
Here’s how it works:
- After setting up the in-home delivery kit, order your Amazon order like normal, but select “Amazon Key” delivery at checkout. Only items eligible for Prime delivery can be delivered in-home.
- On the day of delivery, customers will be given a four-hour window for when the delivery will arrive. As they are arriving, the app will send an “arriving now” notification. At this point, customers can watch the delivery via the app if they choose to.
- The driver will attempt knocking before requesting access via their Amazon handheld scanner.
- After verifying that the driver is near the place of delivery and a package is due to be delivered to that address, Amazon unlocks the door remotely, which activates the camera. There are no codes or keys exchanged.
- The package is then placed just inside, and the driver steps back outside to request that the door be locked again. Customers get another notification when delivery is complete.
Amazon does not recommend in-home delivery for customers who have pets who can access the front door, or for customers who feel uncomfortable disabling their alarm during the day.
Customers can block access via a button during the app at any time, in which case the delivery driver will follow normal delivery protocol.
The service has no extra charge and is included as a Prime benefit. Amazon backs it with a “Happiness Guarantee,” which states that it will do whatever it can to make things right should things go unexpectedly. This could help customers who are nervous about strangers coming into their homes. Amazon says its drivers are fully vetted with a complete background check
Amazon’s service is hot on the trails of Walmart’s in-home delivery partnership with Deliv and smart lock maker August. Walmart’s program is only a test, however, and only available for a pilot group in the San Francisco Bay Area.