As consumers increasingly rely on deliveries for their shopping needs, Amazon has sometimes struggled to balance convenience with security. Now, in a bid to curb package theft, the e-commerce giant is offering in-garage grocery deliveries to its Prime members in 5,000 cities.
The program is an expansion of Key by Amazon Garage Grocery Delivery, which provides temporary access to delivery drivers, who verify their identity and route via the Amazon delivery app. Only customers who have installed a myQ Smart Garage Hub are eligible.
Outside of these technological upgrades, the service is free of charge — though some customers may have already paid the price for insecure deliveries in the past.
THe COVID-fueled delivery boom has also come with a rise in package theft. A survey from C+R Research found that the number of respondents who reported a stolen package had risen from 36 percent in 2019 to 43 percent in 2020. Out of that 43 percent, nearly two-thirds reported they have had multiple packages stolen.
Amazon, however, is emphasizing convenience over security as it promotes the program.
"Customers who tried Key In-Garage Grocery Delivery have loved the service, which is why we're expanding it to everywhere Amazon offers grocery delivery," said Pete Gerstberger, head of Key by Amazon, in a news release. "As customers look for more convenience in their daily lives, we're excited to deliver another service that not only helps them save time, but provides peace of mind knowing that tonight's dinner is safe in their garage and out of the weather."
For those concerned about letting a stranger into their garage, Amazon said all in-garage delivery drivers are given background checks and instructed to go no more than five feet inside.
In addition, customers can set up compatible cameras, including Ring Indoor Cam, Ring Stick Up Cam, and the myQ Smart Garage Camera, to watch their deliveries in real-time.
"I'm thrilled to offer customers Key In-Garage Grocery Delivery, and believe this expansion illustrates our commitment to continually innovate to make the experience of ordering groceries online even better for customers," said Stephenie Landry, vice president of grocery at Amazon.