Albert Heijn is trialling smart door locks to enable home delivery even when the customer is not there to accept it in the Netherlands. The experiment is part of Albert Heijn Online Labs, which aims to improve the retailer’s service through developing new innovations.
How does it work?
Homes are fitted with the SecuFirst smart doorbell and the Nuki smart door lock. When the delivery driver arrives, they can ring the smart doorbell which sends a notification to the customer through the app. The customer is then connected to the driver through a live camera feed. After receiving identification, the customer can open the door remotely through the app. Once opened, the driver can enter the home and leave the chilled products in the fridge or freezer. When the driver is finished and exits the home, the door is automatically locked behind them.
Source: Albert Heijn
Solution also works in shared apartments
If the customer lives in an apartment with a shared entrance, the driver can open the door themselves. The driver must simply ring the doorbell at the appointed time and the shared door will open automatically. Once at the door of the apartment, the driver can use the smart doorbell and continue the process. Insurance company Centraal Beheer is on hand to address issues.
The pilot will last eight weeks
Julie Kuipéri, innovation specialist at Albert Heijn, commented, “People are not used to having their groceries delivered to their homes when they are not there themselves, and our main objective is to gain insight into the perception and opinion of both customers and deliverers in this new delivery method”. The pilot will last eight weeks and take place in 10 households in the Alkmaar region.
Innovation central to online growth ambitions
Last week, as part of Ahold Delhaize’s Capital Market Day in New York Wouter Kolk, CEO of Ahold Delhaize Europe & Indonesia and CEO of Albert Heijn shared an ambition to more than double Ahold Delhaize's European ecommerce share of sales to 15%+, from the 7% achieved in 2016.
This target includes both food and non-food sales and will supported by leveraging the retailer’s capabilities in western Europe, sharing best practice more widely.
In the Netherlands, the retailer forecasts sales at its online grocery business ah.nl to have increased to €600m in 2018, delivering a CAGR of 23% since 2016.
We expect innovations such as unattended delivery to continue at pace as the retailer looks to meet this ambitious target, redefining convenience and differentiating itself from manufacturers.
For subscribers wanting to see how other retailers are experimenting in this space, see our in-home unattended delivery presentation.