Amazon Breaks in to Home Delivery, Literally

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After thoroughly disrupting retailers and grocers, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is breaking into home delivery, literally. The e-commerce empire announced a new level of convenience for its Prime Members, where its delivery service will enter homes to drop off packages. It could be argued that this could be a gross invasion of privacy and security, but on the other hand it offers an added level of delivery security and convenience.

Early on Wednesday, Amazon announced Amazon Key, a new service exclusively for Prime members that radically improves the convenience of receiving deliveries. Amazon Key will enable in-home delivery and secure home access for guests and service appointments. It will be available on November 8 in 37 cities and surrounding areas across the United States, with more locations rolling out over time.

Amazon Key allows customers to have their packages securely delivered inside their home without having to be there. Using the Amazon Key app, customers stay in control and can track their delivery with real-time notifications, watch the delivery happening live or review a video of the delivery after it is complete.

Peter Larsen, Vice President of Delivery Technology, commented:

Amazon Key gives customers peace of mind knowing their orders have been safely delivered to their homes and are waiting for them when they walk through their doors. Now, Prime members can select in-home delivery and conveniently see their packages being delivered right from their mobile phones.

For those who might doubt the security of this service, Amazon explains that this technology doesn’t simply replace a key with a digital passcode, but each time a delivery driver requests access to a customer’s home, Amazon verifies that the correct driver is at the right address, at the intended time, through an encrypted authentication process. Once this process is successfully completed, Amazon Cloud Cam starts recording and the door is then unlocked. No access codes or keys are ever provided to delivery drivers. And, for added peace of mind, in-home delivery is backed by Amazon’s Happiness Guarantee.

Prime members can preorder the Amazon Key In-Home Kit, which includes Amazon Cloud Cam and one of several compatible smart locks by leading lock manufacturers Yale and Kwikset. Amazon Key In-Home Kit starts at $250.

Look out for Amazon earnings — among others — coming Thursday.

Shares of Amazon were last seen down about 0.8% at $968.40, with a consensus analyst price target of $1,163.93 and a 52-week range of $710.10 to $1,083.31.