It certainly is a great time to be alive when companies are competing to see who can spoil their customers the most.
Earlier this week, I bought an Amazon gift card for a friend who lives over a thousand miles away and they offered same day shipping! She got it a few hours after I ordered it.
I imagined a drone touching down in her front yard, but she said it came via delivery. Still, the idea of drones delivering packages is both amazing and frightening.
Dominos is trying to change the pizza game by offering to fill in any potholes that threaten to damage your pizza. Their ads make me wish I had a Dominos in my town.
Now Kroger is testing whether it can be the first grocery store chain in the country to deliver groceries to their customers in driverless cars. To save costs, there won’t be a human there to keep the car from doing something wrong.
The idea is similar to the curbside pick-up program they have now, but instead of having you drive to the store or wait in long lines shopping for yourself, they’ll shop for you, load the groceries into their special cars, and deliver them to your home.
All you have to do is order what you want online or via their app.
Kroger, based out of Cincinnati, is partnering with a Silicon Valley startup company called Nuro. Nuro was founded a few years ago by two engineers who used to work for Google’s Waymo driverless car project.
Kroger’s delivery service looks to start at the end of the year and will most likely begin in California and Arizona via the Fry’s Supermarket chain.
Currently, Kroger offers home delivery in about 1,200 of their stores, but hopes to eventually expand driverless car delivery to the majority of their market in the coming years. This will save the company money, decongest their stores, and even provoke shoppers to spend more money.
Earlier this year, Kroger announced that online shopping has boosted their sales as customers tend to spend more money shopping on the website than they do at the store, citing the convenience factor as the main cause.