Asda is trialling a new delivery system which it can use for when customers are away from home. The groceries will get delivered in a purpose-built storage box that is placed outside the customer's home.
With the trial, Asda is preparing for a post-Covid world in which customers are, once again, less likely to be at home when their shopping gets delivered. The UK's third-largest supermarket chain is experimenting with insulated containers across the country. Inside the containers, chilled and frozen food can be kept for up to four hours. Delivery staff can open the secure metal containers using a one-time passcode, reports The Guardian.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the UK online grocery market has almost doubled. Around 14 per cent of daily shopping was ordered over the internet last year. However, according to market research agency Kantar, the number of people doing their shopping online has been on the decline for two months in a row.
Asda has increased its online capacity by 90 per cent over the past year to 850,000 slots per week. The retailer hopes to have the capacity to handle one million orders a week by the end of 2021. Initiatives such as the secure boxes will help set up the company to retain online shoppers as more Brits return to work outside their homes.
Following in Walmart's footsteps
Asda's delivery concept is nothing new. Earlier this year, Asda's former owner Walmart launched a similar pilot project in Bentonville, where food is delivered in a smart box by HomeValet. The American supermarket group recently reached an agreement to sell its British subsidiary for 6.8 billion pounds (7.9 billion euros).