Amazon’s home access service Amazon Key is expanding to include in-garage delivery, which could be a sign Prime members weren’t quite ready to let strangers into their foyers to deliver packages.
The expansion comes roughly 18 months after Amazon first enabled in-home deliveries. And while Amazon stressed multiple safety measures at the time, research showed most consumers were “definitely not buying” Amazon Key.
Amazon would not comment on how many Prime members use the service, but humbly noted, “We can share that Key by Amazon in-home and in-car delivery have a customer rating of 4.7 / 5 stars which you just don’t see for something that isn’t making lives better on a daily basis.”
While that figure is correct, it’s worth noting the rating include products with fewer than 120 reviews—and, in one case, just 15.
Amazon said Prime members who are willing to take the plunge with garage delivery will need the Key Smart Garage Kit and a myQ-connected garage door opener—or to purchase one of several Key Smart Garage Kits. With a limited-time discount of 37.5%, they range in price from $49.99 to $124.99.
Customers then have to link their Amazon and mQ accounts in the Key by Amazon app and select “in-garage delivery” upon checkout.
Amazon stressed that customers receive updates leading up to delivery windows—and noted it will confirm the driver is at the correct address with the correct package before it grants access. Prime members can also use Key for Garage to check the status of garage doors and remotely open or close them.
Forrester analyst Sucharita Kodali said it’s too early to tell if Key has much adoption because in part it’s in limited markets and requires specific hardware. (However, along with garage delivery, Amazon announced Key is expanding to 50 U.S. cities.)
“I think that if you have an in-home door solution, it’s not that much more complicated for Amazon to develop something with the garage where … people are more comfortable leaving things,” she said. “They are also piloting in-car delivery. I think all these are smart ways to think about delivery.”
Kodali also cited a carrier who said nearly 20% of packages have to be redelivered, and this would help reduce that number.
Pun sort of intended: Outside-the-box deliveries do indeed make fulfillment more convenient—and the latest in-garage option follows a trail of experiments that began around 2015 with in-car delivery from Volvo and Audi in Europe, as well as in-home delivery from Walmart.