Remember when you had to put a physical piece of metal (otherwise known as a key) into your car-door keyhole to unlock your car? Despite initial skepticism, keyless entry systems for cars are now mainstream, and similar systems for homes have been gaining in popularity. Amazon wants to take advantage of the technology to help it with the challenge of package delivery.
offers customers keyless entry, and also allows "guest access" and the ability to unlock and lock your door from anywhere. Today, Amazon announced it's available to customers nationwide.
It has also tied it into its Prime delivery service, solving a major problem of package theft from customers' front doors. Amazon explains:
"Prime members in 37 cities and surrounding areas across the U.S. have the added benefit of being able to opt in to in-home delivery. Amazon Key in-home delivery is available on tens of millions of items sold on Amazon.com at no extra cost for Prime members. Amazon Key works with Same-Day, Two-Day, and Standard Shipping. Once set-up is complete, receiving in-home delivery is as simple as a click: customers select "in-home" while shopping and Amazon handles the rest."
Sellers know better than anyone this is a problem that needs solving - imagine being able to confirm that a package has made it inside a customer's home - possibly with video evidence to boot!
But what if you're expecting a package from Walmart or a marketplace seller? The homeowner could presumably provide a one-time Amazon Key entry code when they place their order that the shipping carrier could use to open your door to place your package inside.
It's not hard to imagine Amazon allowing retailers and shipping carriers to integrate with Amazon Key through an API, making the process seamless for homeowners shopping outside of the Amazon platform. If so, Amazon could gain greater intelligence about your shopping habits, giving it a major competitive advantage.
Would you be open to signing up for Amazon Key? Would you be happy if your customers were to do so?