Amazon Is Betting on In-Home Deliveries to Win Over Prime Users

Its new kit includes a security camera, techy lock and app

Amazon Key puts a new twist on home delivery. Amazon
Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Amazon is getting into the home-security space.

Today the ecommerce giant unveiled Amazon Key, a kit that equips houses with a smart lock, a security camera and a mobile app that lets consumers peek at what is going on in their houses virtually for $249.99.

Using the kit, Amazon delivery staff will be able to drop off packages inside front doors. The service launches on Nov. 8 and is only available to Amazon Prime users, which could help Amazon increase Prime subscriptions, which includes free, two-day shipping, access to music and video streaming and free digital books and magazines.

Here’s how it works: Amazon Key replaces a deadbolt lock with a tech-enabled lock that uses a keypad to open the door. Delivery staff have access to the codes and consumers can also give out the code to people who may need to enter the house like family members or home-cleaning companies.

Shoppers then use the Amazon Key app to buy something online and click a button labeled “in-home delivery” to have the order placed inside the door. The app is synched with the security camera so that consumers can watch their packages being dropped off and keep tabs on who is coming and going through the front door. The app also pings out a notification within a four-hour window when an order is set to be delivered and consumers can also request changes to the delivery time in the app. Once a package is delivered, the app alerts shoppers that it has arrived and that the door has been locked.

Amazon Key is the Seattle-based company’s latest innovation in making shopping from home easier for its subscription service. The company also offers Amazon Dash to retailers that trigger sales by pressing a button and Amazon also recently expanded Prime to business clients.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.