How safe do you feel? Personal security is top of mind these days
Originally published on Forbes.com.
How safe do you feel? Personal security is top of mind these days: The American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America survey, released in November, found that more than 63% of Americans feel stress over crime – and that was prior to the violent demonstrations and gun crimes we have witnessed this year.
Meanwhile, Amazon and Walmart have been testing in-home delivery services. Amazon Key is now available in 37 cities, and Amazon Prime members can sign up for the service for $250, which includes an indoor camera, installation and a smart lock. In Walmart’s service, employees pick groceries, and then Deliv brings them into customers' homes (and even places items in your refrigerator/freezer) with a one-time pass code and a keyless lock. Amazon hopes that this service will greatly reduce the problem of stolen packages; according to Open Door to Delivery, a new survey conducted by InsuranceQuotes, 23.4% of Amazon Prime members have had a delivered package stolen.
The survey, which included 1,013 consumers aged 18 to 74, with an average age of 35 for both male (445) and female (567) respondents, finds that just over 31% of people were willing to use the Amazon Key In-Home Delivery Service. While that might not sound hopeful for the service, it is almost double the number of people who said they would use it in a survey conducted on Toluna last November. The survey also found that a greater share of Walmart shoppers, 22.1%, were willing to use this type of service.
The InsuranceQuotes survey also found that Amazon Prime members were more willing to use the service than non-Prime members (34.3% vs. 26.1%) — not a surprise as Prime members have a stronger relationship with the company.
A different survey, posted just today on Toluna, found that almost 28% of respondents said they were "not at all familiar" with purchasing groceries on Amazon.com.
What is eye-opening, and reinforces the Stress in America report, is that 80.4% of women, and nearly as many men, are worried about in-home delivery theft from the Amazon Key delivery person. In this freelance economy, there is no doubt that having bonded employees would go a long way toward reassuring customers.
Amazon's website states, however, that Amazon Key professional drivers are thoroughly vetted, with comprehensive background checks and motor vehicle records reviews.
Amazon hopes to expand this service well beyond food delivery to become an all-inclusive service featuring more than 1,200 professional service providers, including Merry Maids and dog walkers and pet sitters from Rover.com, and giving them access to your home.
Will allowing strangers direct access to our homes to put milk in our fridges become commonplace? HomeGrocer and Webvan experimented years ago with placing delivery units in people’s garages, and that didn’t work for a variety of reasons, including people not feeling comfortable giving access to their garages. Times have changed since then, and clearly many people rely on delivery now.
In one Amazon Key feature, opening the lock on your door triggers the camera and starts the video monitor on your phone, through Amazon's own Cloud Cam, which allows you to watch the delivery being made. Being in the cloud, however, this also opens the system to hackers — another concern of many people, with 64% having reported experiencing a major data breach, according to Pew Research Center.
And then there is a whole other issue: that once the Amazon Key is connected to your door, you might become a 100% Amazon customer for life.