Jet, the online retailer bought by Walmart last year, has struck a deal with smart access provider Latch in an effort to make deliveries easier for its customers in urban areas.
Over 100,000 residents living in 1,000 buildings will get free and full access to Latch’s residential “R” system for the exterior door of their building, with the install paid for by a “joint investment” from Jet and Latch.
This means residents can use their phone as a key, grant access to guests without walking downstairs and of course get packages delivered safely without being home. Building managers can also use Latch’s system to grant access to trusted delivery providers like USPS at their discretion, but all of these 1,000 units will already be set up to provide access to Jet’s delivery partners.
To be clear, this is a marketing partnership and not an operational one. There won’t be any significant integrations with Jet’s backend, besides the startup knowing if you live in a Latch building and prompting you to take advantage of this by ordering things that typically require a doorman or smart access system, like fresh groceries.
But, at least it’s a marketing partnership that provides a tangible benefit to a lot of New Yorkers.
This partnership is also a sign that Jet is taking its focus on metro and urban areas seriously. If Walmart’s cracked the code on mastering retail in rural areas, Jet wants to impress its big brother and show them it can do the same thing in big cities.
And as anyone that lives in a city knows, if you don’t have a doorman or smart access system it’s basically impossible to receive packages to your house.
So this 1,000 building install should a good test to see what exactly urban shoppers need to start ordering more. If it’s just a system like Latch that lets their deliveries make it inside and to their door while they are at work, great. But Jet is likely (at least internally) looking into other solutions to crack the code of urban delivery, like on-demand orders with small delivery windows or even offsite storage like Amazon tried with its Locker product.
Regardless of what Jet learns from this program, the residents who are getting free Latch installs are probably pretty happy about it.