Instacart has a family plan to build shopping carts

Discussion
Photo: Instacart
Jun 16, 2022

Instacart Express is out and Instacart+ is in. The retail delivery service has renamed its subscription plan and expanded its emphasis from a single person in a household to the entire family.

The updated plan allows family members to share a single Instacart+ subscription and makes it easier to place orders. The service includes free delivery on orders of at least $35, five percent credit on eligible pickup orders and reduced service fees.

Family accounts provide a way for all household members to make sure their favorites are included in shopping trips. The service has a family cart feature where members of a household can shop and fill carts together.

Instacart is celebrating the debut of its updated program via a tie-in with Chase that will allow cardmembers to get free memberships. Sapphire Reserve cardmembers are eligible to get a free one-year membership, Sapphire Preferred members get six months and Freedom and Slate members get three.

“We’re making Instacart+ the most cost-effective way for families to buy groceries and essentials with Instacart, delivered in as fast as 30 minutes,” Daniel Danker, head of product at Instacart, said in a statement. “In addition to free delivery on orders over $35, credit back on Pickup and reduced service fees, subscribers can now share Instacart+ with another person for free, and shop together to make ordering truly effortless.”

Instacart has been seeking ways to build its subscriber base by offering delivery and pickup at a time when more Americans have been going to stores to buy groceries rather than shopping online as they did through much of the pandemic. The company has also expanded its delivery program to include non-grocers.

Higher subscriber numbers are critical to Instacart’s business plan that calls on generating a greater percentage of sales and profits from digital ads.

Adweek in January reported that Instacart’s ad network grew “fivefold” in 2021 to $550 millions. That number is expected to grow to $795 million this year, according to an eMarketer forecast.

Instacart recently announced the launch of shoppable video and display ads with Dove, Mondelēz International, PepsiCo and S.Pellegrino among the first consumer packaged goods brands to get on board.

CNBC last month reported that Instacart has filed an initial public offering draft registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Instacart+ will succeed in getting members of a household to add items to a family shopping cart before purchase? Is this a feature that you expect other retailers to offer?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I'm not sure that Instacart has put all the depth in it that a group shopping list/wish list really needs, but I have to give them props for trying."
"These updates to the Instacart membership model reflect a great attention to consumer behaviors. This is how consumers want an online shopping membership to work."
"Couldn’t people in the same household just share the same login if they needed these features?"

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6 Comments on "Instacart has a family plan to build shopping carts"


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Lucille DeHart
BrainTrust

YES! Genius move. Smart marketing initiatives look at natural consumer behaviors and simplify and enhance them. This innovation will transform the paper grocery list posted on most family refrigerators. Beyond household members leveraging this, providing Instacart with valuable family data can also create visibility to next-gen customers.

Nikki Baird
BrainTrust

This is a personal pet peeve of mine, trying to get my family to use one digital shopping list so that we don’t have to chase everyone down or deal with “Oh, but I really needed to get…”. Every option we’ve tried breaks or requires resetting logins often enough that it’s just not worth it. I’m not sure that Instacart has put all the depth in it that a group shopping list/wish list really needs, but I have to give them props for trying – this kind of thing is apparently way harder than it seems on the surface!

As someone who is not an Instacart user (edge of the suburbs, sigh), is this enough to get me to join? No. Cost, reliability of delivery – those are much bigger barriers.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

Call it what you will, but I am not sold that adding the household/”family shopping cart” feature is a real game-changer here. Couldn’t people in the same household just share the same login if they needed these features? I do think the digital ad revenue and shoppable video ads are nice features and, in my opinion, that is where the opportunity lies for Instacart. They need to differentiate on price (admittedly very difficult given their cost model) and experience – not cart sharing – if they hope to overcome the subscription overload syndrome that most consumers face. Especially as more and more grocery shoppers are returning to the store themselves, grocery delivery subscriptions seem like an easy monthly bill to eliminate without a really compelling reason to stay.

Melissa Minkow
BrainTrust

I have been waiting for retailers to offer a shared cart function. These updates to the Instacart membership model reflect a great attention to consumer behaviors. This is how consumers want an online shopping membership to work. I’m excited to see the impact of these changes.

Raj B. Shroff
BrainTrust

This is a feature that should have already existed. In my opinion it doesn’t warrant a name change or any PR hype. I suspect a majority of list making is being done by one person and that person knows what the family needs and wants or it’s easy enough to just ask them.

In our house it’s usually my wife, I doubt she wants to have to monitor the list of things our kids add to the cart.

Households are also getting smaller so communication is as easy as asking your spouse or partner what they want to add to the list.

Again, in my opinion, it’s just a feature — hardly worth mentioning.

Courtney L
Guest
8 days 6 minutes ago

The biggest difficulty is getting a high quality shopper to complete the order, as you know Instacart hires literally almost anyone. To get one of these top shoppers typically a larger tip is required which makes grocery delivery not so affordable anymore, but more like a luxury. Remember Instacart’s model relies on inexperienced shoppers to fulfill most orders. Do you expect good quality service if the shopper is being paid only 7 bucks plus a couple bucks tip? I agree with the other comments; one person typically makes the list and will ask others for any special requests. This new feature is unnecessary.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I'm not sure that Instacart has put all the depth in it that a group shopping list/wish list really needs, but I have to give them props for trying."
"These updates to the Instacart membership model reflect a great attention to consumer behaviors. This is how consumers want an online shopping membership to work."
"Couldn’t people in the same household just share the same login if they needed these features?"

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