Instacart is moving into the ultrafast lane
Instacart is joining the ultrafast delivery race.
The company this week in a press release said it is building nano-fulfillment (aka micro-fulfillment) warehouses with the goal of speeding local deliveries to customers in as little as 15 minutes. Instacart’s Carrot Warehouses, as they are called, will have their formal launch as part of a deal with Publix in the Atlanta and Miami markets in the coming months.
Maria Brous, director of communications at Publix, said the new warehouses will “unlock ultrafast delivery in our major metro areas” and that the chain is “eager to continue to test and iterate on these new concepts as consumer needs continue to evolve.”
Instacart CEO Fidji Simo, in a CNBC interview, said her company is moving into ultrafast delivery as part of a portfolio of delivery options, understanding that consumers who need groceries in 15 minutes are currently a small portion of the market.
Carrot Warehouses are part of a larger platform initiative by Instacart. The company also announced Carrot Insights and Carrot Ads as part of its new plan.
Carrot Insights are said to give retail customers “near real-time visibility into their operations” by tracking key metrics such as order volume, out-of-stocks, et al. across Instacart’s platform and retailers’ own apps. New data analytics are said to help merchants better understand performance on a geographic basis, out-of-stocks and buying trends.
Key Food is one of the retailers that is using Carrot Insights.
“As a co-operative with a variety of banners making up the Key Food family of supermarkets, it’s incredibly important for us to not only understand how each of our banners are operating, but also how our ecommerce business is performing as a whole,” said George Knobloch, chief operating officer at Key Food Stores Co-Operative.
Some concerns were raised that retailers might be shut off from digital ad funds when Instacart in January announced the addition of digital ad products to its platform. The company appears to be addressing those concerns with the launch of Carrot Ads.
Instacart said the service brings the best of its ad network — technology, products, engineering, sales and data — to retailers’ e-commerce sites. Carrot Ads have a revenue sharing component intended to benefit Instacart customers, such as Schnucks and Plum Market.
- Instacart Launches “Instacart Platform” with New Advertising, Fulfillment and Insights Solutions for Retailers – Instacart
- Instacart CEO on expansion into 15-minute delivery – CNBC
- How will grocers react to Instacart’s expanded digital ad network? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see big opportunities for ultrafast delivery in grocery and what do you think of Instacart’s approach to that portion of the market? Which offering from Instacart’s platform — Carrot Ads, Carrot Warehouses or Carrot Insights — will be most valuable to retailers?