What will Instacart’s new grocery pickup service mean for home delivery?
Instacart has built its business on selecting and delivery groceries from a wide variety of retailers across the U.S. and Canada. The company, which boasts of having access to more than 70 percent of U.S. households and more than 50 percent in Canada, has announced the rollout of a new click and collect service that it plans to take nationwide in 2019.
The rollout of Instacart Pickup follows a multi-month pilot that the company used to gain feedback from customers. The service is initially being made available in nearly 200 stores in 25 markets including Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Nashville, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Grocers offering the pickup service in addition to home delivery include Aldi, Food Lion, Publix, Schnucks, Smart & Final, Sprouts, Tops Friendly Markets, Wegmans and others.
While Instacart’s home delivery service has grown to cover 15,000 stores, it appears as though the company needed to broaden its options to competitively address the growing popularity of in-store and curbside pickup programs offered by Target, Walmart and others.
“Our customers want choice and we’re excited to now offer the pickup option they’ve been asking for,” said Nilam Ganenthiran, chief business officer at Instacart, in a statement. “In our house, sometimes the ritual of going to the grocery store is inspiring and helps us meal plan for the week. Other times, we’re busy and can’t get to the store, so delivery makes life easier for us. For families that are out and about and running errands, a pickup solution might be a better fit for their family rhythm.”
Customers looking to place pickup orders can use Instacart’s mobile app or access its site to select the store location, add items to their cart and schedule a window for them to get their order before checking out. The company’s app users will receive a message when their order is ready for pick up. Customers can also send a message to Instacart’s personal shoppers to let them know when they are on their way to the store. All orders are brought out to the customer’s car. The service is free for Instacart Express members while non-members are charged a fee based on the retail partner, store location and time of day.
- Instacart Unveils National Expansion of New “Instacart Pickup” Grocery Service – Instacart/PRNewswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you read anything into the rollout of Instacart Pickup vis-à-vis home delivery of groceries? Will the additional offer of a pickup service lead to further growth in terms of food retailing partners and number of locations?