Instacart New Omnichannel and AI for Grocery

  • September 14, 2023
  • William Payne

North American grocery technology firm Instacart has announced updates to Instacart Storefront and Caper Carts to help grocers bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping and deploy AI to offer more convenient, personalised experiences. With the new updates, a new “In-Store” mode turns retailers’ apps into companions when customers shop in stores.

Storefront powers owned-and-operated e-commerce store fronts for more than 550 retail banners. Caper Carts, Instacart’s smart carts, helps retailers digitise their stores and build AI-powered omnichannel experiences for customers.

Instacart is bringing AI-powered conversational search to the new Instacart Storefront so customers can ask open-ended questions such as “What do I need to make fish tacos?” or “What’s a nutritious lunch for my kids?” directly in the search bar on retailers’ store fronts

Caper Carts also features new in-store rewards, allowing retailers to offer customers points, coupons, or badges for completing actions like logging into a loyalty account, adding certain items to the cart, or trying a Caper Cart for the first time.

A new Caper Cart dock, which lets retailers provide a permanent place for Caper Carts to be stored and charged.

“We’ve long believed the future of grocery – and commerce in general – isn’t online or in-store, it’s both. And now, more than ever, it’s being supercharged with AI,” said Asha Sharma, Chief Operating Officer. “We know that omnichannel customers in particular are more valuable to retailers, which is why Instacart is developing more solutions that help retailers serve their customers no matter how they shop. And, good data is the foundation for good AI solutions for retailers. Our operational advantage is built around our dynamic grocery catalogue – which is one of the largest in the industry and includes 1.4 billion items and more than 6,000 item updates per second – paired with more than a decade of knowledge about how people shop for groceries online.”

Instacart Storefront is an end-to-end omnichannel digital commerce platform designed specifically for grocery, that brings Instacart’s technology to retailers’ owned-and-operated store fronts – including Costco in the US and Canada, Price Chopper/Market 32, and Tops Friendly Markets.

The new Instacart Storefront is built on the same core infrastructure as the Instacart App.

“Our partnership with Instacart has played a critical role in advancing our omnichannel e-commerce strategy, enabling seamless online shopping for our customers regardless of device,” said Ed Suh, Executive Vice President at Food Bazaar. “The new Instacart Storefront takes our partnership one step further, making the overall experience even more dynamic, equipping our team with powerful tools to showcase and market our extensive and diverse product line to our customers, and allowing for more seamless integrations, especially with critical channels such as our weekly flyer or loyalty. These powerful backend tools, combined with a more customer-friendly app shopping experience, fully aligns our e-commerce strategy with our overall commitment to convenience at every customer touchpoint.”