Instacart platform helps transform retail operations

  • March 29, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Instacart is helping grocers with a suite of enterprise-grade technologies to power their digital properties and retail operations.

The California-based firm pioneered online grocery shopping with its consumer marketplace, and already powers the ecommerce and fulfilment experience for hundreds of retailers across North America.

With the launch of the Instacart Platform, it is giving retailers access to the technologies behind Instacart’s consumer marketplace to power their own digital properties and retail operations.

Instacart Platform brings together the technologies retailers need to improve the consumer experience online or in-store and digitise the end-to-end grocery operation. Some retailers will choose to use some of these technologies a-la-carte, while others might benefit from having all on one connected platform that works seamlessly across channels.

The platform is comprised of:

  • Ecommerce: Ecommerce storefronts custom-built for grocers and a-la-carte recommendation and merchandising capabilities.
  • Fulfilment: This helps grocers to do online delivery and pickup from stores or warehouses, from 15-minute ultrafast to next-day delivery.
  • In-store: Digital integrations and connected hardware to enhance the brick-and-mortar store experience, from scanless carts to technology that helps manage operations.
  • Ads: Advertising to help brands connect and engage with consumers in the digital aisles.
  • Insights: Data tools to help retailers optimise operations, provide more connected experiences, and make informed business decisions

“The grocery industry is undergoing a digital transformation where customers expect a seamless experience across many channels, but behind the scenes it’s taking an incredible amount of work and investment for retailers to deliver these new services,” said Fidji Simo, CEO of Instacart. “We’re looking to change that with Instacart Platform. We started as the ecommerce and fulfilment partner of choice for grocers, and we’ve been building on that foundation to broaden and deepen our capabilities, in order to help retailers innovate faster than ever on their own properties.”

The company is launching three capabilities as part of Instacart Platform to help retailers serve their customers no matter when, where or how they want to shop:

  • Carrot Ads opens up digital revenue streams for retailers by bringing the best of Instacart advertising – including the company’s technology, products, engineering and sales talent, and data insights – to retailers’ owned and operated ecommerce sites. Carrot Ads unlocks monetisation capabilities, including revenue share models, to create an additional source of profit for retailers. Instacart is piloting its ad service with Schnuck Markets, Good Food Holdings, Plum Market and other select retailers, with plans to roll it out more broadly later this year.
  • Carrot Warehouses helps retailers create more flexible, local fulfilment models to unlock capabilities such as 15-minute ultrafast delivery. As a full stack within Instacart Platform, it works with retailers to enable end-to-end fast delivery customised to their needs, including building nano-fulfilment centres (NFCs), devising floor plans, establishing automation services, and running ongoing operations. It will power 15-minute ultrafast delivery for Publix customers in Atlanta and Miami over the coming months.
  • Carrot Insights gives retailers near real-time visibility into their operations to help them make informed, proactive business decisions. Dashboards track key performance and operational metrics such as order volumes and out of stocks across platform and retailers’ own Instacart app storefronts. Data analytics software helps retailers understand geographic sales, out of stocks and customer buying trends. Carrot Insights is helping retailers such as Key Food manage and optimise their omnichannel operations, and is live today for all Instacart Platform users.

“Across our five iconic food retailing brands, we’re operating in a dynamic industry where we need to meet consumer expectations, both online and offline,” said Neil Stern, CEO of Good Food Holdings. “Our focus is to leverage the industry’s best technology and partnerships to future-proof our omnichannel retail business. We’re proud to be first-movers with Instacart Platform’s new Carrot Ads feature. We’ll now be able to take advantage of Instacart’s robust ad-tech and talent to help us unlock additional digital revenue streams for our ecommerce sites.”

Instacart is a retail enablement platform that works with grocers and retailers to transform how people shop. It partners with more than 750 national, regional and local retail banners to facilitate online grocery shopping, delivery and pickup services from more than 70,000 stores across more than 5500 cities in North America.