As consumers’ lives become more hectic completing regular grocery shopping trips have become a daunting task. It is because of this that new retail delivery firms like Instacart have come in to take the burden off consumer’s shoulders with online order and shipping options.
Instacart, which began as a service available in the San Francisco Bay area has since expanded to New York City, Boston, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago. The service, which can be accessed via a mobile application (currently only iOS) or the web can allow customers to place grocery orders from any store located in their area and have them delivered right to their doorstep.
The company abides to swift shipping, and boasts an internal record of 12 minutes from when the customer placed the order. Shipping usually takes under 2 hours, with a shipping fee of $3.99. Shoppers can schedule for a later time or date similar to myDoorman and Parcel. However, shipping prices can vary depending on store locations and total size of the order. Instacart ships 7 days a week between 9am and midnight.
“We are a same-day grocery delivery service. We are the only service that can deliver groceries from multiple stores to customers within an hour, two hours, same day or future days, so customers in Boston can choose and mix items from multiple stores in one order,” said Heather Wake, general manager of Instacart.
Instacart employs a fleet of personal shopping experts who are able to confidently choose and pick fresh produce and perishables. Instacart works with local retailers such as Shaw’s, Market Basket, Costco and Whole Foods among others. The service can also allow for multiple store purchases, meaning an order can be placed with products available at different chains and retailers.
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Instacart has also developed a backend mobile application for its personal shoppers to make sure the orders are fulfilled as fast as possible.
“So once the customer places an order on either their app or website, we have a smartphone app for our personal shoppers, so once the customer places an order the personal shopper gets a notification that there’s an order available for them. “The notification tells them what stores to go to. Once they’re in the store, the app will tell them which aisle and shelf each item is located. Sometimes shoppers will work on several orders at once, usually two. The shopper is fulfilling the customer’s order in the store. They’re going through the store, picking items that the customer has chosen and get the delivery to them in the allotted time frame. So the app the personal shopper is using is what is guiding them through the store and they also get suggestions to deliver it to their customers,” Wake added on the service.
In a similar move, Ecommerce giant Amazon has also begun to offer a grocery and wholesales delivery service. Amazon Fresh however does not complete the order at local retailers but rather is done in-house.