These days it seems like everything can be delivered to you either through an app or an online retailer like Amazon, so why not groceries? Well with Instacart, that may be a reality for all you hopefuls laid up with a broken leg, too tired to go out or unable to get out!
Instacart is a grocery delivery startup which is competing with the likes of Amazon. It’s based out of San Francisco and they want to shop for you and deliver your groceries right to your front door, giving you store choices like Target, Costco, and over 200 other retailers.
So far they have been backed by a number of popular and well-known investors like Glade Brook Capital and Whole Foods Market, so what do they do and what makes them so different?
Using their app, customers can shop for groceries at their preferred retailer and order their shopping list to their home, the same day. In some cases, customers may be able to shop, order and receive their items within an hour.
They make their money by charging delivery fees and through promotions and coupons offered to customers by various brands like General Mills and Coca-Cola.
To begin customers can enter their location information or log in to their account to see offers and delivery options relevant to their location. Signing up for an account is as easy as connecting your account to your Facebook page or providing your full name and email address.
Once logged in or signed up, users can browse products available in their area or browse by coupon and offers. When items are selected the customer can add them to their cart, same day delivery is available to customers in larger cities like Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Chicago, Austin, Washington D.C, Houston, and Atlanta.
Their hope is to save customers the time and effort that they use grocery shopping for a small convenience fee. In this way, whether you get off when all the stores are closed, are feeling a little lazy or are geographically or medically limited from shopping at your favorite retailers you can still get the goods that you need and want.
They even promise that their carriers keep your eggs safe until delivery and feel for perfectly ripe fruits, just like you would.
If you’re a business owner hoping to feature your products on their site and make your items available to a wider audience, well you’re in luck! With their partnership program businesses are empowered to launch themselves into the future by making their products available on Instacart’s online marketplace.
The company benefits from support for all delivery and order handling online and in person, personalized order analytics to track progress and a wider audience for their products.
While this startup sounds amazing, developments to grocery delivery are not without its challenges. The most recent of these challenges deal with the competition I mentioned at the beginning of the article.
Since Whole Foods, one of their main supports has been acquired by Amazon, arguably their biggest competitor with services like Prime Pantry and other same-day or next day food-delivery services, questions remain about the possibility for future funding and support.
Since Amazon is such a large company with expertise in areas that extend passed just groceries, customers who have already signed up with Prime or don’t mind ordering food items from the international giant online without Prime may not be convinced that a smaller startup is better for them.
Therefore their future success may be contingent on continuing to wow funders, keeping delivery prices low and expanding into cities to reach more customers.
Their partnership program may be a good system to leverage business owners’ need to expand the availability of their products, even when these business owners may already be offering their products to other sites to be featured.
The deal between Whole Foods and Amazon may have set them back but if they’re willing and able to continue the same trend of business smart tenacity that got them recognized before, the deal doesn’t have to become a nail in their coffin.
Furthermore, giving consumers a choice, even if between smaller corporations and startups and massive corporations will at least assure that giant like Amazon is offering better products and services at a better price with the customers’ convenience in mind instead of relying on being the only option and falling into complacency.