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Instacart Revamps Pickup Service

New features provide flexible shopping options and alerts, supporting anticipated growth

Instacart has revamped its Instacart Pickup product, providing new conveniences that the company said would improve customer experience and help the company scale the fast-growing offering.

Founded as a crowdsourced shopper and delivery service, San Francisco-based Instacart said the “reimagined” pickup would support an increasingly significant revenue contributor to partnering retailers. Instacart provides pickup service for more than 50 grocery partners in 30 states and said it anticipates expanding service to all 50 states by the end of 2020.

Company sources said the expansion of Instacart Pickup is being driven by rapid customer adoption and benefits for retail partners. Those adding pickup are seeing it account for roughly 20% of their Instacart sales within just 4-8 weeks of launch, including incremental sales.

The new Instacart Pickup product has been rolling out to consumers gradually over the past several months and is now available to all Instacart customers across the U.S. and Canada. New Instacart Pickup features include:

Smart storefronts: Customers can now view delivery and pickup options from a single digital storefront on the Instacart platform. The feature allows customers to easily toggle between delivery and pickup options to view the most up-to-date inventory by store and compare time windows for both.

“Pick Your Pickup” mapping: Whether they are coming from home, work, soccer practice or anywhere in between, customers can now view a pickup location most convenient to their route that day.

 “On The Way” alerts: Customers can now enable location-based notifications to let the store know when they’re on the way. Instacart said handoff is more seamless with this new feature, which allows in-store shoppers to be ready and waiting for customers curbside in real time.

Customized navigation: A new navigation feature sends customers to the mapping app of their choice, automatically directing drivers from their current location to the store.

Send a friend or family member: Customers can now share order details with friends and family to delegate pickup to another driver.

Alcohol pickup:  Instacart is now also offering alcohol pickup across more than 20 retail partners, including Aldi, BevMo, Publix, Save Mart, Sprouts and Wegmans, among others.

Instacart also recently promoted Sarah Mastrorocco to the newly created role of general manager of Instacart Pickup, where she will work closely with partners to oversee and scale the operation. Mastrorocco joined Instacart nearly six years ago as the first member of the company’s business development team and since then has been in various leadership positions across catalog, account management and, most recently, VP of business development. Mastrorocco previously was a member of PepsiCo’s global operations group, working on direct-store delivery operations in North and South America. Prior to that, she was on Frito-Lay North America’s strategy and M&A team.

Nilam Ganenthiran, president of Instacart, declared 2020 as "the year of pickup. For our retail partners, we’ve seen Instacart Pickup become a gateway to growth in a margin-thin industry. Our pickup product is also becoming a significant revenue contributor for our retail partners, growing customer basket size by an average of 15% and accounting for an average of 20% of a retailer's total Instacart store sales.” 

Ganenthiran added that pickup was the company’s fastest-growing product. “With the completed rollout of the new Instacart Pickup and the appointment of Sarah as our new GM, we’re laying the groundwork now to prepare for another year of triple-digit growth. By year-end, we expect to have the largest pickup retail footprint in North America and, in the coming years, to grow Instacart Pickup into a multibillion-dollar business.”

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