Instacart Sees 2020 as the ‘Year of Grocery Pickup’

New features aim to lure additional retail customers.

January 21, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Grocery delivery and pick-up service Instacart’s new offering, Instacart Pickup, is now live at 1,500 supermarkets in 30 states and serves more than 50 grocery retailers, including Albertsons, Publix Super Markets, Wegmans Food Markets, Schnucks Market, Price Chopper, Gelson’s Markets, Shop ‘n Save and The Fresh Market, according to Supermarket News. The service is a sign of Instacart’s doubling down on click-and-collect online grocery service with plans for a nationwide rollout to retailers by the year’s end.

“2020 is the year of pickup,” said Nilam Ganenthiran, president of Instacart. “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[s] by an average of 15% and accounting for an average of 20% of a retailer's total Instacart store sales.”

One new feature the company offers is Smart Storefronts, which lets shoppers view delivery and pickup options from one digital storefront for each of the grocers they shop at on the Instacart platform. As a result, users can now toggle between delivery and pickup options to see the latest inventory by store and compare time windows for both.

Instacart’s Pickup Mapping allows shoppers to view and choose the pickup location most convenient to them. In addition, customers can now enable location-based notifications, known as On The Way Alerts, to tell the store to let them know when they’re getting close. That allows in-store pickers to be waiting for customers at the curbside in real time, according to Instacart.

Gelson's Markets, based in Encino, California, has expanded its partnership with Instacart to add pickup to all store locations. “At Gelson’s, Instacart Pickup is an integral part of the way we’re evolving to meet the changing needs of our customers, who appreciate the flexibility and affordability that comes with a curbside offering,” said John Bagan, chief merchandising officer at Gelson’s Markets. “We recently expanded our partnership with Instacart to add pickup, in addition to delivery, across 100% of our store locations. Customers can now have groceries and household essentials, as well as beer, wine and spirits ready for same-day pickup.”

Another new feature is customized navigation, which sends customers to the mapping app of their choice to automatically direct drivers from their current location to the store. Users, too, can now share their order details with friends and family to designate another driver for an order pickup. Instacart added that it’s also continuing to expand alcohol pickup service, which is currently available via 20-plus retail partners, including Aldi, Publix and Wegmans.

Instacart Pickup debuted at a handful of retail partners in 2018, and in 2019, doubled the number of retailers and tripled the number of states offering the service. It’s reported that pickup accounts for 20% of a store’s overall Instacart sales within four to eight weeks of being launched. Today, Instacart’s delivery service is available at nearly 25,000 stores in more than 5,500 cities in the U.S. and Canada, serving more than 85% of households in the U.S. and more than 70% of households in Canada.