SAN FRANCISCO—Instacart has overhauled its subscription service program Instacart Express, renaming it Instacart+ and offering subscribers free delivery, credit back, reduced service fees and the ability to share their subscription, according to a news release.
Instacart+ costs $9.99 per month or $99 a year, and if customers spend over $35 on an order, they are eligible for free delivery, and if they pick up, they receive 5% credit back. Subscribers also receive mileage bonus from Delta on every dollar spent, and certain Chase cardmembers are eligible for a free membership up to one year depending on the card they have. The new program also allows for family sharing.
The company said that on average Instacart subscribers spent nearly two times more each month compared to non-subscribers in 2021.
“With today’s launch, we’re making Instacart+ the most cost-effective way for families to buy groceries and essentials with Instacart, delivered in as fast as 30 minutes,” said Daniel Danker, head of product at Instacart.
Subscription-based services skyrocketed during the pandemic. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. households subscribe to a retail membership, with over 62% of households holding at least one retail membership, according to recent Numerator data.
Instacart is competing with Amazon Prime, Walmart+ and Target’s Shipt Everyday subscription programs, among many others, with Amazon Prime being the most popular. Over half of U.S. households subscribe to Amazon Prime, which is six times more than Walmart+.
According to Leroy Kelsey, NACS research director, convenience retailers are testing subscription models to skirt shopper resistance to premiums. Subscriptions make upselling, cross-selling and basket-building easier. They also reduce the cost to acquire customers and streamlines sales forecasting, plus they build loyalty and make revenue predictable.
“Prior to the pandemic c-store shopper e-commerce membership was 32% and growing by about 5% each year,” said Kelsey at the 2022 NACS State of the Industry Summit. “The lockdown and busy lifestyles have doubled that type of engagement.”
The majority of consumers subscribe to just one retail membership program—80% of households that Numerator surveyed subscribe to one program, 13.8% subscribe to two programs, 3.7% subscribe to three and 2.5% subscribe to four or more. Multiprogram subscribers are more likely to be affluent, ethnically diverse and values driven. They are more likely to be Black or Hispanic/Latino, from larger households, buy on impulse, and are more aware of the corporate values behind the products they buy.
NACS Magazine dove into loyalty programs and how they can provide convenience retailers with critical consumer insights and a competitive edge in “Just Rewards.”