Instacart announced this morning a number of platform innovations that build on its evolution from a retail delivery provider to a business that enables greater connectivity and integration of various technological components.
Among them, just in time for the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show in Las Vegas this weekend, is the announcement that there will be integrated fulfillment offered to independent grocers who use Rosie, the provider acquired by Instacart last year. "Rosie, Instacart’s white-label e-commerce solution for local and independent grocers, now allows retailers to use Instacart fulfillment services to pick, pack, and deliver orders," the announcement says.
In addition, three other enhancements:
• "Carrot Ads expands with display ads, opening up new revenue streams for grocers - Carrot Ads helps small and large grocers alike establish and grow their retail media networks to capture new revenue streams on their owned and operated websites and apps. Grocers can now offer display ads, in addition to Instacart’s sponsored product solution, to connect CPG brands with consumers on their e-commerce properties, creating new opportunities for growth. Display ads enable national CPG brands to promote engaging, targeted, creative banners to raise awareness and consideration of products, helping to drive bigger baskets for grocers. Carrot Ads also gives grocers and CPG brands access to closed-loop measurement and insights – helping them both understand the strategies that drive the most value for their businesses."
• "FoodStorm support for items sold by weight enables digital ordering for more items - FoodStorm, Instacart’s order management system, now supports items sold by weight including all fresh food and prepared items typically found at deli and meat counters like deli meats and cheeses, premade dishes and salads, and specialty items like Thanksgiving turkeys and holiday hams. With this expansion, grocers can now support order management and offer digital ordering, pickup and delivery of their deli and meat departments through a single, connected platform. This creates incremental sales opportunities and reduces preparation pressure for retailers, and delivers a more seamless experience for customers."
• "Caper Cart remote management offers powerful and easy auditing tools for store associates - Caper Carts, smart carts by Instacart, can now be managed remotely in real-time via tablet, giving retailers a remote bird’s-eye view of their stores, making it easy to see how many carts are being used, what types of items are being shopped, and to flag issues for audit."
The goal, says Chris Rogers, Instacart's Chief Business Officer, is to help retailers "evolve their online offering, create connected in-store experiences and develop an omnichannel strategy that supports the unique needs of their business and their customers."
Instacart said that these new capabilities are already being used by wholesalers like Associated Food Stores and retailers including New Seasons Market, Niemann Foods, The Fresh Market and Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace.
- KC's View:
First, I think the strategy of offering retailers - especially independents - more nuanced and integrated solutions to their omnichannel needs makes a lot of sense. The worst thing retailers can do is view these various solutions in silos.
Second, Instacart's Chris Rogers will be joining me onstage during Sunday's Technology Innovation tracks at the NGA Show. I hope you'll join us - we've put together a jam-packed agenda that I think will resonate with retailers and wholesalers.