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Instacart Adds New Omnichannel, AI Solutions For Grocers

Instacart AI solutions
Instacart is introducing a new “In-Store” mode, which turns retailers’ apps into companions when customers shop in stores

Instacart has added several updates to Instacart Storefront and Caper Carts to help retailers advance their e-commerce, digitize stores and build AI-powered omnichannel experiences.

“We’ve long believed the future of grocery – and commerce in general – isn’t online or in-store, it’s both. And now, more than ever, it’s being supercharged with AI,” said Asha Sharma, chief operating officer.

Instacart AI

“We know that omnichannel customers in particular are more valuable to retailers, which is why Instacart is developing more solutions that help retailers serve their customers no matter how they shop. And, good data is the foundation for good AI solutions for retailers. 

“Our operational advantage is built around our dynamic grocery catalog – which is one of the largest in the industry and includes 1.4 billion items and more than 6,000 item updates per second – paired with more than a decade of knowledge about how people shop for groceries online.”

Instacart Storefront

The new “In-Store” mode helps customers see what’s in stock, view important details such as nutrition information or EBT SNAP-eligibility, get product recommendations, sort items by aisle and access in-store promotions and discounts. 

This also helps retailers better understand customers no matter how they shop. In-Store mode will be available in select areas on retailers’ Instacart Storefront-powered apps, including Food Bazaar, Gelson’s and Stew Leonards, and is also being tested on the Instacart App.

“Our partnership with Instacart has played a critical role in advancing our omnichannel e-commerce strategy, enabling seamless online shopping for our customers regardless of device,” said Ed Suh, EVP at Food Bazaar.

“The new Instacart Storefront takes our partnership one step further, making the overall experience even more dynamic, equipping our team with powerful tools to showcase and market our extensive and diverse product line to our customers and allowing for more seamless integrations, especially with critical channels such as our weekly flier or loyalty. 

“These powerful backend tools, combined with a more customer-friendly app shopping experience, fully aligns our e-commerce strategy with our overall commitment to convenience at every customer touchpoint.”

Instacart AI

In addition, Instacart Storefront includes new merchandising and marketing capabilities such as shoppable digital flyers, more self-serve capabilities and better tooling and analytics.

“The new Instacart Storefront will make it even easier for us to offer more personalized options when they shop online or in stores,” said Diane Colgan, SVP of marketing for Northeast Grocery Inc., supporting Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops stores. 

“And by introducing In-Store mode, our customers will be able to shop deals no matter how they choose to shop. Introducing these new products reflects our dedication to delivering an enhanced and enjoyable digital shopping experience.”

Instacart’s Caper Carts receive AI upgrades

Instacart also unveiled a number of updates to Caper Carts, which are being deployed in stores across the U.S. by retailers such as Bristol Farms, Schnucks, ShopRite, and Fairway Market. 

They include:

  • Upgraded AI models to improve the speed and precision of camera and weight sensors. The models update automatically and learn over time.
  • The ability to order made-to-order items – powered by FoodStorm, Instacart’s order management solution.
  • New in-store rewards, so retailers can offer customers points, coupons or badges for completing actions.
  • A new dock, which lets retailers provide a permanent place for the carts to be stored and charged.

Instacart Caper Carts AI

“As a customer-first organization, we’re always looking for ways to improve the shopping experience,” said Neil Stern, CEO at Good Food Holdings. 

“We’re excited about the use of smart cart technology in our stores in partnership with Instacart, enabling us to provide a seamless and user-friendly checkout process – all with the goal of increasing basket size and optimizing store operations. 

“As Instacart continues to evolve Caper Cart’s technology, we’ll bring greater personalization to the in-store experience as customers shop through the aisles.”

Jeff Pedersen, president and CEO of Retailer Owned Food Distributors and Associates (ROFDA), concluded, “People and technology are at the heart of the grocery industry. Any time we can improve and enhance technology to help people, we have a recipe for success. Instacart continues to do both by enhancing their tools and helping people have a better shopping experience.”

Read more technology news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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