- Following seven months of beta testing, Anycart, a grocery shopping platform backed by Albertsons and Amazon, announced its nationwide launch Monday.
- Anycart features shoppable recipes in addition to item-based shopping across the grocery brands it partners with, including Amazon, Whole Foods and select banners under Albertsons and Ahold Delhaize. The platform doesn’t have product markups or charge delivery or subscription fees.
- With its focus on cost savings and meal planning, Anycart could help funnel new shoppers to grocers and build larger baskets.
Anycart promotes itself as a “grocery shopping engine” that combines a shoppable recipe platform and order fulfillment software to create a singular touchpoint for consumers.
The platform plugs in with partner retailers’ inventory systems to offer products with real-time availability. Shoppers select their items and dishes, and orders are sent to the retailer for fulfillment, with pickup or delivery updates coming through Anycart. The grocers’ own employees handle the picking, packing and delivery of orders.
Once customers get their orders, they can use how-to videos on Anycart to prepare the dishes they’ve selected, making the platform a closed-loop system for meal inspiration, shopping and preparation.
Shoppable recipes began popping up a few years ago through services like Whisk and Chicory. These sites typically allow shoppers to add recipe ingredients to their online grocery cart, meaning consumers need to navigate over and check out using the retailer’s app or website. Anycart seeks to streamline the entire process under its platform.
Anycart says its financial arrangements with retailers allow it to waive delivery fees and keep pricing the same as in-store, noting that markups from other third-party delivery firms can comprise 30% of an order’s cost on average. This addresses a significant pain point for consumers hesitant to use online grocery, particularly delivery, though it remains to be seen if the arrangement will ultimately pay off for retailers that typically have to pass along those fees or dilute their margins further.
With significantly more consumers shopping online for groceries thanks to the pandemic, retailers are turning to new partners and looking for ways to make the experience more convenient and compelling. The companies and banners Anycart is working with include Whole Foods, Amazon, Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Jewel Osco, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Giant, Giant Food and Stop & Shop. In total, the service is available from 4,000 store locations across 3,400 cities.
During its seven-month beta testing period last year, Anycart’s revenue grew 450%, according to Monday’s announcement. In addition to Amazon and Albertsons, the company’s backers include Menlo Ventures and Greycroft, the latter of which has partnered with Albertsons to invest in emerging companies in the grocery sector.