- Costco and Instacart have teamed up to pilot free prescription delivery in as little as one hour to customers in Washington state and California, CNBC first reported. Grocery Dive has confirmed the report. Prescriptions can be delivered to a customer's home or office.
- Customers over the age of 18 who have a Costco or Instacart membership can get free delivery for orders over $35. If an order doesn't reach the cart minimum, prices depend on how quickly the patient needs their medication but usually cost less than $10.
- Instacart shoppers are not required to deliver prescriptions but will be able to do so if they complete a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) certification course online.
The Instacart-Costco partnership reaffirms just how important convenience is for consumers as delivery and pickup continues to become more prevalent. Prescription delivery is one new way that the two companies can connect with their customers and deepen their ties.
Costco was initially slow to offer e-commerce to its more than 90 million members, but it now offers same-day as well as two-day delivery service. The introduction of grocery delivery and expansion of its partnership with Instacart have bolstered the company’s e-commerce sales.
Costco now makes up 24% of Instacart’s sales, and the retailer also saw its online sales via Instacart grow 99% since last year, according to research from Edison trends.
The addition of prescription delivery gives shoppers yet another reason to choose Costco. The retailer’s pharmacy is accessible to both members and non-members, and is said to have among the most competitive pricing. The company also offers an auto-refill program and a member prescription program for even lower costs.
Competition around pharmacy and health services is increasing, and the pilot program will keep Costco in the race against Amazon, which acquired online pharmaceutical company PillPack last year, and Walmart, which provides mail-order prescriptions in some markets.