- Instacart has helped more than 60,000 seniors buy groceries online in the past month with its new Senior Support Service, according to a company announcement. The service is available by phone.
- The program is dedicated to Instacart customers over age 60 and is staffed by specialists who can assist with setting up accounts, filling virtual carts and placing orders, among other services.
- Many seniors still want to limit their in-person grocery trips due to COVID-19, and now with flu season approaching, Instacart expects even more customers will want to order from the safety of their homes.
Moving from its digitally-native environment to offer phone service highlights Instacart’s drive to reach the multitude of senior shoppers who are willing to buy groceries online because of the pandemic, but who may face technological hurdles in doing so.
With the Senior Support Service, customers can gain a better understanding of how to buy their groceries, household essentials and medications online. This is particularly notable as many brace themselves for cold and flu season and the unknown path of COVID-19 in the winter months.
According to Instacart, more than 150 specialists are assigned to staff the program, which is seeing traffic of about 2,000 senior customers a day, on average. Specialists spend about 20% more time with these customers than traditional account support, the company said.
Seniors represent major growth potential for retailers online. Research firm eMarketer estimates 62% of baby boomers will make at least one online purchase this year, and data from the National Retail Federation found that 45% of boomers have been shopping more online because of the pandemic.
Offering this level of guidance to customers is new among online grocers, but some have prioritized outreach for seniors in 2020. In March, H-E-B and Favor established a special service to allow senior shoppers to place orders for delivery of grocery essentials either by phone or online. Around the same time, DoorDash led the charge to waive grocery delivery fees from 2,000 stores for shoppers aged 60 and older.