- Instacart plans to more than double its click-and-collect footprint by the end of this year, according to a press release. Instacart currently powers grocery pickup from 1,500 grocery stores in 30 states.
- Instacart has also rolled out expanded customer features to its pickup platform, including a customizable navigation tool, order sharing function and a "smart storefront" where shoppers can view delivery and pickup options across stores from one digital storefront. Additionally, customers can now enable location-based notifications to let grocers know they’re on their way to collect their order.
- To lead, oversee and scale operations of the pickup service, the company has appointed Sarah Mastrorocco as general manager of Instacart Pickup. She is moving into the new role following a position as vice president of business development. Prior to joining Instacart, Mastrorocco worked at PepsiCo and Frito-Lay.
Instacart has made its name in delivery, but the company now wants to round out its profile and offer a click-and-collect service that can compete with the likes of Amazon, Walmart and Target. By the end of this year, Instacart says it will have more pickup locations than any other North American company.
Instacart Pickup has expanded quickly since its launch last year, with hundreds of national and regional stores coming online each month. The company currently provides pickup for more than 50 grocers across 30 states including Food Lion, Publix, Schnucks, Wegmans and Gelson’s, and plans plans to offer pickup in all 50 states by year’s end.
That growth tracked with other companies' rapid pickup expansion as customers turned to the convenient, cost-effective option. Walmart expanded pickup to more than 3,100 stores, and has recently reported plans to use robots to speed up fulfillment and eventually, bring groceries out to people’s cars. Target offers pickup service from almost all of its 1,850 locations.
There has also been major growth in click-and-collect among regional grocers. Giant Food Stores launched Giant Direct pickup and delivery service last year and quickly expanded it to 115 stores in four states, reaching 90% of its customers. Stop & Shop has added same-day pickup service.
Instacart's updates to its pickup service, meanwhile, reflect the additions other retailers have been making as they vye for online dollars. Among some of the other new features, the platform will include a “pick your pickup” map where shoppers can view and select their most convenient location. A customized navigation feature will allow shoppers to use the mapping app of their choice when getting directions from their current location to their pickup store.
Instacart, which also partners with a few non-grocery retailers like Petco and BevMo, said it has been gradually rolling out the revamped pickup features over the past several months, and said they are now available to all customers in the U.S. and Canada.
While delivery offers the convenience of home service, click-and-collect has resonated with shoppers thanks to its lower cost and familiar routine. Still, a 2019 survey from Offers.com found 77% of Americans still have not tried grocery pickup. Among those who do, 39% of shoppers select Walmart, while 25% use local grocery stores. Instacart wasn’t cited specifically among the click-and-collect providers, though it does cover many local and regional grocers.