- Instacart announced on Wednesday it has launched a new subscription service, Instacart+, to replace Instacart Express.
- The new service introduces several family shopping features including shared carts and accounts, and benefits specifically for Chase cardholders.
- Instacart+ comes at a time when Instacart is taking steps to go public and trying to keep members engaged as they battle inflation and use competing services for grocery delivery and pickup.
Instacart is introducing the new program — which has a name similar to Walmart’s Walmart+ membership program— as several grocers, like Albertsons, are rolling out and revamping subscription offerings to lock in customer loyalty, following in the footsteps of Amazon Prime.
Instacart noted in the announcement that in 2021 subscribers spent nearly twice the amount each month compared to non-subscribers, on average.
In addition to the revamped name, Instacart+ includes account sharing perks for members, in a nod to the shared digital access that’s become common among users of Netflix and other programs. Instacart+ users can share access to their account with one other person for free. The program also allows multiple members of a household to add items to one cart.
As with the former Express program, Instacart+ members receive 5% credit back on eligible pickup orders and free delivery on orders over $35. Instacart said the new service has “reduced service fees on every order.”
With Instacart’s recently expanded partnership with Chase, eligible cardholders can get free Instacart+ memberships, ranging from three months to a year for free, depending on their card.
As online grocery sales have flattened out more than two years into the pandemic, Instacart is trying to keep its most valuable users engaged with its platform. It’s also trying to boost the value of its membership program at a time when consumers have a multitude of subscription programs vying for a share of their wallets. Competing delivery companies like Uber, DoorDash and Gopuff have their own membership programs that offer numerous perks.
Instacart has also been rolling out new tools for its retail partners and workers as it seeks to maintain its leading position in grocery e-commerce. The company filed confidentially to go public last month — less than two months after slashing its valuation by 40%.
In the announcement, Daniel Danker, head of product at Instacart, made a plug for Instacart’s 30-minute service, which the company has been rolling out to grocery partners like Kroger and Ahold Delhaize. As quick delivery gains traction in the U.S., the company is also speeding up its offerings, including 15-minute delivery powered by “nano-fulfillment centers.”