- Instacart announced Wednesday a new set of in-app features aimed at fixing pain points for workers, including when they use their personal cards to pay for orders or when a customer can’t accept certain deliveries.
- The four new tools are an updated returns experience, a new reimbursements process, the ability to move an item between orders and shopping filters to sort items by each customer.
- These new capabilities build on Instacart’s ongoing efforts to improve its workforce’s shopping and earning experience.
Instacart said the new in-app tools will provide more support to its workers and that the changes were developed in response to their feedback.
The new returns feature will allow workers, which Instacart calls “shoppers,” to manage the entire return directly within the app instead of previously having to contact the Instacart Care team. Issues with returns arise when a customer, for example, can’t accept their alcohol or prescription delivery.
Workers will now be able to mark that the items were unable to be delivered and receive in-app instructions on how to go back to the store and make the return. Once that’s completed, workers will automatically receive a return payment in their Shopper app, Instacart said. The new returns process is currently available for alcohol and prescriptions in all states except California.
The new reimbursement feature aims to streamline the process of workers using their personal card to pay for an order. While Instacart noted that that happens rarely, it’s now easier for workers to get reimbursed, the company said.
They’ll receive an automatic push notification to begin the reimbursement process and all previously uploaded receipts will automatically get attached, avoiding the hassle of workers having to upload supporting documentation. Workers will be able to monitor the status of the reimbursement as well.
The other two new features are geared toward better organization for workers while they shop, particularly for multi-batch orders, Instacart noted. With the shopping filters, they can view each customer’s list to determine which items go with which order.
The ability to move items between orders aims to address issues when a worker has already checked out with an item that’s in the incorrect order. “For example, if you scan Customer A’s eggs along with Customer B’s items, you’ll receive a notification to make sure the eggs are given to Customer A,” according to an Instacart blog post.
That feature is available with Wegmans, Publix and Schnuck Markets, with more retailers expected to adopt it in the future, Instacart noted.
In recent months, Instacart has rolled out a slew of new features for its workforce, including tip protection, multi-store batching features, a revamped customer ratings system and in-store navigation. Last month, the company started sharing when and where its workers can find peak earning opportunities.
As Instacart faces growing delivery competition from DoorDash, Uber Eats and even retailers with their own branded e-commerce operations, the company’s continual app updates help it address retaining and attracting gig workers.