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Instacart Rolls Out New Features for Its Shoppers

Online grocery platform kicks off series of enhancements to bolster its community
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Instacart shopper
Instacart is adding live phone support for its shoppers as part of a series of improvements.

Instacart is springing into action this season with a series of improvements, including four new product suites designed to enhance the experience of its shoppers and, ultimately, the customers that its shoppers serve. The online grocery platform will begin launching some updates this month, continuing with more feature introductions over the next several weeks.

According to officials, the changes align with the company’s commitment to support its approximately 600,000 Instacart shoppers where they shop and beyond to provide ingredients to earn on their terms, to build a community of best intent and to recognize strong, high-performing shoppers. 

“Shoppers on our platform are uniquely able to balance empathy with efficiency and communication with problem-solving. They put unmatched care into their efforts for customers, and we want them to feel the same level of care and commitment from us at Instacart as they give to their communities every day,” said Tom Maguire, Instacart’s VP of operations and care. “With the introduction of these commitments, our goal is for every shopper on our platform to feel heard, respected, prioritized and cared for as members of this important community. We look forward to building on these commitments as shoppers continue to help us invite the world to share love through food.”

One of the additions is live phone support, through which shoppers can call and talk to a care representative through the Instacart Shopper app. Such capability was one of the most requested features based on shopper feedback and research, according to the company.

Another offering is a soon-to-launch safety toolkit. Instacart shoppers can use the resource to access in-app emergency calling, incident reporting and safety alerts via their app.

To make it easier for its shoppers to buy products for customers, Instacart is also piloting new in-app navigation feature that provides an interactive map of the grocery store, including precise item locations. Set to be tested in more than 80 grocery store locations throughout the United States, the feature will also include a more intuitive shopping list.

“The products we build for shoppers are developed with the goal of improving their experience and bettering our platform as a whole,” added John Adams, VP of shopper and fulfillment product. “The functionality we are introducing today will help keep shoppers safe on the platform and support them in every step of their shop, from the moment they accept an order until after it’s delivered to the customer. Over the next several months, we look forward to introducing additional features based on direct shopper feedback, as we further our goal of offering the best possible shopper experience.”

The grocery platform is keeping its shoppers up to date on the changes via a new microsite that includes details on the latest features. In addition to the improvements for its legions of shoppers, Instacart has been busy over the past year by bringing on new executive leadership and acquiring companies and capabilities, including the AI tech platform Caper and the order management system FoodStorm.

Analysts have valued the San Francisco-based Instacart at $39 billion.

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