The move is the latest indication that Instacart’s role in grocery is changing. Grocery delivery soared in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when consumers looked for no- and limited-contact ways to shop. Grocery delivery remains popular with consumers, but many grocers, like Heinen’s, have started to bring pick-and-pack and even delivery operations in-house.
Instacart, meanwhile, has continued to work with major chains on delivery while expanding its role as a technology solution provider for grocers. Instacart last year streamlined technologies under its Connected Stores platform. New features included an updated Caper Cart (smart cart), electronic shelf labels and out-of-stock alerts. Then, this month, Instacart debuted another round of new technology solutions for grocers, including further updates to the smart cart, its ad tech, its order management system and its white-label e-commerce platform.
Still, delivery companies remain invested in the grocery space. Instacart competitor DoorDash, largely associated with restaurant delivery, has continued to add more grocery partners. Also this month, it added delivery from Aldi, as Retail Leader reported.