NYC grocer first to adopt Instacart’s new Scan & Pay

Foodcellar Market is the first retailer to adopt Instacart’s tech, which lets customers scan and pay for items using their phones and is comparable to Amazon’s JWO.
An iPhone with Instacart's Scan & Pay interface.
  • Foodcellar Market in New York has adopted new technology from Instacart that lets customers scan and pay for items using their phones. 
  • Since it debuted at the store, Instacart said Scan & Pay has been most popular during peak hours of 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. for basket sizes less than 10 items. 
  • Companies like Instacart are shifting into more of a technological solutions provider role for retailers.

New York City grocer Foodcellar Market has adopted Instacart’s new Scan & Pay technology, which allows shoppers to scan and pay for items using only their phones. 

The store, located in the Long Island City neighborhood, is the first to adopt the technology, according to a Feb. 6 release, which is part of Instacart’s Connected Stores initiative, unveiled last year

Here’s how the Scan & Pay technology works:

  • Shoppers scan a quick response (QR) code on a sign located at the front of the Foodcellar Market store.
  • The code opens the Scan & Pay interface in the customer’s mobile browser.
  • Shoppers then scan codes on the items to add them to their cart, including items like weighted produce. 
  • Customers can check out anywhere in the store and show a QR code when they leave the store to prove they paid.  

The Scan & Pay technology is not too dissimilar to offerings from Amazon, including its Just Walk Out technology, which it uses at its physical brick-and-mortar stores (Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh and some Whole Foods Market locations) and also offers to third-party retailers.

Since it debuted at the store several weeks ago, Instacart said the platform has been most popular during peak hours of 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. for basket sizes less than 10 items. Foodcellar and other retailers that adopt the technology will be able to see real-time insights via dashboards to allow them to adjust to pattern shifts, the release said.

“At Foodcellar Market, we know that our customers’ time is precious, and we’re dedicated to ensuring that every moment they spend with us is enjoyable and efficient,” said Metin Mangut, co-founder of Foodcellar Market, in the release. “Our customers have shared their surprise at how easy it is to use Scan & Pay – there’s no need to download an app or learn complicated technology. We’ve been really pleased with the early adoption and our store associates love how Scan & Pay reduces stress for them too.”

Grocers are continuing to upgrade their in-store technology as they look to streamline their in-store experiences for consumers and bolster their omnichannel strategies to meet customers who shop in-store, online or both. As Retail Leader Pro recently reported, companies like Instacart, which grew to popularity for offering grocery delivery options, are increasingly moving into a technology solution provider role for retailers, especially as major grocery chains bring pick-and-pack in-house.

Other technologies that are part of Instacart’s Connected Stores offering include an updated version of its Caper Cart, an artificial intelligence-powered shopping cart equipped with scales, sensors and touchscreens. Consumers now have the ability to make lists that connect to the cart before heading to the store. Additionally, Instacart’s Carrot Tags help customers locate items and learn more about them.