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Your third-party delivery company soon will be your technical solution provider

As third-party delivery companies scale back shopping services, and grocers retake fulfillment, aggregators like Instacart shift focus to search, retail media and transaction support.
Elizabeth Lafontaine
Chief Retail Analyst, Retail Leader Pro
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Third-party delivery platforms have transformed essential retail during the past few years, and they have changed the landscape of how consumers source groceries and other CPG categories. Services like Instacart, DoorDash and Shipt built their businesses on taking the guesswork out of click and collect in retail, and the personal shopping element brought the digital experience to life in stores. 

But, as we know to be true in retail, these businesses also have had to evolve in order to keep pace with changes in curbside and buy-online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and find growth in a saturated market. Instacart recently announced it would phase out additional personal shoppers at some grocery chains as grocery supplies bring those pick-and-pack efforts in house. This trend is a continuation of a larger solution as the company rolled out Partner Pick a few years ago in order to create efficiencies and cement themselves as more of a technology solution provider instead of a full-service grocery delivery platform.

The Instacart logo on an iPhone.

Third-party aggregators changed the game for grocery delivery and scaled the service to become more attainable for many consumers. But, it’s clear that these services are much better equipped to handle the search and transaction of the consumer. With the onus put back onto retailers to bring the packing back in-house, they have the ability to better control the quality and final customer experience with that order. It allows both parties to excel at their speciality. 

It certainly changes the landscape of how delivery will work in essential retail in the future, but it also will provide future efficiencies in the last-mile delivery process. Third-party delivery aggregators also can continue to work as retail media outlets, which, as we’ve discussed on RL Pro, is the most profitable part of the grocery sector these days. Expect continued changes to delivery, curbside and BOPIS as consumers demand even more frictionless retail experiences, especially in their daily shopping behaviors.