Instacart Launches Two Features to Unlock More Delivery Windows

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Instacart Launches Two Features to Unlock More Delivery Windows


Instacart has launched two new features as demand for grocery delivery continues to surge amid shelter-in-place orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Instacart saw overall customer order volume up by more than 300% year-over-year. Average customer basket size on Instacart is also up by more than 25% month-over-month as consumers across North America continue to stock up.

The new features - "Fast & Flexible" and "Order Ahead" - which the company has been testing over the last few weeks, increase delivery availability for customers across North America.

Instacart's new Fast & Flexible delivery option is designed to increase speed and delivery availability for customers. The feature enables customers to have their order delivered by the first available shopper, rather than schedule it for a specific delivery window. When a customer chooses the Fast & Flexible option, they will see an estimated delivery range (e.g. Tuesday through Thursday) and will be notified when their order is picked up by a shopper and scheduled for delivery. By leveraging this new feature, the customer provides Instacart with more flexibility on when the order is delivered, ultimately increasing the speed at which it's delivered.

According to product tests of this new feature, Fast & Flexible has increased available delivery windows by 50% and also increased delivery speed, with 85% of all Fast & Flexible orders arriving within the earlier portion of the estimated delivery range. This feature is available for all orders except those containing alcohol purchases.

Instacart is also introducing a new Order Ahead feature that allows customers to now place orders up to two weeks in advance. The previous Order Ahead functionality only allowed customers to select delivery windows up to seven days ahead. This feature better serves customers for the way they're shopping in the wake of COVID-19 as more people are planning ahead to restock their pantry staples and repurchase recurring essentials. This new functionality allows customers to build their digital cart well in advance of when they need their groceries or goods. Order Ahead is available today in a number of high demand locations, and will be rolling out across North America to all customers in the coming weeks.

These new product features come as part of Instacart's rapid response product roadmap designed to meet the changing needs of customers and shoppers as COVID-19 evolves. Over the past month, Instacart has introduced a number of new features to improve the experience and has also expanded its shopper community over the last two weeks, growing from 200,000 to more than 350,000 active shoppers.

"The customer demand we expected over the next two-to-four years has happened on the Instacart platform in the last two-to-four weeks,” said Apoorva Mehta, founder and CEO of Instacart. “To address this immediate surge, our teams have moved quickly and reprioritized our entire consumer and shopper product experience to better serve our community in the wake of COVID-19. These are extraordinary times and we take our responsibility to serve our customers and shoppers very seriously. We know people are counting on us, and our teams are working tirelessly around the clock to support customers and their loved ones. This work is just beginning for us and we remain committed to supporting the entire Instacart community throughout this crisis."

In addition to Fast & Flexible and Order Ahead, Instacart has introduced a significant number of new customer and shopper product features over the last month in response to COVID-19 including:

  • "Leave at My Door" delivery
  • Contactless alcohol delivery
  • Automatic cancellation of out of stock orders
  • New "Customer Default Tip" feature
  • In-app incident reporting for shoppers
  • In-app customer order issue review for shoppers
  • Ratings forgiveness for shoppers
  • Canceling batches made easier for shoppers
  • Mobile Checkout available everywhere for shoppers
  • Launched COVID-19 Resource Center