Instacart: Consumers, Stay Home!

Instacart, the startup which launched in 2012, offers shoppers the ability to eliminate trips to the grocery store by pairing independent contract drivers with online shoppers. The personal food shopping service provides delivery from brick-and-mortar grocery stores to consumers’ homes within a one to two hour window from the time of purchase. Leveraging partnerships with retailers and independent contractors, Instacart has found a way to offer busy shoppers the ability to obtain groceries with little mark up in price without even leaving the house.

According to Forbes, Instacart is number one on the list of America’s most promising companies, all thanks to their ability to meet the needs of consumers that have never been met before. We are entering an era where consumers don’t want to waste time shopping, especially when it comes to grocery shopping, and Instacart is one solution, at least for cities.

Unlike the unsuccessful home delivery grocery service Webvan, Instacart has been able to avoid two of the biggest mistakes of same-day grocery delivery. First, Instacart has created a model that requires little infrastructure by utilizing established grocery retailers and hiring personal shoppers as independent contractors to deliver the food. Second, the company has aimed its services at densely populated urban areas with busy professionals who do not have the time, energy, or desire to shop and cook, rather than attempting a mass market strategy.

Instacart has captured the loyalty of many consumers and kept them in the comfort of their own homes and out of grocery stores.  Their future looks bright, especially with the latest figures valuing the company at an estimated $2 billion.