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Instacart Update: Brand Launches Instacart Platform to Help Retailers with Digital Transformations

April 04, 2022
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It’s no secret that eCommerce options, including delivery, are no longer a “nice to have” option for brands - they’re a necessity. However, some medium to small retailers may find a digital transformation too costly and complex to execute on their own. But with the recent announcement of Instacart Platform™, a suite of tools available for retailers to deliver omnichannel shopping experiences, it will be easier than ever for any retailer to compete online. 

Simply put, the Instacart Platform leverages all the technology the company has built for its own platform, including fulfillment, advertising, and insights, and offers it for other retailers to utilize. Retailers are able to choose from the technologies a la carte or in one connected cross-channel platform. The three main capabilities announced were: Carrot Ads, Carrot Warehouses, and Carrot Insights. 

Instacart Carrot Ads

Currently being piloted with Schnucks, Good Food Holdings, Plum Market, and other select retailers, Carrot Ads allows brands to launch their own advertising platform on their website. This can open up a new revenue stream for retailers and allow media to be brought in-house; thus eliminating the need for third-party platforms to serve ads. This new capability will also offer more opportunities for ad placements for brands. 

A potential roadblock for small to medium-sized retailers looking to utilize Carrot Ads is shopper traffic. Website traffic is critically important in order to realize an additional revenue stream. Retailers without enough traffic may not be able to attract brand advertisers for website advertisements. Carrot Ads will roll out broadly later in 2022, so now is the perfect time to focus on increasing website traffic in anticipation.

Instacart Carrot Warehouses

Carrot Warehouses are a fulfillment solution that helps retailers manage dedicated nano facilities, allowing for Instacart-speed delivery from a retailer's own website. This technology is applicable to any type of retailer, not just grocery. Offering ultra-fast delivery without using a third party like traditional Instacart is extremely costly for retailers, so leveraging Carrot Warehouses can be a big win for small to medium-sized retailers. 

The nano facilities offer the ability to deliver in as fast as 15 minutes, which can be white-labeled by retailers. The service will be available to Publix customers in Atlanta and Miami soon.  

Carrot Insights

Instacart has been focused on improving its own reporting and insights, and now they’re offering similar visibility to retailers. Carrot Insights gives retailers near real-time visibility into operations, including crucial store inventory levels. Other key metrics available in Carrot Insights are item popularity, item correlation, order sizes, delivery times and ratings, GMV, and more. Available now, Carrot Insights can help retailers improve operations and customer experiences with ease.   

Additionally, with the Instacart Platform, brands can leverage in-store connected hardware that enables AI-powered scanless shopping. The platform also offers technology for store operations, and eCommerce storefronts and services. 

What Does This Mean for Retailers and Brands? 

The Instacart Platform doesn’t have a major or direct impact on brands, but does offer more advertising opportunities and may provide small to medium-sized retailers with significant cost savings for a digital transformation. A retailer who is looking to expand their digital offering can now do so much quicker and easier.

The Instacart Platform certainly makes the retail ecosystem more complex, and there’s a lot for brands and retailers to consider. If you could use a strategic partner to help make the right decisions for your brand, contact us today.  

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