Introducing “Fast & Flexible” & “Order Ahead” to Speed Up Service & Unlock More Delivery Windows
Instacart has become an essential service for millions of people in the U.S. and Canada who are depending on us to safely, reliably, and affordably get the groceries and household goods they need.
As more people rely on Instacart in the wake of COVID-19, delivery availability has been impacted in some of our busiest cities across North America. These are extraordinary times and we believe we have a responsibility to serve as a lifeline for millions of people who are depending on us to get the groceries they need.
Over the last month, our teams have moved quickly to reprioritize our entire product pipeline to better serve customers and shoppers. In the last month, we’ve introduced more than 15 new product and support features. As customer demand has increased by 300% year-over-year, we’ve also grown our shopper community from 200,000 to 350,000 active shoppers to better serve customers while also providing shoppers with immediate, flexible earnings opportunities. Additionally, Instacart is also scaling its customer and shopper support team to better meet the increase in overall demand.
Today, we announced the launch of two new product features — “Fast & Flexible” and “Order Ahead” — designed to speed up our service and unlock more delivery windows for customers everywhere.
Introducing Our New “Fast & Flexible” Delivery Option
Instacart’s new Fast & Flexible delivery option is designed to increase speed and availability for customers. Fast & Flexible more efficiently matches customer orders with real-time shopper availability to deliver more orders — often more quickly — to customers. The new feature means customers no longer need to check back for updated delivery windows from their favorite store. Instead, they can set it and forget it, allowing Instacart to do the work of matching their order with the first available delivery time.
The new feature enables customers to have their order delivered by the first available shopper, rather than schedule it for a specific 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 to arrive at their home.
Introducing an Extended Order Ahead Feature
Instacart is also introducing a new Order Ahead feature that allows customers to 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, who are now more than ever planning ahead to restock their pantry staples and purchase recurring essentials. This new functionality allows customers to build their digital cart well in advance of when they need their groceries or goods. The new Order Ahead feature 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.
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
For more information on the additional steps the company has taken to support its entire community, including customers and shoppers, please visit Instacart’s COVID-19 Resource Center.
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