10 Years of Instacart: Celebrating our First Decade and Setting the Table for What’s Next
Today, Instacart hit a big milestone: it’s our 10th birthday!
I want to extend my sincere thanks to our teams, our retail and brand partners, our dedicated shopper community, and the millions of families across North America that count on us. This milestone represents years of hard work by so many people — work that has made our company strong and prepared us to help shape the next decade of grocery’s evolution.
As a team, we often spend more time thinking about where we’re going rather than reflecting on where we’ve been. Today I want to take a moment to do both — to look back at how far we’ve come, and talk about what that means for the future.
The Last 10
Since we launched the Instacart app in 2012, we’ve made online grocery shopping affordable and accessible to families across North America. Over the years, we’ve signed up more than 750 retail banners with more than 70,000 stores, making same-day delivery available to millions of families. Today, we partner with retailers that represent more than 80% of the U.S. grocery industry.
With Instacart, consumers now have access to a hassle-free online grocery experience. They can search for products they love and discover new ones based on their tastes and preferences. They can build deeper relationships with their favorite retailers, and either pick up what they need at the store, or have it delivered to them when they need it. We’ve also introduced new convenience options, and made online grocery shopping more accessible by helping our partners accept EBT SNAP payments. We’ve leveraged our understanding of consumer needs in the Instacart app to help some of the best grocers power their own operations. And we’ve expanded our focus beyond eCommerce to physical stores, with smart shopping carts and checkout counters.
All of this has helped Instacart become much more than just a company that powers grocery delivery – we’re a grocery technology company. And now, we’re putting our technology, scale, and consumer expertise in the hands of our grocery partners.
The Next 10
As much as the grocery industry has changed over the last decade, we believe the next decade will be even bigger — with changes driven mostly by technology. If you look at the big transformations in the industry since the days of the general stores, they came mostly from changes in the business model — lower price, greater selection, larger stores or more unique assortment.
I believe the grocery industry is ready for its next, tech-enabled chapter. This is not a far-fetched prediction. If you look at pretty much every other category of retail – apparel, furniture, electronics – the biggest recent changes have all been driven by technology, and powered by data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Every category has been transformed by the introduction of e-commerce, personalization, social commerce, and more. No company understands this better than Amazon. Online grocery is the largest category of eCommerce that Amazon doesn’t currently dominate, which is why they want to use their technological know-how to gain an advantage over traditional grocers.
At Instacart, we believe the future of grocery belongs to those that invented it — not tech goliaths or newcomers trying to drive grocers out of business. Our vision is to build the technologies that can power every single grocery transaction. And by doing so, we believe we can help our partners effectively compete and invent the future of grocery together.
With our world-class, at-scale technology, grocers have the power to do so much more than just provide same-day delivery. They’ll have the latest in eCommerce, fulfillment, in-store innovation, advertising, and insights— everything they need to build the store of the future.
What will this technology unlock for consumers? We believe that technology can give you access to more affordable, nutritious food, by helping grocery retailers operate more efficiently and reduce waste so they can pass more savings on to consumers. It can also create a fully personalized grocery shopping experience, both online and in-store, so you can discover the best products for you based on your tastes and specific diet. It can also help inspire you to try new foods and new recipes. And it can make shopping faster and more convenient , whether we’re bringing food to your home, or helping you skip the line at the store.
At Instacart, we are developing technology specifically designed to make all of this a reality. Building this technology will take time, and along the way we’ll have to navigate new challenges and volatile public markets. But we have a vision worth pursuing, and the team, technical experience, and commitment to achieve more together and generate long-term value for our partners, teams, and shareholders.
That’s why, as much as we’ve accomplished over our first decade, I’m even more excited for what’s to come: helping retailers and brand partners grow their businesses, building a more connected online and in-store consumer experience, and making grocery shopping less transactional and more inspirational and personal.
Cheers to the next 10 years — we’re happy to have you at our table.
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