Following its recent expansion to New York, the online grocery delivery specialist, Instacart, has now launched in Los Angeles.
Connecting personal shoppers with customers
Instacart, which is based in San Francisco, and initially focused its operations on the Bay area, uses personal shoppers to deliver products to customers’ homes directly. The business currently uses a range of stores including Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Harris Teeter and Costco. It describes itself as a software company that links customers with personal shoppers. In addition to recently expanding to New York and Los Angeles, the service is also available Chicago, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia, with three additional cities expected to be added this year.
The service aims to deliver products within two hours of the order being placed, for a delivery fee of $3.99. It also offers Instacart Express for $99 year, with all two hour and scheduled deliveries over $35 being free. Instacart ‘s prices vary from store prices, typically being a few cents more expensive.
New entrants being attracted into the grocery ecommerce channel
Online grocery delivery is gaining traction in the US, with various models being tested. While Ahold’s Peapod business and Fresh Direct are among the more established businesses, the channel continues to attract new entrants. Amazon Fresh continues to expand its geographic reach, Walmart is testing a click and collect operation in Denver, while Google’s Shopping Express service is being tested in the San Francisco area. Over the course of this year, it is expected that other retailers will start to test similar services, with the click and collect model likely to be one of the dominant models in North America.
For the latest developments from the North American market, including a spotlight on ecommerce, and our three innovative retailers to watch in the natural foods sector, view our new presentation, North America in Focus.