Instacart rolls out ‘click-and-collect’ curbside grocery pickup nationwide

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Instacart rolls out ‘click-and-collect’ curbside grocery pickup nationwide

Related tags Instacart ecommerce

Instacart, which has made its same-day online grocery delivery available to 70% of US households across 50 states, is expanding its click-and-collect grocery pick-up services to nearly 200 stores, following positive consumer feedback from a multi-month pilot program of the service.

Instacart Pickup will first be available at ALDI, Cub Foods, Food Lion, Price Chopper, Publix, Schnucks, Smart & Final, Sprouts, Tops Friendly Markets and Wegmans in 25 key markets near Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Nashville, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Instacart said it will continue to expand its Pickup service to its other retail partner stores nationwide over the next few months and throughout 2019.

"We want to make grocery shopping effortless by helping our customers get the groceries they need from the retailers they love. Our customers want choice and we're excited to now offer the pickup option they've been asking for,"  ​Nilam Ganenthiran, chief business officer at Instacart, said.

Instacart Pickup - How it works:


When placing their grocery order, instead of choosing home delivery, Instacart Pickup customers select a pickup window before checking out on the Instacart website or mobile app. Users will receive an in-app notification when their groceries are ready and send an in-app notification to their Instacart personal shopper when they’re on their way.  An Instacart shopper or retailer employee will then bring the groceries out to the customer's vehicle.

Curb appeal of click-and-collect grocery shopping

The activity of visiting a grocery store is still important to many consumers, but they need more convenient options, Ganenthiran commented. 

“In our house, sometimes the ritual of going to the grocery store is inspiring and helps us meal plan for the week. Other times, we're busy and can't get to the store, so delivery makes life easier for us. For families that are out and about and running errands, a pickup solution might be a better fit for their family rhythm,”​ Ganenthiran said.

While curbside grocery pickup hasn’t reached the same levels of consumer adoption as home delivery, it is a shopping behavior to watch, according to Nielsen.

Over two-thirds (69%) of consumers said home delivery of groceries appeals to them, a 2018 Nielsen survey found. However, curbside pickup is rising in the ranks among millennial shoppers who prefer click-and-collect over home delivery, Nielsen noted.

Four out of 10 online shoppers in the US are using click and collect, according to Nielsen Homescan data. On average, they make a pickup trip every six months – the low order frequency makes sense, given that it’s a newer option, Nielsen said – and spend $58 per trip.

Additionally, click-and-collect attracts a broader shopper base than online shopping in general, and it skews highest among middle-income families and consumers aged 18-44.

Curbside grocery pickup also offers growth opportunities for online purchases of fresh and perishable products, items consumers tend to shy away from when ordering groceries online.

Nielsen found that 50% of consumers would consider curbside pickup for fresh food items, and 34% would even prefer this type of fulfilment for fresh items. The top online categories purchased through curbside pickup were chips, fresh fruit/vegetables, canned foods, milk/creamer, and packaged breads.

“Nielsen Homescan data shows that, compared with all online shopping, the typical click and collect shopping basket is heavy on edibles like meat, produce, dairy and frozen foods. Dry grocery is important too: it’s included in 50% of click and collect shopping trips,”​ Nielsen noted.

“Across retail store types, shoppers are clicking and collecting the basics: bread, snacks, cheese and milk.”

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