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Podcast: Instacart’s Fidji Simo aims to help ‘power the future of grocery’

New Instacart Platform designed to further retailers’ digital transformations

 

Since launching in 2012, Instacart has become North America’s largest third-party grocery e-commerce provider. Now the company is taking a bigger step to help grocery retailers drive their digital transformations.

This week marked the debut of Instacart Platform, a modular, enterprise technology package offering retail grocers end-to-end omnichannel functionality. Among the offerings are e-commerce storefronts; online delivery and pickup for stores or warehouses; digital advertising; omnichannel solutions to enhance the customer experience; and data tools for operational, customer and market insights.

“We are very excited about seeing Instacart platform launch. This platform is basically a new suite of enterprise-grade solutions so that we can help retailers power the future of grocery,” Instacart CEO Fidji Simo told Supermarket News in a podcast interview. “This industry is in the midst of a very big digital transformation. And digital transformation is hard. We want to make it easier with Instacart Platform so that we can give grocers the best technologies possible to be able to compete with Amazon, while they get to focus on the craft and care that they put into their relationship with customers.”

Overall, San Francisco-based Instacart partners with more than 750 national, regional and local retailers and provides online shopping, delivery and pickup from more than 70,000 stores in over 5,500 cities. Its services reach more than 85% of U.S. households and 90% of Canadian households.

Though initially focused on the grocery market, Instacart has steadily expanded into an array of retail sectors, including segments such as convenience stores, drugstores, dollar stores, office supplies, home goods, home improvement, beauty care, off-price/closeout retail, vitamins and supplements, and pet care, among others. The company, too, has built up a roster of enterprise e-commerce solutions and added technology capabilities, such as through the acquisition of smart shopping cart company Caper and partnership with micro-fulfillment specialist Fabric.

A former Facebook executive, Simo took the reins as Instacart CEO in August from company founder Apoorva Mehta. She already had been serving on Instacart’s board since January 2021.

“When I joined as CEO, I realized that there was a much bigger opportunity to really think of the company not just as online grocery delivery but as providing an operating system for grocery to help all grocers thrive,” Simo said.

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