When it comes to businesses, Instacart was already in the neighborhood, so it decided to set up shop permanently.
On Feb. 28, the grocery delivery and pick-up service announced Instacart Business, which caters to business owners, particularly at the small and local level. Instacart COO Asha Sharma was part of the development of Instacart Business, and she sees it as one that could compete with the likes of Amazon and Walmart, and in the food and supplies marketplace it could one day be the gold standard.
“When I think about small businesses in my neighborhood, I think about the establishments I eat at and shop at, but I also think about the people behind them and I think about their families, and I think that our products play a unique role in both of their lives,” Sharma told Supermarket News.
“I want [Instacart] to be the largest food and supplies marketplace for consumers and small businesses.”
Instacart actually has been serving small businesses with things like office supplies, cleaning products and snacks for quite some time. Many of them started using Instacart as a consumer, and after experiencing the benefits have continued using the service to serve their business needs. This trend has been growing for over a year now, and in a matter of months Sharma and her colleagues were able to develop Instacart Business.
“The traction we have seen has been growing significantly now to the amount of millions of orders per quarter so at the end of last year we said that we wanted to make a more concrete investment and provide business-friendly retailer partnerships that would better serve and reach these businesses as well as new technology.
Instacart Business comes with the following features:
- Business-friendly retailers: Businesses can search and shop more than 1.5 million unique products on Instacart, including bulk and value essentials from partners like Costco Business Center, Staples, Restaurant Depot, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Gordon Food Service
- Stock lists: Instacart Business customers can simplify their operations and streamline spend by gathering all of their business needs into a shopping list that can be shared with their team and ordered with a few taps
- Re-ordering and auto-order capabilities: Teams can recreate past orders by adding all items from a previous order to their cart, and purchasers can leverage the simple Auto-Order feature for any items that they might need on a rolling basis
- Flexible delivery options: Businesses can get the best of Instacart via flexible delivery options like same-day delivery for last-minute needs in as little as 30 minutes, discounted no-rush delivery, and long-distance delivery options to ensure they get the perfect supplies, right when they need them
- Business credits: For the first time, select business customers can distribute credits to teams and locations with category restrictions, invoicing, and monthly reporting. Businesses can indicate interest in participating in business credits when they join Instacart Business
- Tax exemption benefits: In select states, eligible pilot businesses like nonprofits, healthcare, and political organizations can save on eligible tax-exempt items by providing their valid tax exemption certificate. Business owners interested in applying for tax exemption for their business can join our waitlist when they join Instacart Business.
Instacart also is partnering with the U.S. Black Chambers, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Pan Asian American Chambers of Commerce, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and the Black Enterprise to make Instacart Business as diverse as possible. It also hopes to be working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the near future.
In September, Instacart acquired Rosie -- an ecommerce platform geared towards local / independent grocers.