At the end of 2020, The Wall Street Journal published an article, Instacart Looked Like a Savior, Now Stores Aren’t So Sure. The article discussed how Instacart’s technology provided a solution for many retailers during an unprecedented time to fulfill orders in-store and deliver groceries to consumers. At times, it hasn’t necessarily always worked out in the retailer’s favor due to the high fees on each order and the loss of control over customer interactions.
Perhaps there is a happy medium where food retailers can coexist with grocery delivery services like Instacart.
eCommerce Grocery Fulfillment and Delivery Services
Though Instacart and other eCommerce grocery pick-up and delivery services like Shipt, DoorDash, etc., have been around for several years, the pandemic took them to new heights as demand soared. The industry saw 10 years’ worth of online growth in 6 months, and not all retailers were prepared for it. These eCommerce grocery fulfillment and delivery services allowed food retailers across the globe who may not have been ready to offer their own online option for shopping with a ready-made solution and got them online quickly. These services also gave retailers who already had their own solution another way to connect with the consumer and potentially reach new customers who were looking for convenience with an all-in-one marketplace platform.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the marketplace platform, companies like Instacart can pose an existential threat to those retailers who outsource all their online business to them. The grocery business is a commodity-based market. Except for private label and specialty items, there is often very little that differentiates one retailer from another, and grocery retailers rely on brand loyalty to remain competitive.
When partnering with marketplace platform providers, most retailers have very little control in managing their brand experience. From the initial customer eCommerce experience to the final fulfillment and order delivery experience, retailers are relying on these service providers and their outsourced labor for the entire process. Ensuring that a retailer’s brand is properly represented throughout the transaction is nearly impossible. As many retailers would attest, picking the perfect pineapple or the best cut of salmon isn’t a one size fits all, and the wrong selection or a subpar substitution on an out-of-stock item can ultimately impact the retailer’s brand more than it would Instacart’s.
This is where ADC’s ShopperKit can help.
At ADC, we’ve always thought that companies like Instacart have a place in the overall landscape of eCommerce, but we don’t believe they should be the sole option for retailers.
ShopperKit empowers food retailers to own their online experience—enhancing customer and brand loyalty by giving grocers the tools they need to pick, pack, and prepare all orders in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. The platform allows store employees to communicate directly with their customers to ensure that they have a good customer experience. This means consumers buy directly from the retailer resulting in lower prices for them and fewer fees for the retailer.
Whether a store utilizes a last-mile delivery service or handles everything in-house, ShopperKit helps solve the fulfillment challenges that make scaling as demand grows difficult. The platform gives retailers visibility into orders across the enterprise to see how well they are managing their demand, so that they can continue to meet the expectations of their customers.
See if a Fulfillment Platform is Right for Your Business
ShopperKit helps food retailers successfully operate online by increasing profitability, reducing labor costs, and increasing the average basket size. Learn more about eCommerce fulfillment with ADC’s ShopperKit.
Steve Paro is the Head of ShopperKit at ADC. Prior to ADC, Steve was ShopperKit, Inc's CTO and Managing Partner of VelocityChain. Steve is a seasoned technology and project management professional with a unique track record of successfully applying agile to large-scale enterprise software implementations to deliver innovative and efficient supply chain technology solutions for his customers. With two decades of enterprise technology delivery experience, and hands-on experience in coaching, leading, and managing agile teams, Steve brings verifiable, concrete results to his clients.