Company News • 16.12.2013
Instacart Brings Same-Day Grocery Delivery Service to Boston
Customers Can Order From Shaw's Initially; Other Stores to Be Added in Coming Weeks
Instacart, the only service that can deliver groceries from multiple local stores within an hour, announced today that it has expanded to Boston. Beginning today, items from Shaw's can be ordered and delivered by an Instacart Personal Shopper.
Additional stores will be added in the coming weeks, allowing customers to combine items from multiple stores into one order and have them delivered in as little as one hour. Customers can open an account at www.Instacart.com, and get free delivery on their first order of $35 or more. They can order virtually any item carried in their neighborhood Shaw's stores.
Originally launched in San Francisco and later expanded to Chicago, Instacart has disrupted the traditional grocery delivery space with its crowdsourced labor force dubbed "Personal Shoppers" who shop for and deliver grocery orders using their own vehicles in as little as one hour. This eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as warehouses, trucks and full-time drivers. Instacart is not affiliated with the stores; its model is to connect customers with Personal Shoppers who shop on their behalf.
How it works:
Customers go online to www.Instacart.com, select their city/store, and add items to a virtual cart, then choose a delivery window (within one hour, within two hours, or some scheduled time in the future) and check out.
- An Instacart Personal Shopper accepts the order on his/her smartphone, uses the Instacart Shopper app to guide them through shopping, and then delivers the order to the customer in the designated delivery timeframe.
- The vast majority of Instacart customers select two-hour delivery for a charge of just $3.99. One-hour delivery is also available, for a charge of $14.99. The minimum order size is $10.
In June, Instacart raised $8.5M in Series A funding and announced its intention to expand to 10 additional major cities by the end of 2014. Chicago and now Boston are the first of those ten cities. Instacart has experienced double-digit, month-over-month growth since launching in both San Francisco and Chicago.
Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta said the company chose Boston due to its high concentration of tech-savvy urban dwellers and its weather. "We've learned in our other markets that precipitation is good for business," said Mehta. "This winter, snowed-in Bostonians can call us when they need groceries instead of digging out their cars or trudging to the T. We're really excited to bring our service to Boston."
Instacart serves most neighborhoods in Boston proper including: Back Bay, Beacon Hill/West End, Financial District, Theatre District, North End, Kenmore/Fenway, Allston/Brighton, the Seaport, South End and South Boston, plus Cambridge, Charlestown and Somerville. In the coming months, it plans to expand its service area, as it continues to do in both San Francisco and Chicago.