Instacart expands a pickup option for grocery orders across the US – TechCrunch

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Online grocery delivery service Instacart has expanded the availability of a ‘click and collect’ pickup service it’s been trialing for a few months in the U.S. — now offering it in stores across the nation.

It says the collect in person Instacart Pickup option is now available in nearly 200 stores — across 25 “key markets” near Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Nashville, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

The Pickup service is intended to offer customers more flexibility by letting them choose a time to drive by and grab their groceries, rather than wait in for a delivery.

Customers are offered a range of partner stores to choose for collecting their order. While pick ups can be made on the same day.

Instacart says it’s expanded its partnerships for the now expanded Pickup service — saying it’s working with the likes of ALDI, Cub Foods, Food Lion, Price Chopper, Publix, Schnucks, Smart & Final, Sprouts, Tops Friendly Markets and Wegmans.

To access the Pickup service, customers can use Instacart’s website or mobile app, selecting their city and store. After they add groceries to their cart they get to choose either a delivery window or pickup window before they check out.

If picking up, they’ll get an in-app notification when their groceries are ready to collect.

But that’s not the end of the process; Pickup customers are supposed to send an in-app notification to their Instacart personal shopper to let them know they’re on the way.

Then, once they arrive, Instacart says one of its shoppers or a retailer employee will bring the groceries out to their car. Assuming the car has been described accurately enough in the app…

Instacart says the service is free for its Express members.

For non-members there is a cost involved — though Instacart says this is lower relative to paying for delivery (which also varies depending on factors like location/time of day etc). The Pickup cost can also vary depending on the retail partner selected.

For its main grocery delivery service, Instacart says it’s currently accessible to more than 70% of U.S. households, in all 50 states, and more than 50% of Canadian households — available in more than 15,000 different grocery stores across 4,000 cities overall.

While it has partnerships with more than 300 retailers at this point.

On the gig economy side, its service is powered by some 70,000 personal shoppers.

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