“How does Instacart work?” It’s a simple enough question on the surface. And the answer can be fairly simple as well, depending on what exactly someone is really asking. Many people asking that question are actually wondering what exactly Instacart is, and/or how they can go about placing an order. So let’s start there.

What is Instacart?

Instacart is the leading grocery delivery platform in the US, and leading grocery technology company in North America, offering same-day delivery and pick-up from an expansive array of stores in the grocery space and beyond. Instacart itself does not hold the inventory from the stores available to shop from on the platform, nor is there any implied relationship between the 1400+ different retailers and grocers (80,000+ stores) customers can shop with through Instacart. Instacart users can conveniently shop from more than one store at a time on Instacart, but each store will have its own separate cart, delivery fees, Instacart shopper, and minimum order value.

While customers think of Instacart as a service that benefits—and is designed for—them, it is simultaneously a service for brands and stores themselves.

Current offerings on the Instacart Platform include:

Instacart’s well-established platform not only helps retailers ‘bring their business online’ and/or expand their reach, but also handles the human labor element: facilitating the physical shopping for, and/or delivery of, those purchases through their network of Instacart Shoppers.

There is also an affluence benefit, as noted by NielsenIQ:

“Even retailers that have invested in their own e-commerce platforms use Instacart to reach a wider shopper base. Instacart’s shoppers are more affluent and spend more online than buyers from any other e-commerce retailer, according to NielsenIQ’s e-commerce data. With its growing cross-channel shopper base, Instacart provides retailers an expanded audience of shoppers who would otherwise not purchase…

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