How Instacart is Connecting the Online and In-store Shopping Experience

Expanding the shopping experience (online and in-store) and changing how retailers connect with customers.

Hand holding Instacart on mobile

Since the beginning of the pandemic, eCommerce and online grocery shopping erupted in popularity. It’s easy to see why. No long lines or crowds, more product variety, and delivery right to your door. Instacart soon established itself as a leader in the online shopping category. Instacart pioneered online grocery shopping with its consumer marketplace and eCommerce experience for hundreds of retailers across North America.

Instacart has now developed a suite of connected tools aimed to improve the in-store shopping experience and create operational efficiencies for retailers. Instacart Platform connects retailers with shoppers in ways that reflect an ever-evolving consumer demand.

What is Instacart Platform

Instacart Platform is a new suite of connected, enterprise-grade technologies created to enhance the future of grocery shopping. These capabilities range from scan-and-go checkout to electronic shelf labels. Instacart Platform gives retailers access to Instacart’s consumer marketplace technologies to power their digital and retail operations.

According to Instacart CEO Fidji Simo, “The grocery industry is undergoing a digital transformation where customers expect a seamless experience across many channels, but it’s taking an incredible amount of work and investment for retailers to deliver these new services. We’re looking to change that with Instacart Platform.”

Many retailers will use these technologies a-la-carte, while others might utilize these solutions all on one connected platform that works across multiple channels.

Instacart Platform consists of:

  • eCommerce

    eCommerce storefronts custom-built for grocers and a-la-carte recommendation and merchandising capabilities.

  • Fulfillment

    Whether you need your items in 15 minutes or the next day, shoppers enjoy reliable online delivery and pickup from stores or the warehouse.

  • In-store

    From scanless carts to technology that helps manage operations, digital integrations and connected hardware enhance the brick-and-mortar store experience.

  • Carrot Ads

    Advertising solutions enabling retailers to leverage Instacart’s ad tech, ad products, engineering, sales, and data insights to monetize their eCommerce properties.

  • Insights

    Insights help retailers optimize operations, provide more connected experiences, and make informed business decisions.

    Instacart’s Latest Platform Technologies

    Instacart Platform is especially advantageous for smaller and mid-sized retailers lacking the resources to build their own omnichannel capabilities or technologies. Instacart Platform technologies seamlessly connect the online and in-store shopping experience, creating great opportunities for both shoppers and retailers.

    Provided by our friends at Instacart, here are a few of the latest technologies driving the new innovative platform.

    Caper Cart

    AI-powered smart carts are equipped with scales, touchscreens, and computer vision that powers Instacart’s scanless technology. Customers can ‘shop around’ and check themselves out without manually scanning items. Caper Cart allows grocers to charge batches of carts at once and eliminates the need to charge carts individually or swap out batteries.

    Scan & Pay

    With Scan & Pay capabilities, customers scan items and pay for them from their smartphones. Scan & Pay also links the items purchased to a customer’s online shopping accounts. For EBT SNAP users, Scan & Pay easily identifies EBT SNAP-eligible products as soon as they are scanned, making it easier to identify approved products.


    Lists allow customers to sync their shopping lists from the Instacart App or a grocer’s app to a Caper Cart by scanning a QR code. The Caper Cart helps customers locate desired items and automatically checks them off their list as they are added to the cart.

    Carrot Tags

    With Carrot Tags, retailers can connect electronic shelf labels to Instacart Platform to add functionality such as pick-to-light capabilities. This allows shoppers to select an item on their phone and flash a light on its corresponding shelf tag, making it easier to find the products they want. Carrot Tags also help retailers display key information like whether a specific product is gluten-free, organic, kosher, or EBT SNAP eligible.

    FoodStorm Department Orders

    FoodStorm’s order management system (OMS) helps retailers manage orders for items such as baked goods, hot items, and deli sandwiches while customers are shopping. The new Department Orders enables different prepared food departments within a store to collaborate so that they can have customers’ orders ready at just the right time.

    Out of Stock Insights

    Out of Stock Insights is an application programming interface (API) that helps retailers provide real-time alerts to associates when items are running low or entirely out of stock. As a result, there will be fewer missed sales opportunities for retailers and shoppers will find exactly what they are looking for.

    How Your Brand Can Leverage Instacart

    With so many new advances, it’s easy to see how Instacart Platform is expanding the shopping experience (online and in-store) that helps both shoppers and retailers. Is your brand interested in leveraging Instacart? We can help! Cuker maximizes Instacart's capabilities to grow awareness, boost sales, drive trial, and motivate repeat purchase behavior with your targeted audience.

    Let's talk.

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