Instacart rolls out in-store navigation and other tools for workers


Diving Brief:

  • instagram announced Thursday its deployment in-store navigation as well as several other tools to support its gig shopper community.
  • With in-store navigation, Instacart’s shoppers can use an interactive grocery map to help them locate products more easily. The tool is already in use in more than 80 unspecified stores across North America as part of a pilot project and will be added to other locations “over time”, the company said.
  • instagram also launching live phone support and an in-app safety toolkit with safety alerts, 911 calls and incident reports. The new tools come at a time when companies are looking to make it easier and safer for workers to pick online orders in stores.

Overview of the dive:

The introduction of an interactive store mapping tool could help Instacart’s shoppers get in and out of stores faster as the company expands delivery to under an hour. The tool includes “accurate item locations,” according to the announcement, and a more “intuitive” shopping list feature for Instacart workers.

instagram said Thursday’s announcement kicks off a months-long rollout of new features for its gig buyers. Each month through June, members of its buyer community will receive “a notable update on new product features that have been developed with their feedback and interests in mind,” according to the announcement.

John Adams, Vice President of Buyer and Fulfillment Products at instagramsaid in a statement that additional tools will be introduced based on feedback from its workers.

Live phone support, which allows workers to speak to a representative through Instacart’s Shopper app, is “one of the most requested features based on shopper reviews and research.” the company noted. The security toolkit relies on Instacart’s the recent expansion of its safety features, such as adding nearby critical incident notifications and offering lessons on shopping, driving and delivering goods to people’s homes.

Live phone support, in-store navigation and security toolkit, plus commitment to launch more features, aim to retain workers as online grocery store sales have slowed. The e-commerce platform, which has over 600,000 on-demand shoppers, had a difficult relationship sometimes with the workers. Meanwhile, competitors like DoorDash and GoPuff are evolving and recruiting their own construction workers and grocers are increasingly using their own employees to fulfill online orders.

These last months, instagram rolled out a number of features for workers, including a partnership with GoodRx; partner with AT&T to offer discounted phone plans, devices and accessories in the United States; and the addition of a progress tracker for real-time updates on earnings and promotions.

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