“We are inventing how to shop for groceries in the 21st century”
Valued US$2 billion, Instacart is investigating financially viable operations to deliver fresh grocery products. By using personal shoppers driving their own cars, goods are delivered within 60 minutes at a low price. Sophie Baqué discussed with Vishwa Chandra, Vice President of Retail Accounts at Instacart.
Sophie Baqué: The Instacart group was launched in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, a former supply chain Manager at Amazon. Can you present the firm?
Vishwa Chandra: Instacart is a U.S. Internet application allowing you to sub-contract your shopping. A personal shopper picks, pays for and delivers to your door from an array of stores including Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Costco, Ahold, Target or CVS. Deliveries are made within the hour. We have no warehouses or delivery structure since the service simply facilitates transactions, based on specific software created for the grocery market. We don’t work with Wal-Mart yet.
Sophie Baqué: How does this software work?
Vishwa Chandra: People can write requirements next to every item on the list. For example, it would be very difficult to accurately pick avocados or bananas for you if your shopper did not know when you need to eat them. Our application also offers interaction between the shopper and the consumer, arranging alternatives if items are unavailable. If the 2% organic milk is sold out, shoppers can chat, text or call customers to suggest alternatives. This allows a far better quality of accurate service and higher personal interaction.
Sophie Baqué: Instacart is available only in the U.S.A. What are your international plans?
Vishwa Chandra: Instacart launched in San Francisco, the global laboratory for fresh food delivery. It now operates in 18 U.S. cities including…