Instacart launches Seattle's first on-demand grocery delivery service, allowing customers to order virtually any items from QFC, Costco stores, have them delivered in as little as one hour, with more stores to be added in coming weeks
May 8, 2014
– Customers Can Order From QFC and Costco; More Stores to Be Added in Coming Weeks
Instacart (www.Instacart.com), the only service that can deliver groceries from multiple local stores within an hour, announced today that it has launched Seattle's first on-demand grocery delivery service. Beginning today, customers can order virtually any items carried in their neighborhood QFC and Costco stores and have them delivered in as little as one hour. Additional stores will be added in the coming weeks, and customers can combine items from multiple stores into one order.
Originally launched in San Francisco and since expanded into many other major cities, Instacart has disrupted the traditional grocery delivery space with its crowdsourced labor force dubbed "Personal Shoppers" who shop for and deliver grocery orders providing their own transportation in as little as one hour. This eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as inventory, warehouses, trucks and full-time drivers.
While Amazon Fresh operates in Seattle, delivery times are limited and same-day delivery is available only to customers who order very early in the morning and don't mind receiving their orders in the evening. In addition, customers are limited to whatever is carried in the local Amazon Fresh warehouse.
By contrast, Instacart can deliver in as little as one hour, and its inventory consists of hundreds of thousands of items carried in neighborhood grocery stores -- including fresh produce, national brands, store brands and alcohol.
Instacart has had its eye on Seattle expansion for several months, said company founder Apoorva Mehta (a former Amazon.com supply chain engineer). "We've had a ton of requests from the Seattle area, and the demographics are really in our favor," Mehta said. "Seattle has a young, vibrant population that's known for being very tech savvy. The high level of precipitation correlates with higher order volume in the other cities we serve, and we have found that customers appreciate having their groceries delivered right to their door in inclement weather."
To celebrate its Seattle launch, Instacart is offering one month of free delivery for all Seattle customers who place orders by May 18. Additionally, Instacart will offer one year of free delivery to three customers (chosen via drawing) who order and then tweet using the hashtag #InstacartSEA.
Instacart's initial coverage area includes: Downtown Seattle, Queen Anne, Lake Union, Belltown, University District, Madrona, First Hill, Capitol Hill, Eastlake, Portage Bay, Green Lake, Greater Duwamish, Northeast Seattle, Ballard, Montlake, Madison Park, Washington Park, Magnolia, Mount Baker, Ranier Valley and Southwest Seattle. For a full map of coverage, visit https://www.instacart.com/locations/seattle.
How Instacart works:
Customers go online to www.Instacart.com or open the Instacart mobile app, select their city/store, add items to a virtual cart, and then choose a delivery window (within one hour, within two hours, or some scheduled time in the future) and check out.
An Instacart Personal Shopper accepts the order on his/her smartphone, uses the Instacart Shopper app to guide them through shopping, and then delivers the order to the customer in the designated delivery timeframe.
The vast majority of Instacart customers select two-hour delivery for a charge of just $3.99. One-hour delivery is also available, for $14.99. The minimum order size is just $10. For other FAQs, visit https://www.instacart.com/store#faq.
Customers can open an account at www.Instacart.com, and get free delivery on their first order of $35 or more. Instacart also offers an Amazon-Prime like service called Instacart Express -- an annual membership that eliminates delivery fees for all orders of $35 or more. The cost is just $99. Customers can sign up for a free two-week trial at www.instacart.com/express.
Instacart is looking to hire two full-time City Managers to be based in its Capitol Hill office. Candidates can apply online at https://www.instacart.com/jobs#operations/city-manager-seattle.
In June 2013, Instacart raised $8.5M in Series A funding and announced its intention to expand to 10 additional major cities by the end of 2014. The company has since launched in Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington, DC, and now Seattle, and continues to achieve double-digit, month-over-month new customer growth.
Instacart is the only service that can deliver groceries from multiple local stores within an hour, and is often less expensive for consumers than a personal, time-consuming trip to the grocery store. Customers in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, DC can choose from over 350,000 items from local grocery stores and large chains like Safeway, Whole Foods Market, Shaw's, Harris Teeter, BJ's Wholesale and Costco. Instacart is disrupting the traditional grocery delivery business with its approach, which utilizes a crowdsourced model of Personal Shoppers who provide their own transportation and smartphones to shop and deliver groceries to customers. This model eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as warehouses, trucks and full-time drivers. Learn more at www.Instacart.com.