Online grocery platform Instacart unveiled the first phase of the company’s next-generation fulfillment initiative designed to bring automated technology solutions to retailers across the U.S. and Canada.
As part of the new initiative, the company announced it has signed a multi-year strategic deal with Fabric as a fulfillment automation partner. With Instacart next-gen fulfillment, the company will integrate software and robotics solutions with Instacart’s proprietary technology and growing shopper community to create new e-commerce services for retail partners and an even faster, more effortless online grocery shopping experience for customers.
The new process will marry the speed of robotics with the human touch and attention to detail of Instacart shoppers, enabling faster fulfillment of customers’ full grocery shop from packaged goods, household essentials and produce to deli items, frozen food and alcohol. Once orders are carefully packed, shoppers will deliver orders to customers’ doors or place them in staging areas for curbside pickup.
Instacart plans to kick off early-stage concept pilots in partnership with Fabric and grocery retail partners over the coming year and beyond.
“Our next-gen fulfillment initiative combines our robust technology suite and dedicated community of shoppers with robotics solutions to give retailers even more innovative ways to compete and serve their customers online,” said Instacart Chief Technology Officer Mark Schaaf. “Our next-gen fulfillment work will also help reduce some of the things that make in-store shopping cumbersome for Instacart shoppers, like crowded store aisles, out of stock items and long checkout lines.”
Schaff added that, over the long-term, Instacart believes partnering with retailers to bring next-gen fulfillment technologies together with the personal touch and care of Instacart’s shopper community will create an even more seamless online grocery experience that’s faster and more affordable for customers and delivers even more value and growth to retailers.
“Everything about our micro-fulfillment solution has been built for speed, efficiency and elasticity to meet today’s on-demand requirements, Fabric CEO and co-founder Elram Goren noted. “This partnership with Instacart is another validation that Fabric’s tech and operations are best-fit to serve retailers’ next-gen fulfillment needs.
“Our software-led robotics and modular solution gives grocery retailers the flexibility to build the fulfillment solution that best fits the needs of their business. With Instacart as a partner, we see an enormous opportunity to integrate our product and services into Instacart’s ecommerce solutions to provide a compelling service offering for grocers.”
Instacart’s next-gen fulfillment initiative adds robotics solutions to the company’s existing grocery e-commerce offerings. Those offerings include the Instacart marketplace, which features more than 600 beloved national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names; Instacart Enterprise, the company’s white-label enterprise-grade technology solution; and Instacart Ads, which connects thousands of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands directly to customers online.
Instacart offers same-day delivery and pickup services to deliver from nearly 55,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. Instacart’s delivery service is available to over 85% of U.S. households and 80% of Canadian households.
Fabric is a retail technology company on a mission to enable on-demand retail, for everyone. The company has developed its own proprietary software and robotic mirco-fulfillment technology, and is running micro-fulfillment operations for grocery and general merchandise retailers in NYC, Washington DC and Tel Aviv. The company is planning to expand across five major U.S. metro areas in the coming months.