Instacart to the rescue.
Over 95% of the U.S. is under Shelter-in-Place or Stay-at-Home orders by their local or state governments. Americans are being asked to stay at home and only leave for essentials – like trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, or hospital. With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases well over 600,000 and over 28,000 deaths, it’s no surprise that people are scared to leave their homes – even to go to the grocery store.
With looming fears of contracting the virus while out and about, many have turned to using helpful grocery shopping apps like Instacart. Founded 8 years ago and headquartered in San Francisco, Instacart employs “shoppers” to deliver groceries quickly and efficiently from local stores to customers.
The grocery delivery app space has been experiencing tremendous demand. In fact, Instacart announced that it was doubling its Care Team from 1,200 to 3,000 to assist users with questions, concerns, and delivery assistance. Instacart reported that this past month, demand had increased by more than 300% year over year. The number of “shoppers” has increased to over 350,000 active shoppers to help users with their grocery needs.
Earlier this week, news broke that tip baiting was becoming popular by some customers. Although this is a very small percentage of the Instacart customer base, some were attempting to bait Instacart shoppers by putting large tips on their bill through the app. Once shoppers delivered the groceries, these customers were changing the tip to a lesser amount or even $0 … that does not sound like a cool thing to do. Obviously, I don’t need to tell you that.
Instacart is attempting to meet the increased demand being placed on them during this highly uncertain time. The company introduced an extended pay policy, contactless pay options, and flexible delivery windows to help their employees stay safe and informed while shopping.
Only time will tell if the company will be able to maintain its customer and employee base – but it’s pretty clear that Instacart is fairing well during the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, stay safe, stay home and maybe give Instacart a try?
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Derek Rundell, is a successful business leader, operator, and serial entrepreneur. Derek has founded, managed and sold businesses in the technology, media and finance industries. He sits on several boards and serves as an advisor/investor to numerous established businesses and startups. Startups are Derek’s real passion, and in addition to building his own portfolio of technology, media and financial ventures, he invests in and mentors startups and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping other businesses succeed.