Instacart’s new technology platform allows retailers to sell ads on their websites

Developed by its own Maplebear Inc., Instacart launched the Instacart platform, which integrates a suite of new digital services for supermarkets and retailers, including fulfillment, insights, and advertising options, based on information shared with Marketing Dive.

Instacart is seen by many experts as a future competitor for retailers, especially as consumers continue to shop online despite the easing of borders from the pandemic. A recent brand update has brought out the delivery service brand partner. The platform seeks to further cement that relationship and emerges as an increasing number of retailers monetize their websites and e-commerce programs, from advertising sales to CPGs and other marketers looking for opportunities to reach consumers where they shop. Amazon’s ad sales revenue recently exceeded $9.7 billion as Walmart continues to build its in-house digital media sales platform. It looks like Instacart is targeting mid-sized and small supermarket chains that might want to capitalize on this trend but don’t have the resources to create the features they need.

“We are committed to providing our guests with the best choice for a seamless online experience,” said Matt Jonna, CEO, and co-founder of Plum Market, in a statement. “Instacart Platform’s advertising capability gives our guests a better experience to discover new products and ingredients in our app.”

Through Carrot Ads, Carrot Warehouses, and Carrot Insights, Instacart is further integrated into the operations of its retail partners, reflecting a strategy to expand the company’s business in the post-pandemic scenario and anticipate an initial public offering of shares planned for this period year. Each area can be used individually by retailers, with Publix currently using Carrot Warehouses and cooperative Key Food Stores onboard with Carrot Insights.

The platform consists of five areas that aim to give resellers more control, as well as further integrate Instacart into the reseller strategy. The first area is e-commerce, which creates a personalized digital storefront for partners. The next area is fulfillment, which allows supermarkets to use online delivery and fulfillment center delivery, also via 15-minute delivery. In addition, Instacart unlocks improved insights and statistics.

Outside of the app, the delivery service has announced plans to improve its physical presence as well. It comes in the form of new technology to simplify operations and scan-free cars, based on information shared with Marketing Dive. This may be an attempt to reduce gang disorder, which is a common complaint associated with the service.

Despite Instacart’s clear goal to better integrate with resellers through the platform, some resellers were wary of partnering with the company because they didn’t want to share revenue or customer relationships. It’s unclear whether the promised benefits of making it easier for small and medium-sized supermarket chains to bolster their omnichannel capabilities through the Instacart platform outweigh these concerns.