Instacart's New Feature Allows Shoppers To Cut Back On Delivery Fees

Online delivery services saw a meteoric rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Retail Trade Survey, e-commerce sales grew by 43% during the initial year of the pandemic. Delivery services like Gopuff, DoorDash, and Instacart saw huge sales as many consumers were told to stay in their homes, and avoid public spaces like grocery stores.

Now, these services are dealing with runaway inflation that has continued to climb through most of 2022. These higher food costs and additionally the higher gas prices have begun to affect their business models which are reliant upon couriers transporting food and grocery orders. Gopuff laid off 1,500 of its employees and closed several of its locations in order to streamline its operations.

Some delivery services have also hoped to use new innovations to maintain customer loyalty during these hard times. DoorDash credits its new subscription model, DashPass, with its strong second quarter results for this year. According to CNBC, it has also invested $40 million in gas savings and mileage-based bonus payments to offset high gas prices. In March, Instacart introduced a similar gas surcharge fee of $0.40 that goes directly to drivers, per Bloomberg.

Instacart has also worked to continue innovating during these hard times by introducing several service upgrades that it hopes will maintain an active customer base.

Instacart introduces OrderUp

Instacart has just introduced a new feature called OrderUp. This new feature will allow users to order items from multiple retailers without incurring additional order fees. Customers who may need to pick up their favorite beauty products from one store and groceries from another can now do so while only paying a single delivery fee. OrderUp will also suggest items from nearby partner retailers when you check out. Simply add them to your cart and await your delivery.

Grocery Dive notes that this is similar to DoorDash's DoubleDash feature which was unveiled last year. The feature proved to be highly successful as DoorDash told Fortune that more of their customers are placing bundles than ever before.

In addition to this new innovation, Instacart has recently launched its own credit card, partnered with catering companies, and launched an upgrade to its premium subscription model. These moves are meant to attract new customers and retain current customers through this difficult economic period.