Instacart is on a mission to broaden its appeal beyond being a transactional platform. The company announced Thursday the addition of purchasable carts: essentially, product bundles recommended by retailers, celebrities and designers.
“For me, it was obvious that our experience needed to evolve from transactional and utilitarian to inspiring,” said Instacart CEO Fiji Simo. fast business in an exclusive interview.
The company enlisted Lizzo to launch the new campaign. The Grammy Award-winning singer has her own cart; other examples of purchasable carts include “Self Care Sunday”, “Late Night Noms”, and “Date Night”.
“All of these things are like mini-stories that tell a universe of possibilities, and I think that’s driving a lot of the behaviors we see on the platform,” says Simo, who was hired to running the business just over a year ago. She cites school lunches as another example, saying she used the feature (which was available to test internally) to find new recipes to make for her daughter’s lunch.
Carts come with a wider range of platform investments. The company also relies on its buyable recipe integrations to help recipe creators and food-focused developers make their websites business-friendly. This means that bloggers and editors can share recipes and instead of the reader writing each article and going to the store, the necessary items can be purchased instantly on Instacart.
Instacart is also launching an affiliate network for creators, publishers, and developers, allowing them to monetize the purchases their audience makes on the platform. The feature, called Instacart Tastemakers, offers the creators of the program a 3% commission on qualifying purchases made through their shopping links, a spokesperson said. fast company.
All updates are coming as Instacart prepares for its public debut. The company confidentially filed an initial public offering in May and is expected to hit the markets before 2023, according to the the wall street journal. The company declined to comment on the timing, citing its pre-IPO silence period mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investors are watching the company closely, considering a 2022 listing would come as the IPO market is poised for its worst year in decades.
Instacart was one of the darlings of the pandemic, getting a boost from consumers who cut back on trips to the supermarket and instead placed grocery orders online. Because of this positioning, the company was widely seen as a prime candidate to go public this year. Then the markets started their strong sell off due to decades high inflation, rising interest rates and the ongoing geopolitical conflict in Europe.
In March, Instacart reduced its internal valuation to around $24 billion from $39 billion. However, the company, which also derives revenue from advertising, remained confident in its model. Simo says that despite concerns about the macro environment, customer spending remains strong.
The company has been looking at price reduction options, such as offering users lower-cost scheduled delivery or the ability to pick up their own orders. “Our job is to really connect [customers] with all the options they have, to make grocery shopping more affordable,” adds Simo.
These efforts seem to have given the company a boost. Instacart hit its highest-ever quarterly revenue in the second quarter of 2022, up 39% year-over-year to $621 million, according to the The Wall Street Journal, which also reported that the number of orders placed via Instacart increased by 25% compared to the same period a year ago to reach more than 60 million. The company declined to comment on the numbers.
“Our business continues to grow,” says Simo. “Yeah, the pandemic has accelerated that adoption a bit, but fundamentally the most important trends, and the most important trend, is a trend towards more online adoption. . . . The next five years are going to be about digging deeper this online adoption.