Instacart plans to expand its presence in Canada and the U.S. by building next-gen robotic fulfillment centres.
The company has signed a multi-year strategic deal with Fabric as its fulfillment automation partner.
"Instacart is proud to serve as the chief ally to retailers during a time when e-commerce in North America is poised for accelerated adoption. 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. 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," says Mark Schaaf, chief technology officer, Instacart.
"Over the long-term, we believe 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."
As part of Instacart's new next-gen fulfillment initiative, the company will pair Fabric software and robotics with Instacart technology and shoppers to power a new fulfillment process within dedicated warehouses and existing retailer locations. 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.
Elram Goren, CEO and co-founder of Fabric says the company's "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. We're excited to partner with Instacart as we continue to scale across North America and focus on unlocking more value for retailers and their customers."
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 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 CPG brands directly to customers online.