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Instacart will offer its own tech to help grocery retailers speed up deliveries

it'll offer warehouses, stock management and even tech for smart trolleys.

Instacart

Instacart will start offering its tech to all grocery retailers. The company says the Instacart Platform will help them handle ecommerce, delivery fulfillment and ads, while offering access to insights and other data.

Retailers will be able to use the software's features (which also include options to manage scanless carts and other aspects of brick-and-mortar operations) on an à la carte basis or to run most of their business on a single platform. All grocery store operators will be able to use the software, not only those with which Instacart has partnered for deliveries.

In the coming months, Publix will start using the platform’s fulfillment features in Atlanta and Miami to make deliveries from Instacart's purpose-built warehouses in as little as 15 minutes. Some of Instacart’s rivals, such as Gopuff, DoorDash and Getir, are also embracing ultra-fast grocery deliveries. Some jurisdictions have raised alarm bells about such services, in part because they could make things unsafe for couriers who might be under pressure to meet deadlines.

Other retailers, including Good Food Holdings and Schnuck Markets, are piloting Instacart’s ad service, which will be rolled out more widely later this year.

Licensing the Instacart Platform could open up a key stream of revenue for the company. The economics of the gig worker model make it difficult for companies in that space to turn a profit, especially given the stiff competition they face in certain markets. Dealing with retailers directly could improve Instacart’s bottom line, though the gig workers Instacart has worked with to handle deliveries could be affected.

We’re seen other instances of ecommerce companies offering their tech to physical retailers. Starbucks and Sainsbury's are testing Amazon's cashier-free Just Walk Out tech.