Instacart Announces 'Connected Stores' Tech to Help Grocers Unify Online and In-Store Shopping

John Suder
Sep 20, 2022

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Instacart has announced the debut of Connected Stores, a collection of new and existing technologies aimed at assisting retailers in developing a customized online and in-store experience.

Connected Stores include:

  • The New Caper Cart
  • Scan & Pay
  • Lists
  • Carrot Tags
  • FoodStorm Department Orders
  • Out of Stock Insights

The Newly Updated Caper Cart

Instacart acquired Caper AI, a firm that develops smart cart and cashier-less checkout technology that uses computer vision and other methods to detect things and ring them up for customers last year for $350 million.

Caper Carts, which include features like scan-and-pay, department orders, out-of-stock information, and more, let you sync shopping lists to the carts.

The updated Caper Cart has scales, sensors, touchscreens, and computer vision technology. Customers don't need to scan products with the Caper Cart manually. Simply placing an item in the cart will result in the customer checking it off their list. The new Caper Cart is lighter than the earlier model and can hold 65% more.

Scan & Pay

Instacart is now adding Scan & Pay, which enables you to scan things while you shop and pay for them using your smartphone, in addition to Caper Carts. If retailers choose not to use the new Caper Carts, they have the Scan & Pay alternative.

Carrot Tags

Carrot Tags will aid shoppers in finding what they're looking for at a store. The tags illuminate electronic shelf labels to make it easier to find certain things. Shoppers can choose an item on their phone, and the corresponding shelf label will flash. 

Additionally, carrot tags might include details like a product's kosherness, organic status, or gluten-free status. Additionally, Instacart has a Department Orders function that enables customers to order from several departments at once, such as the bakery and deli.

FoodStorm Department Orders

While customers are browsing, businesses may manage orders for items like hot items, deli sandwiches, and baked goods with the aid of FoodStorm's order management system (OMS). With the help of the new Department Orders, the various prepared food departments inside a shop can work together to ensure that consumer orders are ready when needed.

Out of Stock Insights

Out of Stock Insights is an API that enables merchants to notify associates instantly and automatically when inventory levels are low or running low. Customers are more likely to find what they are looking for, increasing the likelihood of increased sales for retailers and fewer lost sales opportunities for consumers.

With Good Food Holdings, Instacart has announced the opening of its first Connected Store. Customers visiting the Bristol Farms location of Good Food Holdings in Irvine, California, will see Caper Carts, Scan & Pay, Lists, and Carrot Tags. Locations of Wakefern Food Corp. and Schnucks will also start using Caper Carts and Carrot Tags, respectively, in the upcoming months.

Photo by Marques Thomas on Unsplash

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