Mobile Commerce

Instacart Adds Digital Deals And Coupons

The last mile is still a major obstacle in the delivery process, and as more customers expect same-day or even one-hour shipments, some startups are pulling all the stops to make sure they’re the ones brands look to for help meeting delivery windows.

Instacart is one such startup, and the company announced Thursday (Nov. 5) that it had partnered with select brands to offer targeted discounts on qualifying purchases under a new program called “Instacart Deals.” Dan Bourgault, head of brand partnerships at Instacart, explained that the addition of coupons to its personal delivery service should attract more customers heading into the holiday shopping season.

“We are thrilled to be announcing new deals for our customers,” Bourgault said in a statement. “This streamlined platform adds flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness for both our brand partners and our consumers when it comes to discount offers. This new innovation in the [consumer packaged goods] space is just one more way that Instacart is changing the on-demand grocery industry to meet customer needs on their terms.”

TechCrunch reported that the majority of brand partners come from the grocery and home goods areas, including Ben & Jerry’s, Dove, Klondike, Coca-Cola, Quaker and Ziploc. The addition of discounts could open up new markets for Instacart; though the goods it delivers aren’t luxury quality by any means, paying for a personal shopper to courier orders is still seen as a high-margin service. Knocking prices down even by a few cents may make Instacart a more financially realistic option for shoppers who hadn’t considered the service before. In fact, the startup is offering free delivery — normally a $3.99 charge for two-hour delivery and $5.99 for one-hour — on new customers’ first orders.

Will Instacart’s discount gamble work, or will they run into mounting consumer demand for free shipping no matter what?

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