Instacart Takes on DashMart with Walmart Canada Partnership

As restaurant and grocery aggregators increasingly compete for the same occasions, Instacart is challenging its restaurant competitors’ hold on the virtual convenience store space.

On Thursday (June 23), the grocery delivery service announced the expansion of its partnership with Walmart in Canada to launch Walmart Now, a virtual, delivery-only convenience store, bringing essentials to consumers’ doors within 30 minutes.

“Customers today expect convenience and quick delivery paired with a broad selection. We know these components are fundamental as retailers seek to build the best online grocery experience for their customers,” said Chris Rogers, vice president of retail at Instacart, in a statement. “By collaborating with leading retailers like Walmart and providing Instacart Platform solutions that are purpose-built for grocery, we’re making it easier for retailers to get customers exactly what they need, when they need it.”

For this initiative, Walmart is using Instacart’s white-label eCommerce solution Carrot Storefront, and the digital store is also available through Instacart’s own-brand app. Orders from this virtual offering go through Walmart Canada’s existing locations on Instacart’s marketplace. The two companies’ partnership began in 2018 and includes over 250 Walmart Canada stores.

Back in August 2020, DoorDash announced the creation of its DashMart virtual convenience stores, beginning with a rollout in eight U.S. cities. In February of this year, Grubhub announced the launch of its Grubhub Goods digital convenience store.

Related news: Grubhub Launches Grubhub Goods to Challenge DashMart, Gopuff

“Diners have come to expect more choices when they land on Grubhub, including convenience options, which we see as a natural extension of our marketplace and a way to bring more value to the entire Grubhub ecosystem,” Grubhub Director of Growth and New Verticals Kyle Goings said in a statement at the time.

Instacart has been coming further into competition with DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats, among other aggregators, in recent years, as these restaurant delivery services expand into the grocery category, announcing partnerships with major supermarket chains. Instacart, in turn, launched its Ready Meals Hub in January, offering cooked meals from grocery stores on demand for lower prices than restaurant delivery competitors.

See also: Instacart Aims to Price Out DoorDash with Launch of Meal Delivery

The share of consumers using same-day aggregators for snacks and other food delivery is on the rise, according to data from the May edition of PYMNTS’ ConnectedEconomy study, The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Brick-and-Mortar Economy Goes Digital. The report, which drew from a survey of more than 2,600 U.S. consumers about their digital habits, found that 34% of consumers used a same-day grocery delivery aggregator in April, up from 30% in February and March.

Read more: 19M More Consumers Went Online to Bank, Buy and Pay Bills in May 2022

Noting this trend, Walmart has been investing in its delivery business.

“We’re making progress on the eCommerce experience as in-stock improves, and the team continues to improve on the app and site experience, delivery accuracy and speed,” the retailer’s President and CEO Doug McMillon told analysts on a call in May discussing Walmart’s first-quarter 2023 earnings results.