Instacart is expanding its efforts to become an Amazon-style hosted omnichannel commerce solution.
The on-demand delivery platform is acquiring Rosie, an e-commerce platform for local and independent retailers and wholesalers. Founded in Ithaca, N.Y., in 2013, Rosie works with independent retailers including Dash’s Market; as well as Rosauers Supermarkets, Lee's Marketplace, Niemann Foods Inc., and Geissler's Supermarkets across more than 40 states.
Rosie offers independent grocers branded e-commerce websites and mobile app capabilities designed to support order flow and fulfillment and help provide visibility into customer insights. The solution’s features include shoppable weekly ads, store loyalty and rewards programs integrations, third-party fulfillment logistics integrations, and payment processing – specifically developed for local and independent grocers.
Moving forward, the Rosie team will lead Instacart’s business strategy and technology development for local independent grocers, as Instacart continues to increase its focus on this segment of the grocery industry.
Instacart prepares for ‘next chapter’
Instacart is upgrading its subscription offering as it prepares for what it calls the “next, tech-enabled chapter” of grocery with a 10-year strategy. As part of the plan, Instacart says it will provide grocery retailers the latest innovations and insights in e-commerce, fulfillment, in-store and advertising, to enable them to build the “store of the future.”
For consumers, Instacart says it will help retailers provide them access to “more affordable, nutritious food.” Instacart also plans to offer consumers a fully personalized, omnichannel shopping experience that will let them discover products based on their personal tastes and dietary needs.
Instacart has also been taking a number of steps that suggest the company wants to join major technology providers such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. In March 2022, Instacart launched Instacart Platform, which offers a range of enterprise technologies (such as e-commerce storefronts and fulfillment solutions) retailers can use a la carte or as a suite.
[Read more: Instacart launches Amazon-style e-commerce platform]
Throughout 2021, Instacart made several other moves in this direction. In January, Instacart introduced a new model for its Instacart Pickup curbside service — Partner Pick. Through Partner Pick, a retailer’s employees utilize Instacart’s customizable pickup technology to fulfill Instacart Pickup orders.
July 2021 saw Instacart unveil the first phase of a micro-fulfillment initiative. And in October, the company acquired FoodStorm, an order management system provider whose technology enables end-to-end order-ahead and catering services for grocery retailers.
“Our focus is on creating technology solutions that are tailor-made to meet the online and in-store needs of all grocers - whether they’re national chains or independently-owned and operated,” said Chris Rogers, chief business officer at Instacart. “Local and independent grocers are so important to the grocery ecosystem. They have loyal customers, create meaningful job opportunities and serve as cornerstones of their communities. The Rosie team understands these grocers better than anyone, and that’s why we’re proud to welcome them to Instacart. Together, we’ll build more technologies that help independent grocers accelerate their pace of innovation so they can continue to compete, grow, and serve their customers however they choose to shop.”
“For nearly a decade, our team has lived, breathed, and devoted ourselves to the success of local independent grocers and I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” said Nick Nickitas, founder and CEO of Rosie. “Instacart’s mission of powering the future of grocery is closely aligned with our own, and I’m confident that combining our teams and technologies is the way to best continue serving these important retailers.”
Instacart has partnered with more than 700 national, regional and local retailers to deliver from more than 65,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. Instacart's platform is available to over 85% of U.S. households and 90% of Canadian households.