Many years ago, a small company named Webvan emerged during Dotcom 1.0 telling us they were going to utilize the internet to create a service that would help deliver groceries right to our door. As history reveals, it didn’t work during that time almost 15 years ago, but a new company Instacart (www.instacart.com) has emerged with a $3.99 grocery store service model catching fire around the United States. I recently had the chance to interview some of the executives now bringing the model to the greater Atlanta area.
The business model of Instacart is a grocery delivery service that delivers in as little as an hour! They connect you with personal shoppers in your area who pick up and deliver your groceries from your favorite local stores. Currently, they handle Kroger (and soon to be Whole Foods) in the Atlanta area.
The delivery fee for your first order is free. After that, it’s $3.99 for a two hour delivery and $5.99 for one hour if you spend $35 or more. It is reported on their website that the fastest delivery was in just 12 minutes! Many people like going to the grocery store in part to pick their own produce, but Instacart claims that they have expert produce pickers with their personal shoppers.
So, how can a business run on $3.99? It can’t. Instacart prices are their own and vary from the store’s price (except for alcoholic beverages). If you notice an item that you believe is priced incorrectly or unfairly, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We reserve the right to cancel items that are priced incorrectly due to error. This means you will have to keep an eye on the prices as well to make sure you understand the real cost of hiring the service. Part of what this will boil down to is TIME. Most Gen X & Gen Y families don’t have a ton of time, so place your value on saving a couple of hours of heartache once per week.
It’s always exciting to see new and inventive business models to make our lives easier. I haven’t tried Instacart yet, but now that it has come to Atlanta I might give it a try. What is an hour of your time worth?