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Instacart expands Metro partnership; retail VP talks winning customer loyalty in 2023

Grocery delivery company builds momentum with Metro and Rexall as it looks to deepen its footprint across Canada in the coming year
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Instacart added Metro banners Food Basics, Adonis and Super C to its app today (Dec. 15) as part of an expanded partnership with the grocer. 

The tech company also inked an expanded deal with pharmacy chain Rexall  just a month after the partnership was announced.  

Instacart now delivers from more than 4,000 stores across all Canadian provinces – a 60% increase from last year. In 2022, the company added more than 20 new retail banners to its app. 

It’s a notable milestone after a year of dramatic change for the grocery industry. 

“Over the last two years, more consumers than ever before have made online grocery shopping part of the rhythm of their households – and we saw it in the record of orders placed on our platform in 2021,” Ryan Hamburger, vice president of retail at Instacart, tells Canadian Grocer. “People expect online grocery to be an option wherever they shop – the days of grocers not offering e-commerce are behind us. Like every other commerce category, in-store will remain important, which is why we’re thinking about the connectivity of those experiences.”

That includes finding ways to help inflation-weary shoppers stretch their grocery budgets, Hamburger says, through promotions and affordable fulfillment options like pickup.

“Our in-store technologies help make grocery shopping more efficient, so it’s easier for consumers to stay on budget with products like Scan & Pay, Caper Cart and Carrot Tags,” he says. “Our goal is to continue helping retailers grow their businesses while making groceries more accessible and affordable."

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Ryan Hamburger instacart
Ryan Hamburger

Bridging the gap between online and in-store gives grocers a competitive edge, Hamburger says. But retailers will need to go even further to retain customers in the year ahead. 

“We know grocers that go beyond the transactional nature of shopping will win,” he notes, adding “that the grocers that invest in making shopping more convenient and affordable for customers will be laying the groundwork for success. Customers who spent $100 last year still spend $100 today, but now they’re headed home with fewer items in their baskets. Retailers need to focus on making grocery shopping more affordable – in the near and long term. The grocer that offers the highest quality items at the lowest possible price will win customer loyalty in 2023.”

The news of Instacart’s new and expanded partnerships follows recent acquisitions by the company, including AI platform Eversight and U.S.-based tech company Rosie, as well as the expansion of its advertising business to Canada in May, which allows CPG companies to target ads to consumers who are actively shopping on the app.

Looking ahead, Hamburger says Instacart is looking to deepen its footprint across Canada, including scaling its ad business.

“The Canadian market presents an incredible opportunity for CPG brands of all sizes – from global companies to emerging Canadian brands – to embrace our ad products and technology to connect with their target audience,” Hamburger says. “Hundreds of brands are leveraging our sponsored product ads in Canada.”

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