Grocers' Data Advantage: Leveraging Shopper Data Spurs Instacart Exodus

Direct access to their shoppers' data outweighs other benefits provided to grocers by the third-party delivery service' Grocers are leaving Instacart in droves. The question is, why?

Grocery shopping in-store

For several years, Instacart has been an increasingly popular option for consumers wanting groceries and convenience items delivered to their doorstep.  Yet recently, grocers large and small seem to be shifting gears, moving away from Instacart and developing their own delivery services. And there are several critical reasons why grocers such as Heinin’s are making this move: cost reduction, more control of the customer relationship and branding. More importantly, though, dropping Instacart gives retailers a firm hold of their precious customer data instead of giving it away to a third party or other intermediary. In a world where “data is the new oil”, ceding access to your own customers’ shopping insights is something many businesses are no longer willing to do.

The immediate value of shopper data

Data isn’t just a "nice to have" for grocers. It’s an essential component of building a successful organisation. In today's highly competitive market, customers expect personalised experiences that meet their individual needs and preferences. By collecting and analysing customer data, grocers can gain valuable insights into their customers' shopping behaviours, preferences, and purchasing history. This data can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns, personalised recommendations, and promotions that both resonate with customers and drive long-term loyalty and value.

With broader, more direct access to data, grocers can leverage sophisticated strategies to create more positive online and in-store experiences for their customers. One example of a data-first approach to enhancing grocery eCommerce experiences is demonstrated by the strategic partnership between Mercatus and Eagle Eye, which provides data-driven marketing capabilities, including personalised and targeted digital promotions [1]. Partnerships like these showcase the importance of owning the end-to-end customer experience for grocery retailers, supporting their efforts in gaining a competitive edge.

Boosting efficiency in the supply chain and the stockroom

Customer data can also be used to optimise supply chain and inventory management, improving efficiency and reducing waste. By tracking inventory levels and analysing customer demand, grocers can make more informed decisions about which products to stock and in what quantities. This can help reduce the risk of overstocking or understocking, which can lead to lost sales and increased waste.

Data is a critical component of running a successful grocery business. With direct access to it, grocers can reach their full potential. Instacart captured consumers' needs for a while, and it proved very useful as a third-party sales channel during a challenging period for grocers. But blocking grocers from accessing their own valuable shopper data isn’t in grocers’ short or long-term interests. And it’s why it makes the most business sense for grocery retailers to develop their own delivery and click-and-collect solutions and retain ownership of their shoppers' data – and those relationships!

As the grocery industry continues to evolve, grocers that prioritise data collection and analysis will be better positioned to succeed in the long run.