STATES CHRONICLE – Instacart is like the Uber of groceries. The startup has become popular almost instantly because it can be used to buy and get delivered products at home in just one hour using an app and a network of “shoppers”.
The company has a partnership with Whole Foods. Shoppers receive an order through the app and by order we mean a shopping least, they get everything and bring it to the given address in one hour tops.
Everything sounds great so far, except the company has started to ask a bit too much from its network of shoppers and drivers and the business seems to be steadily going down.
First of all, Instacart increased its customers’ fees. Then, they suspended the one-hour delivery service in New York, which was obviously one of their top “features”. But most important, they are imposing some strict policies to their shoppers, including what they have to wear or when they are allowed to listen to music.
If shoppers happen to breach the rules, they are on probation for a whole month. If they breach other rules after that, they pretty much risk getting fired. Therefore, the business doesn’t seem to be very friendly with its employees, which might bring it a lot of criticism even from customers.
In their endeavor to standardize operations, they convened a series of meetings in which they presented the new policies. Some of the new regulations include terms of delivery such as not providing one-hour deliveries anymore or only delivering in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, but not Long Island, Staten Island or Bronx.
Employees are thinking the company is in trouble as they don’t understand why suddenly they’re imposed such strict regulations. Plus, in December 2015, Instacart increased delivery fees by 50% and announced hiring fewer people in 2016.
However, until these announcements were made, everything seemed to go well with the groceries delivery company. At the beginning of 2015, the company reached $220 million growth in series C funding. Plus it was reported that they had secured an investment from Whole Foods only last month.
Although Instacart might have been a successful business, it seems that it is struggling now just as many other start-ups are doing. According to economists, many startups are having trouble because people have invested based on momentum and not considering what is now happening with the economy.
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