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Delivery user journey

Instacart Connect seamlessly powers same-day or scheduled delivery on retailer-owned eCommerce sites. The delivery end-to-end user journey shows an example of a customer using a retailer site to create an order for delivery. The journey includes the customer chatting with a shopper as the order is fulfilled.

The journey highlights the key transitions from the customer point of view:

  1. Start shopping
  2. Begin the checkout process
  3. Choose a delivery time slot
  4. Review and place the order
  5. Communicate with the shopper during fulfillment
  6. Receive the delivery

You'll see the following tabs at each transition:

  • Journey tab. Describes what happens during this step for the customer and the retailer site.
  • API tab. Lists the endpoint methods or events that can be used at this point in the workflow.
  • Retailer options tab. Lists some workflow decisions a retailer makes before implementing a solution.

Start shopping#

  1. The customer visits the retailer ecommerce site.
  2. The customer selects delivery.
  3. The customer enters their postal code and gets a list of store locations that offer delivery.
  4. The customer selects a store location. The store location determines what inventory is available in the catalog.
  5. The customer fills their cart.

Begin the checkout process#

  1. The customer logs in to their retailer customer account.
  2. The retailer site creates a Connect user account for this customer that can be used by Instacart.
  3. If the cart contains alcohol, the retailer site prompts for the customer's date of birth. The customer must be old enough to legally purchase alcohol in their region.

Choose a delivery time slot#

  1. The customer sees a list of available time slots. If the cart contains alcohol, some time slots might not be available due to regional laws for the sale or delivery of alcohol.
  2. The customer selects a time slot. The time slots are the same as the time slots currently available on Instacart Marketplace.
  3. The retailer site sends a request to reserve the time slot. The time slot is reserved for 10 minutes, which is usually enough time for the customer to finish the checkout process.

Review and place the order#

  1. The customer reviews and validates their order and delivery address.
  2. The retailer site prompts for other order fulfillment information required by Instacart, including:
    • Confirmation to opt in to receiving SMS communications, which enables status notifications and real-time chat. Default is false.
    • Confirmation to leave the delivery unattended. Default is false.
    • Confirmation if Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is used as a payment method. Default is false.
    • Loyalty card number. (optional)
    • Special instructions. (optional)
    • Tip amount.
  3. The retailer site prompts for payment and preauthorizes the order total.
  4. The retailer site creates the order. It can take several seconds to receive order confirmation from Instacart.

Communicate with the shopper during fulfillment#

A shopper is assigned the order. In this example, the customer opted in for SMS communications, so the customer receives status updates, shopper notifications, and shopper chat messages. The Connect platform sends callback events to the retailer site to keep the site up-to-date with the order fulfillment status.

When the shopper makes a replacement or refund, the customer receives a notification.

The image shows two automated SMS messages sent to a customer when a replacement or refund is made. The replacement message is "Replaced: Greenland Fresh Tomatoes." The refund message is "Refunded: Skinny Pop KettleCorn Popcorn."

The customer and shopper chat about other items that are not available.

The image shows an SMS message conversation between the shopper, Jennifer, and the customer, Arun. Jennifer tells Arun that there are no organic blueberries, and she asks if he wants a refund. Arun asks for replacement of organic grapes and Jennifer says she'll see if the store has them. Jennifer then says that the requested brand of organic milk is not available and suggests a replacement. Arun approves the replacement.

  1. The shopper begins shopping with the Instacart Shopper app.
  2. The customer is notified when the shopper makes a change or replacement.
  3. The customer and shopper can chat about replacements.
  4. The retailer site receives status updates through the shopping process.

Receive the delivery#

  1. The customer receives a notification that the shopper has checked out and the delivery is on its way. The customer can chat with the shopper to discuss hand-off details.
  2. The shopper arrives at the customer location and delivers the ordered items.
  3. If order contains alcohol, the customer presents identification that includes their date of birth. For more information, see Alcohol compliance.
  4. The retailer site receives the delivered callback.
  5. The site processes the payment for the order total including tip.
  6. The customer has 24 hours to return to the retailer site and change their tip.