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How to support guest customers

When your retailer site permits shoppers to shop as a guest, you might not want to engage with Instacart Connect until the guest is ready to check out.

Prerequisites#

You need the following things:

  • Retailer-owned ecommerce site with guest cart creation and guest checkout workflows.
  • Retailer store location that you want to use for inventory during the shopping experience.

Integrate with the guest checkout workflow#

Your site integration with Connect happens during the checkout process. The following example shows one way to integrate Connect into your workflow, but you have the flexibility to change the order of some of the steps if necessary.

The integration requires a one-time Connect user account to use in API requests. This is an internal account that is created with minimal information. Guests do not interact with this account directly.

Guest shopping experience#

A guest goes through the following steps on the retailer site without providing any personal information.

  1. Enters the retailer site and starts shopping.
  2. Adds items to their guest cart.
  3. Starts the checkout process.
  4. Selects the type of service: delivery or pickup

Delivery checkout experience#

When delivery is selected, the guest needs to provide enough information to support delivery by an Instacart shopper. You can collect the information in any way that suits your site workflow.

  1. The guest customer provides the following information:
    • Name.
    • Phone number.
    • Confirmation to opt in to receiving SMS messages during order fulfillment.
    • Delivery address.
    • Confirmation to leave the delivery unattended.
    • Special instructions. (optional)
    • If a cart contains alcohol, the customers's date of birth. The customer must be old enough to legally purchase alcohol in their region. The retailer site should advise the customer that they must show identification with their date of birth when the order is received and that alcohol cannot be left unattended.
    • Tip amount.
    • Confirmation if Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is used as a payment method.
  2. The retailer site sends the following Connect requests:
    1. Find stores offering delivery. The retailer site selects an appropriate store.
    2. Create a Connect user account. The user ID is required in the following requests.
    3. List available time slots. Prompt the guest to select a time slot.
    4. Reserve the time slot.
    5. Create the order.

The order is processed as usual.

Pickup checkout experience#

When pickup is selected, the guest needs to provide enough information to arrange to pick up the order. You can collect the information in any way that suits your site workflow.

  1. The guest customer provides the following information:
    • Name.
    • Phone number.
    • Confirmation to opt in to receiving SMS messages during order fulfillment.
    • Special instructions. (optional)
    • If a cart contains alcohol, the customers's date of birth. The customer must be old enough to legally purchase alcohol in their region. The retailer site should advise the customer that they must show identification with their date of birth when the order is received and that alcohol cannot be left unattended.
    • Confirmation if Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is used as a payment method.
  2. The retailer site sends the following Connect requests:
    1. Find stores offering pickup. The retailer site prompts the guest to select a nearby store.
    2. Create a Connect user account. The user ID is required in the following requests.
    3. List available time slots. Prompt the guest to select a time slot.
    4. Reserve the time slot.
    5. Create the order.

The order is processed as usual.