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The glossary defines terms that are used within Instacart Platform product documentation. For general industry terms, use your favorite glossary or use a browser search.

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An API is an application programming interface. Retailers can use Instacart APIs to access Instacart services from their retailer e-commerce sites. For more information, see Instacart Connect.

Retailers on Storefront Pro can integrate their storefront with other third-party providers through the providers' APIs. Examples include a payment provider or a coupon provider.


Availability, when used with time slots, means that a time slot has enough shopper capacity, the selected store is open, and restricted items (if any) can be legally fulfilled in that time slot. Available time slots are presented to the customer.

Availability, when used with products, means that an item is in stock at a selected store.

A user interface element prominently displayed on your storefront, typically used to draw customer attention to a marketing or advertising campaign. Compare with retailer banner.


A batch is a collection of orders. An Instacart algorithm assigns orders to batches based on similar criteria, such as store location. Shoppers accept batches through the Instacart Shopper app.


A strategic effort to complete a specific objective, such as drive awareness campaigns and offer discount campaigns. Campaigns can be scheduled and be segmented to a target audience.


A virtual method of keeping track of a customer’s in progress purchases on a retailer’s storefront. The items in the cart are converted to an order after the customer checks out. Compare with order.


The list of products that a retailer sells through their storefront. For each store location, retailers can offer a different list of products and set different prices.

check out (v.)

From a cart in your storefront, a customer starts the checkout process.

checkout (n./adj.)

The process of converting a filled cart to an order. For example, a customer clicks a button to start the checkout process. The storefront guides the customer through the checkout process, which includes reviewing items, providing details and payment information, and placing the order.


An assortment of products that are grouped under a specific theme or trait. For example, the Crackers collection includes products such as cheese crackers, whole-wheat crackers, and graham crackers. Compare with department.


Any distinct area of the storefront user experience, such as the header, footer, or item tile. A component can contain other components.


Coupons advertise a discount on a product or products, such as Get $1 off any package of Best Cookies. Customers must clip a coupon to opt in to the reward.

In Storefront Pro, a coupon is a type of offer. You can integrate with a third-party coupon provider and also create your own coupons.


A group of visual elements, such as images, text, and buttons, plus the associated metadata, such as image alt text and URL destinations. Examples of creatives are banners and product carousels. Creatives can be used to promote an offer, advertise campaigns, or engage the customer.

curbside pickup

A type of pickup order. Customers go to the selected store location and park in a designated area. Retail employees run their orders out to their vehicles.


The person placing an order on a storefront. From a technical perspective, a customer is someone who has created a customer account with a retailer. Compare with guest.


deliver (v.)

A shopper transports an order to a delivery address and completes the delivery. The delivery address can be the customer’s address or another address.

delivery (n./adj.)

Retailers can offer delivery as a fulfillment option. When a customer places a delivery order, a shopper picks the order while using the Instacart Shopper app and then delivers the order to the customer. Compare with pickup.


A broad category that can contain one or more related collections. For example, Snacks & Candy is a department that contains the Crackers, Chocolate, and Potato chips collections.

dynamic slot

A section on a page that is reserved for displaying campaigns. See also static slot.

e-commerce site

See retailer e-commerce site.

fulfillment option

The ways in which an order can be fulfilled, such as delivery or pickup.


Full-service means a shopper is using the Instacart Shopper app while picking items in an order.

gift card

A retailer’s pre-paid money card that can be used as a payment method on the retailer’s e-commerce site.


A guest is any visitor to your storefront who hasn’t signed in to a customer account. Compare with customer.


The introductory page or landing page of your storefront.



Instacart+ memberships provide customers with benefits, such as free delivery and reduced service fees, when they shop through your storefront. Formerly Instacart Express.

Instacart account

An account that a customer creates to use Instacart Marketplace. If a customer purchases an Instacart+ membership, it is associated with their Instacart account.

Instacart Connect

Instacart APIs that you can use to add Instacart capabilities to your branded e-commerce site. You and your customers benefit from Instacart scheduling, full-service shopping, delivery, pickup, and order tracking. Your developers can integrate the selected capabilities through REST API calls using any language, such as Java or Python.

Instacart Marketplace

A platform hosted by Instacart where multiple retailers have online stores. Customers can shop and place orders with retailers by using the Instacart website or Instacart app.

You can have a presence on Instacart Marketplace and also have your own retailer e-commerce storefront on another site.

Instacart Platform Portal

The Instacart Platform Portal is a secure browser-based application where you can view and manage catalog items, inventory, merchandizing, and more. Formerly Instacart Retailer Platform.

Instacart representative

Your Instacart representative is your main point of contact with Instacart. Your representative coordinates people and resources to set up, configure, upgrade, and enhance your storefront on Carrot Storefront Pro or Carrot Storefront. They also support your developers to add Instacart capabilities to other retailer sites through Carrot Connect APIs. A representative might be a Technical Account Manager, Customer Success Manager, Strategic Partner Manager, or someone else. Your representative might change as you progress from onboarding to running your storefront.

Instacart Shopper app

Mobile application for use by shoppers. Shoppers can accept batches, communicate with customers, replace items, process refunds, and contact Instacart for assistance. In a partner pick model, a retail employee could use the app instead of a shopper.

Instacart Storefront

Apps and websites branded with a retailer’s logos but owned and operated by Instacart. Formerly Powered by Instacart (PBI).


See product.

item quantity

The number of a selected item in the cart, such as two cartons of milk.


mini cart

The user interface component for showing the contents of a customer’s cart while the customer is browsing the storefront.

mixed cart

An order that contains groceries and prescriptions. The shopper picks up the prescription and obtains a receipt. After the shopper picks the items and pays for them, the shopper receives a second receipt.

multi-banner retailer

An organization that operates multiple affiliated stores or subsidiaries under different names. See also retailer banner.


A retailer-defined promotion that includes one or more conditions to be met and a reward. You can create different types of offers that reward customers with a discount or free product. For example, you can create buy-one-get-one (BOGO) promotions, such as Buy 1 package of Best Cookies and get 1 package of Best Cookies for free.

opt-in approach

An approach where customers are invited to subscribe to a service. Contrast with opt-out approach.

opt-out approach

An approach where customers are automatically subscribed to a service but can unsubscribe if they don’t want that service. Contrast with opt-in approach.

order (n.)

An order contains the items a customer wants to purchase plus all of the customer’s details, payment information, and other instructions that are required for order fulfillment.

order ahead meals

Foods that are prepared by retail employees and require some lead time to prepare. For example, catering orders or cakes. Compare with prepared meals.

organic search results

Organic search results are products that match the search term without the influence of paid advertising or additional configurations.



A partner is a retailer, Ads provider, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturer, or other entities with a signed agreement to use an Instacart Platform product. Compare with retailer.

partner pick

Retailers can choose to use retail employees to pick orders using the Instacart Shopper app. The employees stage the orders for either pickup by the customer or for delivery by a shopper.

pick / picking

A shopper or retail employee picks the ordered items off the shelf. Compare with shop / shopping.

pick up (v.)

The customer goes to the store to pick up their order.

pickup (n./adj.)

Retailers can offer pickup as a fulfillment option. When a customer places a pickup order, a shopper or retail employee picks the order while using the Instacart Shopper app and brings the items to a staging area. Compare with delivery.


See creative.

Powered by Instacart (PBI)

See Instacart Storefront.

prepared meals

Foods prepared by retail employees that are ready to serve and do not require lead time to prepare, such as seasoned chicken rotisserie or ready to eat taco kits. Compare with order ahead meals.


A product is something you sell. It has a unique UPC or RRC, an image, and a description. A product is also known as an item.


Items that are recommended to customers at various stages of their shopping journey, such as viewing an item in a product details page, going from cart to checkout, and placing an order. The recommendations engine reviews historical Instacart order data and recommends items that were most-frequently purchased with the customer’s selected item or items.

replacement items

Items that can be substituted for preferred items. A customer can specify replacement items for the items in their order. A shopper can suggest replacements items through chat. For example, you can substitute one brand of pasta sauce for another brand.

retail employee

Someone who is employed by a retailer and works in a store location. In a fulfillment context, a retail employee might pick and stage an order for a last mile delivery, prepare items for a catering order, or run a pickup order out to a customer’s vehicle.


A retailer is any organization who sells products or services. A retailer might be evaluating using Instacart services or might be already using Instacart services. Compare with partner.

retailer banner

An affiliated store or subsidiary operated by a multi-banner retailer. Also known as a warehouse in Instacart client configuration. Compare with banner.

retailer customer account

The customer’s account on your Storefront Pro or Storefront instance.

retailer e-commerce site

A retailer e-commerce site includes the frontend storefront and the backend platform. An e-commerce site can be hosted by Instacart through Storefront Pro or Storefront. It can also be hosted by the retailer and make use of the Connect APIs. Compare with retailer site.

retailer site

A retailer’s corporate site, which might include shoppable components. Compare with retailer e-commerce site.


service area

Service areas are the addresses that can receive delivery from a store location within a given time period. Instacart uses the store location, the customer address, and other factors to determine if the customer address falls within the service area for the store. This approach results in more serviceable addresses than using only postal codes.

service option

The types of time slots that can be shown to customers. The service options are priority ETA, standard ETA, scheduled, and immediate. Time slots might start from the time the order is created or they can be scheduled for a future start time.

shop / shopping

Customers browse the storefront and fill their cart. Compare with pick / picking.


A shopper can perform any of the following tasks:

staging area

The area in a store where orders are put for pick up or last mile delivery.

static slot

A section on a page that is reserved for displaying the same creative to all customers. See also dynamic slot.


A storefront is the frontend user interface of your e-commerce site. Customers can interact with your storefront from a web app or a mobile app. See also retailer e-commerce site.

Storefront Pro Dashboard

The UI that is used by retailers to view and manage things such as marketing and merchandising content, store operations, customer orders, and IT support. Also known as Unata dashboard.


Customers sign up for a service, such as receiving marketing emails. Contrast with unsubscribe.

time slot

An interval of time in which an order can be fulfilled.

UAT environment

The user acceptance testing (UAT) environment is where retailers can test new releases. The Storefront Pro UAT environments connect to the Instacart development environment.

Unata Dashboard

See Storefront Pro Dashboard.


The countable items in an order including all multiples of items.


Customers ask to be removed from a service, such as receiving marketing emails. Contrast with subscribe.


Someone who uses an administrative tool. This term is also used within Connect API endpoints as user ID (an internal identifier for a customer) and user access token.

Note: Users of a storefront are referred to as guests or customers.



A component that can be embedded within any retailer e-commerce site.