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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.

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.

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 retailer’s customer. The person shopping on a retailer's storefront.

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.

e-commerce site

See retailer e-commerce site.


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


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 Platform Portal

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

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.


See product.

item quantity

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

mini cart

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

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.


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.


A highly visible element, like a modal or banner, that is used to promote an offer or engage the customer. For example, the email subscription flow has two types of placements: a banner and a modal.

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 journey. Recommendations might include complementary items, suggested items, additional items, or replacement items. See also upsell.

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 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 have shoppable elements. Compare with retailer e-commerce site.

shop / shopping

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


A shopper can perform any of the following tasks:


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.


A feature that displays recommended items. An upsell might be used for any of the following purposes:

  • Complementary items (Items also bought with, Frequently bought together)
  • Suggested items (May we suggest, Suggested items)
  • Additional items (Add items to your order, Got everything you need?, Need anything else?)


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 called customers.