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Instacart Business aims to help firms stock up on food, supplies

Ecommerce is going B2B in 2023.

a phone with the Instacart Business app

Instacart Business has a new set of features. (Courtesy photo)

Instacart has a new service designed to help businesses stock up on supplies and food.

The news: Instacart Business launched this week, marking an expansion of the grocery technology company’s marketplace with features for a new type of customer. The business-focused offering is set to roll out a host of features that are designed to help small businesses stock up on items such as food and supplies.

How it works: Instacart said businesses often manage multiple vendors as they stock up on supplies. With Instacart Business, it is looking to provide same-day delivery, and allow purchasers to order on items on an as-needed basis. Instacart said the service will include no monthly minimums, and no additional contracts. At launch, Instacart said it will have items available from Costco Business Center, Staples, Restaurant Depot and BJ's Wholesale Club.

Key quote from Instacart COO Asha Sharma: "At Instacart, we believe that the cost of doing business shouldn't be so costly - especially for small businesses that are essential to the communities they serve…From stocking up on snacks in the office break room to getting last-minute supplies delivered to a family-owned restaurant, our affordable, convenient and flexible marketplace connects thousands of retailers to businesses nationwide, but with some new features tailor-made for this important community.

Features included: Instacart said the following features will roll out now and in the coming months:

Stock lists: Customers can prepare a shopping list that can be shared with a team, and have items ordered.

Reordering and auto-ordering: Items from a previous cart can be added to an order automatically. Plus, purchasers can set access an auto-order feature.

Flexible delivery: Items can be ordered for same-day delivery, under-30 minutes, no-rush delivery at a discount or long distance delivery.

Business credits: Customers can distribute credits to teams and locations with category restrictions, invoicing, and monthly reporting.

Tax-exemption: Nonprofits, healthcare, and political organizations will be able to save on tax-exempt items.

What it says about commerce in 2023

B2B boost: Instacart has been growing its offerings from retailers beyond grocers, delivering office supplies and larger food orders. Serving business is a natural extension of these capabilities. At the same time, the new features offer a path for Instacart to add customers that are buying large orders regularly, increasing both AOV and frequency. Instacart’s launch comes a few weeks after Walmart launched its own business-focused portal. At a time when high inflation is leading consumers to cut back on discretionary spending, finding additional profitable business lines is especially attractive for executives. The recurring revenue generated by B2B offerings could prove especially valuable in a year that is expected to see continued economic headwinds.

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