Today’s demand for digital commerce is yielding a retail future where needs can be instantly communicated and met, without disconnected processes and brand confusion. To encourage brand loyalty, physical retailers must leverage the local connection to the consumer while evolving their online presence. CATAPULT® WebCart™ is a revolutionary click-and-collect solution that allows brick and mortar stores to step seamlessly into the digital realm, without giving up their fundamental rights.
Read this article and you will walk away with six reasons why CATAPULT WebCart WINS over Instacart every time.
1. Control the Consumer Experience
|Instacart presents the commoditization of your offering.||WebCart presents the uniqueness of your value and brand.|
|Instacart offers strenuous, batch item updates.||WebCart offers completely automated, real-time item updates.|
|Instacart provides inaccurate item level on-hand availability.||With WebCart, customers can only see what’s in stock so they don’t waste time buying something you don’t have. Instead, they can search for a substitute item that you do have in stock.|
|With Instacart, pricing is static and differs from your physical in-store pricing.||WebCart pricing is dynamic and can be exactly the same as the physical in-store price (or different, if you want it to be).|
|Instacart can’t provide special pricing for special customers.||With WebCart, you can create specific price lists for specific customers.|
|The Instacart platform doesn’t work with your in-store loyalty functionality.||WebCart treats online loyalty as if the customer is standing in front of a traditional register. Why have it any other other way?|
|Instacart captures fatter margins with higher item prices and added fees.||With WebCart, you capture the extra margins by deciding whether to charge more per item and/or adding additional fees for pickup and delivery.|
|When global chaos ensues, Instacart can’t deliver!||When global chaos ensues, WebCart can easily scale up, allowing WebCart retailers to handle hundreds of online orders per day, without even breaking a sweat.|
|Instacart owns and controls your data, sometimes even selling it to third parties.||With CATAPULT WebCart, you own and control 100% of your data.|
Erewhon, a celebrity-beloved organic grocer in Southern California, has taken an even tougher stance. “We used to literally have Instacart on our homepage. I don’t do that anymore,” says Tony Antoci, Erewhon’s owner, who has six locations in and around Los Angeles. “We’d rather own our customer, because once they go to that Instacart platform, they’re an Instacart customer.”
2. Don’t Let Your Brand Get Lost in a Sea of Competitors
Instacart advertises multiple stores so their customers can price shop with your competitors. Not only that, but if you aren’t a “preferred” partner of Instacart, your store prices will automatically be marked up, on average 15%, making your business a less desirable option than your competitors.
3. Control Your Delivery Options
One of the perceived pros of Instacart was that delivery drivers were managed and provided by Instacart. COVID-19 changed everything though, when delivery windows that used to occur in 1-2 hours suddenly could only occur after 2-3 days. This pandemic has revealed that retailers are at the whim of Instacart’s changing conditions.
With WebCart, you are empowered to set up the last-mile system that works for your business and your customers:
- Partner with 3rd-Party delivery services without commitments.
- Deliver it yourself! See how one CATAPULT Retailer has capitalized on a personal delivery service model.
- Curbside Pickup
Because delivery isn’t built into WebCart, it frees you up to do what you want and puts you in control of the last-mile.
4. Advertise Accurate Information at all Times
Grocers are turning, replenishing, and restocking inventory at a rate never before seen. With inventory changing from moment to moment, it’s critical that your e-commerce platform accurately reflects your actual store inventory. When you utilize a 3rd party that is disjointed, your customers will place items into their shopping carts only to receive “out of stock” or replacement notifications hours later while their order is being picked. This is because the inventory counts cannot reflect real-time data.
With CATAPULT WebCart, inventory counts are never inaccurate because that data is derived directly from your inventory maintenance. This eliminates customer friction and makes e-commerce a feasible ordering option during a time of frequently empty shelves.
5. Avoid Fees for You and Your Customers
Instacart already has a well-documented history of increased product prices that are passed onto the retailer or consumer, but that’s not all that you can expect to pay for using them. As demand increases, so does pricing. With “gig worker” strikes planned in response to Instacart’s hazard working conditions, new fees are on the horizon for Instacart retailers. Running the numbers on a typical weekly grocery trip of $150, you can quickly see how potential new fees will render Instacart unsustainable for most retailers:
Typical Weekly Grocery Trip at $150 under
New Proposed Hazard Fees requested by Instacart workforce:
|Weekly Shopping Cart||$150.00|
|Standard Product Price Markup (15%)||$22.50|
|Standard Service Fee (10%)||$15.00|
|Standard Delivery Fee||$5.99|
|Hazard Delivery Fee||$5.00|
|Hazard Default Tip (10%)||$15.00|
6. Don’t Fall Victim to the Trojan Horse
Instacart may ride in like retail’s knight in shining armor, but be wary of what you sacrifice when you choose to work with them.
“Grocery retailers currently doing business with Instacart, and all grocery retailers considering doing business with Instacart, should all ask the same questions: Who owns the account? Who owns the marketplace login? Who owns the shopper data? Who derives the most value from the relationship, Instacart or the retailer?
The reason why asking these questions is so important is this: With Instacart, a shopper logs into the Instacart marketplace and selects the retailer from which they want to purchase groceries. From Instacart’s perspective, any customer that logs into the Instacart marketplace is an Instacart customer first. The value to Instacart is maximizing the total number of customers that shop on its marketplace.”
– Brittain Ladd, Retail Analyst
There has been a trend over the past few years where large, medium, and small brick & mortar retailers invite the Internet’s “Unicorn” du jour right through the front door of their business, placing the Unicorn between their own brand and their consumers. The investment community defines a “Unicorn” as any start-up with a valuation of $1 billion or more that does not have an established performance record. However, if you can get past all the glitter, you’ll see the truth. Unicorns are predatory, trendy, notgonnahappen.com tech companies that are:
- Bloated with more investment equity dollars than brains.
- Determined to control the world, your data, and your customers’ experience.
- Eager to commoditize what your store sells.
- Operating with a “here today, exit tomorrow” mentality.
If we’ve learned anything about retail in the last few weeks, it’s that 3rd-party e-commerce platforms are not the solution. Numerous retailers have shared with us insights into the shortcomings of the platforms that were sold to them as reliable and valuable. In the words of one retailer they “overpromised and under delivered”.
Hear from an actual CATAPULT Retailer who made the switch:
“I was an early adopter of Instacart and based on my view, it was almost free to me. The cost averaged 6%, and that included picking and delivery. I didn’t own the customer, and was at their mercy to make things right. Due to the Coronavirus, what was normally was a 2-hour delivery, became 2-3 days plus.
Thank God we had WebCart and were able to fire it up as quickly as we did. Since Corona, we are doing about 200 orders per day between our handful of stores–exclusively through CATAPULT WebCart. Our average cart is over $100.00 per order.”