Remember a few weeks ago when everyone went bonkers over the Amazon drone delivery story? And remember a while before that when people went nearly the same kind of bonkers over test runs of Amazon’s same-day delivery service?
Well how about this? Beginning yesterday, Philadelphia became the fourth city to have San Francisco-based Instacart—a same-day online grocery delivery service which, for a price, can have your groceries at your door in one hour. Here’s the pitch straight from the company:
Beginning today [meaning Tuesday], customers can order virtually any items carried in their neighborhood Whole Foods and have them delivered in as little as one hour. Additional stores will be added in the coming weeks. Instacart will be the only same-day online grocery order and delivery option in Philadelphia.
Right now, it’s a Whole Foods only kind of operation, but as stated, that will be changing soon. The way it works is, you go online to instacart.com, place your order, choose your delivery timeframe (within the hour for $14.99, two hours for $3.99) and just wait for the goods to arrive. Instacart then uses crowdsourced “personal shoppers” to go get your groceries from the local Whole Foods and deliver them to your house in their own vehicles, thus eliminating the need for warehouses full of stuff or a fleet of full-time drivers.
The delivery area is pretty large right now, covering "most of downtown and Northwest Philadelphia, plus a few surrounding neighborhoods: Center City, South Philadelphia, University City, Kingsessing, Cobbs Creek, Overbrook, Wynnefield, Bala Cynwyd, Wynnewood, Penn Valley, Manayunk, Roxborough, Chestnut Hill, Mt Airy, Germantown, East Falls, Nicetown, North Philadelphia, Poplar, Fairmount, Northern Liberties." In addition to adding on more stores, in the coming months, the company also plans on expanding its delivery area. When everything is up and running properly, Instacart will be able to deliver groceries from multiple stores, right to your front door in one hour--which, not for nothing, is a pretty cool thing to have for those moments when you really really need some Cheetos, gluten-free brownies, a six-pack of Mountain Dew, 10 frozen pizzas and a pineapple, but really really don't want to get up off the couch.