Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Whole Foods embracing technology via Instacart and Apple partnerships

Whole Foods announced earlier this month it would partner with Instacart to offer customers one-hour delivery service, as well as an option to place orders through Instacart for in-store pick-up.

The delivery service will start in the 15 cities Instacart currently operates in, including Philadelphia. The in-store pick-up service will start in select Austin, TX and Boston, MA stores before expanding to all cities serviced by Instacart in the coming months.

For the delivery service, customers at Instacart.com or via the company's app select their zip code, add items to their virtual cart, choose a delivery window and check out. "Personal Shoppers" working on commission and tips shop for the items and make the deliveries.

Customers' first orders are free, and thereafter will cost $3.99 for two-hour delivery or $5.99 for one-hour delivery. With a $99 annual membership, all orders over $35 are free.

In unrelated Whole Foods news, the company announced earlier this month it would be among the first retailers to let customers make purchases using Apple Pay, a new mobile payment system for the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

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