Instacart introduces Chatbot to grocery shopping app

Friday 3 March 2023 12:27 CET | News

US-based retail company that operates grocery delivery and pick-up services, Instacart, has recently added OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot technology to its grocery delivery app.

Instacart becomes the latest of a growing list of companies, including Facebook and Snapchat, that choose the AI language tool to boost customer services, improve customer experience, and fasten their marketing and automated tasks.

Enhancing UX

The retail company operating in the US and Canada, Instacart, will use the chatbot to power a new search engine destined to respond users to food-related questions, including recipe ideas and ingredients, as well as healthy meal options. By integrating ChatGPT’s language software, the search engine’s answers will be displayed in the form of a dialogue, facilitating the interhuman exchange and delivering a ‘humanised’ user experience. Instacart is set to roll out the ‘Ask Instacart’ new feature in the upcoming months of 2023.

According to company officials, grocery shopping is the perfect use case for smart AI, as it requires a lot of cognitive load, which includes decision-making factors such as household budgeting, meal prep, health and nutrition consideration, cooking skills, and the overall time allocated for these tasks.

By integrating ChatGPT’s AI tool into Instacart’s software, the new search engine will have access to data from over 1.5 million products stocked by more than 75,000 grocery stores across the US and Canada.

The promised land of grocery delivery

In 2022, the company processed around USD 29 billion in sales across its platform, up by 16% than the previous year, which shows a steady growth of the click-to-collect and grocery delivery market, despite the end of the pandemic and the return of in-store shopping available without restrictions.

Instacart also reported positive net income throughout Q4 2022, generating over USD 100 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation. In an attempt to expand its international reach and boost revenues, OpenAI’s ChatGPT allows easy integration to companies like Instacart who can build their own tools on top of the existing software to meet specific needs and allow for ultimate customisation.

Concerns and limitations of using ChatGPT

Recently, startup OpenAI launched new updates to its API, that enables computer programmes to communicate with each other, including specific protocols for integrating apps with the latest AI models for ChatGPT and Whisper, the company’s speech-recognition tool. Since the debut of OpenAI’s free ChatGPT technology, Microsoft added the technology to its proprietary search engine, Bing. Canada-based retail shopping marketplace, Shopify, is also reportedly experimenting with the technology. However, several corporate technology chiefs remain reluctant to integrating the tech into their business, claiming concerns over data limitations, security, and unpredictability.

Microsoft was forced to limit the amount of questions that could be asked to Bing in a conversation, after users complained of inaccurate and potentially dangerous results. Similarly, Snapchat has also warned users that its customised ChatGPT chatbot can be tricked into answering wrongfully, and that it shouldn’t be used for real-world advice, especially given its mainly Gen Z demographic. 

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Keywords: product upgrade, product launch, ecommerce, ecommerce platform, online shopping, artificial intelligence, online platform, Order-to-Cash, API, platform, marketplace, delivery
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: ChatGPT, Instacart, OpenAI
Countries: Canada, United States
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Payments & Commerce






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