Company: Instacart Company background: Instacart invites the world to share love through food because we believe everyone should have access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together. Where others see a simple need for helping secure groceries, we see exciting complexity and endless opportunity to serve the incredibly varied needs of the community of consumers, shoppers, retailers, and brands who use the Instacart platform. To fulfill this mission and change lives at scale, our team is building innovative solutions to novel business, technical, and creative challenges. Contact: Cody Mangum Title: Manager, Shopper Community Related URLs: https://community.instacartshopper.com/ Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community 1. Describe the organization's objectives in launching a community. What is the use-case and purpose of your community? Do you use your community for support, enablement and learning, marketing awareness, customer success, driving sales, product innovation, etc.? Has the community charter evolved in any way since launch?
The goal of Instacart’s ‘Shop Talk’ Community is to improve the Instacart Shopper experience by providing a private community where members can ask questions, get answers, and share the best tips & tricks. The purpose of Shop Talk is to help Shoppers learn from one another, stay updated on the latest available Carrot Academy lessons – hosted outside of Community via Lessonly– and to ensure they receive announcements on new product features being rolled out by Instacart.
Over the past year, we have created playbooks and long-term strategies to help grow the community and improve how shoppers interact with the resources provided in it. As a part of this effort, we have begun the process of updating the layout to match new organizational branding and improve the user interface.
Tell us about how you are using your community and how you made it happen. Did you get executive/business/stakeholder buy-in? What was your process to gain this buy-in? How have you achieved cross functional support, added stakeholders and increased organizational adoption?
Instacart’s Shop Talk Community has become a powerful tool being leveraged by Product and Engineering, Communications, Marketing, Research, and Regional Operations, to help the organization better understand the experience of a shopper who engages on our platform.
The Community team worked throughout the last year to build relationships with cross-functional partners, like our Product, Research, and Regional Operations teams to understand how Shop Talk could help them meet their team goals, while also providing a resource for shoppers who use the Instacart platform. We utilized the community to do focused deep dives for Product teams so they could quickly iterate on features, better understand the shopper experience, and make platform improvements. In addition, we recently deployed Khoros Care's Advanced Moderation tool and partnered with our Social Care team to provide a more consistent presence within the community and better support Shoppers.
We created an actionable reporting structure with a more consistent cadence that has allowed cross-functional teams to understand issues that are important to shoppers in more real-time - which has led to several changes to the shopper app and to improvements in the shopper experience.
Further, we deployed various contests and sweepstakes on our platform by partnering with our internal and external partners like the retailer Publix and our perks partner Caradvise to provide tangible perks to shoppers.
For the Shopper community, the team deployed a quarterly marketing strategy that highlighted different aspects of the community and how shoppers can engage with Instacart and each other. This helped our team gain buy-in from shoppers which led to increased registrations and engagement activity.
What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business. Please include metrics if possible.
To help highlight some of the accomplishments within the Community in 2021, we created a Shop Talk 2021 Year in Review highlight video, which was presented at a recent Instacart Operations All-Hands meeting:
2021 Shop Talk Year in Review
The team managing Shop Talk has become the de facto “voice of the shopper,” providing data around top-shopper topics, real-time feedback on product feature launches, and supporting research through polling shoppers on specific aspects of the shopper experience.
Insights from the community and other channels led to increased engagement in improving the shopper experience among cross-functional teams.
Product feature deep-dives focused on helping support the Product team to build trust across organizational pillars
Elevating the voice of the shopper has enabled the Product team to focus on helping to improve the shopper experience vs solely focusing on profitability metrics
The Community team, and other operations teams, are now involved earlier in feature planning and development ideation as well as go-to-market planning for feature launches
For the Shopper community, our team created a quarterly content strategy, which was designed to support and encourage Shopper-to-Shopper interactions as well as increase monthly log-ins. The new content strategy improved our ability to facilitate shopper discussions and provide content Shoppers were most interested in. Not only did this influence buy-in and engagement from current members, but it also helped to increase registrations. Pertinent changes that helped our strategy and outcomes as a business included:
Creating a marketing strategy to increase registration and user engagement
Creating more actionable reporting and leveraging Shop Talk to support other internal teams
Building relationships with partners in Product, Research, and Regional Operations, better understanding their goals and how we could help them achieve those goals
Promoting Shop Talk to new corporate team members during their new hire onboarding and emphasizing the importance of understanding the shopper experience
Building membership through targeted contests
Partnering with external partners, like Caradvise, to provide tangible benefits to shoppers that were cost-neutral to the organization
Working with cross functional teams to showcase different engagement tactics that could be accomplished via Shop Talk [ie. retailer hubs, contests, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) content]
A 217% increase in completed registrations in CY 2021 compared to CY 2020 - registered users went from 63.5k in Jan 2021 to 202k in Jan 2022; membership is >310k as of May 31, 2022
The increase in membership has further solidified Shop Talk as a go-to and valued resource for other teams looking to influence and improve the Shopper experience
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