Book jacket design for Tomas Cizek's The Ruse
Instacart, and our Shopper App
I was an early member of the design team and the first to work on our Shopper products (products for our in-store shoppers, cashiers, drivers and shift leads that help us fulfill customer orders).
In my time at Instacart, I've touched and reworked almost all the products and services our shoppers use to successfully do their jobs: the Shopper iPhone and Android apps, our Shopper applicant funnel, and a variety of internal tools used to manage our operations. On the right is a video of a talk I gave at at the Service Experience Conference '15 about some of the work I focus on at Instacart.
Because we don't own any inventory, we can't always accurately predict what will be at a specific retailer's store at any given time. To accommodate for this, we allow the shopper to make a replacement - finding a suitable replacement item if the item a customer requested is not there. There are many complicated cases to deal with here.
- Customer Selected Choice
- Some customers explicitly input what replacement they'd like in the event that their item isn't at the store.
- Instacart Suggestions
- More often though, they leave the decision making up to us and so we've built tools to make that easier for our shoppers. We generate suggestions when an item isn't there, even letting the shopper know what the customer has ordered an item previously.
- No suggestions
- Sometimes we don't have suggestions, so we have a fall back case. This also shows how we show customer notes.
- Some customers prefer refunds if their item isn't there, so we make that prominent in the display.
Shoppers often have to input item information to update the customer on any changes to their order, for ex. if they are adding a brand new item to the order (which the customer may have requested over the phone or chat) or if they are replacing an item with another one. In the latter case, shoppers can simply scan the barcode of the item they are swapping, but many items in a store don't have barcodes (such as produce). We implemented a search feature in order to help make our shoppers more efficient - they can search by PLU (a code some produce items have associated with them) or item name.
An average grocery store has over 30,000 items, and so you can imagine how hard it can be when you have to find a random subset of them in different stores throughout the day. We developed an Aisle Mapping system to help our shoppers navigate the store and understand where the items are.
There are a number of steps a shopper goes through after they are done reviewing items - they review the changes with the customer, checkout items, check receipts, get optional samples for the customer and add bags to our staging areas. I led a redesign of all these screens to make them consistent, easier to use, and easily configurable.