Instacart announces Senior Support Service to help older customers do their grocery shopping online

Seniors are getting a little help with their online supermarket sweeps.

Grocery delivery service Instacart announced Wednesday its new Senior Support Service hotline aimed at helping customers over the age of 60 order food more seamlessly — and safely — online during the pandemic. 

Instacart launched a program to make it easier for seniors to shop online. (iStock).

Grandparent-aged consumers can call up Instacart’s Senior Support service number (1-844-981-3433) daily between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. to get help onboarding their digital grocery store cart. Instacart says the company has recruited more than 60,000 seniors to order grocery delivery in the past month, showing that demand continues to climb during the pandemic.

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Instacart’s Senior Support Service team of specialists are now available to assist seniors through online services such as setting up an Instacart account, walking them through how to choose their grocery store of choice, browsing aisles digitally and filling up their virtual cart to place their first order. The team will also provide tutorials on Instacart features like setting grocery replacement reminders for items that may be low in stock, Instacart said.

“Online grocery delivery is one of the safest ways for seniors to get their groceries, household essentials and medications, especially heading into the higher-risk cold and flu season. Many seniors are less accustomed to using an app for ingrained household tasks like grocery shopping, so Instacart’s Senior Support Service is designed to help them build confidence to use online grocery delivery more often and more independently,” Mark Killick, vice president of Instacart’s care customer support team, told FOX Business in a statement.

More consumers have been buying their groceries online during the pandemic. Customer spending at grocery stores jumped 6% from $310 to $330 per month on average; however, trips to supermarkets decreased nearly 11% compared to a year ago, according to data from digital marketing firm Catalina released

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And since the elder population of Americans are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, more have been experimenting with online shopping to reduce the risk of exposure in crowded public places.

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Adults 65 and older increased their digital food ordering by 428% during the month of June, while online ordering among adults 55 and older increased by 200%, according to data from market research firm NPD Group, as reported by Nation’s Restaurant News.

Instacart isn’t the first to offer a grocery shopping service tailored specifically to seniors. Grocery store Stop & Shop in April teamed up with on-demand ride-hailing app Uber to offer half-priced rides to and from the supermarket. 

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