Instacart has unveiled its latest innovation, the “Ask Instacart” search tool, leveraging the capabilities of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. This AI-powered feature aims to assist customers in saving time and finding personalized recommendations while shopping. The tool is now being rolled out and will be accessible to all customers in the United States and Canada in the coming weeks.
Integrated directly into the search bar within the Instacart app, the new search experience revolutionizes the way customers interact with the platform. “Ask Instacart” goes beyond traditional search functionalities, providing not only product recommendations but also comprehensive information on food preparation, product attributes, dietary considerations, and more. By utilizing personalized question prompts, the tool reminds users of their unique needs based on their shopping history and encourages them to explore new products.
Users can now ask specific questions such as “What side dishes complement lamb chops?” or “Which fish is similar to salmon?” Additionally, they can seek recommendations for grilling chicken sauces or discover dairy-free snacks suitable for kids.
JJ Zhuang, Chief Architect at Instacart, expressed, “A simple question like ‘What’s for dinner?’ is among the most complex for families everywhere to answer.” With the introduction of “Ask Instacart,” the platform aims to provide comprehensive food-related assistance, catering to budget considerations, dietary specifications, cooking skills, personal preferences, and more. Instacart’s new feature ensures that customers can obtain answers to all their food-related queries and have the ingredients for the perfect meal delivered within as fast as an hour.
Previously, Instacart’s search bar primarily facilitated the discovery of products, stores, and recipes. With the integration of the AI-powered “Ask Instacart,” the app has transformed into a one-stop-shop for all food preparation needs. This eliminates the need for users to conduct external searches on platforms like Google for specific recommendations before ordering through Instacart. Now, customers can seamlessly enter such queries directly within the app.
The launch of “Ask Instacart” follows the introduction of an Instacart plug-in for ChatGPT, allowing users to express their food requirements using natural language and subsequently shop for the recommended products.
In acknowledging that generative AI technology is still in its early stages, Instacart ensures that “Ask Instacart” remains a specialized model designed exclusively to respond to relevant food-related questions. The company remains committed to responsibly incorporating AI features into its products, as stated in a blog post.
Given the growing interest in AI tools and the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT since its launch, companies like Microsoft, Google, and other popular applications have been integrating AI-powered features into their products and services. Instacart’s introduction of the “Ask Instacart” search tool aligns with this trend, catering to the evolving needs and preferences of modern consumers.