Many communities are facing a second wave of COVID-19 infection this autumn and more seniors and people with underlying health conditions are planning to reduce their exposure by making fewer trips to stores and other public spaces. With the help of InstaCart’s Senior Support Service launched during the early days of the pandemic, older adults can access help over the phone with setting up their accounts, filling their virtual carts, and placing orders.
According to a recent Grocery Dive news brief, Instacart has helped more than 60,000 seniors buy groceries online in the past month in the United States and Canada. With flu season approaching, more older adults may want to consider grocery and pharmacy online services and home delivery rather than risk infection from the flu or coronavirus.
With phone support, older adults who may need technical help can learn to shop from the safety of home for groceries, medications, and household essentials. Trained to work with seniors, more than 150 specialists assist nearly 2,000 older adults each day, spending on average 20 percent more time with these new customers than the average shopper requiring help.
Older adults are increasingly making online purchases and research from the National Retail Federation shows that 45 percent of baby boomers have reported shopping more online due to the pandemic. An estimated 62 percent of boomers will make at least one online purchase this year, making them a growth sector for online retailers.
Instacart isn’t alone in recognizing the needs and growth potential among senior shoppers. DoorDash, a restaurant, and grocery delivery service began offering free delivery in March from more than 2,000 grocery store locations to patrons over the age of 60. Amazon Fresh, Walmart-Postmates, Shipt, and FreshDirect are some of the other grocery delivery services to choose from. Check online for local service availability.
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