Instacart has begun to roll out Ask Instacart, a search tool in its app supported by artificial intelligence (AI).
The tool, mentioned in March as part of OpenAI’s ChatGPT API announcement, is embedded in the Instacart app
Consumers can now ask questions in natural language instead of keyword-based queries. For example, “what are good sauces for grilling chicken” or “what are the benefits of using a grilling sauce rather than barbecue sauce” or “what is the healthiest snack for my 7-year-old son.”
Once widely available, the new search experience will match low-intent consumer questions with highly relevant product recommendations.
The search tool also will provide product recommendations that are intuitively organized, as well as additional useful information about food preparation, product attributes, dietary considerations, and more.
The responses are not sponsored at this time and there is no cost to bump up items. In the coming weeks, Sponsored Product campaigns will automatically be integrated directly into the Ask Instacart results.
Today, when customers search with Ask Instacart and click to "show more" results, the carousels and search results pages will include Sponsored Products from existing ad campaigns. Search results are powered by Instacart AI and ChatGPT.
Ask Instacart is part of a growing suite of new AI-native initiatives that Instacart is working on this year.
In March, the company debuted an Instacart plugin for ChatGPT, which enables ChatGPT users to express their food needs in natural language, with Instacart’s ability to make those searches instantly shoppable.
The Instacart plugin has since been made available to all ChatGPT Plus subscribers, and we have plans to launch additional plugins with Microsoft Bing and Google Bard soon.
With today’s Ask Instacart announcement, the company also has begun to test the ability for brand partners to inspire, connect, and engage with consumers via the new search experience.
In the coming weeks, the conversational search tool will become the inspiration for nearly 6,000 consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand partners to reach consumers. Brands will have the ability to inspire and connect with consumers, leverage personalized moments to create impactful advertising experiences.
In the last year, Instacart has been evolving its ad product suite toward creating inspirational formats such as pop-ups, shoppable video, display, promotions, and impulse ads.
Instacart Ads already leverages AI and machine learning to serve ads. Features such as optimized bidding in Ads Manager also use machine learning to predict and set bids for campaigns to meet advertisers' performance goals.
The company expects generative AI to power the next stage of innovation across Instacart and Instacart Ads, including areas of exploration like creative optimization and more relevant and personalized experiences to help drive even better results for our brand partners.