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Fast Company has a story about how Instacart is introducing what it is calling "shoppable carts … essentially bundles of products recommended by retailers, celebrities, and creators."

CEO Fidji Simo describes the carts as "like mini stories that tell a universe of possibilities, and I think that’s at the root of a lot of the behaviors we see on the platform … To me, it was obvious that our experience needed to evolve from transactional and utilitarian to inspirational,” she says.

Fast Company goes on:

"The carts come alongside a broader sweep of investments in the platform. The company is also building on its shoppable recipe integrations to help recipe creators and food-focused developers make their websites commerce-enabled. That means bloggers and publishers can share recipes and, instead of having the reader write down every item and run to the store, the items needed can be instantly purchased on Instacart.

"Instacart is also launching an affiliate network for creators, publishers, and developers, enabling them to monetize purchases that their audiences make on the platform. The feature, called Instacart Tastemakers, offers creators in the program 3% commission on qualifying purchases made via their shoppable links, a spokesperson tells Fast Company.

"All the updates come as Instacart readies for its public debut. The company confidentially filed for an initial public offering in May, and is expected to hit the markets before 2023."

KC's View:

I know I've been an Instacart skeptic over the years, and I still think that in the end, it is more concerned about its own value proposition - and eventual share price - than the brand equity of its client retailers.  But … I also admire much of what it has been doing lately, and think that positioning the shopping experience as a series of mini-stories that speak to aspirations and possibilities, is brilliant.