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Instacart’s Research: Listen to Your Employees.

Written by:

Kathleen Fletcher

July 10, 2018
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Instacart's Research: Listen to Your Employees.

Living in Western New York means shopping at Wegmans. If you’re like me, most of your shopping happens there. We may use other retail locations, but our collective hearts remain with the locally headquartered, best-place-to-work, family-owned supermarket.

In July 2017, Wegmans announced their partnership with Instacart. The association piqued our interest – convenient shopping without having to leave home. What’s not to like?

Instacart has expanded thoughtfully across the country. But scaling a business like theirs isn’t easy.

“Medium” posted a blog in early 2018 from Instacart Product Designer Himani Imoli on the challenges of successfully onboarding thousands of Professional Shoppers (basically their freelance employee pool) each week.

We weren’t surprised to see that research was at the heart of their approach.

Although Instacart’s blog is a fantastic case study in how to successfully onboard direct and freelance team members, we read it as a perfect example of leveraging qualitative research with your employees to help deliver the best product possible.

Imoli captured some key insights:

Just listen
Instacart’s research started by following their Personal Shopper team members through a standard onboarding session and listening to the questions they asked. That simple step – requiring no special research coordination – helped them identify key content that was missing in the orientation process.

There’s always room for improvement
Leaving ego out of the process is critical to constant improvement. Instacart knew there were some gaps in their onboarding process, and its team approached their research knowing that there was room for improvement anywhere and everywhere. Imoli said they recognized the importance of not “being biased by our existing onboarding content.”

Dig beyond the “What” for the “How” and “Why”
Don’t limit your research to confirming what you should do, or what people think. Explore how you can impact perceptions or communicate better. Imoli said, “Now that we knew what we needed to cover, we started thinking through the how?” Even better, explore the “Whys.” That’s where some of the best consumer insights are sparked.

As marketing directors and business owners, all of us can strive to achieve Wegmans-like status.

Listening to team members can help get us there. Leverage your existing and new team members to provide insights that will take your organization to the next level.


The experts at Tipping Point Communication can help determine the best approach for your business needs, give us a call to learn about our start-of-the-art focus group facilities in Buffalo and Rochester by calling (716) 374-0411, or by visiting


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