Ask Instacart brings generative AI to Instacart’s search experience

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Instacart is adding generative AI to its search experience. Called Ask Instacart, the new search feature is designed to help answer shoppers’ grocery-related questions and give a boost to sponsored product campaigns.

How it works. Just like with Google and Microsoft Bing, Instacart users will be able to search via natural language queries and get personalized recommendations. For example:

  • “What kind of side dishes should I serve with lamb chops?”
  • “What are dairy-free snacks for kids?”
  • “What are the best veggies to roast?”

Ask Instacart is built using OpenAI’s ChatGPT plus Instacart’s own AI models. Instacart said this is “a highly specialized model designed to only respond to relevant food-related questions.”

What it looks like. Here’s a screenshot of Ask Instacart:

Ask Instacart

Search prompts. Instacart has also added “personalized question prompts” to the search bar. Instacart said these prompts “anticipate customer preferences, remind them of their needs based on their shopping history, and inspire them to discover new products.”

Why we care. For CPG brands and retailers, this AI-powered search offers a new way to potentially get your product campaign seen by more shoppers – aiding in discovery and driving more sales.

Rollout timeline. More than half of Instacart app users now have access to generative AI search. It will roll out to all U.S. customers “over the coming weeks.”

Intro video. Here’s the video introducing Ask Instacart:


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About the author

Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & Search Marketing Expo – SMX since 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.



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