US-based online grocery platform Instacart has partnered with e-commerce tech start-up Fabric to offer automated fulfilment solutions to grocery retailers across North America.

As part of the multi-year strategic agreement, Instacart will combine its proprietary technology with Fabric’s software and robotics to run a new fulfilment process in dedicated warehouses and existing retailer stores.

The scheme aims to provide e-commerce services for retail partners and a faster online grocery shopping experience for customers.

The initiative represents the first phase of Instacart’s next-generation fulfilment programme.

Instacart will trial the scheme with Fabric and retail partners over the next year and onwards.

Instacart chief technology officer Mark Schaaf said: “Our next-gen fulfilment initiative combines our robust technology suite and dedicated community of shoppers with robotics solutions to give retailers even more innovative ways to compete and serve their customers online.

“[It] will also help reduce some of the things that make in-store shopping cumbersome for Instacart shoppers, like crowded store aisles, out of stock items and long checkout lines.”

Fabric CEO and co-founder Elram Goren said: “Our software-led robotics and modular solution gives grocery retailers the flexibility to build the fulfilment solution that best fits the needs of their business.

“With Instacart as a partner, we see an enormous opportunity to integrate our product and services into Instacart’s e-commerce solutions to provide a compelling service offering for grocers.

“We’re excited to partner with Instacart as we continue to scale across North America and focus on unlocking more value for retailers and their customers.”

Last month, Canadian independent grocer Organic Garage entered an exclusive partnership with Instacart to use its delivery platform to offer same-day deliveries of groceries from all its retail stores.

The partnership has allowed Organic Garage to enter new markets in the Ontario area, including Mississauga, Milton, Brampton, Newmarket and Pickering.