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How Instacart Uses Continu as its One-Stop Shop for All Learning

“Going onto Continu felt very similar to other modern apps we integrate with. The way it is setup, the explore page, categories – it all felt very familiar” - Andrew Dagg, Program Manager People Development

As one of the largest grocery delivery companies based out of San Francisco, Instacart has grown consistently with over 500,000 personal shoppers serving customers across the USA and Canada. 

Growing since 2012, Instacart has relied heavily on learning and development for its internal and external teams. At its core, Instacart believes in ensuring access to learning for all its learners -- consolidated in one platform. 

So, how does Instacart do this? 

Initial Challenges

Instacart needed to train more learners, make learning accessible, and segment content based on the learner's role, location, and other criteria. 

In 2020, Instacart was using a generic LMS but quickly identified the inability to scale their learning and development initiatives. This led the leadership team at Instacart to search for a learning platform that was modern, scalable and one that would help consolidate learning under one roof. 

“Our previous LMS was challenging. We encountered many scaling challenges – it was too difficult to surface content, and it had no way to do in-person or virtual workshops.” Andrew Dagg, Program Manager - People Development.

“Because of this, we did not see high adoption. We needed to switch to a learning platform that would allow us to complete all the required training but also help us create and complete optional content.” Andrew added. 

Instacart’s People Experience Team works with both customers and in-store shoppers. One of the criteria the team pursued was the ability to seamlessly segment their user base to allow access to specific content.

“We didn’t want our learners to have multiple platforms for learning. We wanted something to be a one-stop shop for learning.” - Andrew Dagg.

Instacart's Core Requirements

Given its size, and vision to scale learning, Instacart had more than one requirement, but there were a few that made the top of the list.

Instacart did not want its learners to use multiple tools for learning, and hence, deep native integrations with tools they were using – including Udemy, Slack, Zoom, and HRIS system, to name a few – were very important. 

“We wanted to unify all learning under one location.” - Andrew mentioned.

Another requirement for Instacart was provisioning.

Instacart knew they would have several content creators and wanted to ensure they could segment their user base and permissions. Continu’s ability to ensure all content creators have customizable permissions and access helped Instacart cater to its use case. 

This also led to the need for an intuitive content authoring tool. Instacart wanted to ensure that content creators had an easy-to-use content authoring tool. This would reduce the need to train content creators, and be able to get training materials created quickly. 

Andrew Dagg further spoke about Instacart needing a platform that could support the discoverability of content to ensure learner engagement. Instacart wanted to show optional and mandatory content on a platform so its team could pick and choose what they wanted to engage with. In their previous platform, Instacart had zero support for live events; hence, Workshops were a significant need for the team. Our complete manager training program relied on live training and sessions. 

Instacart was looking for a beautiful platform at the end of the day. Instacart did not want to give its learners a platform that would not excite them.

“Going onto Continu felt very similar to other modern apps we integrate with. The way it is setup, the explore page, categories – it all felt very familiar.” - Andrew Dagg.

Today, training over 4,000 Instacart team members and external in-store shoppers, Instacart is well on its way to training the next generation of leaders.

Why Continu?

In search of a new learning platform, Instacart shortlisted 10 LMS platforms for in-depth evaluations. Out of the 10, Instacart narrowed its search to 4 and then to 2. 

In the final round, Instacart created an internal committee that included team members and experts from departments like people development, compliance, legal, and content and had the committee test both platforms. 

Post-testing, Instacart ran an evaluation survey ranking the two platforms based on functionality, ease of use, user experience, and integrations. Though functionality, integrations, and ease of use were all top priorities, Continu’s modern look and feel (user experience) contributed to Continu becoming Instacart’s new learning platform.

“A lot of LMS' are not intuitive and not where learners want to be. Being on Continu felt like being on a modern system while the other platform felt like it was something forced on you as a learner.” - Andrew Dagg

Using Continu

“We use Continu for all training.” - Andrew Dagg

Instacart today uses Continu for all its use cases. Whether it is to train new hires, onboard team members, provide optional development training, in-store shopper training, or even open enrollment. 

In 2023, when Instacart’s Benefits team chose to run their largest training program for open enrollment via Continu for the first time. Instacart invited all eligible learners to open sessions with vendors. Running enrollment training via Continu allowed the Benefits team to push calendar invites and custom notifications directly to learners via email and Slack. This increased learner engagement, and Instacart saw great results. 

“In Instacart’s history, the Benefits team reported on the fastest enrollment metrics due to Continu.” - Andrew Dagg

Continu Features Instacart Loves

“One of my top favorites is notifications, not because they exist, but because I can customize them completely.” - Andrew mentioned when asked to list his favorite Continu features.

With deep customization capabilities, in Continu, you can define when you want to send out notifications, what you want them to say, and where you need to send them. These custom notifications are also followed by overdue notifications. Notifications have helped Instacart and its Continu admins to escalate activities to managers, making the processes at Instacart efficient. 

Another feature Andrew mentioned as the ‘star feature’ is Journeys. Instacart found it easy for its learners to engage with content and know what was coming up next, along with how long it would take them. Recently, Instacart used it for training for mentors as part of their mentorship program. The response has been positive in terms of the experience. 

Lastly, multi-session workshops allow learners to enroll in workshops on multiple dates. Previously, Instacart would send multiple invites to learners to give them options, but now, with Continu’s Multi-Session Workshops, they can pick whichever time works best for them.

Adoption and Results

“Having Continu has enabled all parts of the business regardless of people development. Everyone now has a place to point to and advocate for content.” - Andrew Dagg explained

We noticed a drastic increase in learner engagement because Instacart found functionality they previously didn’t have. Instacart’s previous platform could not support many of the integrations with the platforms they were using daily. 

“Being able to do all of that gave them the opportunity to share content and dive into analytics.” - Andrew Dagg further added. 

Previously, Instacart had minimal engagement on mandatory courses, but with Continu, they have seen a rise in mandatory training completions.  

Today, Instacart has nearly 2,000 pieces of training material in their Continu instance, with a total of over 500,000 content views. These numbers are significantly higher. On average, Instacart sees about an 82% completion rate and 612.5 hours saved per year.

The Results:

On average, Instacart sees about an 82% completion rate and 612.5 hours saved per year.

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