How to Become an Instacart Shopper

Do you want to become an Instacart Shopper? This article will guide you through the process of joining the popular grocery delivery platform. Discover the steps involved and the requirements you need to meet in order to start earning money by shopping for others.

What is an Instacart Shopper?

An Instacart Shopper is someone who works with the Instacart platform to fulfill grocery orders on behalf of customers.

As a Shopper, your main responsibility is to visit local stores, pick out the requested items, and deliver them to the customers’ doorstep. It’s a flexible and convenient way to earn income by shopping for others.

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Becoming an Instacart Shopper: Your Step-by-step Guide

The process of becoming an Instacart shopper is simple. However, this is a general guide, and the steps described below may vary slightly based on your location and any changes to Instacart’s policies.

Step 1: Full-Service Shopper or In-Store Shopper?

become an instacart shopper

Decide whether you want to be a Full-Service Shopper or an In-Store Shopper. As a Full-Service Shopper, you’ll handle both shopping and delivery.

On the other hand, as an In-Store Shopper, you’ll focus solely on shopping while leaving the delivery to someone else.

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Full-Service Shopper:

If you choose to be a Full-Service Shopper, you’ll have the freedom to work flexible hours and enjoy the benefits of being your own boss.

You’ll receive shopping requests through the Instacart Shopper app and deliver the groceries directly to customers.

In-Store Shopper:

Opting for the In-Store Shopper role means you’ll be responsible for gathering and preparing the orders but not for the actual delivery.

You’ll work within a specific store, fulfilling orders for customers who choose curbside pickup or delivery.

Step 2: Check the Requirements for Store Shoppers

become an instacart shopper

Before proceeding, make sure you meet the requirements to become an Instacart Shopper. These typically include being at least 18 years old, having the physical ability to lift and carry groceries, and having access to a smartphone with a reliable internet connection.

Step 3: Download the Instacart Shopper App

become an instacart shopper

Head over to your device’s app store and download the Instacart app. This app will be your main tool for receiving shopping orders, managing your schedule, and communicating with customers.

Step 4: Complete the Application for Instacart Employees

become an instacart shopper

Launch the Instacart Shopper app and follow the prompts to complete the application process. You’ll be asked to provide personal information, consent to a background check, and agree to Instacart’s terms and conditions.

Step 5: Attend an Orientation (If Applicable)

become an instacart shopper

Depending on your location, you may be required to attend an orientation session. This session will familiarize you with the Instacart platform, its policies, and best practices for providing excellent service. Check the app for any available orientation dates and locations.

Step 6: Wait for Approval as an Instacart Employee

become an instacart shopper

After submitting your application and completing any necessary orientation, you’ll need to wait for approval from Instacart.

The approval process may take some time, so be patient. Meanwhile, make sure to monitor your email and app notifications for updates.

Step 7: Get Your Instacart Payment Card

become an instacart shopper

Once approved, Instacart will send you a payment card, also known as the Instacart debit card. This card is used to pay for groceries during the shopping process.

It’s important to activate and keep this card safe, as it will be essential for completing orders.

Step 8: Start Shopping!

become an instacart shopper

With your Instacart payment card in hand, you’re ready to start shopping! Log in to the Instacart Shopper app, set your availability, and start accepting shopping requests.

Follow the app’s instructions to navigate the store, select items, and provide excellent customer service.

StepsFull-Service ShopperIn-Store Shopper
1Decide if you want to work as a Full-Service Shopper, handling both shopping and delivery. Enjoy flexible hours and the benefits of being your own boss.Decide if you want to work as an In-Store Shopper, focusing solely on shopping and leaving the delivery to others. You'll work within a specific store, preparing orders for curbside pickup or delivery.
2Ensure you meet the requirements: be at least 18 years old, have the physical ability to lift and carry groceries, and have a smartphone with a reliable internet connection.Confirm that you meet the same requirements as a Full-Service Shopper.
3Download the Instacart Shopper app from your device's app store. This will be your main tool for receiving and managing orders.Download the same Instacart Shopper app for managing orders within the store.
4Complete the application process within the app, providing personal information and agreeing to a background check and Instacart's terms and conditions.Follow the same application process as a Full-Service Shopper.
5Attend an orientation session, if applicable in your location, to learn more about the platform, policies, and best practices.Attend the same orientation session, if required.
6Wait for approval from Instacart after completing the application process and orientation.Wait for the same approval from Instacart.
7Once approved, receive your Instacart payment card in the mail and activate it. This card will be used to pay for groceries while shopping.Receive and activate the same Instacart payment card, used for purchasing groceries for the orders.
8Start accepting orders via the Instacart Shopper app. Use the app to navigate stores, select items, and deliver excellent customer service.Begin fulfilling orders within the store using the Instacart Shopper app. Excellent customer service remains key even without delivery duties.

Instacart Pay Structure: How Much Can an Instacart Shopper Make?

become an instacart shopper

So exactly how much money can you make with Instacart? As an Instacart Shopper, your earnings can vary based on several factors. You’ll receive a base payment for each order, which includes a batch payment and a per-item commission.

Additionally, you have the opportunity to earn tips from customers. Overall, your total income depends on the number of orders you complete and the tips you receive.

Maximizing Your Earnings When You Join Instacart

To maximize your earnings as an Instacart Shopper, there are a few strategies you can employ. First, try to be efficient with your time by grouping orders in the same area. This way, you can complete multiple orders in one trip.

Providing excellent customer service can lead to higher tips, which can also significantly boost your income. Lastly, consider working during peak hours and in busy areas to increase your earning potential.

Tips for Success: Thriving as an Instacart Shopper

become an instacart shopper

Thriving as an Instacart Shopper requires a good strategy, exceptional service, and time management. Here are some expanded tips to help you succeed:

1. Planning and Organizing:

  • Schedule Your Work Hours Strategically: Review peak shopping hours and customer demand to optimize your availability. This could mean working early mornings when stores are less crowded or evenings when there’s a surge in orders.
  • Pre-plan Your Routes: Familiarize yourself with the most efficient routes to and within your designated stores to save time.
  • Use Technology: Leverage apps for task management and scheduling to help you stay organized.

2. Understanding Your Marketplace:

  • Know the Popular Items: Pay attention to frequently ordered items and their locations within the store to expedite your shopping trips.
  • Understand Store Layouts: Every store is different. Get to know your local stores’ layouts so you can find items quickly.
  • Stay Updated: Keep up with weekly specials, discounts, and new product arrivals in the stores you frequent. This knowledge could be useful for your customers.

3. Excellent Communication:

  • Be Proactive: Notify your customers about out-of-stock items as soon as you know and suggest suitable replacements. This can save a lot of time and frustration.
  • Stay Polite and Professional: Good manners and a professional demeanor can go a long way in getting positive reviews.
  • Ask For Clarifications: If you’re unsure about a customer’s order, don’t hesitate to ask them for more details.

4. Motivation and Persistence:

  • Maintain a Positive Attitude: Shopping can be tiring and dealing with difficult customers can be challenging, but staying positive and patient can make the experience better for both you and the customer.
  • Strive for High Ratings: Higher-rated shoppers get more orders. Always aim for the best service to maintain a high rating.
  • Persistency: Don’t be discouraged by a challenging day or a difficult customer. Keep striving for better and learning from your experiences.

5. Customer Service Excellence:

  • Handle Groceries With Care: Treat every item as if it were your own. This includes proper handling of fragile items and ensuring that perishable items stay fresh.
  • Timely Deliveries: Always aim to deliver on time or even ahead of schedule when possible. Customers appreciate timely service.
  • Personalize the Experience: Little things like greeting customers by their name or remembering their preferences can create a memorable shopping experience, leading to repeat orders.

Remember, succeeding as an Instacart Shopper is a process that requires continuous learning, adaptability, and a customer-first mindset. With time and experience, you’ll develop your own strategies and best practices that work for you.

Navigating the Instacart Shopper App Like a Pro

Becoming familiar with the Instacart Shopper app is crucial for a seamless shopping experience. Take the time to explore all the features and settings available. This includes setting your preferences, managing your schedule, and understanding how to accept or decline orders.

Familiarize yourself with the app’s navigation tools to efficiently locate items within the store. Regularly update the app to access the latest features and enhancements that can further optimize your shopping journey.

FAQs: Become an Instacart Shopper

What sets In-Store Shoppers apart from other roles at Instacart?

In-Store Instacart Shoppers have a unique role within the Instacart ecosystem. Unlike Full-Service Shoppers who handle both shopping and delivery, In-Store Shoppers focus solely on gathering and preparing orders.

They work within specific stores, ensuring efficient and accurate order fulfillment. This role offers a different level of convenience for customers who prefer curbside pickup or delivery.

How can In-Store Shoppers transition to becoming Full-Service Instacart Shoppers?

You can update your role preference in the Instacart Shopper app settings. By doing so, you’ll gain the ability to accept both shopping and delivery requests. This transition provides the opportunity to expand your earning potential and enjoy a more diverse shopping experience.

What common challenges do Instacart Drivers face and how can they be mitigated?

Instacart drivers face various challenges in their roles. One common challenge is navigating traffic and finding parking, which can impact delivery time.

To mitigate this, drivers can familiarize themselves with the delivery area, plan efficient routes in advance, and utilize navigation apps for real-time traffic updates.

Another challenge is carrying heavy grocery bags, so using equipment like a dolly or utilizing reusable bags with wheels can help ease the physical strain.

However, there are other money making apps available for those who aren’t up for the challenge of being an Instacart shopper. For example, you could become an UBER Eats driver or DoorDash driver to delivery takeout orders to customers. You could also become an Amazon Flex driver and deliver packages out of your own vehicle. If you’re looking for other ways to make money with your car, consider using a car rental app that makes your vehicle available for rent.

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