Instacart Tips And Tricks For Shoppers

By Rory Ackerman •  Updated: 08/15/22 •  11 min read
Filed under: Side Hustles

Whether you are an in-store shopper or a full-service Instacart shopper, Instacart makes for a great way of earning some extra income on the side. Moreover, it can even be your full-time job if you know the drill and are willing to take on some extra batches.

In this guide, we’ll go over some of the best tips and tricks for Instacart shoppers in 2022, as well as give you a look into the service if you are just a beginner!

How Can You Earn Money As An Instacart Shopper?

If you are unfamiliar with the platform or you are just getting started on Instacart, it’s a service that customers can use to order groceries and other items from the store. As an Instacart shopper, your role is to use the app to scan for suitable batches and do the shopping for customers.

There are two main types of Instacart shoppers on the platform – full-service shoppers and in-store shoppers. As a full-service shopper, you’ll be doing both the shopping and the deliveries, and you might boost your income this way.

List Of Items That The Customer Needs

Many clients are willing to include tips for those that deliver their groceries. On the other hand, you can be just an in-store shopper and still earn a decent amount without having to deal with the deliveries. 

You start with a list of items that the customer needs, and make your way through the list. 

So, just like in many other areas of expertise, time is money with Instacart. That being said, we are here to give you the chance to earn even more for your time by providing the tips that make your day to day experience a whole lot easier.

Top 10 Instacart Shopper Tips For 2022

Although the platform prohibits the use of additional software to let you claim batches before the others, Instacart shopper tips and tricks can help you be more efficient. We’ve decided to make a list of the 10 most favorable tips based on the experience of other Instacart shoppers.

So, let’s get right into it to help you get the most out of each day you spend working as an Instacart shopper!

1) Reach Out To Your Customers

Before you get to shopping and delivering groceries, you should send a message to your customers. Instacart lets you have an automated message and send it to your customers via the platform as soon as you take on the batch.

It can be something concise and simple as you just need to introduce yourself and let the customer know that you are there for them. Ask that they provide you with any updates regarding the shopping list, or if anything changes with their requirements.

It’s not a matter of being polite alone – you can save some time this way. Let’s be real for a bit, it’s a great possibility that at least one out of a few batches that you claim will indeed need some adjustments.

Maybe the store doesn’t have a certain product and you want to know if the client accepts a replacement. So, it’s always best to get in touch with your customer as you do the shopping, to ensure that they are keeping their phone nearby. This way you won’t have to waste time waiting for their response if anything goes sideways.

2) Be Tactical With Your Batches

If you are an Instacart shopper, you’ll know that timing is everything here. Why waste an hour doing just one batch when you can complete three batches instead? So, it’s important to have some strategic planning regarding the batches that you claim.

Of course, that’s easier said than done, since you don’t have much time to consider the batch in the first place. It’s a competitive platform, and if you think for too long, someone else might steal the batch instead.

However, if you know exactly what to look for, things get much easier. First, consider the list of items requested by the customer. It makes no sense to drive around town and waste time and effort just to deliver a batch with 10 items or so. Instead, look for batches with a larger amount of items close to your location. 

These usually pay more and you’ll also stand a better chance of getting a tip. The ideal scenario is to look for batches near your location with a larger number of items that you’ll also deliver nearby as a full service shopper.

3) Consider Doing Double Batches

Doing double batches on Instacart doesn’t have to mean that you’ll get the most money, but you can surely save some time. And while some shoppers are bothered by dealing with two customers at once, you can also save up on mileage in case you take on two orders from the same store.

This way, you won’t have to return to another shopping route, and you can do everything at once. To get the most out of double batches, it’s crucial that you do the shopping in a store you are well familiar with.

This way, you can separate the orders by sections and get everything out of the deli for both customers, for example, and move on to the next section after that. Another tip for doing double batches is to choose batches that are relatively close by. This way you’ll avoid an angry customer if you take too long to deliver one batch by prioritizing the other.

4) Organize The Double Batches

Out of all the Instacart tips and tricks, this one might give you the biggest headstart. One of the best ways of organizing your double batches is to put a carrying basket in the cart. You can use the basket for the smaller batch and put the items for the larger batch in the cart.

It makes the shopping trip a whole lot easier, and you can still apply the mentioned tactics for double batches. Simply go through the sections in the store, and get everything for both customers out of each section.

Just make sure to put every item for order A in the basket, and every item from order B in the cart, to avoid mixing it up. You can apply this method in all grocery stores and get a significant boost when doing double batches.

5) Hold On To Your Receipts

One thing I’d certainly recommend is to keep all of your receipts in a bag. You never know when it will become handy, as the risk of something going sideways is always present, at least until you get paid by Instacart.

A customer might complain that you didn’t deliver the item, or that the amount was incorrect when compared to the order. This way you can protect yourself and avoid trouble as you’ll have proof in the form of a receipt. 

On the other hand, you might even be able to get a few benefits out of keeping the receipts. Namely, some receipt award apps will give you cash backs and points you can, later on, use in shopping trips of your own.

6) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask The Employees

This might be a bit obvious, but a lot of Instacart shoppers tend to look for store items and lose time even though they never entered the store before. So, if you are shopping in a store that you are unfamiliar with, don’t hesitate to ask the employees for item locations.

After all, they know the grocery stores they work in the best, and will gladly give you directions. The best tactic would be to get all the items that you can find, and then ask the employees about the location of items you couldn’t find on your own.

7) Be Friendly And Polite

Here’s another obvious one, but don’t take this tip for granted just yet. Being polite and dealing with the customers reasonably can improve your rating. Even if you don’t receive a good tip, still be as friendly as you possibly can as everything depends on your rating.

You can leave a note to the customer to thank them for assigning you with their order and to remind them to rate you. Good people will know to value your efforts, so you can receive a 5-star rating just because you went that extra mile.

8) Get The Peak Bonuses

As an Instacart shopper, you can work whenever you want. However, chances are that you won’t find that many deliveries at 9 AM. So, one of the best Instacart shopper tips is to view the shopper app and browse for batches that come in peak hours.

It’s simple – Instacart proposes that customers can include peak hour bonuses during periods when demand for shoppers is high. Let’s face it, most of the customers will require your assistance during lunchtime hours, or later in the night.

So, you can take advantage of that and take your time to rest before getting active during those peak hours. You can see the peak bonus amount among the batch details, and this can certainly result in some extra money for your deliveries. Even if the peak pay isn’t that much of an improvement, consider the extra cash you’ll earn by doing 5 or 10 of those deliveries!

9) Wait Near Large Stores

If you are just driving around waiting for the next order, someone else may grab it instead as you can’t drive and claim the batches. So, if you want to get the most out of your time, you should stop near the largest grocery stores in your area and simply wait for the order.

It doesn’t even have to be in that specific store, but you’ll still be ready to claim the batch before someone else does. In case you receive an order from that specific store, you’ll be ready to start shopping in no time.

10) Bring An Insulated Bag

Having an insulated food bag at your disposal can make a big difference. You’ll be ready to store hot or cold items and prevent the temperature of the product from changing too much as you drive toward the customer.

Food bags can also serve other purposes that you might not have thought of. For instance, if there are no items that need temperature preservation, you can simply use the bag to handle double batches.

Simply store all the items from one batch in the bag, and place the items of another batch in the trunk next to it. This way you’ll never get in the situation where you mix up the items and earn a bad rating because of that.

Extra Tip – Use All The Perks And Bonuses

Don’t just be limited by the tactics you can use to improve your efficiency when you can use the platform’s perks to the fullest. That includes earning more money through the Instacart referral program.

Scan Referral Code

You can find your referral code in the app by taking a look at the menu and tapping on “Referrals”. You can share the link with your code and start referring friends to get 10$ upon their first successful delivery.

It’s not much, but it’s a no-brainer in the long run since you can earn up to $1000 through the Instacart referral program!

Final Thoughts

As it turns out, you can earn much more from grocery delivery if you make use of the Instacart shopper tips mentioned in this guide. Every new shopper needs a heads-up on the most efficient tactics and tips to use, so you’ll be off to a much better start this way.

Don’t forget to plan your schedule based on peak pay hours and to bring a collapsible grocery cart or insulated bags to conveniently store the goods and divide the items from double orders!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How do I get the best batches on Instacart?

You can get the best batches on Instacart by improving your rating. It takes being a 4.7-star or higher-rated shopper to get access to the best orders before the others, so you can keep improving your rating by being friendly and leaving notes to customers to thank them for their trust and to remind them of rating you.

Is 10% a good tip for Instacart?

If you get a 10% tip on Instacart deliveries, that’s a great tip and it’s even slightly above the average. Instacart suggests 5% tips to customers, so you can be satisfied if you receive 10% or 15% tips.

What’s the best tip for dealing with double batches?

Dealing with double batches on Instacart gets much easier once you apply the tactics to separate the items from two orders. First off, you can place a carrying basket into the cart and place everything from order A in it, and the items from order B in the cart. Also, you can move through the store by sections, placing each item in the basket or the cart accordingly. This way, you won’t have to revisit the sections you’ve already been to again.

How to get more batches on Instacart?

The best way you can secure more batches on Instacart in 2022 is by enabling double batches from the Shopper app menu. Once you enable double orders, you can get two orders from the same store, and shop all the items for two deliveries at once. So, you’ll be both saving on fuel and time with this simple option.

Rory AckermanRory Ackerman

Rory Ackerman

Hi, I'm Rory! I've worked in the banking industry for quite some time and wanted to help provide my expertise with all things credit related. In my spare time I like to play video games and collect sports cards.

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