Shipt vs Instacart: A Guide to Choose the Best Grocery Delivery App

Paresh Sagar
blog updated dateUpdated Date: Jun 3, 2024

shipt vs instacart

It’s a race against the time when you have to manage work and pick up groceries at the same time. A simple grocery delivery business can give city-dwellers an easy way to shop for groceries. If you are considering choosing the best grocery delivery app, Shipt vs Instacart is the decision you have to take.

According to research, US digital grocery sales will grow by 20.5%. So, it is the right time to invest in the grocery business.

Instacart and Shipt provide fresh groceries to the buyers and also excellent earning opportunities to want-to-be shoppers.

If this sounds great to you, it can be a fun and convenient way to make some extra bucks.

Later in the blog, we will pit them against each other to see the Shipt vs Instacart price and how much a user and shopper can benefit from both.

Shipt vs Instacart Working

What is Shipt?

Shipt is a grocery business service that provides food items to consumers by connecting with the local vendors and big giants like Target, Walmart, etc. Launched in 2014, Shipt serves more than 290 cities.

Shipt delivers groceries, electronics, and other home products. There is a non-member fee to place an order or purchase a Shipt pass to save the charges.

How Does Shipt Work?

Create an account and subscribe to its services. Add some items to the cart, select the delivery window and make the payment. Shipt does not have a large inventory of products; a shopper is allocated to visit local vendors or stores in the neighborhood and deliver the order directly to your home.

What is Instacart?

Instacart started in 2012 and expanded across 5500 cities in the US and Canada. There are two types of workers working for Instacart, in-house workers are allowed to work for 29 hours a week, and a full-service worker is permitted to work as many hours as they want.

Did you know?

Instacart IPO is expected this year.

How Does Instacart Work?

Sign in to the account, and shop from your favorite retailers like Albertsons, Kroger, Publix, Wegmans, etc. Instacart offers more than 300 retailers that customers would love to shop from.

Schedule a delivery date and time that you are comfortable with, and proceed with the checkout page. You can add instructions like contactless delivery or any replacements of the items.

Instacart works with many grocery stores, liquor stores, CVS Instacart pharmacy, and retail stores, unlike Shipt.

Looking to develop a grocery delivery app?

What makes Shipt and Instacart Similar?

Pay is comparable between Instacart vs Shipt for drivers. For both companies, drivers get paid an amount for each order.

Does Shipt have instant pay? Well, the experienced shoppers make around $16-$22 per hour. On the contrary, Instacart also gives away 100% of their trips.

Shipt offers incentives like auto insurance and discounted plans. Whereas, Instacart offers discounts that include savings at the local stores. So, Shipt vs Instacart pay carries a minor difference for shoppers.

Next are the features that make these apps stand out in the market.

Features of the Best Grocery Delivery Service- Shipt & Instacart

The essential features of Shipt are:

  • Early delivery option
  • Contactless delivery
  • Educational tools
  • Extra earning opportunities

Shipt’s same-day delivery comes with a new feature of pairing the customers and their favorite shoppers. Although the “preferred shopper” feature is available to only premium account holders.

Shipt explains that customers who rate the shoppers with 5-stars can add them as their preferred shoppers for future orders. This feature was added in response to reviews and feedback from the customers.

Read more: Top 10 Popular Grocery Apps in Sweden

preferred shoppers

The basic features of Instacart are:

  • Use of own car
  • No contact delivery
  • Flexible hours
  • Part-time work option

“Shoppers on our platform are uniquely able to balance empathy with efficiency and communication with problem-solving. They put unmatched care into their efforts for customers, and we want them to feel the same level of care and commitment from us at instacart as they give to their communities every day,” said Tom Maguire, Instacart’s VP of operations and care.”

Instacart’s most recent feature is one-hour delivery with dollar-tree. Roughly 60% of offline grocery stores in the US include coupons and have saved around $400 million in a year. With the new in-app navigation map, a shopper can precisely find the nearest grocery store easily.

It also adds a safe dish in-app security toolkit and shopper safety alert by the end of this year. It will help the shoppers to avoid the area.

Pros and Cons- Instacart vs Shipt

The best way to get a snapshot of both apps is to know the pros and cons of each.

Rating 4.5 Star 4.8 Star
Brief Instacart is the largest grocery delivery app where shoppers can earn around $25 per hour. Shipt is the biggest grocery delivery app where shoppers can earn around $22 per hour.
Pros Quick deliveries
Coupon code for new users
Free delivery for the first 14 days
Alcohol delivery at all locations
Free delivery for 14 days
Deliveries under one hour
You are your own boss
Free Membership
Cons No in-store sales
Payment issues from shoppers
No handpicking items before purchase
Substitution of items is a struggle
Check on Car insurance
No reimbursement of mileage

Let us now jump into the core of this blog- the difference between Shipt vs Instacart for shoppers and customers simultaneously.

Shopping Experience for Customers- Shipt vs Instacart

When looking at Shipt or Instacart, you should consider a few things to understand which one is better. Following are a few factors that will help you decide on the exemplary service.

Shopping and Customer Experience

Shipt customer service is open 24/7. Shipt service lets you communicate with the shoppers in real-time. Shoppers can choose the groceries according to customers’ preferences and the store of their choice.

Look at the Shipt shopper’s community discussion with a customer on Shipt vs Instacart Reddit.

shipt shoppers community

Instacart offers customers orders from neighborhood markets, drugstores, big brands, and retailers. Instacart sends personal shoppers and lets you chat with them through an app if you need to cancel any item or replace it if any are unavailable. Tipping is recommended in this service.

Membership Fees and Benefits

Both have different membership terms. Checkout!

Shipt charges its members $99 yearly, without which users cannot use delivery services without purchasing a membership plan. However, this has changed now, and people can buy items without committing to a membership plan.

But, as a member, you can avail a lot of benefits and coupons like wavering delivery fees for orders above $35. Below $35 will be charged a fee of $9.99 per delivery. Customers enrolled in a yearly plan can enjoy same-day delivery for orders above $35.

Instacart Express is where you can pay $9.99 every month or $99 annually. They are not charged a peak hour fee and get a 5% service fee discount. However, non-members are charged higher during peak hours, starting from $3.99.

Instacart offers flexibility for those who are not willing to pay for the entire year.

Delivery and Locations

With Shipt, you can order any item from local or national retailers. From pet supplies, fresh foods, and office supplies to medication, you have a wide variety of items. Shipt delivers across 290 cities in the US, accessible to over 80% of households.

You can also earn a $10 credit as a referral bonus for each new user who joins and makes their first order.

Instacart delivers to all 50 states of the US and Canada. The minimum order should be more than $10. They work with personal shoppers to pick items from the drugstore from shops like Costco. Partnered with 600 retailers and accessible to 85% of households in the US and 75% in Canada. Shopping with Instacart can be more expensive, but it serves almost every city in the US.

Let’s move on to the shopper’s experience with Shipt and Instacart.

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Working for Shipt vs Instacart? Know Shopper’s Experience

Instacart has more than 130,000 shoppers, a little more compared to Shipt. As a shopper, you need to consider gas expenses and not only pay per hour.

Compare Shipt vs Instacart pays in 2023 for Shoppers/Users

Instacart pays $4-$13 per hour for part-time shoppers, and full-time shoppers are contractors paid $7-$18 per hour. The pay structure depends on:

  • Size of the order
  • Location of delivery
  • Time of order/delivery
  • Tips from customers

According to Shipt, shoppers are paid higher. But, Shipt does not get multiple orders, especially if shoppers are in semi-urban areas. The pay structure of Shipt is $15-$22 per hour. However, the pay structure depends on:

  • Earns $5 per order as base pay
  • Mileage and order size
  • Traffic and rush hours
  • Tips from customers

This is the primary difference between a Shipt vs an Instacart worker. Keep reading as we break down Shipt vs Instacart into five categories to conclude the final winner.

Availability of the Job

One of the essential needs of the drivers is to check whether the platform is available in their area or not. Shipt works in a few cities compared to Instacart, and this means that Shipt is overlapping operations, whereas Instacart has thousands of markets to choose drivers from.

As per a survey, Instacart gets over 7 lakh downloads, whereas Shipt gets around 2.50 lakh downloads.

Shoppers Requirements

If you want to become a shopper at Instacart or Shipt, you need to fulfill the below requirements:

  • Age above 18 years
  • A Valid US driving license
  • A registered vehicle and insured
  • Ability to carry 40 pounds
  • Submit the application form for each platform
  • Approved background check

Shipt clarifies that the vehicles must be 1997 or newer, while Instacart does not have any such requirement. In any grocery delivery business, a platform has a business model that follows the eligibility requirements of a driver.

Order and Delivery Process

Check what third-party retail brands Shipt and Instacart are partnered with. Both services work with top brands like Kroger, Meijer, Petco, etc. However, retail chains like Publix and ALDI are partnered with Instacart in around 5500 cities, and Shipt includes the top-most grocery stores- Target and H-E-B.

Coming to the delivery process, it is pretty much the same. One-hour delivery is the shortest a customer can receive, so a shopper need not worry about scrambling and getting items delivered swiftly. This works similar to Amazon Prime, which is loved by the world.


As mentioned before in this section, a driver’s earnings have a significant difference between each platform. What costs more, Instacart or Shipt? Well, each business follows payments of a shopper and other expenses depending on the food delivery business model.

Major drivers for both Shipt and Instacart are contractors required to manage their taxes from earnings. The best point is that shoppers from both platforms are eligible for 100% tips. Instacart has a slightly complex calculation and frequently changes the price per hour depending on the number of units, types of items per order, and store locations.

Delivery Support

Instacart shopper support is available 24/7 via call or email through Also, Instacart actively replies on the social media platforms like a Twitter page or Facebook page.

Shipt also offers 24/7 support via phone call and email through Shipt takes the upper hand in helping customers with its live chat option accessible at the bottom right corner of the app or website.

Can you do Shipt and Instacart at the same time?

Yes, of course! A shopper can manage both apps to earn extra money. You are likely to get more hours of work in a day and reap the incentives of both.

Have you been able to conclude or choose the best platform for grocery shopping?

Let’s conclude!

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Shipt vs Instacart- Which is the Best?

While both the platforms have pros and cons, concluding on the winner, Shipt vs Instacart, is perplexing.

If Instacart does not work in your city, Shipt will work. While grocery delivery apps are beneficial for both customers and shoppers, the businesses are earning lucrative profits every year.

If you are looking to start a business similar to Shipt or Instacart, you should research the business model to understand which suits your business the best and then move ahead with creating a clone app.

aPurple is one of the finest online food delivery solutions based on the business model with features and functionalities. We would advise you to check and discuss your app idea with the team of clone app specialists, and they will help you with the best app development solutions for your business.


Is Shipt Better than Instacart to work for?

Any grocery delivery app is better to work for. Many shoppers are currently working for both companies to earn extra money. Both the business models that give incentives are approximately $25 per hour. However, the pay depends on the location, and distance traveled.

How does Instacart work for shoppers?

Instacart is an app that works well with shoppers. There is a separate application with features that are useful for shoppers. They can check the order, accept or deny, reach the store to collect the groceries, chat with the customers if needed, check the payout on order completion and also see the location of the delivery area.

Is Instacart better than UberEats?

Every grocery shopping app or company has its own pros and cons. Knowing more about each of them is difficult. We have curated the details of Instacart in reference to the customers and the shoppers to understand better. UberEats has also been in demand in the market and many of them use both the apps as and when they like.

Paresh Sagar
Paresh Sagar, the innovative CEO of aPurple, is renowned for his passion for experimenting with new business models, technological aspects, and software solutions. His knowledge and insights are a must-read for entrepreneurs, tech experts, and avid readers alike, offering valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving landscape of business and technology. With a keen eye for innovation and a dedication to sharing his expertise on business digitalization, Paresh continues to inspire and inform professionals across the globe.

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