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When deciding between Instacart and Shipt, consider a few key factors. Instacart offers pay based on order size, complexity, and distance, with a clear earnings breakdown and in-app tipping. Shipt pays a base amount plus a percentage of the order, also allowing tips. Both offer flexible scheduling and require a background check, reliable vehicle, and smartphone.

Instacart might demand quicker order handling and high efficiency, while Shipt focuses on direct customer communication. Support differs too—Instacart has in-app chat, while Shipt relies on phone support. By evaluating these aspects further, you’ll find the best fit for you.

Pay Structure

When comparing Instacart and Shipt, you’ll find notable differences in their pay structures. Instacart’s base pay varies depending on the order’s size, complexity, and delivery distance. They provide a transparent breakdown of how much you’ll earn, which helps you assess whether an order is worth your time. Additionally, Instacart allows customers to tip through the app, and this tip goes directly to you without any interference from the company.

On the other hand, Shipt offers a different approach. Shipt pays you a base amount per order that typically ranges between $5 and $7, plus 7.5% of the total order cost. This can sometimes lead to higher earnings for larger shopping orders. Like Instacart, Shipt also lets customers tip via the app, ensuring you receive 100% of the tips without any deductions.

Both platforms have their pros and cons in terms of pay structure. With Instacart, you might enjoy more transparency and potentially higher tips, while Shipt’s percentage-based model can be lucrative for bigger orders. Ultimately, understanding these differences helps you make an informed decision about which platform aligns best with your financial goals.

Scheduling Flexibility

Both Instacart and Shipt offer flexible scheduling options that cater to your personal availability and preferences. With both platforms, you can choose when you want to work, making it easy to fit your job around other commitments.

Instacart lets you set your availability preferences in advance, allowing you to see batches of orders that align with your chosen times. If something comes up, you can easily swap shifts with other shoppers, ensuring you never miss an opportunity to work when you’re available. This flexibility is great if you have a dynamic schedule that might change week to week.

Similarly, Shipt provides a user-friendly app that makes scheduling straightforward. You can pick up gigs based on your availability preferences, and the app’s shift-swapping feature lets you exchange shifts with other Shipt shoppers if your plans change. This means you can still manage to get your hours in without being tied down to a rigid schedule.

Job Requirements

To work for Instacart or Shipt, you’ll need to meet specific job requirements that ensure you’re prepared and capable of delivering groceries efficiently. Both companies have similar prerequisites, but there are some key differences.

First, you’ll need to pass a background check. This step ensures the safety and security of customers and their orders. Both Instacart and Shipt take this process seriously, so be prepared for a thorough screening.

Second, let’s talk vehicle requirements. Both platforms require you to have a reliable vehicle to transport groceries. Although specific vehicle models aren’t mandated, your car should be in good working condition. Additionally, you’ll need a valid driver’s license and insurance.

Lastly, having a smartphone is essential. You’ll use the app to accept orders, navigate to delivery locations, and communicate with customers. Both iOS and Android devices are supported, but ensure your phone meets the minimum specifications for the app to run smoothly.

Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Background Check: Pass a comprehensive screening.
  2. Vehicle Requirements: Reliable car, valid driver’s license, and insurance.
  3. Smartphone: Required for order management and navigation.

Meeting these requirements sets you up for success with either company.

Workload and Responsibilities

As you dive into the workload and responsibilities, you’ll find that both Instacart and Shipt demand a high level of efficiency and customer service. For Instacart, you’ll often face a higher order volume, especially during peak shopping hours. This means you’ll need to be quick and accurate when picking items to ensure timely deliveries. Instacart shoppers frequently juggle multiple orders at once, adding to the complexity of the job.

With Shipt, the order volume might be slightly lower, but the delivery process is more involved. Shipt shoppers are expected to have direct communication with customers, which can include sending updates or handling special requests. You’ll need to manage your time effectively to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.

Both platforms require you to handle the entire delivery process, from picking items to delivering them to the customer’s doorstep. You’ll need to be familiar with the layout of different stores and navigate efficiently to meet delivery deadlines. Given the physical nature of the job, stamina and attention to detail are paramount. Balancing these responsibilities well can make a significant difference in your overall experience working for either company.

Shopper Support

When working for Instacart or Shipt, having accessible and effective shopper support can make all the difference in your daily experience. Reliable customer service means resolving issues quickly, so you can get back to shopping and delivering without unnecessary stress.

Both companies offer various communication channels, but there are some differences in their approaches. Instacart provides in-app chat support, allowing you to message customer service directly while you’re shopping. This real-time assistance can be crucial when you encounter problems like item substitutions or delivery issues. Additionally, Instacart offers phone support, which can be handy for more complex problems that require detailed explanations.

Shipt, on the other hand, focuses heavily on phone support. You can easily call their support team, which many shoppers find reassuring since they can speak directly to a representative. Shipt also offers email support, though it’s generally slower than phone communication.

Here are three key points to consider:

  1. Instacart’s in-app chat: Quick, real-time problem-solving.
  2. Shipt’s phone support: Direct communication with a representative.
  3. Availability of channels: Instacart includes chat and phone, while Shipt offers phone and email.

Choosing between Instacart and Shipt might depend on your preferred method of communication and how quickly you need issues resolved.


Choosing between Instacart and Shipt is like deciding whether to follow the yellow brick road or take the scenic route. Both offer solid pay structures and scheduling flexibility, but your ideal fit depends on your personal preferences and work style. I recommend you also check out Instacart Vs DoorDash in my previous post to see which one works best for drivers.

Instacart might feel like a well-oiled machine, while Shipt offers a more community-oriented vibe. Weigh the job requirements, workload, and shopper support to determine which path will lead you to your own Emerald City.

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