Shipt vs. Instacart

Get your side hustle going with Shipt or Instacart, but which one of them should you go sign up for? Here is the ultimate guide to help you pick.

Grocery delivery services are popular at the moment, and with good reason: more and more consumers are opting for delivery services over going to the store, and services like Instacart and Shipt provide a flexible method to earn money.

But, if you want to supplement your income by delivering groceries, how do you decide between Instacart and Shipt?

In truth, both of these delivery services are pretty similar, but a few significant distinctions may distinguish one from the other.

Related:Shipt ReviewInstacart Review

What Do They Offer


Shipt is an on-demand grocery delivery business based in Birmingham, Alabama, that was launched in 2014.

Target bought Shipt in 2017, and it has since expanded to over 250 markets and 5,000 communities across the United States.

Target, CVS, Meijer, HEB, Petco, Costco, and several other well-known merchants and supermarket stores use the service.

Shipt used to be a member-only shipping service, but now anybody may use it to place an order.

This expands the service’s client base, which is good news for Shipt users since it implies more orders to fill.


Instacart is a grocery delivery and pick-up service that operates on demand. It provides one-hour delivery from local supermarkets across the United States and parts of Canada.

Instacart’s concept is simple: you make an order online or through the app, and an Instacart shopper fulfills it so you can have it delivered or pick it up.

Instacart is a valuable service for individuals who find it challenging to get to the grocery shop.

Working as an Instacart shopper, on the other hand, is a flexible side hustle that can fit into even the most hectic schedules.

There are two sorts of shoppers on Instacart: full-service and in-store.

The primary distinction is that full-service shoppers are self-employed individuals who shop and deliver, whereas in-store shoppers are part-time employees who simply shop.

Shopper Registration Requirements


  1. You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. To work in the United States, you must be a citizen of the United States.
  3. Have access to a car that was manufactured in 1997 or later. (There is no requirement for a vehicle inspection.)
  4. For the driver app, you’ll need a smartphone (iPhone -> iOS 10 or newer) or (Android -> 5.1 or newer).
  5. Be able to lift between 30 and 40 pounds with or without assistance.
  6. Successfully complete a background check


Requirements For Full-Service Shoppers

To become and become a full-service Instacart shopper, applicants must satisfy the following minimal requirements:

  1. You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Have legal permission to work in the United States.
  3. Ability to lift up to 50 pounds without assistance
  4. Have access to a reliable car regularly
  5. Have access to a modern smartphone that can run the Instacart app regularly.

Prospects with past grocery or transportation sector experience are encouraged to apply, while those without such expertise are also accepted.

Ride-sharing and delivery contractors — those who work for apps like Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and DoorDash — are expressly invited to join Instacart’s full-service shopper application site.

Requirements For In-Store Shoppers

To become and stay an in-store Instacart shopper, applicants must satisfy the following minimal requirements:

  1. You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Have legal permission to work in the United States.
  3. Ability to lift up to 50 pounds without assistance
  4. Have access to a modern smartphone that can run the Instacart app regularly.

Instacart welcomes candidates with past grocery sector expertise to apply, but it does not have any formal work history criteria or excludes those without prior experience.

Application Process


The Shipt application procedure is straightforward and takes only a few minutes. You simply provide them with some basic details about yourself, such as:

  • Information about the individual. Name, email address, phone number, and preferred operating city
  • Age. To shop with Shipt, you must be over the age of 18; candidates 21 and older can participate in Shipt’s alcohol delivery service.
  • Address. To get your onboarding materials, such as your Shipt shopper t-shirt and preloaded Shipt card, which shoppers use to pay for supermarket orders.
  • Availability. They want to know if you can work on Sunday and Monday, which are the peak days for supermarket deliveries.
  • If you’re a smoker, keep in mind that you can’t smoke throughout a shift at Shipt.
  • Shipt provides a confirmation email within one to two business days, depending on the age of your car and your driving history.

If you pass this initial stage, you’ll need to complete a few more steps before you can start working.

Applicants for Shipt must also participate in a virtual interview. It entails answering questions regarding prior customer service experiences and how you would act in various purchasing scenarios in writing.

Applicants also have the option of recording and submitting a video component of their responses to similar questions.

There’s also some paperwork to deal with. A Shipt shopper agreement, a background check consent form and a W-9 form are all signed by applicants.


The application procedure for Instacart is quite simple. It just takes a few minutes to complete the first online application. You’ll need to do the following to finish it:

  1. Fill up the blanks with essential personal information like your name and address.
  2. Indicate whether you have access to a car regularly.
  3. Fill up your phone number.
  4. Schedule an in-person interview, which lasts around two hours and includes an orientation and a skills test.

The fourth stage, especially for in-store shopper applicants, might be a bottleneck. When you apply, Instacart may or may not have in-person recruiting sessions scheduled in your area.

If there’s no session available at the moment, you’ll be advised to anticipate an email once a session is booked, and the procedure will temporarily halt.

In markets where it’s attempting to staff up fast, Instacart may skip the in-person interview — they have in the past, at least. If you aren’t needed to attend an in-person session, you can skip to the fifth stage, which entails:

  • Filling out employment paperwork
  • Signing a deal with a contractor
  • Providing information from your driver’s license
  • Accepting the results of a criminal history check.

Before being allowed to take live orders, recruits who are not needed to attend an in-person session may be required to pass a virtual knowledge exam and practical test — generally, a few virtual orders to demonstrate their speed and accuracy.

Possible Earnings


According to Shipt, delivery drivers may earn up to $22/hour. It’s crucial to remember that you’re not paid by the hour; instead, you’re compensated by the order.

Shipt’s advertised pricing is based on your average rate after 30 or more orders have been fulfilled.

Most Shipt consumer evaluations from actual drivers indicate that they earn between $15 and $17 per hour.

Some Shipt shoppers make much over that amount by earning above-average tips, and you retain 100% of your tips.

Because the new pay model is significantly more sophisticated and accounts for “dynamic factors” like travel duration, total order items, time of day, and road traffic, some drivers have reported somewhat reduced compensation since the autumn of 2020.

Shipt hasn’t revealed its specific methodology, but customers will still be able to view the pay range for each order before accepting it, and the minimum will always be met.

The objective of the new compensation model, which considers factors like traffic and driving time, is that consumers who put in more effort would be compensated more.

Before this, drivers were paid a flat $5 per order plus 7.5 percent of the total order value.


Instacart full-service shoppers can earn $20+ per hour during peak hours, according to Glassdoor, and shopper compensation ranges from $7 to $26 per hour on average.

The platform pays full-service employees based on some criteria. The amount you receive for every order is determined by the number of products, driving distance, and work involved in buying and delivering.

Instacart customers may now see a preview of their projected profits before placing an order, which is a recent addition.

This provides you the ability to choose whether or not an order is worth your time.

In general, the greater the order, the higher the payment. Additionally, profits are generally higher during peak times, such as Super Bowl Sunday, special events, holidays, and so on.

In addition, full-service consumers may retain 100% of any tips they leave. Instacart customers may also receive referral incentives, which differ depending on their job and region.

Comparison Table

Shipt Instacart
Ease of UseGoodGood
Earning PotentialGoodGood
Ideal ForDelivering groceriesDelivering groceries


Both Instacart Shopper and Shipt Shopper are trustworthy alternatives to supplement your income. With either service, drivers may choose their own hours and make a modest living.

You might be able to make more money if you drive for both jobs at the same time. Which one you select will primarily be determined by whether the service is available in your area.

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Matt Castillo Bennet is a former banker and restaurant worker. After paying off $30K of student loan debt and saving up for a couple of years, he left his job to manage Cash Math full-time and help others achieve financial freedom.