Instacart shopper locations

Instacart shopper locations DEFAULT

How To Change Your Instacart Shopper Location &#; What Shoppers Must Know

If you&#;re working for Instacart, chances are, you probably do most of your shopping in the same area.

But, if you travel frequently for work, are moving, or just want to explore another area of your city, you might be wondering: how do I change my Instacart Shopper location?

There&#;s actually a few misconceptions about how to change zones on Instacart, if you even have to do anything, and how to get more batches in general.

So, if you&#;re ready to learn this niche Instacart Shopper trick, let&#;s dive into why and how to change your Instacart Shopper location.

Want to try other high-paying delivery jobs? Checkout:

  • DoorDash &#; Deliver food for DoorDash and make extra cash today!
  • Steady &#; Find local, high-paying gig jobs with the free Steady app!

Why Change Your Instacart Location?

There are two main reasons people want to change their Instacart Shopper location.

The first is to try and get batches in a new zone if your current area doesn&#;t have many stores and you find you&#;re not getting batches.

This is actually a very common request from shoppers, but it&#;s actually impossible to do.

For example, as you can see in this Reddit thread, this Instacart Shopper states that they want to change their location since they live too far away from the Sam&#;s Club in their city but they want to receive orders from there.

Instacart-Shopper-location-changeHowever, one of the main ways Instacart assigns batches is based on location.

In other words, you need to be somewhat close to a store in order to receive batches for that store.

I&#;m not talking about sitting in the parking lot, but think around 5 to 10 miles sort of thing.

So, unfortunately, you can&#;t change your Instacart Shopper zone through the app just to try and cherry pick some better batches.

However, the other reason people want to change their Instacart Shopper location is if they want to shop in a new area or city.

After all, Instacart is an incredibly popular gig app, and it&#;s available in over 5, cities, so if you move, there&#;s a good chance you can still keep shopping even if you&#;re in an entirely new market.

Extra Reading &#; Is Instacart Worth It?

How To Change Your Instacart Shopper Location

If you move to a new area or want to side hustle while traveling, Instacart is still a viable option.

However, the first step is to check if Instacart is even available in your new market since this grocery delivery service isn&#;t in every city.

Now, here&#;s where it gets a little weird.

Some Instacart Shoppers don&#;t have to change their zone or location; they simply login to the Instacart Shopper app when they&#;re in a new city and can start requesting batches.

However, some Shoppers don&#;t see batches and need to contact Instacart customer support to change their location.

Here&#;s an example in a Reddit thread where two Instacart Shoppers share their experiences:

  • solarmal says: &#;When I went from MA to CA, I could see batches in CA but they would not transition to shop mode in the store. I contacted IC and they updated my zones and I could shop. I then went to WA a week later, and asked IC to update me again before I even attempted to shop. So, moral of my story is, contact IC when you get to the new location and have them update you. I have seen here where people say they have had no problems in new cities or states, but that was NOT true with me. However, once I asked IC to change it, it took all of 30 minutes to be updated and ready to shop in my new location.&#;
  • RKT says: &#;I&#;ve shopped 9 states I&#;ve never contacted support. Weird.&#;

Instacart-Shopper-change-zoneFrom what I&#;ve seen, it looks like most people don&#;t need to contact support to change their Instacart zone since the app automatically detects the change and still shows batches.

But, if you do need to change your Instacart location, here are the steps you take:

  1. Contact Instacart Shopper support through your shopping app
  2. Inform the company you&#;re shopping in a new zone but aren&#;t getting any batches

That&#;s really all there is to it, and hopefully, you can begin shopping in your new city or state after a few days of waiting at most.

Extra Reading &#; How Much Can You Make With Instacart A Week?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can You Do Instacart Anywhere?

Instacart is available in over 5, cities across North America.

As an Instacart Shopper, you should be able to open your app and begin shopping in any new city, provided Instacart is available there.

And, as mentioned, it seems like most shoppers don&#;t have to change their Instacart zone in order to see batches.

However, note that you can&#;t do Instacart in different countries.

So, you can&#;t be an American Instacart Shopper and then visit Canada and begin working, or vice versa.

This is because one of Instacart&#;s requirements is to have legal permission to work in the given country, so unless you have a work visa or dual-citizenship, you&#;re out of luck.

Additionally, you need to apply for either the Canadian or American Instacart Shopper role, although this is a fairly niche scenario in fairness.

2. Can I Do Instacart In Another State?

You can do Instacart in multiple states as long as Instacart is available in the market you&#;re in.

When you open the Shopper app in a new state, it should update your zone automatically and you can begin receiving batches from stores in your area.

Remember, location is what matters most, and most people don&#;t have to change their Instacart location by contacting customer support.

Extra Reading &#; Instacart Peak Hours For Shoppers.

Final Thoughts

I know this was a bit of a long-winded explanation for a very unique question some people have, but I hope this quick walkthrough helps clarify some of the confusion!

You usually don&#;t have to change zones on Instacart as a shopper. So, if you move or travel and want to keep on making money, you&#;re not out of luck as long as Instacart is in your area!

And, if you happen to move to a new city where Instacart isn&#;t available, you can always try a variety of other jobs like Instacart to make some quick cash.

For example, driving for DoorDash or Uber Eats are two ways to deliver food for money, and the gig economy is ripe with other opportunities to boost your income.

Whatever side hustle you choose, I wish you the best of luck!

Looking for more ways to make money? Checkout:

Tom Blake

Tom is a 24 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!

If you&#;re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please visit Tom Blake Digital to get in touch!

Filed Under: Side Hustles that Pay

Sours: https://thisonlineworld.com/instacart-shopper-change-location/

Instacart Shopper: Earn money to grocery shop

Earn money by grocery shopping in your spare time and help those who need it most by becoming an Instacart Shopper or driver.

This is the simple way to earn money just by grocery shopping for others! As a personal shopper, you go to the grocery store like normal, except you get paid to shop for others in your local community. Or you can even apply for an Instacart driver role and get paid to deliver food within your neighborhood.

How Instacart Shopper makes it easy for you to apply, shop and earn money grocery shopping:

SHOP FOR GROCERIES AND BECOME A HOUSEHOLD HERO - From families to seniors, make someone's day, every day by delivering groceries and essentials when they need them the most.
FLEXIBILITY TO MEET YOUR NEEDS - Earn extra cash with Instacart Shopper while balancing work and life. Shop for food and/or deliver on your own schedule.
CHOOSE YOUR PERSONAL PATH - Be your own boss or develop a career path as an employee — it’s up to you. Get started as a full-service shopper and shop and deliver fresh groceries to customers’ doors, or sign up as an in-store shopper and shop for groceries in-store, working with a great team and growing your career with Instacart.
GET PAID FAST- Get paid weekly. Full service shoppers cash out every day with Instant Cashout.

Apply for a job with Instacart Shopper and you can work whenever it suits you with no set hours or days - that means you can shop as much or as little as you want. From becoming a personal shopper or an Instacart driver you can earn extra cash for helping somebody do their food shopping - it’s really that simple.

Download the Instacart Shopper app to start shopping for food and earning a little extra cash while you do it. Start your Instacart application & apply today!

Sours: https://play.google.com/
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The worst part of shopping is dealing with produce. When you select a quantity of a fruit or vegetable, like one watermelon, the app converts it to an approximate weight and charges you accordingly. Since a watermelon doesn't have a sticker with its weight on it—a lady never tells!—I had to pick them up one at a time and try to figure out which one was 15 lbs. And then to check if I was correct, I had to run across the store to the only scale in the produce department, hoist it almost above my head because I'm 5'1", and pray I was accurate. I wasn't. So I had to override the weight in the app, which actually charged the customer less than they paid. It's like a tax refund in the middle of summer. You're welcome, Katie! (Not her real name—don't worry, Instacart lawyers.)

That was one time. Imagine doing that for 15 items of produce. I did that, and discovered that ¼ lb. of mushrooms is four mushrooms. I asked the woman who I was shopping for if that amount was correct. She messaged me back, "Yes, I don't really like mushrooms but it's for a recipe I want to try." The more you know! I sent another message to a customer to ask if she liked her bananas more yellow or green and her avocados more ripe or hard. She wanted more green bananas and less ripe avocados, clearly planning for a week of eating. Smart.

Learning (and Failing) on the Job

The first three orders were relatively easy. They were all 15 items or fewer, and one was only six boxes of coconut-almond milk and three bags of plastic cups. My party invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. Then I asked Jean for a real challenge, and he moved around some shopping assignments to get me the craziest one in the system: a item list, most of it in the produce department. (This was the woman who doesn't really like mushrooms, but happens to love bean sprouts. The bill clocked in around $) I found myself imagining what she was making for dinner, which sounds like what a suspect would say in an episode of Law & Order: SVU. But when I saw a few Thai curry pastes, sesame oil, soy sauce ,and rice noodles, it was easy to make assumptions. I'll never get to eat dinner with these strangers, but part of the fun is writing fanfiction about where all these ingredients will end up.

Once I got a hang of where everything was in the store, it wasn't too difficult a job—just tedious. And sometimes physically frustrating since I couldn't reach a packet of seaweed snacks on the top shelf and had to use other items to try to push it to the edge and make it fall into my arms. The whole scanning-every-item was not only annoying, but it completely drained my phone battery. This particular Fairway is mostly underground, so I also had spotty service and faulty WiFi. This slowed down my response time to messages about substitutions. Still, that item shop gave me two hours to complete, but I managed to get it done in a little over an hour. A full-time Instacart employee could do 16 shops in an 8-hour day if they wanted to—on average, I saw other shoppers doing a few per hour.

Sours: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/instacart-shopper-for-a-day

Instacart Locations: Where Instacart Operates in Your City

Going to the grocery store isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. You have to search the aisles to find what you need and deal with long lines when you check out. Plus the whole experience can take an hour or more of your time each week.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just pay someone to do all of this for you? Until recently, this would have required either an expensive personal assistant or a low-tech grocery delivery service that only accepts orders by phone.

Now, however, the process is much easier with Instacart. It’s a grocery delivery app that makes it easier than ever to order your groceries online or from your smartphone.

However, Instacart isn’t available everywhere. Their operations are expanding, but they currently focus on major cities across the United States.

Curious to learn whether your city is on that list and which grocery stores Instacart delivers from? Read on to find out.

What Is Instacart?

If you’ve never heard of Instacart, here’s a brief introduction.

The company offers same-day delivery of fresh produce, pantry essentials, and basically anything else you can buy at local stores.

To place an order with Instacart, all you have to do is go to Instacart.com or open the Instacart app. You’ll then enter your delivery address, browse items from a local store, and add what you want to your cart.

After you’ve done this, you just pay and place your order. From there, a personal shopper will go to the store, pick out your items, and bring them to your location.

You’ll receive in-app and text message notifications at each phase of your delivery driver’s journey, so you never have to worry about missing a delivery.

Instacart mainly offers two-hour delivery, though you can also get one-hour delivery if you’re willing to pay a little extra.

Speaking of payments, Instacart charges a delivery fee of a few dollars for all orders, plus a small service fee. You can also choose to leave your driver a tip, though this isn’t required.

If you’re looking to save on delivery fees, you can subscribe to Instacart Express for $99 per year. This will give you free delivery on all orders over $

But is Instacart available in your city? Let’s find out.

12 of the Most Popular Instacart Locations Across the United States

Instacart Locations: Six pineapples on a wooden crate

Instacart is available in enough locations that we can’t cover them all in one post. So instead, we’ve chosen to highlight some of the major cities across the United States where Instacart currently has extensive operations.

These are some of the largest cities in the country, and they represent the sort of major metropolitan areas that Instacart tends to target.

For easy reference, here are the cities we’ll be covering:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Austin
  3. Boston
  4. Chicago
  5. Denver
  6. Houston
  7. Los Angeles
  8. Miami
  9. New York
  10. Philadelphia
  11. Seattle
  12. Washington, D.C.

1. Atlanta

If you live in Atlanta, then you’ll be excited to know that you have lots of delivery options when it comes to Instacart. Here are the stores that Instacart delivers from in the Atlanta area:

  • Publix
  • Aldi
  • Kroger
  • Sprouts
  • Costco
  • CVS
  • Petco
  • Sur La Table
  • Restaurant Depot
  • Whole Foods Market

2. Austin

As the capital of Texas and a popular destination for tech-savvy hipsters, it makes sense that Instacart has set up shop in Austin. Here are the stores that Instacart currently delivers from in the Austin area:

  • H-E-B
  • Central Market
  • Sprouts
  • Total Wine
  • Costco
  • Natural Grocers
  • CVS
  • Spec’s
  • Wheatsville Co-op
  • Petco
  • Tomlinson’s
  • Sam’s Club
  • Randalls
  • Restaurant Depot
  • Whole Foods Market

3. Boston

An important U.S. city, historically, Boston continues to be a center for education and business. Here are the stores you can have delivered via Instacart in Boston:

  • Wegmans
  • Market Basket
  • Total Wine
  • Costco
  • CVS
  • Petco
  • H Mart
  • Vino di Vino
  • Sur La Table
  • Stop & Shop
  • Star Market
  • Shaw’s
  • Eataly
  • Whole Foods Market

4. Chicago

As the third-largest city in the U.S. and home to a variety of cultural attractions, it’s no surprise that Instacart is available in Chicago, Illinois. Here are the stores that Instacart delivers from in the Windy City:

  • Aldi
  • Pete’s Market
  • Binny’s
  • Mariano’s
  • Jewel-Osco
  • Tony’s
  • Costco
  • CVS
  • Petco
  • Plum Market
  • Cocktail Courier
  • Pastoral
  • Sur La Table
  • Fairplay Foods
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Eataly
  • Restaurant Depot
  • Jetro
  • Shop & Save
  • Whole Foods Market

5. Denver

Another mecca for hipsters as well as home to a growing tech industry, Denver is a logical place for Instacart to operate. Here are the stores that Instacart delivers from in Denver:

  • King Soopers
  • Safeway
  • Sprouts
  • Costco
  • Marczyk Fine Foods
  • Natural Grocers
  • CVS
  • Petco
  • Costco
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sur La Table
  • Lowe’s Mercado
  • Restaurant Depot
  • Whole Foods Market

6. Houston

As the fourth-largest city in the United States, Houston has a significant Instacart presence. Here are the stores that Instacart delivers from in Houston:

  • H-E-B
  • Aldi
  • Kroger
  • Central Market
  • Sprouts
  • Total Wine
  • Costco
  • CVS
  • Spec’s
  • Petco
  • Sam’s Club
  • Rice Epicurean Markets
  • Sur La Table
  • Randalls
  • Restaurant Depot
  • Whole Foods Market

7. Los Angeles

As a mecca for the entertainment industry and the second-largest city in the United States, Los Angeles was ripe territory for Instacart to set up shop. Here are the stores that Instacart delivers in LA:

  • Stater Bros. Markets
  • Aldi
  • Ralphs
  • Sprouts
  • Smart & Final
  • Total Wine
  • Gelson’s Markets
  • Costco
  • CVS
  • Petco
  • Super King Markets
  • Healthy Spot
  • H Mart
  • Costco
  • Grow
  • Sam’s Club
  • Pavilions
  • BevMo!
  • Albertsons
  • Superior Grocers
  • Fresco Supermarket
  • Vons
  • Whole Foods Market

8. Miami

A city of sun and surf, as well as the gateway to South America, Miami has a robust Instacart presence. Here are the stores that Instacart delivers in Miami:

  • Publix
  • Total Wine
  • Costco
  • CVS
  • Petco
  • Milam’s Markets
  • Grove Liquors
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Sabor Tropical Supermarket
  • Jetro
  • Whole Foods Market

9. New York City

As the largest city in the United States, New York City was one of the first places that Instacart moved to as they expanded their operations across the country. Here are the stores that Instacart delivers from in NYC:

  • Aldi
  • Fairway
  • Key Food
  • Costco
  • Food Universe Marketplace
  • CVS
  • Petco
  • Westside Market
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • The Food Emporium
  • Zabar’s
  • Sur La Table
  • Best Market
  • Foodtown
  • Western Beef
  • Whole Foods Market

Philadelphia

Another important historical center, Philadelphia is currently the sixth-largest U.S. city. Here are the stores that Instacart delivers from in Philadelphia:

  • Wegmans
  • Aldi
  • Sprouts
  • PriceRite Marketplace
  • Acme Markets
  • Costco
  • CVS
  • Petco
  • H Mart
  • Di Bruno Bros.
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Reading Terminal Market
  • Sam’s Club
  • IGA
  • Weavers Way Co-op
  • Sur La Table
  • Across the Way
  • Giant Food Stores
  • The Fresh Market
  • Restaurant Depot
  • Jetro
  • The Fresh Grocer
  • Whole Foods Market

Seattle

Known for bikes, coffee, hipsters, and rain, Seattle also has a substantial Instacart presence. Here are the stores that Instacart delivers from in Seattle:

  • Safeway
  • PCC Community Markets
  • QFC
  • Total Wine
  • Costco
  • Central Co-op
  • Fred Meyer
  • CVS
  • Petco
  • Smart Foodservice
  • BevMo!
  • Albertsons
  • Metropolitan Market
  • New Seasons Market
  • Restaurant Depot
  • Uwajimaya
  • Whole Foods Market

Washington, D.C.

As the nation’s capital, D.C. is bound to draw in businesses such as Instacart. Here are all the stores that Instacart delivers from in D.C.:

  • Aldi
  • Giant Food
  • Safeway
  • Costco
  • CVS
  • Harris Teeter
  • Petco
  • 1 West Dupont Circle Wines & Liquors
  • Magruder’s
  • Sur La Table
  • O Organics
  • Capitol Supermarket
  • Whole Foods Market

Note: The above stores are available for delivery within Washington, D.C., proper. Surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland may have different options.

Didn’t see your city on the list? That doesn’t mean Instacart isn’t in your area. To find out if Instacart is available in your city, go to Instacart.com and type in your zip code.

Instacart Locations FAQ

To conclude this guide, here are the answers to some common questions about Instacart locations:

1. Is Instacart available in Canada?

Yes, Instacart is available in Canada in a variety of areas. Here are some of the major Canadian cities that Instacart currently serves:

  • The Greater Toronto area
  • Ottawa, ON
  • Vancouver, BC
  • London, ON
  • Kitchener, ON
  • Calgary, AB
  • St. Catharines, ON
  • Edmonton, AB
  • Windsor, ON
  • Halifax, NS
  • Barrie, ON
  • Hamilton, ON
  • Kingston, ON

To find out if Instacart is available in your part of Canada, visit Instacart.ca.

2. How can I get Instacart to come to my area?

If Instacart isn’t currently available in your city and you want to see it, then the best strategy is to visit the Instacart website and type in your zip code.

Instacart uses this data to help determine where they’ll expand next, so putting in your zip code here helps signal that you want Instacart to come to your city. You can see how to do this below:

Instacart homepage with spot to enter location

3. Is Instacart hiring in my city?

Possibly. Instacart shoppers are essential to the functioning of Instacart, and the company continues to hire new shoppers as they expand.

They currently have two types of shopper positions available:

Full-Service Shopper:

In this role, you act as both shopper and delivery person. You’ll go to the store, shop for items, and then deliver them to Instacart customers.

Full-Service Shoppers are independent contractors, which means they’re paid with a portion of the Instacart delivery fee, plus percent of customer tips.

It’s a great position to look into if you want to set your own schedule and have a vehicle you can use to make Instacart deliveries.

In-Store Shopper:

If you don’t have a car or don’t want to make deliveries, then you can look into this position.

In-Store Shoppers are part-time employees of Instacart who earn an hourly wage in exchange for shopping for items within a store and bringing them to a designated pick-up area.

The base pay for this role tends to be a bit higher than for a Full-Service Shopper, though you don’t have the opportunity to earn tips.

Find Instacart in Your City

We hope this guide has helped you understand where Instacart is available, as well as the large variety of stores that Instacart delivers.

Check out our tips for how to get free delivery on your first order from Instacart, no matter what city you’re in.

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Sours: https://gigworker.com/instacart-locations/

Locations instacart shopper

Instacart: Shop groceries & get same-day delivery

Terms and conditions apply. See details: https://www.instacart.com/help/section/

Shop groceries online & get fresh food delivered directly to your door in as little as 2 hours with same-day delivery. This is food shopping made easy—plus, your first grocery delivery is free!

When you buy food online with Instacart, you can get fresh produce, drinks, including alcohol, and other products with same-day delivery or pick up all across the US. Just download the app to see what local grocery stores are available for safe, contactless pickup or same-day delivery in your zip code.

Prefer pickup for your food shopping? Order groceries online for contactless or curbside pickup at your local store. Your grocery order will be eagerly waiting for you when you arrive.

Same day grocery delivery and pickup made easy

• Enter your zip code & select your favorite local grocery stores
• Shop food, produce & alcohol and choose from our large selection of products
• Add your food shopping to your online cart & buy food quickly
• Chat with your shopper and select replacements if an item is not available
• Buy groceries the easy way as you relax as you wait for your alcohol or groceries delivery order to arrive
• Enjoy your food while you save time & money

Order your food shopping and get contactless same day delivery & curbside pickup

Shop groceries from the safety of your home and get your groceries quickly with same day delivery. Our contactless delivery and pickup will ensure you and your shopper safety.

Find your favorite products from our wide selection of items
Buy food and order fresh produce, late-night snacks, and even alcohol —all delivered straight to your door with Instacart’s easy grocery delivery. Order your essentials like toilet paper and other household items the same day!

And your shopper will work hard to select even fragile items like eggs and glass bottles with care.

With Instacart, you can:
• Find exclusive deals & coupons
•Create a shopping list
- Get same-day, contactless delivery. Or, a shopper will prepare your order for contactless pickup.
•Reorder your favorite items from our wide selection of available products
•Buy food, fresh produce, drinks, and alcohol —all in 1 order
•View nutritional information & filter by your diet type.
•Use Group Carts to easily shop together with friends, family & neighbors

Grocery delivery made easy, where to shop with Instacart

Shop groceries from your favorite local grocery stores: Aldi, Publix, Costco, Safeway, Wegmans and 20, other retail locations in North America—for same-day pickup and delivery. And we are always adding more retail & grocery stores to our selection.

Download to shop groceries & see what stores are available in your zip code for contactless or curbside pickup and same-day delivery.

Sours: https://play.google.com/
INSTACART SHOPPER⭐ FINDING APPROVED LOCATIONS/MULTI-APPING TIPS ⭐ ADDING ITEMS Cheat Codes \u0026 MORE!

Instacart shoppers say they face unforgiving metrics: ‘It’s a very easy job to lose’

Five days a week, Ryan Hartson scours the picked-over aisles of Mariano’s in Chicago to fill grocery delivery orders for Instacart. He clocks in for his shift exactly on the hour — if he’s even five minutes late, he’ll receive a “reliability incident.” Within four minutes he must accept any incoming orders; any longer, and he’ll be kicked off the shift and risk getting an incident. Three incidents in a week, and he’s at risk of termination.

“It’s a very easy job to lose,” Hartson said.

To avoid missing orders, Hartson schedules his bathroom visits — after four hours of work, the app notifies him that he has earned a minute paid break. Meanwhile, Instacart managers use the app to see if he’s running behind on his orders. The app also tracks Hartson’s customer communications, automatically searching for specific terms to ensure that he’s using Instacart’s preferred script. If he doesn’t, his metrics will take another hit.

Metrics define the experience of Instacart’s part-time workforce. Measured weekly for employees such as Harston are the number of reliability incidents, the number of seconds it takes to pick each item and the percentage of customers with whom they correspond. Some former and current employees say 5% to 20% of shoppers in a store can be fired weekly.

Even in the data-driven tech world, Instacart stands out for its metrics-oriented culture, interviews with more than 30 current and former employees, as well as documents and recordings reviewed by The Times, reveal. This drive toward productivity helps Instacart’s profit margins, a vital step for a start-up that recorded its first-ever monthly profit in April, as the COVID pandemic heightened demand for grocery delivery.

Instacart says it has eased enforcement of certain metrics during the pandemic, but shoppers say company policies often ignore the realities of the job, leaving them in constant fear of termination over matters that are out of their control.

Instacart says it evaluates shoppers on more than just speed and efficiency. Natalia Montalvo, the company’s director of shopper engagement and communications, said the in-store shopper role was built on the premise of “flexibility, efficiency, innovation and customer service.”

“Efficiency and fulfillment of customer orders in a timely manner is important,” Montalvo said, “but it’s just one of many factors we look at in our overall business health and growth relative to other contributors,” such as revenue derived from advertising for and partnering with consumer brands.

Founded in among a cohort of venture-backed start-ups purporting to revolutionize inconvenient tasks by making them on-demand, Instacart measured its early success by scale. The San Francisco company expanded rapidly into new markets, enticing workers by turning a weekly errand — a trip to the supermarket — into a moneymaking opportunity. Customers marveled at the ease of use.

“In the early days of Instacart, we were losing money on every single delivery, and we were growing fast,” Chief Executive Apoorva Mehta said in an onstage interview in “That’s not a good combination.”

But it’s one that’s familiar to many companies in the gig economy, including Uber and Lyft, which have tried to stem losses by raising rates, lowering pay and rolling out new services. To make the unit economics work at Instacart, Mehta realized they needed to better manage the primary cost to the company: labor.

Instacart relies on a combination of in-store hourly employees and contractors; in-store shoppers pick groceries, while contractors can choose to pick and deliver or just deliver. In-store employees receive minimum wage and work a maximum of 29 hours a week — just under the hour cutoff to qualify for employee healthcare.

Core to bringing down the costs “associated with the wages that we pay for the picking and delivery,” as Mehta put it, was speed — time spent finding a specific item — and efficiency — time spent between orders, in line, loading the trunk and getting an order to a customer’s home.

“As we build more volume, we build density,” Mehta said. “With density, each delivery takes less time Each minute we save on each delivery is 25 cents in gross margins. When we save that money, we can give that money back to the customer, so it’s cheaper for the customer to make an order on Instacart.”

Facing pushback from shoppers and corporate employees for its singular focus on speed, the company in said it would begin to incorporate quality metrics alongside those for speed and efficiency.

“Over the last few years, we’ve implemented new tools, resources and guidelines to help shoppers deliver the best customer experience possible,” Montalvo said in a statement. “To achieve this, we expect in-store shoppers to show up for scheduled hours, pick high-quality items, complete orders in a timely manner and provide excellent customer service.”

As the coronavirus crisis flooded Instacart with a surge of new customers, the company added more than , hourly and contract shoppers and said it would stop penalizing those who fell short of speed and efficiency requirements. Shoppers such as Hartson, however, continue to be graded on other metrics and could still face reprimands for reliability incidents. And they still receive regular reports on whether they meet speed and efficiency targets.

“They’re tracking all this data,” Hartson said. “Will they go back and use this as a pretense to fire people?”

Montalvo said such metrics are for now “purely a personal guide.”

“We believe it’s important that shoppers are aware and understand the significant role they play in delivering a great customer experience, which is why we focus on the details related to each order,” Montalvo said.

Screenshot of weekly metrics given to shoppers at one location in May

Close management of worker efficiency has become a hallmark of the on-demand tech industry. Companies including Amazon — where Mehta worked on fulfillment systems before launching Instacart — famously police worker productivity in their warehouses.

But compared with a fulfillment warehouse, a grocery store is an unpredictable place. At any given moment, in any given store, the avocados might be overripe, the organic carrots sold out, the fancy olive oil moved from its normal location to a new display. Any of these factors can slow down in-store shoppers and harm their metrics.

It’s not easy to navigate a grocery store under a tight deadline — as anyone who has viewed “Supermarket Sweep,” a recently revived game show, can attest. Some in-store shoppers, including Jonathan McNelis, say the show is not a far cry from their jobs.

“You can literally feel the pressure of time counting down as you are shopping, trying to weave through the aisles,” he said.

McNelis started as a shopper and was promoted to shift lead, a position he held until February

“At times you are literally running to get one- or two-item orders, because the system only gives you three to four minutes to get the item, get through checkout and stage it before it negatively affects your speed metrics,” he said.

In some stores, Instacart expects veteran shoppers to spend no more than 72 seconds — including standing in line at deli or seafood counters — to find an item or an appropriate replacement if it’s out of stock, sources and documents say. Before the pandemic, slow shoppers were eventually fired, and faster shoppers were assigned more orders, according to two sources and documents and screenshots detailing company policy and metrics reviewed by The Times.

Montalvo said “efficiency and fulfillment of customer orders in a timely manner” is just one factor the company looks at when evaluating “overall business health and growth.”

To this day, speed leader boards are displayed in some break rooms, and the speed of each shopper is included in reports regularly sent to all shoppers in a team Slack channel in some locations. As of February, managers determining whether shoppers should be terminated or coached received data on the number of seconds it took the shoppers to procure each item, a screenshot reviewed by The Times shows.

In an effort to increase speed, some managers held “shopper Olympics” or “shopper competitions,” which encouraged workers to move faster to win a gift card or a mention in the regional newsletter, documents from detailing recaps from 10 locations over a two-month period show. Managers mentioned speed more than 60 times in those documents. “Shopper speed stayed the same even though we worked more diligently to get it down,” one entry read. Another read: “We hit our new speed targets, thankfully!”

Another challenging metric for shoppers is refunds. If an item or a suitable alternative isn’t available — as was the case at many retailers early in the pandemic — shoppers can face consequences. In some stores, fewer than 10% of orders can include such a refund.

Shoppers are required to chat with customers about the progress of their orders using specific words, or else the chats aren’t counted, and the shoppers’ rankings inside the company may fall. “An algorithm is used to search for certain phrases to calculate chat [metrics],” according to a manager’s Slack message to shoppers.

The company said tools such as “automatic templates” help shoppers provide great service.

“You’re like spinning plates, riding a unicycle,” Hartson said. “You have to go as fast as possible, and you have to be a perfect customer service agent.”

Incidents and low metrics can add up. Hartson said he got a strike for not accepting an order in time while he was helping a customer find something. Another current employee named Hiren, who asked that his last name not be used because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said he talks to every customer, but because he doesn’t use Instacart’s script, his chat metrics show he has spoken to only half. One former manager said if an item is missing — it was left behind by the delivery driver, perhaps — there’s no way to argue that it wasn’t the shopper’s fault.

Shift leads, who oversee in-store shoppers, are similarly judged by metrics, according to five former and current employees and documents reviewed by The Times. Before the pandemic, the push to achieve favorable storewide metrics led them to evaluate, coach and ultimately fire shoppers whose numbers dipped below targets or who had three strikes on a weekly basis, six sources and documents say. Shoppers were often quickly replaced.

In the document, one shift lead listed “weeding out bad shoppers” as a strategy that worked well. In an entry for planned actions for the following week, another wrote, “double up coaching and [train] out bad shoppers. Hiring.”

The time between coaching and termination and the number of people fired per store depends on factors that include store size and managers’ discretion, according to documents and at least five sources. In McNelis’ region, before the pandemic, shoppers who missed speed or quality goals for up to four weeks straight were terminated.

“You would need to maintain goal for both speed and quality for at least a week to get you off,” he said. “The worst part was if one person only worked one day, for very few hours a week, it was very easy to go out of goal, because they didn’t have enough orders to offset one or two bad orders for their metrics.”

At the four Florida stores McNelis oversaw, one to two people were fired every week out of a workforce of 10 to 15, he said. Managers in some cases simply stopped scheduling shifts for shoppers whose productivity or quality metrics were lagging, three sources said.

Montalvo declined to comment on the rate of turnover but said the company saw a “natural fluctuation in employment,” as any industry would.

She said Instacart relies on shift leads to create the best work environment and encourages them to work with shoppers who have “repeated” issues “to determine the best path forward.”

During an August town hall for in-store shoppers in the Midwest, one market manager conceded that recent shopper feedback about metrics was leading them to “take a much closer look at not over-indexing on things like efficiency.”

Many shift, city and regional managers who spoke to The Times said they had protested the system internally for years. Several said they complained to higher-ups that rewarding or penalizing shoppers based on speed ignores the situations beyond their control. At least four shift leads, two of whom were at the company as recently as February , said they tried to fight against firing shoppers who prioritized customer service over speed, often to no avail. Other former employees said the company was well-intentioned but, like many on-demand start-ups, it focused on growth in ways that put workers last.

Montalvo said the company “regularly reviews shopper achievement at each store to ensure expectations remain fair and attainable.”

Shoppers seeking protections have discussed unionizing — an effort the company is trying to discourage. Los Angeles shoppers received an email in August referring them to shopperfactsla.com, which makes the case against Instacart workers joining the United Food and Commercial Workers. UFCW in February successfully unionized a group of Instacart workers in Skokie, Ill., who are now negotiating their contract with the company.

A senior manager said at the Midwest town hall that shopper flexibility “is really at odds with some of the inflexibility and rules” often found in union contracts.

“We feel strongly that shoppers don’t need a union,” the manager said in response to a shopper who asked if the company is afraid they’re unionizing.

“I just encourage all of you to wait and see what happens at Skokie,” he said.

Instacart said it respects workers’ right to “explore unionization” but does not believe it’s in shoppers’ best interest. Montalvo said the company is bargaining with Skokie workers in good faith, but the final outcome “may be different than what the union had originally promised.”

Discussion of unionization comes as Instacart has laid off more than in-store shoppers at 55 retailers across the country, including Aldi, Sprouts and Publix. The stores are now using Instacart’s platform and their own employees to handle curbside pickup orders.

Instacart said former in-store “shoppers have been hired at several retail partners.”

Even those with just weeks left on the job didn’t immediately escape Instacart’s metrics protocol. Five days after shoppers at one Sprouts location were given notice that they were being let go in a matter of weeks, their shift lead messaged them with the performance leader board.

“I like seeing those bad replacement numbers at 0%,” he told the soon-to-be-unemployed shoppers. “Let’s keep it up and don’t let out of stock items slow y’all down. Keep up on your messaging as well.”

Sours: https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story//shopping-for-instacart-metrics

You will also be interested:

Updating personal information

If you’ve already started the signup process but want to make changes, you’ll have to reach out to Instacart Care. We can help you make updates to your role, location, and personal information.

Changing your personal information

To update your personal information, select the Submit a request link at the bottom of this page.

  1. Fill in your name and email address so we can get in touch
  2. Include your full name and phone number so we can locate your account
  3. In the description of your request, include the information you need to correct

A representative will reach out once we’ve had a chance to review your message.

Signing up for a new role

To sign up as a full-service shopper when you are currently an in-store shopper, or vice versa, you will have to request that we reset your signup process. You can do this by scrolling down and selecting Submit a request at the bottom of this page. Before submitting your request, make sure you understand the difference between the two types of roles with Instacart.

You can then start over with the signup process.

Please note—we can’t guarantee available slots for any role or region. You’ll see what roles are open in your area once you re-enter your information on the signup screen.

Changing your location

Before contacting us to change your location, please check if we’re in the area! You can view Instacart’s current locations at instacart.com/locations.

To change your location, select the Submit a request link at the bottom of this page.

  1. Fill in your name and email address so we can get in touch
  2. Include your full name and phone number so we can locate your account
  3. In the description of your request, specify the postal code for the new region where you’d like to shop.

A representative will reach out once we’ve had a chance to review your message.

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Sours: https://instacartonboarding.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/Updating-personal-information


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