In a Nutshell
- Personal shopper selects items based on preferences
- Offers delivery at your door option
- Get same-day delivery in as little as an hour
- Not yet available in every location
- Items can be more expensive
Instacart at a Glance
Service offered: Online Grocery Delivery
Price per delivery: From $3.99 per delivery for orders $35+
Delivery options: Same day, within selected time frame
Subscription options: $99 yearly subscription with free delivery on orders over $35
What’s Unique About Instacart?
Instacart is a great online delivery service for busy people. Its personal shoppers will shop in local stores for you and deliver your products to your door. The shoppers can be in touch with you while shopping in order to check with you about any products not available and what substitutions you'd like to make. They can get your products from different stores. So, if you want one product from one store and then other products from other stores, you can do so with Instacart. This saves you time and the need to use different online methods.
How It Works
To get started on Instacart, you need to go onto their website and type in your zip code, and it will show all the stores you can order from. You select the store you want to order from, and then you just start ordering.
One of the great things with Instacart is that if you have ordered from them previously, you will see your order history. This makes it easy to select the items that you buy regularly. There's a search bar, so it is easy to type in what you want and then add it to your cart. The site clearly shows items on sale and offers that they have available.
Once you have placed all the items in your cart, you can review your items and amend or add comments specifying your requirements. For example, if you want ripe or underripe fruit, you can be very detailed. Adding your instructions is straightforward; all you need to do is click on instructions by each item and then type in and save. Orders must reach $10 to be eligible for delivery.
At checkout, you'll be asked to choose a delivery time - you can generally get a delivery slot as soon as one hour from the time of ordering, but you can pick a time that's convenient for you. They have also now introduced the option of leaving your groceries by your door, so you can avoid face-to-face contact if that's your preference.
There is a 5% service charge that you can opt-out of, just before you finish processing your order and complete payment. Once your order is placed, you 'll get a confirmation that the order has gone through. If you download the app, your personal shopper will be able to communicate with you more easily, as there is a chat option. It's also available on the website but is much more convenient to use on the app. You will get a message just before the groceries are due to arrive, as well.
How quickly you want to get your groceries will determine how much your delivery will cost. The express membership is an annual charge of $99 or a monthly charge of $9.99 but allows you to get free deliveries. And considering a lot of people order groceries at least once a week, it can be a huge savings. There is a 14-day trial period to try it out and see if it is for you.
*Fees vary for 1-hour delivery and orders under $35. The above figures
Be aware that some stores may have a slight mark up on their prices, so you should check before you buy.
Help & Support
Instacart customer support offers great service with an online help center, and they are very responsive. If you do not want to use their online help center, you have two other ways of contacting them, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-888-246-7822.
Instacart is a great choice for people who lead busy lives and don't have the time to spend going to grocery stores and shopping around or aren't able to get out. It provides a personal shopper to do that for you. The service is available in most cities throughout the US and Canada and works with local stores.