How to Use Instacart’s Shopper App

How to Use Instacart's Shopper App

Instacart is a popular grocery delivery service that connects customers with personal shoppers who shop and deliver groceries right to their doorstep.

The Instacart Shopper app is the tool used by shoppers to fulfill these orders. If you’re a new shopper or thinking of becoming one, this guide will walk you through the basics of how to use the Instacart Shopper app.

Getting Started: Downloading the App and Signing Up

To start, you’ll need to download the Instacart Shopper app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Once you have the app, you can sign up to become a shopper. You’ll need to provide some basic information, including your full name, email address, and phone number.

Instacart will also require you to pass a background check before you can begin shopping. This process can take a few days. Once you’re approved, you’ll receive a welcome kit in the mail with an Instacart payment card and lanyard.

Setting Up Your Shopper Profile

After you’ve signed up and been approved, it’s time to set up your Shopper Profile. This includes entering your payment information for direct deposits, setting your shopping region, and establishing your availability.

Understanding the Dashboard

When you open the app, the first thing you’ll see is the dashboard. Here, you’ll find information about available batches (orders you can shop), earnings, and ratings. The dashboard is also where you can set your status to ‘online,’ indicating you’re ready to start accepting batches.

Accepting Batches

When you’re online, you’ll be notified of available batches in your area. Each batch will display the estimated earnings and the number of items to shop. If you decide to accept a batch, you need to swipe to accept it quickly, as batches are offered to multiple shoppers at once.

Shopping for a Batch

Once you’ve accepted a batch, it’s time to start shopping. The app will provide a list of items to shop for, including the quantity and any specific customer preferences (like ripe bananas or crunchy peanut butter).

As you shop, you’ll use the app to scan the barcode of each item. This ensures accuracy and allows Instacart to keep track of the order. If an item is out of stock, the app will suggest alternatives. You can also communicate with the customer through the app if there are any questions or issues.

Checking Out

After shopping, it’s time to check out. You’ll use the Instacart payment card provided in your welcome kit. The app will guide you through the process, including any necessary steps like entering a certain number as the last four digits of the card.


The final step is delivery. The app will provide the customer’s address and any delivery instructions. Once you’ve delivered the groceries, you’ll need to mark the order as delivered in the app.

Ratings and Feedback

After each delivery, customers have the opportunity to rate their experience and leave feedback. Maintaining a high rating is crucial as it affects the number of batches you’re offered. Always aim to provide excellent service to ensure positive feedback.


Your earnings are based on the number of batches you complete, the number of items per batch, and the distance you travel. You also keep 100% of the tips you earn. The app provides a detailed breakdown of your earnings, and you can cash out daily or weekly.

Tips and Tricks for Using the Instacart Shopper App

Stay Organized: Keep your phone handy and fully charged. It’s your primary tool for shopping and communicating with customers.

Shop Smart: Familiarize yourself with the stores in your area. Knowing the layout can save you valuable time when shopping for items. The more efficiently you shop, the more batches you can complete in a day, increasing your earnings.

Communicate Effectively: Use the in-app messaging system to keep customers updated. If an item is out of stock, let them know and offer substitutions. Customers appreciate being kept in the loop, and good communication can lead to better ratings and tips.

Handle Items with Care: Treat every item as if it were your own. Handle produce gently, ensure fragile items are secure, and keep cold items cold.

Good handling not only leads to better customer satisfaction but also prevents items from being damaged and needing replacement.

Be Professional: Always conduct yourself professionally. Wear your Instacart lanyard so store employees and customers can easily identify you. Be polite and respectful to store employees and customers alike.

Optimize Your Schedule: Experiment with different shopping times to find what works best for you. Some shoppers find they earn more during peak shopping times, while others prefer the ease of shopping during off-peak hours.

Take Advantage of In-App Tools: The Instacart Shopper app has many features designed to make your job easier. For example, use the “item found” feature to quickly confirm you’ve got the right item, and use the “missing item” feature to easily report out-of-stock products.

Review Delivery Instructions Carefully: Before heading to the customer’s location, review the delivery instructions. Some customers may have specific requests, like leaving groceries on a back porch or at a side door.

Ensure Accurate Checkout: When checking out, make sure all items are accounted for. Missed items can lead to lower ratings and reduced tips.

Safety First: Last but not least, always prioritize safety. If a delivery location doesn’t seem safe, contact Instacart support. Your safety is paramount.

Becoming an Instacart shopper can be a great way to earn money on a flexible schedule. The Instacart Shopper app is designed to be user-friendly and provides all the tools you need to shop and deliver orders effectively. By understanding how to use the app and implementing these tips and tricks, you can maximize your earnings and provide excellent service to customers.