How Late Does Instacart Deliver?

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how late does instacart deliver

Instacart is a grocery delivery service currently available in over 5,500 cities across North America and Canada and is growing fast! An official IPO date hasn't yet been released, however it is expected that the company will go public in the first quarter of 2023.

To see if Instacart is available in your neighborhood you can use its “ find a city” page. With over 500,000 Shoppers, Instacart delivers groceries household essentials and also alcohol.

So, how late does Instacart deliver? The time frame Instacart delivers depends on different factors. Keep reading to know how Instacart works and how long does Instacart take to deliver.

Instacart Hours

Instacart is open 24/7 Monday to Sunday, 365 days a year! The same day grocery app delivers from morning until late at night. Different stores will have different opening times and Instacart delivery hours.

How late Instacart delivery service opens depends on the grocery store's hours. As long as the retailer you want to order from is open and accepting to go orders, Instacart will deliver.

A lot of 24 hour convenience stores partner with Instacart. Typically you can get a late night grocery delivery from some warehouse open late for delivery.

In big cities like Los Angeles, New York City or Brooklyn, you can even get a late night delivery at 2:00 AM. So, if you want a light night snack, just open the app and browse from the 3,300 stores available! However most retailers generally close at 11:00 PM.

When you choose a store in the app, you can always consult the grocery store’s delivery times, the delivery fee, and the estimated time.

Generally, Instacart delivers every day without any exception including:

  • Christmas
  • Christmas eve
  • Thanksgiving
  • New Year
  • New Year Eve

You can grab last-minute delivery at major retailers. On holidays, delivery hours are subject to change. Indeed, stores will have modified hours.

Related Article: Christmas Food Delivery

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Can I Choose The Time Of Day I Want My Groceries Delivered?

All Instacart users can choose between order delivery or pickup and can choose their delivery window option. The San Francisco headquartered company offers the same day delivery or you can even schedule a delivery date.

Instacart convenience store has a diverse range of delivery options for their customers to take advantage of including:

  • Priority (You will pay an additional fee for the rush delivery)
  • Standard
  • Schedule

The delivery windows on the platform are two-hour windows during which you can expect to have your order delivered.

Instacart express members can get groceries delivered in 1 hour delivery window.

Why Does The App Say “Instacart No Delivery Times Available”?

So, you fill your shopping cart and the app says “no delivery times available”? What does it mean? Why is Instacart not delivering today. This message means that the delivery schedule you choose is already full and there are no Instacart workers available to shop and deliver your order.

Instacart is one of the largest grocery delivery companies. It is committed to provide on-time delivery. The pandemic transformed the grocery delivery service into an essential business. The customer demand has increased by 300% year-over-year and Instacart recorded sales increases on grocery orders.

Today the giant's grocery-delivery program handles millions and millions of deliveries every day. This can make it challenging sometimes finding delivery windows available.

Our suggestion is to check later. Often new grocery delivery slots become available on the app.

The Reasons Your Instacart Order Is Delivered Late

Why is Instacart so slow? Why is Instacart not able to fulfill what they are supposed to be doing? Sometimes Instacart is not able to deliver beyond its standard delivery times and you get delivered 2 hours later.

First of all, the estimated delivery windows are designed to give you a more up-to-date picture of when you can expect to have your order.

These delivery windows can be affected by external factors such as traffic, weather conditions that are beyond the Instacart driver control.

Even during pretty nasty weather, Instacart Shoppers try to ensure every order is delivered on time, every time.

However, Instacart delivery times are not guaranteed and may be subject to change. The delivery can be completed before or after this estimated window.

On social media we can find complaints from customers who have used the grocery delivery app. They ordered online and their orders were getting delayed. They finally get delivered 3 hours later.

One Instacart customer reveals his anger saying that “Way to go AGAIN Instacart my order is delayed FOR THE 3rd TIME in a row!! WHY charge me for delivery if you can’t even deliver on the time I CHOSE? ”.

Instacart delays or late deliveries are mostly due to staff shortage. Ridesharing companies are having trouble finding drivers. The unemployment in the US remains high at 6.3 percent.

It is currently hard for the company to balance demand for deliveries with supply. The stimulus checks did a really good job of meeting peoples’ needs. With fewer people online ready to deliver, your order will take a longer time to arrive.

This is one of the primary problems for other grocery delivery services including Walmart, Amazon Whole Foods or Shipt. Delivery drivers are independent contractors. Working for Instacart is a flexible job. However Instacart doesn't withhold taxes from Shoppers payments.

Instacart makes efforts to make the whole process easier and find a way to deal with delays. For example they offer earnings guaranteed to new drivers and incentives to Shoppers. Instacart does offer peak hour incentives most days, where you can earn extra money on busy times.

However, orders can bounce around waiting to be accepted because the pay offered is too low for the amount of work and driving distance.

Another reason is the volume of orders coming. During the time of the pandemic many people started ordering groceries online. The CDC guidelines for grocery shopping are clear. To limit the spread of the virus we must avoid running errands, visit the grocery stores and take advantage of curbside grocery pickup.

Let’s say you’ve already bought your groceries online and there is a small typo on your address on the app. This can have negative effects of delivery delays. So, make sure you have the correct address to avoid any problems with delivery.

Is Instacart Down?

The unthinkable can happen. As reliable as Instacart typically is, even the grocery delivery giant isn’t immune to the struggles of outage problems. Sometimes you get an error message, other times you can see on the app just a carrot that says Retry.

No matter how many times you try to reopen the app, you keep getting the same error.

You can tell if Instacart grocery is really in the middle of an unpleasant outage or if the problem is on your end by using downdetector.

How To Track Your Instacart Order?

Instacart tracking is an easy process. You can track your Instacart order status and get a real time notification when your order is updated.

You could track the estimated time of arrival of your delivery online on the Instacart website or it is displayed on a tracking screen in your Instacart app. Another way to track your order is to contact your personal shopper for an update. Contacting your Shopper is safe and you can be done directly through the app.

You get different information during tracking. Here are the possible status:

  • Shopping
  • Shopping completed
  • Delivering
  • Complete

Knowing the status of your order is important to avoid cancellation fees. Remember that if your order is delayed, you always have the option to cancel the order.

You can cancel before a shopper begins shopping, your money will be fully refunded.

Sometimes the delivery time keeps increasing. This can happen if the Shopper canceled and the order was reassigned.

How Far Does Instacart Deliver?

Typically the delivery radius on the Instacart platform is 10–15 miles. Open the Instacart app or website. The app or website assigns you to the grocery shop locations available near you.

What If No One Picks Up My Instacart Order?

If no one wants to pick up your order, Instacart will probably cancel your order and you will be fully refunded.

How To Avoid A Late Delivery?

Unfortunately, some customers in the past used unfair and dishonest tactics to make their order accepted quickly. You can read more in our dedicated article to Instacart scams .

On Twitter an independent worker said: I only did one delivery with instacart. I was trying it out. It was during that Texas snowstorm when all the power was out and no water. Lady wouldn't respond and after delivery I had to leave outside because the gate was locked. She removed the tip.

Keep in mind that by using this practice, your account can be permanently deactivated.

For an immediate grocery delivery without delays, follow our advices to avoid a slow delivery:

1. Use the Instacart Schedule Delivery Option

If you are looking for fast grocery delivery, you should know that In April 2020 Instacart introduced the “Fast & Flexible” & “Order Ahead” features on the app. These new options will allow you to schedule your order up to 2 weeks in advance or speed up your delivery.

2. Avoid To Order During The Peak Times

Have you ever tried being at Trader Joe’s on a Saturday between 12-3pm? Whether you shop by yourself or you order groceries with an on-demand app, you should always avoid the crowded hours.

Not only will the gig worker shop faster but you will also get fresh picks, especially early in the morning.

During the peak times the curbside pickup will be the better option.

3. Sign Up For The Membership

With the Instacart Express membership you will get free delivery and you will also get the items you want with a speed delivery. Take a look at our guide and learn how to get free grocery delivery .

4. Leave A Tip Before The Delivery

If you are looking for a way to speed up the delivery, leaving a tip is one of the best ways to get your order accepted by a Shopper. Take a look at our Instacart tipping guide.

Related Article: Save money on Instacart using Ibotta

What Can I Do If I Get An Instacart Late Delivery?

Late deliveries leave customers unhappy and certainly give a negative impression of the delivery business.

While there is no clear late delivery policy, and you will not be refunded, here is something you can do:

Contact The Customer Care

Report the problem with the app, you have up to 14 days to report an issue with your order and contact the customer support. You can probably get some credit to use on your next order.

Leave a Review

If you determine that your order was delivered late because the driver didn’t do the job correctly, you can leave a review. Before leaving less than a 4 star review, try to find another resolution.

Have Groceries Delivered Fast

Now you know what time Instacart opens and closes. Instacart gives you the benefits of having groceries delivered to your doorsteps all around the year. With the tracking feature, you can closely monitor your order. There are many causes for delayed delivery times. Instacart will always inform you. Our suggestion is to follow our advice to avoid it!

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