Instacart Pickup: What Is It And How It Works

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instacart pickup

The covid pandemic amid a fast growth of the buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS). The click and collect has become a trend for food delivery apps and all kinds of retailers including grocery stores.

Even if life is slowly returning to what it was pre-pandemic, people are not ready to change their habits. Technology is changing the way retailers work. Some grocery chains are rolling out pick-up only locations while others are refreshing stores with pickup windows.

In this guide you will learn everything you have to know about the Instacart pickup, including costs, the stores with curbside pickup. We will give you detailed information of how the curbside pickup works with main Instacart partners.

How Instacart Works?

Instacart operates in hundreds of cities across the US and Canada. Instacart services include delivery and curbside options. For customers, Instacart has obvious value: it enables fast ordering from grocery stores in their area.

Let me walk you through how it works.

  • Shop via the Instacart Grocery App or via the website.
  • Fill up your cart, check out and select a delivery/pickup time.
  • Choose your payment option.
  • Track your order.
  • Instacart personal shoppers will pull your items and bag them up. Instacart Shoppers are responsible for bringing your order to your home.

What Is The Curbside Pickup?

From a retailer's point of view, the click and collect orders are a simple way to:

  • Better serve their customers
  • Increase customers loyalty
  • Increase sales

It is also a great opportunity to run more promotions or deeper discounts.

From a customer's point of view the pickup is a valid option to the delivery.

The curbside pickup allows customers to place an order online – via web or mobile interfaces and then drive to the store to pick it up, often in a designated area near the store or in-store.

Related Article: DoorDash Pickup

Benefits Of Shopping From Instacart Stores With Curbside Pickup

Instacart users shared with us some of the reasons why they prefer the curbside pickup to the delivery option.

Convenience

Between commuting, work, school, and family, we all live busy lives. Convenience is the backbone of e-commerce. The mobile ordering head allows you the convenience of purchasing online your favorite products when and where it suits you and of choosing the payment method that suits you.

Additionally, orders can be scheduled several days in advance.

Avoid Delivery Fees

Instacart is one of the best online grocery stores . However, when you choose the delivery option, delivery and service fees may apply.

So, is Instacart pickup free?

Whether you have an Instacart subscription or not, there are no service fees charged on pickup orders.

However, the majority of stores apply to your order a pick up fee (equivalent to a delivery fee for pickup orders). The Instacart pickup fee is a fixed amount and it is set by the retailer partner often depending on the size of your order.

The pickup fee typically starts at $1.99.

If you have an Express membership, the subscription waives the pickup fee like it would a delivery fee.

Using the pickup option you will save money. First of all you are not required to tip for your pickup order. Secondly, many retailers offer a copious amount of discounts to be used online; you may also receive an Instacart free pickup code.

Safe

​​

We live in the era of digital payments and with the Covid-19 a growing number of shops and restaurants no longer accept cash. You probably already appreciate paying your groceries with Paypal.

Using a digital ordering app like Instacart helps you eliminate many of the headaches of cash transactions including counterfeit bills and health concerns of Covid-19.

To maintain a social distance, it is a good practice that you open your trunk and stay in the car the time the shopper will place your order on it.

Satisfaction

You probably appreciate the ease of online shopping. However we received many complaints about Instacart customers unhappy with their delivery’s journey. Today the demand for curbside pickup is just as high as it is for contactless home delivery.

You will be able to verify your order avoiding missing and damaged items.

Definitely, if you live in apartments where deliveries can be a major hassle the curbside pickup can improve your entire buyer’s journey.

🎁 New to Instacart? Create you account and enjoy free credit on your account.

How Does The Curbside Delivery Work With Instacart?

Using the Instacart click and collect service is relatively easy. The online store is user-friendly, all you have to do is follow these simple steps.

  1. Select your preferred pickup location
  2. When your order is available for pickup you will get a message.
  3. Orders are held in a temperature-controlled staging area in the store.
  4. If you want to avoid wasting time we suggest you use the app to notify the store that you are on the way, as the store gets an alert and can have the order ready for you in advance.
  5. When you get to the store, follow the instructions to let them know you've arrived
  6. Depending on the store, sometimes you have to park your car and go inside the store and wait in a “mobile order” or “online order” queue.

While some grocery chains like Trader Joe’s remain focused on the in-store shopping experience, others take advantage of the digitalization to increase their offers.

Find below the list of the principal grocery stores with curbside pickup available on Instacart with a detailed guide of how they work.

💡 PRO TIP: If you buy alcohol you'll need to bring a valid form of ID when you pick up your order.

Aldi

In 2018, after a successful pilot program in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, Aldi announced with a press release that they will extend their partnership with Instacart across 35 states in 5,000 new ZIP codes.

Today all the Aldi pickup and grocery delivery orders are fulfilled by Instacart.

Start by finding all the Aldi locations offering pickup service using the store locator.

The store locator gives you the store details including hours and service available.

How Does The Aldi Curbside Pickup Work?

Here are some important information you should know about the Aldi grocery pickup:

  • All the online orders are placed and paid via the Instacart platform.
  • Select your pickup location and desired timeframes.
  • Place your order
  • A personal shopper will do the shopping for you.
  • You will get a notification (via the app or text message) when your order is ready for pickup with detailed information where to go and what to do when you get there.
  • Most of the stores have a designated spot for the pickup. Look for the blue curbside sign.
  • For refunds or any kind of problems on products purchased you have to contact directly Instacart.

Does Aldi charge for grocery pickup?

Since all the orders are made through the Instacart platform you will be charged a $1.99 pickup fee.

Sprouts

Sprouts started its partnership with Instacart in January 2018, starting with same-day delivery in select ZIP codes in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona

How Does The Sprouts Pickup Work?

You have access to the Sprouts curbside pickup via the Sprouts App, Sprout website and the Instacart platform. The great news is that you can link your Instacart and Sprouts account.

Here’s how to use the new services:

  • ‘Select your store’ to choose your pickup location and view inventory availability.
  • ‘Add to chart’ and finalize check out.
  • When your order is ready, you’ll get a ‘Ready For Pickup’ email with detailed instructions.

Albertsons

The company headquartered in Boise operates under some 20 banners, including Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's/Star Market, Safeway…

The grocery company offers a delivery service with their own fleet and uses last-mile providers such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Shipt.

In 2020 Albertsons added more than 320 new Drive Up & Go sites, ending the period with 1,740 pickup locations overall.

According to CEO Vivek Sankaran the company expects to have DUG in approximately 1,950 locations, representing approximately 98% coverage by the end of the second quarter.

Additionally in August 2021 Albertsons started pilot program powered by Instacart in six major cities including:

  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Austin
  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix
  • Denver

How Does The Albertsons Grocery Pickup Work?

We receive a lot of questions around albertsons curbside pickup. Here’s everything you need to know.

You can shop on Albertsons’ or Instacart’s website or mobile app.

If you use the Instacart platform, an Instacart Shopper will do the shopping for you.

Many stores have adjusted hours. To find more about shop hours and pickup hours you can check the Albertsons website.

Once you place your order you can choose between a same-day pickup or schedule your preferred day.

As for the pickup location Albertsons is piloting pick up lockers in select Chicago Jewel-Osco and Bay Area Safeway stores. The lockers allow customers to grab their groceries when it's convenient for them.

💡 PRO TIP: In response to the Covid-19, while there is not usually a minimum order, Albertsons introduced a maximum order limiting the number of items available for pick Up.

Learn How to Shop Publix Online

Order Publix groceries right from your home when you use delivery or curbside pickup. Powered by Instacart. Learn how to create an account, add items to your cart, and more with this video tutorial. ...

Publix

Publix is a supermarket chain headquartered in Lakeland, Florida with locations in six states including:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

How Does Instacart Work With Publix?

Publix supermarkets are offering delivery and pickup services by the partnership, which is with Instacart.

Users can use the Instacart app or the website, or even order grocery items from the Publix website and app powered by Instacart.

All one needs to do is to:

  • Place your order
  • Set a time for the pickup
  • Make the payment.
  • When you arrive at your local Publix, park in the designated Curbside parking spot.

💡 PRO TIP: Instacart accepts EBT for Publix orders.

publix curbside pickup

Wegmans

Wegmans is a supermarket chain headquartered in Gates, New York. It operates with more than 106 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.

Wegmans hasn't developed a mobile application. To use the pick up service customers must shop using the following wegmans instacart login: instacart.wegmans.com, the Instacart app or the Wegmans website.

How Does The Wegmans Instacart Pickup Work?

  • Login to your Instacart account
  • Start a search using zip codes or location and find the Wegmans store near you offering curbside pickup.
  • Start shopping and select your groceries
  • Choose a pickup time and pay for the order
  • When you arrive at the store, use the designated curbside pickup lane
  • Wegmans employees load groceries directly into your car

How Much is The Wegmans Curbside Pickup Fee?

There is always a $10 order minimum for curbside pickup, however you will not have additional delivery fees ($0 delivery fee · $0 service fee).

💡 PRO TIP: When you pay online for an order an authorization hold is temporarily placed on your credit in a cardholder's account. Keep in mind that item prices vary from in store prices. Your statement will reflect the final order total after order completion.

Schedule Your Same Day Grocery Pickup

Today you can buy online pickup in store clothing, food, groceries. With this guide you got familiar with the Instacart pickup. This new feature offers you a new way to get products from many stores that do click and collect including Aldi, Publix, Sprouts, Albertsons...without going in store, and for significantly less money than grocery delivery.

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