Shipt vs Instacart: Which is best for you?

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Shipt vs Instacart Full Comparison

shipt vs instacart

While you can turn to a number of companies if you're looking for one of the best grocery shopping apps, chances are very good that you will find two prominent online ordering grocery delivery apps: Shipt and Instacart.

Despite growing competition from alternative groceries delivery companies such as Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods and Walmart, Instacart and Shipt are the leaders. The first choice can be the hardest. Both platforms are quite mature at this stage and offer a lot of great features for users and shoppers. They may seem basically the same other than brand.

So, which is better: Instacart vs Shipt? A closer look shows that there are some key differences. Each platform has its advantages, and there are reasons you might want to choose one over the other.

Pitting Shipt vs. Instacart, we take a look at the respective strengths of each grocery delivery platform, so you can pick the right one for you.

What Are The Different Types Of Grocery Mobile Apps?

The competition in the grocery industry is ruthless. Before starting our comparison and finding the best app to get grocery delivery, it is really important to understand what are the different types of grocery mobile apps available out there.

Supermarket-specific grocery app

Grocery stores such as Walmart, Costco, Aldi, Publix, and Whole Food have their own grocery store app for smaller-scale orders which can be dispatched seamlessly through the shopping delivery app.

Grocery Store Delivery App

These grocery store apps (such as Shipt and Instacart) list the various supermarkets in your neighborhood. Then, you can choose one, most likely the one closest to your current location, where you want to place your order.

Grocery Store Rewards and Rebate App

This kind of grocery apps such as Fetch Rewards , Ibotta, Shopkick and GetUpside allow customers to get deals and discounts on grocery shopping directly from the apps.

Grocery List App

These kind of apps are grocery shopping tools that allow the consumer to:

  • Build their own grocery list
  • Track their expenses each month

What are Shipt and Instacart?

If you know the etymology of the Gig Economy, this is a fairly recent term. It was born thanks to the creation of applications and websites that offer services 'on demand'.

The sharing economy model is transforming the way the goods are distributed in our cities.

In addition to being appreciated for their services as a user, Shipt and Instacart are the right solution for those wishing to work as delivery drivers. Instacart and Shipt are two online grocery delivery services and work respectively through Instacart app and Shipt app.

With the COVID-19 outbreak the home grocery delivery services, very similar to food delivery services, have increased in the number of customers buying groceries online in order to avoid going to local stores and limit their social contacts. But what are the differences?


Instacart is an American company offering 24 7 grocery delivery service and pickup services, which was founded in 2012 thanks to an idea by Apoorva Mehta. The growth of online grocery shopping helped the same-day grocery delivery service that increased online grocery sales by 500 percent during the COVID-19 lockdown.

By analyzing some grocery delivery data, the San Francisco headquartered company reached its 2022 goals in the fifth week of lockdown.

Instacart IPO is expected by 2023.

Instacart’s business model is based on providing a service to both grocery shops and people who want to get the items they love delivered straight to their home.

Participating retailers benefit,also benefit by receiving orders from new sources and access to the startup’s extended customer base.

Instacart is an app that pays you for grocery shopping.


Shipt is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama and is a membership-based grocery delivery service, enabling same-day delivery of fresh foods and household essentials.

Shipt was founded by Bill Smith in November 2014. On December 13, 2017, Shipt was acquired by Target Corporation.

Shipt shoppers deliver groceries principally from Target, while with Instacart you can deliver food, drinks, alcohol, groceries and groceries from more than 350 retailers that have more than 25,000 grocery stores such as Albertsons, Aldi, Costco, CVS Health, Eataly, H-E-B, Kroger, Loblaw Companies, Petco, Publix, Safeway Inc., Sam's Club, Sprouts Farmers Market, Total Wine & More, and Wegmans.

This is the first place where the differences between the Shipt and Instacart become clear. Instacart offers their customers the opportunity to save money and bypass delivery fees with the express membership, but the app is still accessible to users without annual memberships.

All Shipt users, need to subscribe to a membership or buy Shipt Passes in order to be able to shop on the online grocery store: the Shipt app.

Shipt membership fees and one-time delivery fees vary by market.

Shipt offers free delivery for members on orders over $35. Start your free trial and create your online account.

Related Article: How to Cancel Shipt Membership

Are Instacart and Shipt available near me?

Instacart is growing at a ast rate and is now available to 70 percent of all households across the USA and in Canada. You can take a look at the full list of cities with Instacart. The best and most popular cities for Instacart are:

  • Austin, TX
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington DC

Shipt is a great Instacart alternative. It operates in 50+ markets across the U.S. To check if Shipt is available in your area, go to and enter your zip code in the box form.

Winner: Instacart. The grocery store delivery apps are growing fast and still working to maximize their penetration and partnership with more local stores across the United States. However, while Shipt is one Instacart’s closest competitor, they have not yet reached Instacart which currently exists in over 5 500 markets, and is one of the top grocery delivery services.

Which One Is More Customer-Friendly?

When confused about Shipt or Instacart, you should take a fair look at the customer service they provided.

Instacart provides FAQs available on its website, which are quite customer-oriented. You can also email the Instacart support at and they will get back to you. Besides these, it has a helpline number that you can call at 1-888-246-7822. The team can be reached out to at any time, and the support service can be availed.

Similar is the case if you are a customer for the Shipt app. There is a customer helpline available by calling 1-205-502-2500 which you can reach out to at any moment. All your queries are acknowledged and addressed through human interaction as well as automated machines.

You can also email them at Their website also embraces helpful FAQs which walk you through sundry issues that you might be facing.

Winner: Tie. Thus, both apps stay braced up to serve their customers in the best style. They both provide substantial resources and customer service in order to help their customers in the best way possible.

Shipt vs Instacart: Which Delivery Grocery App is better?

Here’s a comprehensive comparison for users and drivers of the two delivery grocery services to help you choose which one to opt for. #shiptVsInstacart #workingForShiptVsInstacart #instacartOrShipt

Cost: Is Shipt Cheaper Than Instacart?

If you’re concerned most about how much it costs to get groceries delivered using Shipt or Instacart, here's a general rundown of how much each service costs:

Shipt users need to subscribe to a month to month membership of $14 per month or an yearly Shipt membership of $99. Shipt uses clear markup strategies and prices are higher than in store. In general, members can expect to pay about $5 more using Shipt than they would on a $35 order purchased in the store themselves. Shipt prices will vary slightly from in-store prices to help cover the costs of the delivery.

Instacart applies delivery fees for every order you place. Instacart delivery fee varies depending on delivery windows. It costs $7.99 for one-hour delivery or $5.99 for two-hour or more delivery (you can select one-hour time windows). The price can increase especially during particularly busy times of the day.

You can show Shoppers some love and appreciation by tipping cash or within the app after you receive your order. Very similar to food delivery apps, the service fee is not a tip!

Recently Instacart started a membership subscription called Instacart Express for customers who want to use the delivery app regularly.

With Instacart Express, for a flat annual cost of $99 and a monthly fee of $9.99, you can enjoy unlimited free deliveries* on all orders over $35.

So, does Instacart markup prices? Instacart has an average markup of 23% that is not so big, especially if compared to the 32% of Walmart and 46 percent of Target. Basically, on the Instacart platform, retailers set the prices of items available for delivery. While many retailers offer the same in-store prices on Instacart, others set different prices on the Instacart platform than in-store prices. In some cases, a flat percentage is added to cover the cost of the Instacart service.

Keep in mind that retailers like Kroger, don't mark up prices for curbside orders.

When it comes to mark up pricing, Instacart provides users with all the information they deserve. You can check the markup policy for every store before starting your shopping.

Finally, did you know you can get cash back on your Instacart purchases by using Ibotta?

When it comes to payment methods, both apps are very similar. However, while Shipt doesn’t take EBT, Instacart accepts the use of EBT its app.

Winner: Instacart. It's hard to do an apples-to-apples price comparison, because each service has its quirks. However we really appreciate the freedom that Instacart offers to use the services without having to pay a membership.

working for shipt vs instacart

Shipt vs Instacart Shopper

Instacart and Shipt, like other on-demand-delivery services on the market, provide customers with a great opportunity to save time by getting groceries without leaving the house. What about their job opportunities?

Working for Instacart or Shipt is a great opportunity to make money with a full time or even a part time job. It is an easy side hustle for moms or men. The requirements are very similar for both grocery delivery service apps and you can find them below.

Shipt Shopper Requirements

  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • Have access to a vehicle 1997 or newer. (No vehicle inspection required)
  • Own a smartphone (iPhone -> iOS 10 or newer) or (Android -> 5.1 or newer) for the driver app
  • Be able to lift between 30-40 lbs with or without an accommodation
  • Pass a background check

Related Article: Become Shipt Shopper

Instacart Full-Service Shopper Requirements

Instacart has different open job positions for personal shoppers and in store shoppers. We suggest you consult our complete guide.

Basically, the app allows customers to select groceries and make a delivery order through the Instacart App or Instacart website from various grocery retailers. As an Instacart Full-Service Shopper contractor, you have to shop and deliver the customer’s order. The requirements include:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • Have access to a vehicle (No vehicle inspection required)
  • Own a smartphone (iPhone 5 / Android 4.4 or newer)
  • Be able to lift between 30-40 lbs with or without an accommodation
  • Pass a background check

Keep in mind that like many other driving jobs, you are your own boss and you can work for both Shipt and Instacart, but of course not at the same time.

However, if you want to know if working for Shipt is worth it and the pros and cons of working for Instacart, here is something you should consider before becoming an Instacart or Shipt Shopper.

  • You will work as an independent contractor and will be paid per completed order.
  • You can work with a flexible schedule but you need to set a schedule. It can be a challenge to get your delivery hours scheduled. If you do not like to schedule, we suggest you take a look at Postmates.
  • The amount you’ll take home after expenses might be less than you think. You have to pay for taxes, for gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.
  • You should always track your miles for deduction or mileage reimbursement.
  • To be fully covered you must have business auto insurance. Learn how to find cheap insurance.

You can check out other Shipt jobs and Instacart Jobs at the Shipt Career page or Instacart Career page to get job information for all the current openings.

Shipt vs Instacart Pay

“Life is a matter of choice,” says Schwartz. “But, is this good news or bad news?” With so many choices, people find it difficult to make any decision at all. If you need to make a decision of working for Shipt vs Instacart, the driver pay is the first important point to consider.

Take a few minutes to see this review of delivery drivers for Shipt and Instacart Shoppers hourly pay. According to Indeed, a Shipt delivery salary is $22.14 per hour. That is 38% above the national average. While an Instacart driver earns $17.21 per hour.

Keep in mind that Shipt recently changed their pay model. We suggest you take a look at our guide to Shipt pay. With the new algorithm workers for Shipt are seeing a reduced pay.

If you are looking for a same day pay job , both companies offer fast contractors the opportunity to cash out their earnings.

👀 Related Article: Working for Shipt Review

shipt pay
instacart shopper salary

Shipt vs Instacart: How much can you earn?

Important Reminder: Earnings from working as a Shipt grocery delivery driver or Instacart Shopper vary based on the number of deliveries made. The more hours you spend on this activity, the greater your chances of earning. In fact, every driver can freely decide how many hours to work and on which days of the week.

If you want to see more driver pay comparisons, we suggest you take a look at our articles: Doordash vs Grubhub, Postmates vs DoorDash and Postmates vs UberEats.

Winner: Shipt If you’re asking whether you can make more driving for Shipt or Instacart, you will get a clear answer. Shipt drivers make more than Instacart drivers.

Which is The Best Grocery Delivery App?

Most of the time, the experience of using Shipt and Instacart is largely the same. Which delivery service is better depends on the deals that they offer. Pricing tends to be pretty similar for both platforms and I haven't noticed any major differences in service between the two. If you are looking for a way to make money fast, at first look Shipt seems to provide drivers with a better pay. However, Instacart Shoppers can earn much more following our tips and tricks, and get paid daily.

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