Instacart Loosens Availability Requirements For Shoppers With New On-Demand Option

Instacart Loosens Availability Requirements For Shoppers With New On-Demand Option

Grocery delivery startup Instacart has introduced a new option for its workers, according to reports: on-demand shopping.

Instacart shoppers have generally had to sign up for shopping assignments in advance, which would weed out those with unpredictable schedules and facilitate more reliable delivery.

However, Instacart said it was listening to feedback, and it’s allowing shoppers to work whenever they want to.

“As more busy people and families across North America rely on online grocery shopping and delivery, we’ve learned that different markets may need different product features to meet demand and make work more flexible for shoppers,” Instacart Chief Product Officer David Hahn said in a blog post. “Our goal is to always build a product that empowers shoppers and makes shopping more convenient — offering a simple and straightforward solution that benefits everyone.”

The service launches Thursday (April 11) in Boston, Austin and Rochester after a pilot in Sacramento and Buffalo, among other places. To use the service, shoppers can select batches from the dashboard of the app, which appear in real time alongside scheduled assignments.

The pay will be the same as scheduled assignments, Instacart said.

“As On-Demand becomes available in more regions, we’ll be connecting with the community to listen, support, and continue building the best possible product experience for shoppers,” Hahn said. “We’re grateful for your continued dedication and we’re committed to building meaningful products that help you succeed.”

Instacart also recently redid its payments structure. It previously used tips to cover shoppers’ base wages, instead of revenue, but now that practice has stopped. It said it would raise batch payments from $3 to $5 for just delivery jobs and from $7 to $10 for shopping and packing. Workers are guaranteed at least $10 per job.

In November, Instacart launched Instacart pickup with partners including Publix, Aldi and Food Lion. It also expanded into Canada.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.