9 min read

    9 min read

    In the battle between grocery delivery services Shipt vs Instacart, which one is better for drivers? RSG contributor Chonce Maddox-Rhea compares Shipt vs. Instacart to see which grocery delivery is better for drivers below.

    There are quite a few companies that help people get groceries delivered to their homes. Two that are very popular on that list are Shipt and Instacart.


    Both companies pride themselves on providing this service to customers and giving shoppers the opportunity to earn on their platform. Which one is better to work for? Are these some of the top options?

    Don’t worry, we’ll dive into answering these questions in this article so you can decide what might work better for you as a driver.

    Quick links:

    What is Shipt?

    Shipt allows customers to order their groceries through the app for delivery. They pay independent contractors to shop each customer’s order then deliver the items to their doorstep.

    Shipt has become a great option for people who are looking to pay off debt, save, or begin a part-time job.  Not everyone can become a Shipt Shopper, so here is a breakdown of some of the requirements to begin earning with the company.

    Shipt is available in most cities, but particularly in bigger cities.

    shipt vs instacart

    Here are just a few cities where you can deliver with Shipt!


    • Valid auto insurance and driver’s license
    • At least 18-years-old
    • A 1997 car or newer
    • iPhone and Android smartphone
    • Ability to lift 40 pounds (If it comes to it)
    • Good judgment shopping for produce

    What is Instacart?

    Instacart is a grocery delivery service that prides itself on getting items delivered to customers during the same day if possible. In some cases, orders can be delivered in as little as an hour after requesting.

    Instacart is another way for people who want to avoid the grocery store to have their food and household goods delivered.

    You can learn more about what it’s like to become an Instacart shopper and deliver with Instacart here.

    If you’re looking for a flexible way to earn money in the gig economy, you have the option to either be a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper.

    Instacart is available in all 50 states and Washington DC.


    • Eligible to work in the U.S.
    • At least 18-years-old
    • Access to a vehicle
    • Ability to life 50 pounds
    • Have a smartphone

    Shopping and Delivery Process

    The most important part of both of these platforms is shopping and delivering groceries. Shipt allows you to pick which area you’ll do your shopping in. This is a big benefit because if you’re familiar with the store, you’ll be in and out to deliver quicker.

    With Instacart, you won’t necessarily pick which area you’ll shop in, but you can decline requests that are outside of where you want to drive or are at unfamiliar-to-you grocery stores. This gives you more options – and more potential to earn money.

    There isn’t a minimum or maximum number of orders you have to take, and you are paid per order you deliver. Instacart does allow you to be a full-service or in-store shopper. Shipt currently has you do both and doesn’t give you the option to just do one or the other.

    Shoppers do take care of payments beforehand, but shoppers still have to go to the register and pay with the payment card provided by Instacart or Shipt. The payment card is also a way to pay for any last-minute changes a customer may have on their order. Even though it might be tempting, shoppers are not allowed to bring family members or friends to help them shop.

    One important tip from Instacart shoppers Kristin and Chris: wait until you have your pre-paid Instacart card before you start shopping! Some shoppers are apparently paying with their own credit cards – this is not a smart idea, as it can take a long time to get reimbursed by Instacart. Just wait – you should get your pre-paid card as a new delivery driver within a week!

    target retailerEarnings


    Shipt Shoppers can start earning up to $22 per hour after a few simple steps: apply, interview, get approved, then download the app. How much you bring home all depends on how much work you are willing to put in.

    At our Shipt shopper review article, we found Shipt shoppers can make anywhere from $150-$300 just for a few hours of work on a Sunday or Monday. Drivers control how much they work, which makes Shipt a very flexible way to earn.

    Shoppers can schedule out shifts as early as 5 days in advance. Just turn on the app during your scheduled time block and orders will begin to come in. Before you start shopping for each order, you’ll know the size of the order, store location, and the address you’ll be delivering to.


    When it comes to Instacart, drivers can earn up to $20+ per hour. We recently interviewed a driver working for Instacart who made $25 per hour, including one week when he earned over $2,000 from the platform.

    Full-service shoppers are responsible for doing the shopping and delivering, but Instacart in-store shoppers to help get orders out for delivery. Shifts would typically just be in stores helping prepare orders for customers and have limited driving.

    Shipt and Instacart shoppers keep 100% of their tips.

    make 100 dollars fastCustomer Service and Support

    Hopefully, you don’t have to reach out for support, but in case you do, how are the customer service teams at Shipt and Instacart?

    Instacart can answer any questions you have a few different ways. Customer service can be reached by live chat through the contact us section of the app.

    There is also an option through the Instacart website to chat with support as well. If you would rather talk on the phone, Instacart does have a support number at (888) 317-8968. The best email address to use to get in contact with Instacart support is [email protected]

    Instacart does highlight some problems that can arise on their help center, but it’s also nice to be able to connect on the phone or chat as well. Drivers do have success getting their questions answered with both support options.

    online jobsOne thing to note: since Instacart has onboarded so many new delivery drivers, Instacart shoppers have told us that chat support can be delayed. Be patient and specific when asking questions of Instacart, whether you call, email or chat through the app.

    Shipt has the same help setup. You can access chat support on their website and through the app, by phone at (205) 502-2500, and also email [email protected]. Email support is currently backed up and an agent won’t get back to you for 10 days, so it is best to use one of the other options.

    Shipt Help Center does seem a little more detailed, which can help you avoid having to even contact the customer service department.

    If you need help, which one is better? Both seem to have a nice system in place, but I can’t pick a team that takes 10 days to answer emails. Instcart is seeing an uptick in calls and backups, but doesn’t seem to do in as bad of shape as Shipt.

    Deals and Promos for Drivers

    Shipt will sometimes surprise drivers with a bonus. We talked to one driver who would occasionally get $20 added to the normal order rate.

    Instacart offers referral bonuses which can vary month to month and also depends on the zone you live in. Some drivers can earn anywhere from $500 and up per referral who completes a certain amount of orders in their first month of shopping.

    Pros and Cons of Instacart


    • Flexible hours
    • Pay on time
    • Know your delivery destination before getting to the store
    • Seems to be more well-known, with more stores and delivery requests


    • Don’t get paid hourly
    • Can cause heavy wear on vehicle
    • Tips can sometimes make or break your hourly earnings

    Pros and Cons of Shipt


    • Puts drivers through training
    • Keep 100% of tips
    • Just need a reliable car 1997 or newer


    • Have to pay for maintenance and gas
    • Pay for phone and data usage

    I would lean more towards Instacart when trying to decide between Shipt and Instacart.

    Some areas are better than others, but here in the Midwest Instacart seems to be the better option. There are more orders and opportunities to earn. It’s also a good option to sign up for both!


    What other grocery delivery services are there outside of Shipt and Instacart?

    You have a few options: Amazon Fresh, goPuff, Dunzo, Beelivery.

    What cities are Instacart and Shipt in?

    Instacart: All the big cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York) and quite a few more remote locations as well. 48 states offer same-day delivery with Shipt.

    Can I sign up and do both Shipt and Instacart?

    Yes, and you should! Sign up with Shipt here and Instacart here.

    Summary: Shipt vs Instacart

    When determining which app wins in the Shipt vs. Instacart debate, I believe it really depends on how each app does in your area. I feel that there are certain cities where Shipt would be better and other where Instacart would be better. I like how Shipt seems more flexible with scheduling your hours and picking up last minute shifts. Instacart is an ‘always on’ option, though, which is nice too.

    The shopping and delivery service is similar for both apps, but I do feel Shipt could be doing a better job with customer service right now to help support shoppers. What it really boils down to is your strategy, seeing as how drivers have been able to earn a decent amount of money on both apps.

    Do you like Instacart or Shipt better and why?

    -Chonce @ RSG

    Earn up to $25 an Hour with Instacart!

    instacart-1Instacart is hiring like crazy right now and offering many perks to drivers, including no under 5 star ratings and more. Sign up here.

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    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Choncé is a freelance writer who’s obsessed with living well on a budget and loves encouraging people to make extra money so they can meet their financial goals. She is happily married to one of the best Uber drivers in the Chicago metro area, who currently has 2,800+ trips under his belt.