The Case for Single-App Driving Only

Here at The Rideshare Guy, we’re big fans of multi-apping. We have articles, videos and more about the best ways to drive for multiple companies at the same time to maximize your earnings on the road! However, multi-apping isn’t for everyone, especially people new to driving or delivery for the first time.

Can you be successful single apping? Yes – to a degree. Below, RSG contributor Tyler Philbrook shares how his wife began single apping with Instacart, how much you can earn single apping, and how you can make more with this strategy.

Have you thought about becoming a shopper with Instacart? What about delivering with DoorDash or another food delivery service?

Food and grocery delivery can be a great way to make money and not have to interact with passengers, but it can be overwhelming when you first start! For that reason, I highly recommend you sign up with Instacart first before diving into “all the apps!”

Sound counterintuitive? It may – but let me show you how “shopping only” instead of full service shopping can help introduce you to delivery, the shopping process, and get you started on a path of better earnings.

Why Single App

Our goal is to make as much money with the least amount of work possible. Typically, that means using multiple apps at the same time. However, there can be benefits of using just one app at a time.

Using just the Instacart app can be very beneficial. You can hone in on your shopping, get to know how fast you can get one shop done, and get to know your local store. Doing this can make you more money faster.

Using only one app can be hard to make money, especially with those slow days.

However, if you know which stores typically have a lot of shops only, then you can go to that specific store and stay there all day if you want and make lots of money!

In my area, I’ve been able to make over $40 an hour using a single app. That includes promotions and quests. On average though, if you become proficient in using just one app you can easily make $16 to $20 an hour.

Doing this will get you very familiar with one app, and once that happens you can start using others, or if you just want to have a relaxing day, stick with the one app.

Why Pick Instacart Shop Only

“Shop only” is super simple and easy and is less stressful than doing full service. For one thing, you don’t have to physically deal with the customer firsthand. You simply do the shopping, put it on the shelves, and you’re done.

You don’t have to worry about the customer saying they “didn’t” get their order even though they did.

With the shop only the customer is responsible for picking up the order themselves.

Especially during COVID, this has been beneficial for us because of less contact with people.

The “shop onlys” are typically smaller orders than full service ones and can be done pretty quickly. The faster you get at shopping, the more orders you can do, and the more orders you do, the more money you make.

Not all area’s have the shop only option available. First, the store has to be set up for it, to have the shelves, refrigerator, and freezer, for the groceries to go into. Next, the market has to be there for it to be worth it for both the store and Instacart.

So, if you are looking to try it, see first if it’s in your market. In my area, the only store that does have the option is Publix.

How Does Shop Only Work?

Doing a shop only order with Instacart is very similar to a full order. It pops up on your screen just like all the other shops but it will say “SHOP ONLY” on it instead of full service.

Once you have accepted it, it will pop up and say the customer will pick up the order from the store.

You shop for the customer’s order, like you would a typical Instacart request, and you pay for it like you would a full service shop, but instead of delivering it to the customer, you put it in the staging area.

The staging area has examples of how it should be staged if you have never done this before. However, Instacart’s app also tells you what to do. If you’re still confused about the staging process, nine times out of ten the Publix employees (or your regional shopping chain) are more than willing to help you with your first order and they do it with a smile.

When putting it in the staging area, whether it’s in the fridge, freezer or shelf of the staging area, it just depends on what’s in that specific bag. Once you’re done staging the shop, you’re done with that order.

You will take pictures on the app once you’re finished staging your shop for proof that you have left the bags and that they are in fact in the proper place.

Unfortunately, as of right now there is no way to sign up as a shop only shopper or as an in-store shopper only, however you have control over what you pick, so you can pick shop only ones.

Tips To Make More Single Apping

You can improve your shops by knowing your locations. Where I live, Publix is the only store that does Shop Only ones, so picking which Publix stores you’re going to go to and keeping to those stores can be very beneficial for making more money.

The more you know about the store you’re at, the faster you will be at doing the shops and the more you can get done in one day.

One day my wife did a shop only at a local Publix she’s gone to before and ended up getting them back to back. The requests just kept coming in. She did about 5 of them in that one day there. and they all were relatively small orders, making her over $60 in less than 4 hours.

The best advice I can give you is to know your area. Know your stores and get out there and make that money!

Next Steps and Branching Out to Multi-Apping

Once you are comfortable doing the shop onlys, try doing the full service orders. Or take it up a notch and use more than one app at a time to make even more money.

While multi-apping is generally the way to make more money, it’s possible to single app for a while (or forever, if that’s the pace you want!) and to learn the in’s and out’s of shopping with Instacart.

Every store and restaurant will be a little different when it comes to delivery and requests, but by learning the ‘shop only’ requests from Instacart to start out, you’ll be in a better position to see if you enjoy this type of work, if you want to increase your earnings or find them to be acceptable for you, or even if you want to increase your output and sign up for three new delivery apps!

The sky’s the limit when it comes to signing up for food delivery services and earning money, but don’t let anyone try to tell you multi-apping is the only way to be successful. Everyone’s earnings goals and comfort levels are different!

When you first started rideshare or delivery driving, did you single app or go fully into multi-apping? Why did you make the choice you did?

-Tyler @ RSG