Shopper Community

A Year in Review: Delivering on Our Commitment to Shoppers



Dec 19, 2022

This year, we worked closely with the shopper community to develop an even greater understanding of who shoppers are, why you shop with Instacart, and how we can better support you along the way. To do this, we conducted a number of in-depth focus groups, shopper surveys, and phone calls to gain more insight into the values that matter most to shoppers, and how we can build a meaningful relationship with the more than 600,000 shoppers who earn with Instacart.

These conversations inspired us to renew our commitment to shoppers and improve your experience on the Instacart platform. Since sharing our commitments earlier this year, we have introduced more than 20 shopper-first product features that delivered on these primary objectives:

  • Provide shoppers with support while you shop and beyond
  • Give you ingredients to earn on your terms
  • Foster a community built on best intent
  • Offer greater recognition and rewards for the best of the bunch

“This year, we introduced four impactful commitments to demonstrate we are listening to shoppers’ needs and improving our platform to help them meet their goals,” said John Adams, Vice President of Shopper and Fulfillment Product at Instacart. “This shopper-focused initiative included thorough analysis of feedback on our existing product offerings, which we used to develop features that address shoppers’ concerns and create even better earnings opportunities. As we continue to build on our commitments and introduce more product updates for shoppers, we will also strive to ensure that shoppers feel heard, respected, prioritized, and cared for as members of this important community.” 

Support while you shop and beyond

Shoppers are valued members of the Instacart community, and we strive to proactively provide you with the support and safety features that make your shopping experience as seamless and safe as possible while you work. This includes helpful support when it’s needed, in-app features that make it easy for you to get the job done, and innovative safety technology to help keep you and the rest of the community safe. This year, we’ve introduced a number of product updates that provide this kind of support:

  • Live phone support gives shoppers who are actively shopping or delivering the ability to speak with a Care representative directly through the Shopper app, so you can receive the timely help you need when things don’t go as planned.
  • In-store navigation shows precise item locations and an even more intuitive shopping list, so you can find items as efficiently as possible.
  • In-app safety toolkit offers easy access to all of Instacart’s safety technology including emergency calling, safety alert notifications, and incident reporting.
  • Simplified returns help you fulfill and get compensated for returns quicker and easier, so you can get back to what’s most important to you – whether that’s spent earning more on the platform or tending to other priorities.
  • Streamlined repayments further automate the repayment process, helping you get reimbursed in a timely manner in the rare event you need to use a personal payment card.
  • The move item feature notifies you after checkout if you have mistakenly checked out an item with the incorrect customer’s order, ensuring that customers receive all of the items they purchased, leading to fewer customer complaints and higher ratings for you.
  • Shopping list filters allow you to view an individual customer’s shopping list at a glance, making it easier to identify which items correspond to each respective order to ensure you’ve gotten all of the right items for each customer.

Ingredients to earn on your terms

As part of our commitment to you, we strive to provide valuable information on the best way to earn, so you can earn what you want, when you want it. How much you work, which batches you take and how far you drive – it’s all up to you – and it’s our job to make those opportunities as lucrative and flexible as possible. We’ve worked to improve your earnings with:

  • First-of-its-kind tip protection covers the amount of your tip, up to $10, if a customer zeroes out their tip without reporting an issue with their order.
  • Tip cashout after two hours allows you to cash out your tips just two hours after you deliver an order, accessing your earnings even more immediately. After two hours, tips cannot be decreased, giving you even more confidence in the tip you’re going to receive. 
  • Tipping prompts encourage customers to consider increasing their tip anytime they rate a shopper 5 stars. The prompts also encourage customers to recognize their shopper’s hard work by leaving a tip if they initially choose not to leave one.
  • The peak earning days feature provides you with valuable information about the days that will offer higher earning opportunities in specific areas, allowing you to better plan for the week ahead and maximize your earning potential. 
  • Multi-store batching includes orders from multiple stores, giving you the opportunity to earn more in less time, help additional customers, and earn multiple tips — all from a single batch.
  • With add-on orders you can choose to accept a new order in addition to the one you’re already shopping, making the most of your time in-store.
  • Bulky batches offer eligible shoppers who have a large vehicle, such as a hatchback, SUV, minivan, or pickup truck, access to a brand new set of batches containing larger items that will fit in their vehicle.

A community built on best intent

We believe best intent goes both ways. We act with consideration and compassion for the Instacart community and ask that shoppers and customers assume the best of us and each other. If things don’t go to plan, we’ll handle the situation with the utmost attention, care and concern to find the best possible outcome for everyone. 

  • Our new ratings system made ratings more fair and less subjective. Under the new system, all shoppers with a rating of 4.7 or above maintain prioritization, meaning low ratings now have less impact than before.
  • The new Your stats” screen within the Shopper app provides you with even more information about your shopping history, helping you make more informed decisions regarding your shopping experience. You can now see your average customer rating, detailed customer feedback, stats like how many batches you’ve completed on the platform, and a new section on accuracy, where you can see details about items found, replacements made, and more.
  • Store proximity notifications let you know once you are within the designated proximity of a store that you are ideally situated and that you can expect to see batches from this location in the near future. We may also show you other recommended store locations nearby that have higher batch availability.
  • Batch-level feedback allows you to share input about your experience after each batch and block future orders from customers if you have a bad experience with them.

Recognition and rewards for the best of the bunch

We know that being a shopper takes care, commitment, and effort. At Instacart, we recognize hard work and reward the strongest shoppers with impactful incentives that help you stand out to your customers, improve your access to earnings, and reach your personal goals. That is why we introduced Cart Star, a new shopper rewards program.

  • Cart Star recognizes you for your stellar service via the platform, offering unique and meaningful incentives through our third-party partners like Upside, CarAdvise, and, as well as directly within the Instacart platform. Whether a Gold, Platinum, or Diamond Cart, every shopper in the Cart Star program will receive tailored rewards and offerings.
    • Cart Star shoppers have access to everyday savings to help with expenses and other important costs through our partnerships with Upside and CarAdvise.
    • Platinum and Diamond Cart shoppers receive enhanced recognition directly in the customer app, notifying customers that they are a top shopper on our platform.
    • Priority access to batches is given to Diamond Cart shoppers who are within close range of a store’s location.
    • Diamond Cart shoppers can get up to four days of discounted backup care per quarter, through our partnership with They also receive exclusive early access to batches, with the ability to accept batches before stores open.

We’re encouraged by the feedback we’ve received from shoppers on the launch of the Cart Star program as they begin utilizing these rewards and experiencing the positive impact on their daily lives. Isaac, a shopper from Florida, said, “When I used my first reward and received a $250 discount on child care, that just made my day. I was like, these people really care about me, and they really want to help me with my expenses.”

“Every day, shoppers using our platform balance empathy with efficiency and communication with problem-solving,” said Tom Maguire, Vice President of Operations and Care at Instacart. “They continuously demonstrate a high level of care and commitment to their customers, and it is exceedingly important to us to show the same commitment in return. Over the past year, we’ve made a concerted effort to listen to shoppers’ feedback about how we can make Instacart a platform that better serves their needs. We look forward to our continued partnership with the Instacart shopper community as we build the best platform possible and invite the world to share love through food.”

We are so grateful for the amazing Instacart community and look forward to continuing to build upon these commitments in 2023 and beyond.



Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1000 national, regional and local retail banners to deliver from more than 75,000 stores across more than 13,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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