Shopper Community

Expanding Access to Batches



Jun 11, 2021

Earlier this year, we shared an update on our commitment to providing a fair and reliable experience for all Instacart shoppers. Now, we want to share the progress we’ve made since then and how we’re continuing to expand access to batches on the platform.

What we’ve learned

Over the past few months, we gathered valuable shopper feedback through focused listening tours and a broader survey with tens of thousands of participating shoppers. Here’s what we learned:

  • 75% of shoppers feel that the customer ratings system is a fair way for customers to evaluate their experience with their shopper. 
  • Similarly, 71% of shoppers believe the customer ratings system accurately reflects the level of service they provide.
  • Shoppers indicated they want us to consider other factors like order accuracy, replacements, and timeliness as part of their access to batches.

Based on this feedback, moving forward, we’ll be considering multiple factors to determine access to batches. In particular, customer demand, store location, customer ratings, and more will all be important criteria for shoppers to consider when looking for batches.

Expanding access to batches
Customer demand

Batches are available on the Instacart platform based on customer demand — the more orders that customers place, the more batches will be available for shoppers. That’s why we always want to make sure customers have a great experience and plenty of opportunities to order with Instacart.

Over the last year, we’ve continued to expand our retail partnerships and now offer delivery from nearly 55,000 retail locations across North America. We’ve also introduced more specialty offerings like electronics, health and beauty, sporting goods, convenience stores, and more, so customers can order even more of what they want — leading to even more batches for shoppers.

Looking for more batches? Try shopping when there’s the most customer demand — for example, Sundays tend to have 25% more batch availability than Wednesdays. Also, try adding eligibility, such as taking the alcohol certification course or getting your cooler bags approved — these will unlock additional types of batches that you could get to shop. Nearly 14% of batches in alcohol-enabled states include alcohol, so you could see a big boost in batch availability just by getting certified to deliver these types of batches.


We’ve heard from shoppers that you prefer to stay closer to your current location, shop at the retail locations that are most familiar to you, and minimize the miles you have to drive. Based on this feedback, shoppers who are closer to the store location can expect to see more batches moving forward, to help minimize driving and maximize the amount of time you can spend earning.

To help with this, we’re introducing new product features that give you more insight into which areas may have the most customer demand. Our new map view and store busyness feature will show you a map of all nearby store locations and indicate which ones are busiest. This feature is currently available in select markets and will be rolling out to more regions across the country in the coming weeks.

Looking for more batches? Try heading to busy store locations. Shoppers who are within a mile of a busy store location have a much higher chance of seeing an available batch. Our new map view and store busyness feature will show you which areas have more demand so you can maximize your chances of getting a batch. 

Other factors

If there are more shoppers than available batches, we’ll use factors including accuracy, timeliness, and customer ratings to match batches with nearby shoppers. While we always encourage shoppers to provide great customer service, ultimately a range of factors go into delivering a positive experience, and access to batches will be based on more than average star rating moving forward. 

Looking for more batches? Look at demand and location first — make sure you’re shopping when there are more batches available and where those batches are located. Beyond that, we recommend communicating with your customer, making great replacements, and delivering on time  — all factors that can help make sure your customers have a good experience. 

Building the best experience for shoppers

We’ll have much more to share in the coming months as we continue to collaborate with shoppers on this expanded approach and deliver a fair and reliable experience for everyone. Thank you again to all shoppers for your ongoing feedback and partnership as we build the best possible platform for shoppers everywhere.

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