Shopper Community

Protecting & Balancing the Instacart Platform

Instacart

Instacart

May 9, 2020

Listening to feedback from the shopper community is one of the most important ways we’re able to improve the platform and offer the best possible experience for shoppers. We wanted to take some time to address recent concerns that have been raised from shoppers and share more information about how we’re working to make sure the platform is secure, balanced, and fair for all shoppers.

How We’re Protecting the Platform

In recent weeks, we’ve heard concern from shoppers about third-party “bots” that may be accessing the platform. While we have seen limited instances of shoppers giving their Instacart login information in an effort to secure batches, we want to be clear that we have not seen widespread adoption of these “bots.”

That being said, the security of the platform is one of our top priorities, and we take matters such as these very seriously. We have a dedicated team at Instacart preventing these types of third parties from accessing the platform. On the technical side, we’ve been introducing more robust authentication measures to help block unauthorized access, as well as making it easier to identify which shoppers are conducting this type of behavior so they can be deactivated. We’ve also deactivated any shopper found to be using a third-party to access the platform. Finally, we’ve taken legal actions where necessary, including sending cease and desist letters to known third-parties attempting to access the platform.

There is more work underway, but we wanted to be transparent about the extent of this issue and how we’re working to address it. We also want to remind the shopper community that for the safety of your account, sharing your personal information with third-parties is not permitted, and will result in your suspension.

How We’re Balancing the Platform

With customer demand the highest it’s been in company history, we’ve worked hard to ensure we can continue to help customers throughout North America get the groceries they want when they want them.

Part of this meant bringing on new shoppers, which has helped us toward our goal of getting back to one-hour and same-day delivery for customers across the platform. We have a commitment to meeting customers’ needs while also providing a reliable source of income for shoppers. We’ve been thoughtful about the number of shoppers we bring onto the platform, including reintroducing wait lists in many markets where we have enough shoppers to meet the customer demand.

As the platform begins to rebalance between customer demand and shopper availability, we expect a natural fluctuation of batch availability that will also begin to even out over time. There are several initiatives underway, including making sure we’re surfacing all available batches and increasing customer delivery availability to offer more batches at high volume times.

How We’re Making Sure the Platform Stays Fair

We know that having consistent access to batches is one of the main things that makes shopping with Instacart a great opportunity for those looking to earn additional income, particularly during this time. Just as customers rely on Instacart to help get the groceries and household essentials they need, shoppers also rely on Instacart to earn income and facilitate a positive shopping experience.

We always want to ensure that the platform stays not only balanced, but also fair, so shoppers know how they can reliably access batches. We have several product updates in the works that will make it easier for shoppers to identify when and where to shop for batches, based on the locations with the highest customer demand. Additionally, we’re planning to reintroduce prioritizing access to batches based on quality within the coming weeks.

We’re sharing these updates with you to be transparent about how the platform is working and what it means for you. We will continue to provide you with relevant updates, and we look forward to providing more specific details around product updates and resources in the weeks ahead.

Thank you for all of your work as an Instacart shopper.

Instacart

Instacart

Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 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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