How accessing batches works at Instacart

How accessing batches works at Instacart

Tips to help you find work, when and where you want

Know what to expect when you’re online

When you go online, the Shopper app can help you stay informed on what can impact your chances of seeing batches. Maintain a 4.7 customer rating or above to see batches minutes before shoppers with a lower than 4.7 rating. To help you get a batch faster, the app shows you busy stores which are indicated by the color around the store and the estimated time to see a batch. Red is the busiest, followed by orange.

Shoppers who are closer to the store will see batches before shoppers who are further away. When you get close enough to a store, a highlighted area will appear meaning you’re among the first shoppers to see batches from that store. In the highlighted area, shoppers who qualify for priority access—a Diamond Cart shopper or a new shopper on the first 10 batches—will see batches first.

Tip for shoppers:

See which days and hours pay more per batch using peak earning times. Keep an eye on areas with high shopper demand so you can plan your day. Learn more about how earning with Instacart works.

Batch access summary

Batch access summary

Here are the 3 key areas that impact your access to batches when you’re online:


Make sure you have a strong GPS signal and good internet connection for the Shopper app to work properly.


Increase your chances of getting a batch more quickly by locating and moving toward busy stores.


Your rating needs to be 4.7 or above to qualify for prioritization of batches when they become available. A rating below 4.7 means you’ll see a batch a few minutes after shoppers who have a 4.7 rating or above. Ratings don’t impact new shoppers on the first 10 batches.

Priority access to batches is available to certain shoppers when inside a store's highlighted area—shoppers who have achieved Diamond Cart status and new shoppers on the first 10 batches. Learn about Cart Star and Diamond Cart qualification.

Batch types that can be available to you

Batch types that can be available to you

Frequently asked questions

How close do I need to be to the store?

Batches from a store are made available to shoppers based on their proximity to that store. The closer you are to a store, the more likely you are to see a batch from that store. You’re close enough to a store when a highlighted area appears around the store.

Once you’re inside the highlighted area, there is no benefit to getting closer to the store. All shoppers in the highlighted area will see batches from that store before shoppers outside of the highlighted area. Shoppers inside the highlighted area all have an equal chance of seeing a batch from the store—but shoppers with priority access will see batches first within a store’s highlighted area.

How are new shoppers affected by priority access and ratings?

To help new shoppers get started and learn how the Shopper app works, they are given priority access on their first 10 batches when inside a store’s highlighted area.

Customer ratings also do not impact shoppers on their first 10 batches. If a shopper does not have a customer rating after completing 10 batches, we assume a 5-star rating until the first rating is given. After 10 batches, shoppers with a 4.7 rating or above will see batches before shoppers with below a 4.7 rating. New shoppers complete about 5% of batches delivered.

Why might I see different batches than another nearby shopper?

There are several factors that impact how we make batches available to shoppers:

  • Shoppers with a 4.7 rating or above will see batches before shoppers with below a 4.7 rating.

  • Shoppers who are closer to a store will see batches before shoppers who are further away.

  • Shoppers with priority access within a store’s highlighted area will see batches first from that store.

  • Shoppers within a store’s highlighted area, but without priority access will see batches before shoppers outside the store’s highlighted area. These shoppers all have the same chance of seeing an available batch.

  • Batches that include alcohol, prescriptions, bulky items, or 50+ lbs of heavy items (items weighing 8+ lbs) are only available to shoppers who are certified for or have opted into these deliveries.

These factors are used to surface batches to a few shoppers at a time and if a batch is not accepted, we will make the batch available to additional shoppers.

Why do I see batches that are so far from me?

Shoppers who are close to a store will see available batches before shoppers who are far away. However, if there are no shoppers near the store, we will offer the batch to shoppers who are farther away. We take into account the expected distance the shopper has to drive to the store once they accept a batch.

How can I maximize my access to batches?

You can access more batches by completing certifications or opting in to be eligible for bulky item, alcohol, prescription, and heavy batch deliveries. Additionally, have an active physical payment card as some stores require one at checkout. Tap the Account tab at the bottom of the app, select “Batch eligibility” to see which steps you can take to access more batches.

What do I do if my device has no internet connection or poor GPS signal?

If you are struggling to get cellular signal in a store, check to see if the store offers free wifi. You will be unable to get batches until your internet connection is restored. If your internet or GPS signal are weak, you will need to move to an area with better signal.

How are ratings distributed on shop-only or deliver-only batches?

If the batch was a shop-only or a deliver-only batch, how the rating is applied depends on the rating the customer gave:

  • 5-star rating: Both the shopper who shopped the order in store and the shopper who delivered the order will receive a 5-star rating

  • Rating under 5 stars: The rating is applied based on customer feedback about the 1-4 star rating. We will use the feedback to apply the rating to the relevant shopper. For example, if the feedback was about a poor replacement, the rating would be applied to the shopper who shopped the order, not the shopper who delivered it. If the customer doesn’t provide any feedback with the rating, the rating won’t be applied to either shopper.

How do ratings work?

Shoppers who have a 4.7 or above maintain prioritization to batches. If a shopper’s rating falls below 4.7, they’ll see a batch a few minutes after shoppers who have a 4.7 rating or above see it.

We drop ratings from customers who have given fewer than 5 stars on their last 3 orders. As part of a community built on best intent, it’s important that customers recognize the effort and care shoppers provide and assume the best of their shoppers.

We also drop a low rating if there is severe weather, low inventory at the store, or if we receive multiple reports of the customer giving consistently low ratings, or our systems detect customer fraud.

How does Instacart estimate time to get a batch when you arrive at the store or store busyness?

Estimated time to get a batch and busy stores you see are personalized based on aspects of your shopper profile and demand at stores nearby. This means the recommendations in your app are specific to you and may be different for other shoppers. Estimates take effect once inside a highlighted area, and at least 85% of shoppers that move there get batches from a nearby store in this time. To maintain an accurate experience, estimates are refreshed frequently and updated as demand changes.