How Instacart Works
- Research @ Instacart
- Getting started with Instacart
- Service areas
- Delivery hours
- Stores we deliver from
- Create your account
- Instacart Express
- Who does the shopping?
- Instacart Gift Cards
- Delivery for the office
- Refer friends and save!
- About Accessibility
- Become an Instacart shopper
- Careers at Instacart
- Terms of Service
- Instacart Community Guidelines for Customers
- Submit a manufacturer brand image
- Press inquiries
- Legal Process and Information Requests
At Instacart, we’re focused on making grocery shopping as painless as possible. To help improve the Instacart experience, we conduct user research with both customers and shoppers to better understand what works and what doesn’t.
Feedback from both customers and shoppers directly inform our decisions. On top of contributing to the future of Instacart, we offer rewards to those who participate. Customers will receive discounts off future order(s) and shoppers will get a shopper bump deposited directly to the Instacart Shopper app. We know your time is valuable and appreciate you spending it with us to improve Instacart.
Types of user research—
- Video interviews
- Unmoderated studies where we ask you to record your screen as you complete certain tasks on Instacart.
- In-person shop-alongs where we accompany shoppers as you pick groceries and complete deliveries.
What's the time commitment?
Our surveys usually take around five minutes, and a video interview may take an hour. It all depends on the research initiative and how we’d like to get your feedback.
Who works on the research team?
We have a number of people on the Research @ Instacart team, but you can generally expect to receive research invitations from firstname.lastname@example.org.
I signed up to participate in a video interview. Now what?
Please find a quiet, private place with stable internet to respond to the questions. Interviews normally take between 30 - 90 minutes, depending on the research study.
Am I allowed to discuss user research with others?
Shopper participants sign an NDA prior to the study. We may share proprietary information during the sessions (e.g. unreleased designs)—it’s important not to discuss the specifics of your study with others.
Interested in participating?
We reach out directly to eligible customers and shoppers via email about potential research studies. We’ll ask you to sign a consent form prior to your research session where you agree to allow Instacart to use your feedback to improve the platform. If the study is a video interview, we provide a link where you can schedule a time to chat with our research team.
Getting started with Instacart
Getting started with Instacart
Save yourself that trip to the market — Instacart delivers groceries in as little as an hour! We connect you with Personal Shoppers in your area to shop and deliver groceries from your favorite stores.
Shopping with Instacart is easy!
|1. Shop your favorite local grocery stores|
2. Schedule a delivery
Have your groceries delivered in as little as an hour! You can also have them delivered later in the day or week.
|3. Get groceries delivered to you!|
Shop through Instacart, pickup at store.
With our Pickup option, you shop on Instacart, choose a pickup time, then pick up your groceries at the store! Available at select locations.
Instacart serves households across the United States — and we’re always growing. Let an Instacart shopper handle your grocery list for you sometime soon.
Instacart’s delivery and pickup services are available in thousands of cities globally. To see if that includes your area—
Visit our locations page.
Enter your ZIP code.
Instacart doesn't deliver to me
Although Instacart is available in many cities across the U.S. and Canada, we’re not everywhere just yet. However, we could be coming to your area soon!
To be notified when we start serving your ZIP code—
- Visit our locations page.
- Enter your ZIP code.
- Click “Get notified when we expand to your area” and sign up for updates.
Instacart Shoppers shop local stores in your area. To see which stores are available to you, visit our locations page. From there, select your state or scroll down to see a list of available areas. Selecting the area name displays a list of available stores in that area.
Adding new stores
Our delivery windows start as early as 9am and run as late as midnight, depending on your local store hours. Delivery hours are subject to store operating hours, including holidays.
You can view available delivery times for your store from the store page and shopping cart.
How quickly can you deliver to me?
Many customers choose to have delivery in the next 2 hours, while others opt to schedule their delivery up to 6 days in advance.
Stores we deliver from
Instacart Shoppers shop from local stores in your area.
Visit our locations page. Select your state, or scroll down to see a list of available areas.
Selecting the area name will display a list of stores we deliver from in that area.
How often do you add new stores?
We actively pursue opportunities to offer new stores on the Instacart marketplace, and will continue to grow in the coming months. You can subscribe to Sales and Marketing updates to be notified via email if we start shopping at a new store; or follow us on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook.
Instacart is an independent business and is not necessarily affiliated with, or endorsed or sponsored by specific retailers mentioned on this website.
Create your account
You can create an account by visiting instacart.com! Use your email address, Google, or Facebook authentication to sign up.
How many accounts can I have?
Only one personal account is permitted per person or household. Secondary accounts used for business purposes are acceptable.
Accounts are not limited to one delivery address, or even one area! Entering a new delivery address when you log in will provide you with store options for that area.
Use of any account you create will be subject to our Terms of Service.
Instacart Express is a membership option for customers who want to use Instacart regularly. For a flat annual cost or a low monthly fee, you can enjoy unlimited free deliveries* on all orders over $35.
Instacart Express benefits
Instacart Express members enjoy exclusive benefits on every order—
- $0 delivery fees on orders of $35 or more (typically $3.99-$7.99 for non-Express)
- Reduced service fees (typically 5% for non-Express)*
- No busy pricing fees during peak delivery hours
- Shop at a variety of stores with free delivery on the entire order
*The service fee covers a broad range of operating costs including shopper operations, insurance, background checks, and Instacart Care.
Instacart Express membership and renewal
You can enjoy an Instacart Express membership and pay either monthly or annually. Terms for both membership types are shared when you sign up. Memberships automatically renew year to year or month to month (depending upon your membership term), unless you make changes in your account.
- Annual memberships are billed each year on the same date.
- Monthly memberships are charged each month on the same day.
*Note: This membership does not give you faster delivery or earlier time slots than other customers. Likewise, membership with Instacart Express does not guarantee that specific delivery slots will be available for a given delivery. Service fees, special handling fees, and/or tips may still apply.
For full terms and conditions, please visit the Instacart Express Terms and Conditions.
Who does the shopping?
Instacart Personal Shoppers fulfill your orders from the store you've chosen. Your Personal Shopper will pick your produce, carefully select all your items, and handle any items that are out of stock.
We Know Produce
Personal Shoppers handpick your produce at the store. You can even leave a note for your Personal Shopper about ripeness.
Personal Shoppers go out of their way to select the best available items. They pay close attention to expiration dates and carefully handle delicate items like eggs and bottles.
If an item you order is out of stock, your Personal Shopper will make an appropriate replacement and contact you to verify it.
Instacart Gift Cards
Make someone's day by giving the gift of home grocery delivery!
You can purchase and send an Instacart Gift Card right from your account:
- Double check to make sure we deliver to the person you're buying the gift card for! Visit our service area page and enter their zip code.
- On a computer, log into your Instacart account
- Select Account > Buy Gift Card
- In the Amount section, select the amount for the gift card
- Select your payment method
- In the To field, enter the email address of the recipient.*
- Personalize your card with a message, if you’d like.
When you're ready to buy the gift card, click the green Purchase button
Your recipient will receive an email with instructions on how to use their Instacart Gift Card.
* Note: the Gift Card will only apply to an account with a matching email address. If the recipient does not have an Instacart account, they will need to create one. You may want to confirm the recipient’s Instacart account email before purchase.
Instacart Gift Card is issued by Maplebear Inc. dba Instacart. The Gift Card is non-expiring and no fees related to its use are imposed. Use of the gift card is subject to the Terms of Service of Instacart and cannot be used to purchase alcohol products or other gift cards. Gift Card valid only in the United States and can only be used with one Instacart account. Gift Card may not be sold, copied, modified, or transferred, reloaded, or redeemed for cash, except to the extent required by law. Instacart reserves the right to void Gift Cards (including as a component of your Gift Card balance), close customer accounts, and bill alternative forms of payment if Instacart suspects that a Gift Card is obtained, used, or applied to an Instacart account fraudulently, unlawfully, or otherwise in violation of these terms and Instacart's Terms of Service. Instacart is not a retailer or seller. Instacart may not be available in all zip codes. Gift Card balance may be checked in the Instacart account it is used with or via Instacart Care.
Delivery for the office
Shop for the office without leaving your desk! Instacart offers same-day delivery or advanced scheduling for weekly supplies or special events.
When placing an office or other commercial delivery order, we recommend you add the following information in the delivery instructions:
- Your building/floor/suite information
- Name and phone number for the delivery contact (if different than the account number and/or name on account)
- On-site or nearby parking information
Security requirements for building or parking entry
We also recommend you alert your security/desk agent/loading dock security before delivery.
For help adding delivery instructions to your order, click here
How do I obtain a Certificate of Insurance for my business deliveries?
To inquire about a Certificate of Insurance (COI), please contact Instacart Care. Be sure to include your COI requirements in your message.
Refer friends and save!
Send your friends Instacart credit and earn Instacart credit. You can refer friends by email, Facebook, Twitter and more. To see all of the options:
In the app:
- Tap the Account icon
- Tap Invite Friends
- Connect your contacts by tapping Invite your contacts, OR
- Share your referral link by tapping Share with...
On a computer
- Log in and click Account
- In the drop down menu, click Your account
- On the account page, tap Refer your friends
- Share your referral information via link, social media, or entering the email address of your invitee.
You can refer up to 5 friends. The referral credit will appear once their first delivery is complete.
Some restrictions may apply. Please see our Terms page for more information.
Instacart is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities. To ensure that our platform is available to the broadest possible audience, we build to the following guidelines:
We have taken the necessary steps to optimize Instacart.com, native applications, and applicable "Powered by Instacart" sites for WCAG 2.0 A & AA accessibility guidelines. Additionally, all platforms are continuously tested to ensure content is accessible to the broadest possible audience.
If you have comments concerning this website’s accessibility, please contact us at the email address email@example.com
If you experience immediate difficulty navigating the website and require additional assistance, please call (888) 317-8968. Please note that we will be unable to take credit card information over the phone.
Careers at Instacart
Instacart is always looking for great additions to our shopper community and corporate teams—
Terms of Service
Access our Terms of Service here.
Instacart Community Guidelines for Customers
As an Instacart customer, you play an integral role in ensuring that we cultivate and preserve an environment built on a foundation of Safety, Respect, and Integrity for everyone on the platform.
Safety: Safety is our first priority. Every individual should feel comfortable, safe, and secure using the Instacart platform. We do not permit any activity that could create unsafe conditions or cause harm to others.
To ensure the highest levels of safety on the platform, we reserve the right to investigate and take action on any instances including, but not limited to, the following:
- Acts of violence or aggression including, but not limited to assault, violence/threats of violence, aggressive gestures, battery, abusive or threatening mental or verbal treatment, harassment, etc.
- Sexual conduct of any kind involving customers, contractors, or employees of retailers or Instacart while receiving or facilitating services on the platform.
- Brandishing a weapon while receiving services unless state law expressly prohibits this restriction.
- Failure to verify your identity while receiving services on the platform.
- Demanding shoppers enter a residence. Instacart shoppers are expected to deliver groceries to the customer at their desired address, but are never expected or required to enter the residence of a customer and reserve the right to decline the request.
Respect: From the aisles of the grocery store to customers’ doors and everywhere in between, we strive to create and maintain a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment for everyone, at all times. Our expectation is simple: treat others the way you want to be treated.
As part of our continuous effort to promote respect on the platform, we reserve the right to investigate and take action on any instances including, but not limited to, the following:
- Discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, sexual orientation, mental/physical condition or disability, age, profession, national origin or any other basis protected under applicable law.
- Vulgar, inappropriate, intrusive, harassing, abusive or unwanted language of any kind towards others, whether verbal or written. This includes, but is not limited to, asking overly personal questions of customers, contractors, retailer employees or Instacart employees. Please note: Contact information between shoppers and customers is anonymized when interacting through the Instacart app. You do not need to share your personal phone number or email. The Instacart app should not be used to communicate for issues other than order items, the status of an order, or the manner of delivery.
- Unwanted physical contact or sexual conduct of any kind involving contractors, retail employees, or Instacart employees while receiving services.
- Intentional property damage or vandalism of any kind.
- Creating disturbances for the surrounding public (e.g. neighbors, co-workers, store employees, security guards, etc).
Integrity: Trust is a key ingredient in our recipe for success as a community. We expect all members of the Instacart community to be honest and to represent and conduct themselves in a way that fosters trust across the platform.
As part of our continuous effort to promote integrity on the platform, we reserve the right to investigate and take action on any instances including, but not limited to, the following:
- Violation of any local, state, or federal laws while engaging with the Instacart platform.
- Engaging in spam or phishing-related activity.
- Abuse and/or manipulation of referral, coupon, or appeasement offerings, loyalty programs, etc.
- Encouraging others to participate in fraud or to disrupt the integrity of the platform.
- Misrepresentation of identity/contact information or providing false information to internal teams during delivery.
- Instances of theft.
- Sharing or distributing personal information of customers, shoppers, retailers or Instacart employees. This includes taking screenshots of the Instacart app while displaying personally identifiable or sensitive information.
- Unauthorized use of Instacart’s trademark or intellectual property.
- Providing inaccurate or fraudulent information to Instacart during the sign-up process or otherwise.
- Holding duplicate accounts.
The Community Guidelines above are not comprehensive and Instacart reserves the right to suspend or deactivate customer, shopper or retailer accounts for other reasons as deemed necessary in Instacart’s reasonable and good faith business judgment to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the platform.
If your customer account has been deactivated and you have new information or evidence to show it was in error, please submit your evidence through the form found here.
Submit a manufacturer brand image
We strive to provide customers with accurate and high quality images for all products listed on Instacart.
Our retailers set our assortment, but we are always collecting new photos and content for our stores. If you are a brand with images you'd like to share with Instacart, please use this form.
Content is regularly updated within eight business days. However, product content will only be displayed if the products are currently listed in our retailer assortments and if the content meets our guidelines listed in the form. Instacart cannot guarantee the use of your image or addition of your product to our catalog and does not provide confirmation of usage.
Legal Process and Information Requests
This page is intended to provide guidelines when seeking records from Instacart. Information on this page may change from time to time and is intended for informational purposes only.
What is Instacart?
Maplebear Inc. (d/b/a Instacart) is a technology company that utilizes a proprietary communications and logistics platform to facilitate quick, on-demand grocery delivery services across the United States and Canada by connecting users with personal shoppers. Instacart partners with local retailers who wish to have their products available on Instacart’s platform for delivery to customers, and engages with independent contractors who provide personal shopping and delivery services. Instacart is not a retailer.
What information is maintained by Instacart?
What legal process does Instacart require before producing information?
We generally require that all legal documents be served on our registered agent for service of process in compliance with applicable laws. The name and current contact information for the registered agent in each state are available online here.
We do not accept service of legal documents through email unless you have received direct written consent from the legal department.
We are unable to process overly broad, vague, or unduly burdensome requests. Accordingly, we will only consider requests that are narrowly tailored and comply with applicable laws.
We ask that your request include the following:
- All known email addresses, names, and aliases of the subject about whom you seek information, and/or all known physical addresses and telephone numbers of the subject.
- The specific information that you’re requesting, why you’re requesting this information, and how the information you are requesting pertains to your investigation.
- The applicable law under which you have the legal authority to request the information and clear identification that the request is confidential and for legal purposes only.
Third Party Requests
We require service of a valid subpoena in compliance with applicable law prior to releasing any information on users or personal shoppers, unless the legal department has given authorization to provide the information requested to the requesting party. All third party subpoenas must be served through our registered agent for service of process.
Alternatively, service can be effected on Instacart’s registered agent for service of process in California: Maplebear Inc. d/b/a Instacart, c/o Cogency Global Inc., 1325 J Street, Suite 1550, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Law Enforcement Requests
Law enforcement representatives can contact us at LER@instacart.com with legal process or emergency requests. Instacart does not waive proper service. If you are not law enforcement personnel, any emails sent to this alias will not be returned or forwarded.