How Instacart works

You’re busy, so every minute counts. Let us connect you with Shoppers in your area to shop and deliver items from your favorite stores in as fast as an hour. It’s just that easy.

Check out this step-by-step video guide to create your account and place your first order on Instacart.

Shop your favorite markets

Instacart partners with the most popular national and regional retailers such as Albertsons, ALDI, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Loblaw, Publix, Sam's Club, Sprouts, and Wegmans, among others. The Instacart marketplace offers more than 300 retailers and trusted local grocers that customers love.

Shop from your favorite national and regional grocers with your computer or mobile device.

Schedule delivery

Schedule delivery for as fast as an hour, or for later in the day or week to fit your schedule.  

Delivery windows start as early as 9am and run as late as midnight. Check local store hours. Delivery hours are subject to store operating hours, which includes holidays.

Get your groceries

Meet your Shopper at your door to get your groceries. 

The Instacart platform also offers a pickup option. You simply shop on Instacart’s website or app, select a pickup time, then pick up your groceries at the store. Available at select locations.

Where we deliver

Instacart serves households across the United States — and we’re always growing. Let an Instacart shopper handle your grocery list for you sometime soon.

Service areas

Instacart’s delivery and pickup services are available in thousands of cities globally. To see if that includes your area—

  1. Visit our locations page.
  2. 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—

  1. Visit our locations page.
  2. Enter your ZIP code.
  3. Click “Get notified when we expand to your area” and sign up for updates.

Available stores

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

We’re always adding new stores you can order from. To stay in the loop as we add more stores, subscribe to Sales and Marketing email updates, or follow Instacart on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Food safety

Food safety and quality is a top priority at Instacart. We make sure that all shoppers are well-equipped with knowledge to make sure your food is properly picked and maintained at all stages of the shopping process. 

Educating shoppers on food safety

We help prepare shoppers to safely handle and transport food with an interactive Food Safety Walkthrough and a Shopper Food Safety Requirements and Best Practices guide. Shoppers learn to look for the freshest possible items and pay special attention to expiration dates, broken seals, and the quality of fresh produce.

Storing food properly

Orders that are placed for a later delivery may get shopped in advance and delivered by another shopper. We make sure that all items are maintained in temperature-controlled fridges and freezers at the store until the driver arrives. 

We’ve also implemented the use of insulated bags and coolers to make sure your items stay at the correct temperature while in transit from the store to you.

Instacart health and safety update

The health and safety of the entire Instacart community is always our top priority. We’ve made a number of health and safety updates related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and introduced new service options available on the Instacart platform.

Safely delivering your groceries and household essentials

We’re working closely with national and local authorities, as well as health and safety experts, to actively monitor national health situations and ensure we operate safely and with minimal disruption to service. We provide recommended Health and Safety Guidelines and have shared them with the shopper community to ensure they take the appropriate precautions to safely deliver your order.

Leave at My Door Delivery option

The Leave at My Door Delivery option gives you more flexibility in choosing how you receive groceries. Simply check the box for Leave at My Door Delivery at checkout. You can leave additional instructions for your shopper and receive a photo confirmation once your groceries have been delivered.

Supporting the shopper community

We recently introduced a number of guidelines, resources, and investments to further support the health and safety of all Instacart shoppers. These include updated health and safety guidelines, a new sick pay policy for all in-store shoppers nationwide, and extended pay for any Instacart shopper affected by COVID-19.

Saying thank you to your shopper

The Instacart shopper community serves as household heroes for families nationwide. When you order, please consider tipping above and beyond to reflect the extra effort of your shopper during this busy time.

Health and safety impacts

When large-scale, national events happen, mass purchasing heavily impacts the grocery industry. To help us better respond, Instacart put some additional measures in place—

  • Low-stock mode for more retailers
  • Tighter availability
    • Some products—such as hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, rice, water, and cold medicine—may be running low. Instacart continuously updates availability to ensure you’re notified of any order changes or updates in real-time. 
  • Item purchase limit
    • Some of Instacart’s retail partners have put item purchase limits in place for certain products on the marketplace. Attempting to add more than the purchase limit for these items automatically resets the selection to the maximum limit and lets you know you’ve exceeded the purchase limit.

For the latest information on precautions you can take, please visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website for the U.S. or the Government of Canada website for Canada.

Product recalls

For the most recent product recalls, market withdrawals, and safety alerts, please refer to the following government websites—

Sign up for an account

Create an Instacart account by visiting our website. Sign up now with your email address, Google, or Facebook authentication. You can also download the Instacart app on iOS or Android devices.

Can I have two or more accounts?

Instacart allows only one personal account per person or household. However, you may use a secondary account for business purposes.

Accounts aren’t limited to one delivery address, or even one ZIP code. Entering a new delivery address when you log in will show you more store options for that area.

Use of any Instacart account is subject to our Terms of Service.

Gift cards

We love when customers want to give the gift of Instacart to a friend or family member! You can give a gift card to anyone who has access to Instacart services in their area. Once you’ve established that your recipient has access to Instacart services, it’s easy to purchase a gift card from your account on a computer. If your recipient doesn’t already have an Instacart account, they’ll need to create one using the email address you use for the gift card. They can then redeem the gift card from their account.

Purchasing a gift card

Gift cards are easy to purchase and send directly from your account on our website.

  1. Visit the service area page and enter your recipient’s zip code to make sure we deliver to their area
  2. Select Account > Gift cards
  3. In the Amount section, select the amount for the gift card
  4. Select the payment method
  5. Enter the email address of the recipient in the To field
  6. You can personalize your card with a message 
  7. Click Purchase when you’re ready to buy the gift card

Your recipient will receive an email with instructions on how to use their Instacart gift card.

Redeeming a gift card

You can apply a gift card to your account via a computer.

  1. Log into your Instacart account or create one if you don’t have one yet
  2. Click the link in the email we sent you 
  3. You’re done! Your gift card will be automatically applied to your Instacart account

*Note: Once a gift card is applied to your account, the available credit will automatically be applied to your next order.

View your balance–

  1. Log in and click Account
  2. Select Your Account
  3. In the left hand menu, click Promo Codes
  4. Your available card balance will be listed as an Account Credit

If you didn’t receive an Instacart gift card that was sent to you–

  • Check your email’s Junk or Spam folders
  • Confirm your email address with the sender

If the gift card went to an email address that isn’t associated with your Instacart account, the person who purchased the gift card will need to contact Instacart Care to have the card re-sent to your correct email address.

Instacart Gift Cards are 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, used to purchase other gift cards, or applied towards taxes, fees, and/or tips. Gift Card valid only in the country of purchase 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.

Get help

Let’s talk! We’re here to help.

To let us know about an issue related to a specific order, you can

  • Call 1-888-246-7822
  • On the mobile app or desktop website, select Contact Us at the bottom of any article in the Help Center for live chat.

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.

Work for Instacart

Instacart is always looking for great additions to our shopper community and corporate teams—