Shipt vs. Instacart: Which is the Better Grocery Delivery Service to Work For?

If you love going grocery shopping, why not get paid? Shipt and Instacart are both peer-to-peer, on-demand grocery services, through which customers can order groceries directly to their home. Though they’re similar on their surface, their payments operate differently — and which you’d rather work for will probably depend on your location.

In Brief:  You Probably Want to Work for Both

Like any other peer-to-peer app, you’ll be notified when a job is available, and you’ll have some time to claim it. Many gig workers will sign up for both and use both, so they can pick up jobs as they come in. But if you only want to work for one, which is better?

Shipt tends to be better for a variety of reasons, but which service is busier depends on your location. Despite Shipt having somewhat more worker-friendly structures, it won’t matter if Instacart gets all the business locally.

What’s the Difference Between Shipt and Instacart?

Primarily, it’s the tip out system. Shipt allows for a direct tip out to the individual delivering. Instacart has a split system, where users tip a specific amount (say $5) and that amount will go to a ‘Service Fee’ or a ‘Tip.’ The customer controls how much of their money goes to the Service Fee and how much goes to the Tip, but they may not know the difference.

Thanks to this confusing system, workers on Instacart are more likely to be accidentally stiffed than Shipt. From a consumer standpoint, Instacart tends to inflate its prices more significantly than Shipt in many areas, which can also lead to lower tips and fewer orders.

What Pays More: Shipt or Instacart?

Pay is variable depending on area, but in general, Shipt tends to pay less but tip more and Instacart pays more but tips less. When all figures are considered, Shipt workers report that they make more on Shipt than Instacart, due to the larger number of tips.

Is Shipt or Instacart Busier?

Instacart tends to be busier in major metropolitan areas, while Shipt is still growing. However, Shipt lets you block off the hours that you want to work in advance, whereas Instacart is a little more rigid about when you are able to work. If you have a high rating on either platform, you will get work more frequently. The longer you spend on these platforms (performing well), the more likely you are to be able to make a decent wage.

What About the Platform and App?

In general, gig workers report that they find the Instacart app easier to use and more intuitive, while the Shipt app has had some quality of life improvements in recent months. This is one of the advantages that Instacart has over Shipt.

Should You Sign Up for Shipt or Instacart?

If you want to get started in the world of grocery delivery services, consider starting off with Shipt. It’s more user-friendly and worker-friendly. However, most gig workers are going to end up with both, if both are busy in their area, because it’s easier to make money if you have more options.

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