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How Does Instacart Pickup Work?

By Ferdi Vol
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Instacart has been the source of trust for grocery shopping for nearly a decade. Home delivery and pickup options are preferred by many due to hard and fast lifestyles. But while the former one may always not be available; pickup is always an option. Instacart pickup was recently introduced in 2018. So, as a consumer, there's a lot to learn about the process.

For home delivery you have to be at home. But Instacart pickup works the way you want. You do your shopping on their website. Before checkout, select the pickup option and choose your desired pickup time. The retailer will let you know once your order is ready to pick up and how to collect them. Simply follow the instructions and there shouldn’t be any trouble.

If you are a regular customer of Instacart, or even if you are not; you would want to avail the pickup service more often than not. You need to know How Does Instacart Pickup Work in order to ensure a hassle-free pickup, both for you and the shopper handing over you the items. I recommend you read this article to avoid any inconvenient situation.

Instacart Pickup: How it Works?

In the busy metro life, there is hardly any time to go shopping. Lurking in the aisle and choosing products one after another is time consuming. It is also tiresome especially for job holders and working mothers. A step-by-step breakdown of how it works will help you drastically and ease up your shopping experience. Here it goes:

Step 1

Open the Instacart app on your phone. You can use the app from your iOS or android device, or windows pc. Using the app from a mobile device is recommended because you won't carry a laptop with you all the way to the pickup point. If location is turned on in your device, the app will automatically detect your location and suggest available stores there.

If location is turned off, you will have to manually enter your location. Then login with your account. If they are not available in your desired location there will be a message on the webpage.

Step 2

On the next page, there will be lists of available retailers that have collaboration with Instacart. Note that not all retailers offer pickup service. Below the name of every retailer, whether they provide pickup service is mentioned. Pick the one that offers pick up service.

Step 3

Select whether you want delivery or pickup from the next page. It is located below the search bar, slightly to the right. You will be prompted to choose a pickup location after you select pick up. Choose a pickup location that is suitable for you. If you forget to choose pickup, don’t worry. You can still opt for pickup after you are done shopping and checked out.

Step 4

You are all good to go shopping. Note that there is a minimum amount for you to be eligible for pickup. Also, there is a certain amount after which pickup or delivery will be free of cost. Complete your shopping and go to checkout.

Step 5

On the next page you have to select a suitable pickup time. Then some other information like name, phone number is required. Fill in your credit card information and complete payment. Then you can select ‘place pickup order’. Until you submit payment, the ‘place pickup order’ button will remain grey colored and cannot be pressed.

Step 6

You are all done. You will be shortly notified that your order is ready to pick up. You will have to park at the dedicated parking place if any. You can also give some information about your car like color or license plate etc. But this is optional. When you are finally there, call the delivery man from the app.

All of these steps summarize the pickup procedure of Instacart. If you properly follow these steps there shouldn’t be any problem to perfectly pick up your items.

Stores Supporting Instacart Pickup

Since Instacart began its journey in 2012, they have continued to grow their business. They were centered in San Francisco but continued to cover more states as years went by. In 2017 they extended their business to Canada. Their first location in Canada was in Toronto and Vancouver. By 2020 they are operating in over 5500 cities in the USA.

However, their pickup service which was introduced in 2017 is not available all over the country. Only a selected retailer has chosen to provide pickup service to their customers. Initially in 2017 they only collaborated with big names like Cub Foods, Food Lion, Price Chopper etc. The pickup service was limited to 200 stores in Atlanta, Boston, Nashville etc. among others.

By 2020 Instacart pickup was available in 1500 stores spreading across 30 states. This was possible due to collaboration of nearly fifty major grocery retailers like Schnucks Market, Gelson’s Markets, Wegmans Food Markets, Shop ‘n Save, Price Chopper etc. It has greatly increased the efficiency of pickup service which is the primary goal of Instacart.

Good news for consumers, this is not where Instacart pickups journey ends. Their goal is to offer Instacart pickup service in all 50 states by the end of 2020. Instacart pickups commercial success is considered to be the sole contributor to this venture. A survey showed that a retailer's 20 percent of total sales comes from pickup service.

Instacart Pickup Fee: Is It Cheaper Than Home Delivery?

Instacart charges three types of fees from its customers which may seem unusual for many customers. These fees are service fee, delivery fee and pickup fee. The delivery fee and the pickup fee is no alien term but what is the service fee you might wonder.

Instacart has a fixed delivery fee. For orders of 35 dollars more and same day delivery, the home delivery starts from 3.99 dollars. It will increase depending on the amount and weight of total order, number of packets etc. For orders below 35 dollars and instant delivery the delivery charge varies.

The pickup order is also the same as the delivery fee. It starts from 3.99 dollars for orders over 35 dollars and increases depending on the amount. It may seem a bit costly compared to home delivery because you are basically picking up from the store. The fee may vary depending on peek or off-peak hour, or if you choose to pick up earlier than the due time.

Service fee is a different type of fee exclusive to Instacart. It is 5 percent of the total order. It helps them to improve overall quality of customer service and many more. Don’t confuse tips. Service fee does not go to the delivery man or the shopper. Instead, it is spent for the betterment of Instacart. On the other hand, 100 percent of tips go to the delivery man.

Instacart offers membership to its customers. The membership fee is 9.99 dollars monthly or 99.99 dollars annually after a 19 percent discount. This membership comes with lots of benefits. Delivery or pickup is free for membership owners. Service fee goes down to as low as 1.9 percent as well. Also, there is no additional cost for delivery in rush hour.

Compared to other supermarkets, the delivery fee may seem a bit higher.

Benefits of Instacart Pickup

There are a few benefits of Instacart pickups over home delivery. These benefits are not limited to the customers only, these apply to the retailer as well. That’s the reason why it has gained popularity so quickly. I am going to discuss some of those benefits below:

Hassle Free Product Receiving

In case of home delivery there can be quite a lot of problems. The delivery man may find it difficult to pinpoint your location. Also, there are some apartment complexes that are nothing short of a maze. Gaining entry and finding your door may feel next to impossible. Sometimes the delivery may delay due to heavy traffic.

As far as Instacart pickup is concerned, it omits almost all of the downsides of home delivery. The delivery man does not have to find your doorstep and you won't have to wait for him impatiently. There is a prefixed place that you both know. You know when you are arriving there. Just make a call and the product will be delivered to your car.

Even if you are delayed for some reason, there is nothing to worry about. Your items are kept in perfect condition before they are in your hand. Temperature, moisture everything is maintained as if they are not sold yet.

Get Urgent Products Fast

When it comes to urgent shopping in a busy moment, nothing can beat Instacart's pickup. Suppose you are at the office and forgot to pick the steak meat that you planned for dinner. If you stop by a super shop when returning home, that will take a minimum of thirty minutes. As for home delivery, you are not at home to receive it. Also no one would want to receive steak meat at her office.

With Instacart pickup, you can place orders and choose a pickup time that corresponds to the time you return home. Take your item on your way home and that’s it. With a few extra bucks you can win your race against time. It's worth every penny.

Saves Time and Energy

Wandering around the supermarket, combing isles after isles is not only time consuming but also drains the energy you got left. After a busy day at the office or your business, it is exhausting to go grocery shopping even for a few items. Supermarkets these days are so big you might feel you are lost in a labyrinth.

Finding the right product can waste a lot of time. Yes, they are divided specifically according to class. But even then, choosing the right brand, picking up from shelf and putting them back; all of these activities can feel laborious. Waiting in long queues to pay the bill is just the final nail in the coffin.

With Instacart pickup, you can choose your desired items from the palm of your hands. Plus, you have the freedom to choose the place and time of pick up according to your comfort. Also, you can pay with your credit card so bye long queues. Instacart has dedicated parking space for pickup customers so you don’t have to worry about parking tickets.

Boosts sales

Pickup is easy and more comfortable than delivery. Which is why customers often develop the tendency to order more than they need as they are doing it from the comfort of their homes. When they physically go shopping, stamina and time plays a major role in the amount of their purchase.

Since it's tiring, customers want to get out of there and reach home as soon as possible. It is exactly the opposite when shopping for pickup. Customers get all the time in the world to scroll through different types of products. Also, often there are various discount offers or coupons available for pick-ups.

So naturally customers purchase more than they need to make the most out of the discount offers and what not. Customers' shopping cart tends to be 15 percent bigger on average when shopping for pickup. Also, pickup sales make 20 percent of the total sales figure of Instacart. So, it is crystal clear that pickup directly facilitates sales boost.

How Does Pickup Service Benefit Instacart? 

You might be wondering how a pickup service actually benefits Instacart. Well, in various ways actually. Or not why would Instacart along with so many other online grocery delivery services and stores adopt this marketing technique.

Here’s how Pickups benefit Instacart - 

More Deals With Retailers 

Customers actually arriving at the store to pick up their order allows them to be exposed to other products they might have not thought about buying. Surely, we’ve all experienced the tempting call of a bag of chips on store shelves. 

This is a great way for retailers to boost their sales which increases the appeal of Instacart and lands them more deals with local shops. 

No shipping charge 

No shipping charge is a great thing on both ends of a purchase. Both the seller and the buyer are saving money. And so is Instacart. 

Attract more users 

Based on individual situations and preferences many people like deliveries and many like pickups. Just like some people liking fast food drive through over home delivery. Simply providing options to buyers allow Instacart to attract more customers and eventually make more profit.

So, now you probably have realized how does Instacart pickup work and how beneficial it is on both the consumer, seller and Instacart’s parts. I hope you found your answer in this article. Thanks for stopping by.

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About the Grocery Store Academy
The Grocery Store Academy is a blog about everything that has to do with grocery stores. This is your #1 spot to find the right information for your needs.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has worked several years in a grocery store and has a passion for good food. He's happy to share his passion with you!
About Ferdi Vol
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