Looking to figure out how to get more batches on Instacart? You’re not alone.
Instacart is a go-to platform for people wanting to earn money by grocery shopping for others. But let’s be real, sometimes it feels like there are no batches on Instacart today.
Or even if there are, they’re either low-paying or too far away to be worth it.
That’s why we’re here to help you crack the code on how to get more Instacart batches and make your Instacart side hustle more profitable.
Instacart batches are essentially the orders people place through the Instacart app. These batches get assigned to personal shoppers like you, and it’s based on a bunch of stuff.
How these orders are assigned can get tricky. Sometimes, you might find yourself in a dry spell with Instacart no batches coming your way. And that’s a bummer, right?
So, we’ve put together this guide to show you how to get orders on Instacart more often. We’ve got Instacart tips and tricks to help you get those batches first before anyone else grabs them. We’ll also tell you what not to do, so you avoid some common slip-ups that can slow you down.
Plus, we’re throwing in some advice from other Instacart shoppers who have spilled the beans on Reddit and Quora about their own experiences with getting more batches.
By the end of this article, you’ll know how to get more batches on Instacart. That means more money in your pocket and less time staring at your phone wondering why there are no Instacart batches for you today.
Let’s dive in!
What’s a Batch on Instacart
A batch is basically a shopping list you get from a customer through the Instacart app. It includes what they want to buy, where you can find it, and where you need to drop it off.
You can see these batches in your Instacart Shopper app, including all the details you need, like how many items, how long it will probably take, and how much you’ll make, including the tip.
Different Kids of Instacart Batches
There are several kinds of batches, and knowing how to get Instacart batches first depends on your taste and schedule. Here’s the rundown:
- Full-Service Batch: This is your bread and butter. You do the shopping and the delivery. You’ll get a shopping list on the app, and you can chat with the customer if you can’t find something. Once you’ve got everything, you’ll use Instacart’s payment card to buy it, bag it up, and take it to the customer’s place. These batches usually pay more.
- Delivery-Only Batch: Ever thought about how to get orders on Instacart without the shopping part? Here, you’re just the delivery person. Another shopper or store employee gets everything ready, and you’ll get a heads-up when it’s time to pick up and drop off.
- Multi-Order Batch: For those asking how to get more Instacart batches in one go, this is for you. You shop for multiple customers at once. Your shopping list will have sections for each customer. You keep their stuff separate, pay for it, and then make your rounds dropping it off.
Different shoppers prefer different types of batches depending upon their personal situation and likes. As these shoppers say:
“I go for delivery-only batches when I can. They’re quick and straightforward. No need to fuss over shopping or payments, just grab and go. It’s how to get more Instacart batches done in a day.”
While this one prefers the full-service orders for high pay potential. “I like the challenge of full-service batches. I enjoy the interaction with the customers and hunting for deals. For me, it’s more rewarding, and I think I make better tips this way.”
A few shoppers like this one are okay with multi-order batches, but I would suggest you refrain from them until you have some experience shopping for Instacart. “Multi-order batches are fine by me, as long as they’re organized and worth the effort. I use different carts for each customer and make sure I deliver in the right order.”
Why Worry About Batches?
Batches are your ticket to higher earnings. The more batches you snag and complete, the more money you’ll have in your pocket.
However, all batches are not created equal. There’s a bit of strategy involved in choosing which batches to accept. Consider the following things when deciding to accept a batch.
- Instacart Payment: This is what Instacart will pay you, tip aside. Bigger and more complex batches usually pay more.
- Customer Tip: The tip can make or break a batch. Usually, the larger the order and the better the service, the higher the tip. But remember, the tip isn’t set in stone; the customer can change it later.
- Distance: This is how far you’ll have to drive to complete a batch. More driving means more time and gas spent.
These factors can help you be more selective and efficient in grabbing the batches when they appear.
Extra Reading: Does Instacart Pay For Gas?
How Instacart’s Algorithm Assigns Orders
Wondering how to get more Instacart batches or why there are no batches on Instacart today for you but others are busy? How does Instacart decide who gets what batches?
Instacart uses a smart system, an algorithm, that considers multiple things to decide how to get orders on Instacart to you.
The main aim is to make sure customers are happy, shoppers work efficiently, and Instacart makes a profit.
The system is always adapting, learning from things like how busy the stores are, the weather, and how many shoppers are available.
So, how to get Instacart batches first? Understand that the system can be different depending on where you are shopping.
What the Algorithm Looks At
Here’s what matters most when you’re trying to get Instacart batches:
- Shopper Ratings: Customers rate you from 1 to 5 stars. The higher your average rating over your last 100 orders, the more batches you’ll see. If you’re worried about getting a low score unfairly, like for things out of your control (bad weather, out-of-stock items), Instacart has got you covered; they’ll drop your lowest score.
- Shopper Location: Instacart tries to give batches to shoppers close to the store to save time. You can use the in-app heat map to find the busiest spots in your area where you’ll have a higher chance of getting batches.
- Shopper Speed: The faster you shop and deliver, the more or bigger batches you can get. Instacart keeps track of how quickly you handle your last 30 orders to decide this.
- Batch Payment: You’ll see the payment and tip amount before accepting a batch. Orders with better pay are offered to highly-rated shoppers first.
So, if you’re facing Instacart no batches or you’re simply looking for tips on how to get more orders on Instacart, understanding these factors can be your first step to improving your Instacart experience.
These are important points Instacart algo looks at, but they are not all. There are many more things that may be causing slow Instacart for you.
Extra Reading: Best Food Delivery Apps to Work For.
Why You’re Not Getting Instacart Batches
As an Instacart shopper, you understand that getting batches is crucial for making a decent earning.
If you are not getting batches, there might be tens of different reasons. Knowing them can help you sort out this situation if the reason is in your control like your location.
Here are different reasons for getting no orders on Instacart:
- Proximity to Grocery Stores and Hot Spots: If you’re far from grocery stores or busy areas, you’re less likely to get batches.
- Impact of Shopper Ratings: A low shopper rating can put you at the bottom of the list for batch assignments.
- Picking the Wrong Time or Day to Work: Working during off-peak hours or days reduces your batch opportunities.
- Competing with Other Shoppers: High competition in your area means batches get snatched up quickly.
- Ignoring or Not Accepting Batches: Continuously ignoring or rejecting batches may signal the system that you’re less active, affecting future assignments.
- Failing to Follow Shopping and Delivery Best Practices: Poor performance on the job can lead to fewer batches being assigned to you.
- Alcohol Certification and Cooler Bag Approvals: Not having these can limit the types of batches you’re eligible for.
- Software Updates and Phone Settings: Outdated apps or incorrect settings can affect batch notifications and app performance.
- The Role of Internet Connectivity: A weak internet connection can delay or even prevent you from receiving batch notifications.
- App and Account Issues: Sometimes, glitches or account restrictions can prevent you from seeing batches.
- Unfamiliarity with the Platform: If you’re new and still navigating the platform, you might miss out on batches that more experienced shoppers snag.
- Economic Factors and Seasonality: Slower economic times or seasonal fluctuations can reduce the number of available batches.
Another theory of shoppers is that most good orders are fed to the newly recruited Shoppers to motivate them to become loyal to the Instacart app. Once a shopper is regular on Instacart, the orders dry up even for diamond start shoppers with perfect ratings. As this shopper suggests:
Now that you know different reasons for slow Instacart, there are ways to address these concerns.
How to Get More Batches on Instacart
As an Instacart shopper, grabbing more batches is the key to boosting your Instacart weekly earnings.
But what if you encounter issues like “no batches on Instacart today”?
Many shoppers face this issue of no Instacart batches, like the below screenshots:
Here are some actionable steps to help you secure more batches and elevate your Instacart game.
1. Choosing the Right Locations: Hot Spots and Busy Stores
Firstly, it’s all about being in the right place. Instacart highlights high-demand areas on your app’s map as “hot spots.”
These hot spots are bustling zones, usually near stores like Costco, Aldi, or Sprouts, which have tons of orders.
If you hang around within a mile of these hot spots or busy stores, your chances of getting batches on Instacart rise significantly.
As this shopper says, “I always try to stay near the hot spots and the busy stores, and I usually get decent batches throughout the day. Sometimes I have to drive a bit further, but it’s worth it if the pay is good.”
However, being in a hot spot isn’t a guarantee for getting Instacart batches. These areas can change based on customer demand and the number of shoppers around.
So, the hot spot that had plenty of batches today might have no batches on Instacart tomorrow.
2. Elevating Your Shopper Rating To Get More Instacart Batches
The next strategy for snagging more Instacart batches is by enhancing your shopper rating.
A better rating translates to Instacart providing you priority when it comes to showing available batches.
If you find yourself wondering why there are “no Instacart batches” showing up, it may be time to look at your rating.
Customers rate you on a scale of 1 to 5, and these ratings can seriously affect how many batches you see. The higher your rating, the more batches you’ll see first before those with lower ratings.
A rating of 4.7 stars or higher makes a significant difference. Here’s how to go about it:
- Talk to Your Customers: Keep them in the loop while shopping for their orders. A simple greeting can go a long way.
- Quality Matters: Always go for the freshest produce and be mindful of expiration dates. It shows that you care about the service you provide.
- Be Timely and Thoughtful: The devil is in the details. Follow the fastest route, be careful with the groceries, and always follow customer preferences.
As this shopper chimes in, “I noticed a big difference in my batch availability after I improved my rating from 4.6 to 4.9. I started getting more and bigger batches, and more tips too. I think communication is key, and picking quality items too.” – u/HappyShopper456
Reddit user u/Chill_Out_Baby gives his opinion on this, “I have a 4.98 rating and I see batches all day long. I always communicate with the customer and send pictures of replacements. I also always send a thank you message after delivery. It makes a difference.”
If you get an unfair rating, you can try reaching out to Instacart support. Instacart has a ‘ratings forgiveness’ system that removes low ratings that weren’t your fault. Yet, it’s not foolproof. They might remove the rating or give you a bonus, but it’s not a sure thing.
Recently they updated the system and don’t consider ratings from customers who consistently rate the shoppers low (considering the last three orders).
Extra Reading: How to Use Instacart Instant Cashout?
3. Picking the Right Time or Day to Work
Your timing can also impact how to get more batches on Instacart. Instacart batches depend on when customers want deliveries, and these times vary.
As a Reddit user wisely shared, “The best times to take on Instacart batches include evenings during the week (4 PM to 8 PM), and all day on weekends. Sunday is consistently the busiest day of the week.”
But this isn’t one-size-fits-all advice. A Quora user added, “I work 9-6 five days a week. I take Tuesday and Wednesday off. Make between $500-$800 a week. I don’t take anything under $20 and I don’t take anything over 50 items.”
Your best times may vary depending on factors like holidays, bad weather, or special events, which generally increase demand for grocery delivery.
Here is what another Instacart shopper has to say on Reddit, “I always try to work during peak hours, especially on weekends. That’s when I see the most batches and the highest peak boosts. Sometimes I can make $100 in a few hours just by working on a Sunday morning. I also try to work during holidays, bad weather, and special events, as these can increase the demand for grocery delivery.”
To find out the best times for you, check the “best times to shop” button in the Instacart app under available batches. This gives you location-specific data on the best times to deliver for Instacart in your area.
By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of saying, “I know how to get more Instacart batches” instead of “Instacart no batches.”
4. Reducing Competition in Your Area For More Instacart Orders
One of the reasons why you might be experiencing no batches on Instacart today is because of the increasing number of shoppers.
The reality is, you’re not the only one wondering how to get orders on Instacart. Here’s how to stand out:
- Pick Less Saturated Areas: Try zones, suburbs, or smaller towns where fewer shoppers operate.
As this shopper suggested, “I’ve been doing Instacart for about a month now and I’ve learned a lot. One thing that really helps me get more batches is to work in different zones. I live in a big city and some zones are very competitive and have low-paying batches. But if I drive a little bit to a nearby zone, I can find better batches with less competition. It’s worth the extra gas money for me.”
- Work During Off-Peak Hours: Try early mornings, late nights, or weekdays. While you might see fewer batches, you also face less competition.
- Boost Your Ratings: High ratings equal more visibility for batches. So, if you want to stand out from the competition, a higher rating is the easier answer.
As this another shopper commented on Reddit, “I think the most important thing to get more batches is to improve your ratings. Instacart gives priority to shoppers who have high ratings.”
Extra Reading: Best Apps That Pay To Drive.
5. Ignoring Batches Comes with a Cost
Another possible reason for seeing no Instacart batches is your acceptance rate.
When figuring out how to get more orders on Instacart, keep in mind that the platform uses an algorithm to match you with suitable batches.
If you decline or ignore them, this can affect your acceptance rate.
Some speculate this rate might be tied to the quality or number of batches you’re offered.
One Reddit user noticed this trend:
“I have noticed that if I decline a few batches in a row, I stop getting batches for a while. I think they put you on a timeout or something.”
So, while it is always a good strategy to choose your orders wisely, try not to decline too many in a row.
6. Importance of Following Best Practices
Failing to follow Instacart’s recommended shopping and delivery best practices can also impact how to get more batches. As one Reddit user learned the hard way:
“I got a 1-star rating today because I didn’t follow the customer’s instructions… Now I have a 4.8 rating and I can’t see any good batches.”
Instacart provides various resources to guide you on this, including Food Safety Walkthroughs and Shopper Food Safety Requirements.
Abiding by these best practices can enhance your ratings, tips, and overall reputation, helping you secure more batches in the long run.
7. Internet Connectivity
If you’re wondering why you’re getting no batches on Instacart, check your internet connectivity.
The Instacart app relies on a stable internet connection to function properly. Issues with internet connectivity can disrupt your ability to view or accept batches.
Ensure you have a stable internet connection. Websites like Speedtest can help you check your connection speed. A minimum of 5 Mbps for both download and upload is good for smooth operation.
As multiple shoppers noted:
“I can’t complete my INSTACART order. Keep getting the message, ‘Sorry, an unknown error has occurred.'”
“The app keeps crashing repeatedly.”
Extra Reading: Is DoorDash Worth It?
8. Alcohol Certification and Cooler Bag Approvals
One way to increase your chances of getting more Instacart batches is to get alcohol certification and cooler bag approvals.
These requirements are crucial if you want to deliver alcohol or items that need to stay cold or hot.
Nearly 14% of Instacart batches in states where alcohol is permitted include alcoholic items. If you’re missing out on these, you’re letting potential income slip away.
To get the alcohol certification, you need to be 21 or older and complete a quiz on the Instacart shopper app.
This quiz will walk you through legal and safety issues related to alcohol delivery.
This shopper agrees, “I completed the alcohol certification course and got my cooler bags approved, and I saw more batches that included these items. It was easy to do, and it opened up more opportunities for me.”
So, if you find yourself often saying, “No Instacart batches,” this could be a game-changer.
For cooler bag approvals, Instacart wants to see that you have insulated bags to carry temperature-sensitive items.
This not only helps you get more batches on Instacart but also increases customer satisfaction. Take a picture of your bags and send it to Instacart for approval.
You can either buy your own bags or get them from Instacart’s preferred vendor.
Extra Reading: Best Dog Walking Apps To Make Extra Cash.
9. Get Prescription Delivery Certification
Wondering how to get more Instacart batches when it seems like there are no batches on Instacart today?
Your answer might be to get a prescription delivery certification. This certification can be a game-changer.
It lets you deliver not just groceries but also prescription meds from stores like CVS, Walgreens, and Costco.
So how to get your hands on this? Easy. Open the Instacart shopper app, tap the “Education” tab, and take a quick, free 15-minute course. Score at least 80% on the quiz and boom, you’re certified.
What you get with this certification:
- It expands your batch opportunities, giving you an edge in how to get Instacart batches first.
- It likely leads to fatter tips and bonuses.
- It could boost your shopper ratings.
- It makes you more competitive, especially during times when there are no Instacart batches available.
In short, getting this certification is a no-brainer for anyone looking for how to get more batches on Instacart.
10. Software Updates and Phone Settings
Another common issue that might leave you with no batches on Instacart today is outdated phone software or incorrect settings.
Your phone needs to be in top shape to get Instacart batches first.
- Regular Updates: Always update your Instacart app and phone’s OS to the latest version. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on any new features or fixes.
- Check Phone Health: Battery and storage levels can affect the app’s performance. Ensure they’re in good condition to not miss out on how to get orders on Instacart.
- Network & Location Settings: Connectivity and location settings are crucial for the app to work efficiently. Keep them turned on to ensure you’re getting batches.
Enable Instacart notifications. This way, you’ll get alerts about new batches, updates, or promotions, making it easier to get batches on Instacart.
Navigate through the Instacart app to your account settings to adjust your notification preferences.
Here is what one shopper has to say about these issues, “I had a problem with my app not showing me any batches, and I contacted Instacart support. They told me to update my app and my phone, and restart them. After I did that, the app started working again and I got more batches.”
11. The Refresh and Scroll Technique
One straightforward way to find more Instacart batches is by using the “refresh and scroll” method.
In plain language, this means you constantly update the Instacart app’s available batches screen and scroll down to spot any new or hidden orders.
The reality is that Instacart doesn’t always display every available batch right away. So, by refreshing and scrolling, you could discover batches that others might have missed.
As these shoppers suggest, it can be a wise idea to look for all available orders. “I refresh and scroll all day long. Sometimes I get lucky and find a good batch that was hidden at the bottom. It’s a gamble, but it works for me.”
“I refresh and scroll every few minutes when I’m waiting for a batch. It’s annoying but better than doing nothing. You have to be fast and grab them before someone else does.”
12. Use The Cart Star Rewards Program
This is Instacart’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to their shoppers. By accumulating points for each batch you handle, you climb up the ladder to different reward levels: Gold, Platinum, or Diamond Cart.
You need to maintain a 4.7 rating to be eligible and each level comes with its own set of exclusive goodies.
One of the standout features is priority access to Instacart batches when you reach the diamond level.
If you’re often lamenting, “No batches on Instacart today,” or asking, “How to get more Instacart batches?”, this program is your ticket to seeing and snagging batches before other shoppers get the chance.
This gives you a leg up in choosing the orders you like and increases your opportunity to make money.
Other benefits include a backup babysitter or someone to look after your pet. Cart Star Rewards partners with Care.com to offer low-cost backup care for your loved ones.
Another perk is the cash back on gas and car maintenance. Working with Instacart’s partners Upside and CarAdvise, you can save on the running expenses of your vehicle.
You also get a unique badge on your profile making you more visible to customers.
As this shopper opines, “I’m a Gold Cart shopper and enjoy the benefits. I get a special badge on my profile, which makes me stand out to customers and get more tips. It’s worth it.”
Extra Reading: What Is Instacart Waitlist?
13. Talk To Customer Support
If nothing else works, customer support can be a lifeline. Whether you encounter glitches with your app, have queries about orders, or face payment issues, Instacart’s support team is there to assist.
You can call them, chat in real-time through the app, or even send them an email for less urgent matters.
Most times it does not work as reported by shoppers, but in some cases, like technical issues on their end, it might be the only solution, so it’s worth trying.
14. Multi-App For More Orders
If you are regularly facing low orders on instacart for the reason not under your control like, people are ordering less groceries, you can always multi-app.
It means using multiple apps that you can drive for money. You can sign up for delivery services like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and more.
That way you will have multiple options to chose from, and once one app is slow, you can look for orders on other.
The best strategy according to experienced drivers is to keep on all the apps and once you take an order, pause others till that order is near complete or done.
Multi-apping not only helps you get orders when you have no Instacart batches but also helps you cherry-pick the orders for maximum earnings.
Many top earns who earn over $1k a week, use this strategy. Here is what one shopper has to contribute:
Whether you’re new or experienced, understanding how to get more orders on Instacart can help you maximize your earnings and efficiency.
Final Words On How To Get More Instacart Batches
The key to making more money with this gig job is knowing how to get Instacart batches first and how to get more Instacart batches overall.
Things like picking the right spot or being in a busy area will naturally give you more chances to get orders on Instacart.
However, the most important factor is the shopper rating which will help you get orders even in a competitive market. The better your rating, the better your odds at snagging those Instacart batches.
Use the above tips to get more batches and be smart about the batches you take to maximize your earnings.
If you want to make this hustle worth your time, my advice will be to follow these tips but be adaptive as not everything works in all markets. You need to fine-tune things like time, location, and overall strategy according to your individual situation.
Got a success story or a question? Drop it in the comments below. Happy shopping and Earning!
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Sumeet is a Certified Financial Education Instructor℠ (CFEI®) and founder of MoneyFromSideHustle. He is an experienced side hustler who replaced his full-time income with side hustles. His work has been quoted on major finance websites like CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, GOBankingRates, MSN, Nasdaq, AOL, and more. He has helped thousands of people find side hustles and is here to help you find your extra source of income. More about him.