In the swiftly evolving landscape of home delivery services, Instacart has not only revolutionized grocery shopping for consumers but has also emerged as a popular employment opportunity for many.
It offers an accessible platform for personal shoppers to earn by handpicking and delivering groceries.
However, for those seeking alternatives, either due to unavailability or a desire for different options, there is a rich array of apps similar to Instacart.
These platforms not only serve as alternative shopping avenues for customers but also provide varied job opportunities for individuals looking for flexible work similar to what Instacart provides.
Why You Want to Try Instacart Alternative Jobs
There can be plenty of reasons to look for apps like Instacart.
1. If Instacart is not available in your area then you need to look at the apps below but the probability is low because Instacart is the most widely available app.
2. You have been waitlisted on Instacart. There are many reasons for that one being fewer orders and more shoppers but you can try these things to get past the Instacart waitlist.
3. Your Instacart account has been deactivated and you have no other option than to look for alternatives. Though you can try a few tricks to get your Instacart account back.
Popular Apps Like Instacart
There are many apps that you can try as a replacement or add on to Instacart. Here are a few most popular ones:
- Unique Selling Points: Known for its same-day delivery promise and a broad network of retail partners beyond just groceries.
- User Experience: Shipt’s app is praised for its user-friendly interface. You can easily choose delivery slots and list preferences.
- Cost and Subscription: Shipt requires a membership (around $99 per year) but frequently offers promotions and free trials.
Shipt stands out as a strong competitor to Instacart in the grocery delivery market, offering a wider range of shopping options beyond just groceries.
Owned by Target, Shipt extends its services to retailers like Best Buy and Sephora, providing customers with greater variety.
For shoppers, Shipt offers a lucrative earning potential with hourly wages averaging around $18 to $25, rivaling other gig jobs like Lyft and Uber.
The platform’s flexibility allows shoppers to select their hours and orders, with some, like Robert Woldhuis, earning over $100,000 by strategizing their work in a single store.
Building strong relationships with store employees and efficiently managing time are key to a Shipt shopper’s success.
This flexibility, combined with the opportunity to build relationships and the variety of shopping and earning options, makes Shipt a compelling alternative to Instacart for both customers and gig workers.
2. Amazon Fresh
- Unique Selling Points: Known for its extensive product range and speedy delivery options. It’s also integrated with Alexa for voice shopping.
- User Experience: Seamless integration with Amazon accounts makes it convenient for existing Amazon customers.
- Cost and Subscription: Requires an Amazon Prime membership. Pricing is competitive, with frequent deals and discounts.
Amazon Fresh offers a unique grocery delivery experience, especially attractive for Amazon Prime members. As a part of the Prime benefits, it provides free grocery delivery, making it a convenient choice for those already subscribed to Amazon’s services.
However, it’s important to note that Amazon Fresh might not be the most budget-friendly option, with limited choices for budget items compared to other grocery stores. The requirement of a Prime membership might also be a barrier for some users.
In essence, Amazon Fresh stands out for Prime members seeking convenience and organic product options, but those looking for more economical choices or without a Prime subscription may find better alternatives elsewhere.
For delivery drivers, Amazon Fresh presents an alternative to Instacart with its own set of benefits and challenges. Drivers for Amazon Fresh are typically employed by Amazon, providing a more structured work environment compared to the gig-style model of Instacart.
This structure might include set schedules and potentially more stable income. However, it may also mean less flexibility in choosing work hours and locations.
For those seeking a more traditional employment structure in the realm of grocery delivery, Amazon Fresh could be a fitting choice.
3. Walmart Grocery
- Unique Selling Points: Access to Walmart’s extensive inventory and competitive pricing.
- User Experience: Simplified shopping experience with a straightforward app and website.
- Cost and Subscription: No subscription fees, with transparent pricing and often lower delivery charges compared to competitors.
Walmart Grocery emerges as a convenient alternative to Instacart, especially for those seeking a blend of efficiency and affordability.
Particularly commended for its quality in meat and produce, Walmart Grocery also has a customer-friendly substitution policy, ensuring customers receive equivalent or better products when original choices are unavailable.
Ideal for busy families and budget-conscious shoppers, the service is highly recommended for its ability to save time and curb impulse spending, though it might not suit couponers or extremely picky shoppers.
In essence, Walmart Grocery provides a practical shopping solution, combining convenience with quality and budget considerations.
Walmart Grocery also presents a viable alternative for delivery drivers, who may prefer its streamlined process and broad customer base.
Drivers for Walmart Grocery benefit from the company’s extensive network and efficient order handling system, which can lead to steady work and reliable income.
Additionally, Walmart’s strong brand reputation and large selection of products attract a wide range of customers, potentially leading to more frequent delivery requests.
While it may not offer the same level of flexibility as gig-based apps like Instacart, Walmart Grocery can provide a more structured and possibly consistent work environment for delivery drivers.
- Overview: Known for food delivery, Postmates also offers grocery delivery services, expanding its reach beyond just restaurant meals.
- Unique Selling Points: Delivers a variety of items including groceries, restaurant food, and alcohol.
- User Experience: Flexible delivery options and an easy-to-use app interface.
- Cost and Subscription: Offers Postmates Unlimited for free deliveries, with a fee structure for one-off deliveries.
Postmates, standing out in the local delivery service landscape, offers a versatile option beyond the typical food delivery. Diverse in its offerings, it caters to a range of needs from groceries and alcohol to kitchen goods and clothing.
The sign-up process is simple, and the flexibility in work hours is a significant advantage for couriers, who can choose various modes of transportation for deliveries. Average earnings range from $12 to $16 per hour, with the potential for growth as couriers gain familiarity with optimal delivery strategies and their local area.
While Postmates presents the allure of flexibility and decent earning potential, couriers must consider factors like vehicle maintenance and fuel costs. These expenses, along with the need for effective time management, are crucial in determining the true value of working with Postmates.
In essence, Postmates offers a flexible and broad-spectrum delivery service, appealing for those seeking varied delivery tasks and the autonomy to work according to their schedule.
- Unique Selling Points: DoorDash is known for its wide range of restaurant partnerships and delivery options, making it a go-to choice for customers seeking variety and convenience.
- User Experience: The app is designed for ease of use, allowing Dashers to efficiently manage their deliveries and schedules.
- Cost and Subscription: There are no subscription fees for Dashers, but they must consider the costs associated with vehicle maintenance and fuel.
DoorDash as an alternative to Instacart stands out in the food delivery app market.
While Instacart focuses primarily on grocery delivery, DoorDash expands its services to include a vast array of restaurants, covering over 4,000 cities in multiple countries.
This broadens the scope for gig workers who prefer a more diverse delivery experience. Ease of signing up and the option to choose work hours and orders make DoorDash an attractive option for those seeking flexibility and independence in their gig work.
With the ability to keep 100% of tips and manage their own schedules, Dashers can find a lucrative and flexible alternative to the more grocery-centric Instacart platform.
Extra Reading: Which is better, Instacart vs DoorDash?
- Unique Selling Points: Offers a wide range of products, including snacks, essentials, and alcohol.
- User Experience: Focused on convenience and speed with a straightforward app.
- Cost and Subscription: Gopuff Fam subscription at $5.95 monthly for free shipping on all orders.
GoPuff differentiates itself in the grocery and essentials delivery market by maintaining its inventory in warehouses, rather than sourcing from various stores.
This unique approach enables quicker deliveries as there’s no need for store visits. GoPuff purchases directly from suppliers, operating hundreds of facilities, and delivers to over 1,000 cities.
Its subscription service, GoPuff Fam, priced at $5.95 monthly, offers free shipping on all orders, adding to customer convenience.
For gig workers, GoPuff presents an attractive proposition with a simplified process—shoppers pick up orders from a single location and deliver them, making it an efficient and potentially profitable gig option.
- Unique Selling Points: High-quality fresh produce, meat, and seafood.
- User Experience: Intuitive app design, focused on the quality and freshness of items.
- Cost and Subscription: Competitive pricing, with a focus on premium products.
FreshDirect is an exceptional alternative to Instacart, particularly for its fusion of grocery delivery convenience with the freshness of a farmer’s market.
This service is tailored for fast, affordable, and high-quality deliveries, offering a diverse range of local produce, meats, and specialty items.
FreshDirect’s commitment to quality is evident in its strong relationships with local growers, ensuring a steady supply of in-season produce and unique products.
Customers often praise FreshDirect for its reliable delivery, exceptional food quality, and excellent customer service.
Moreover, its vast inventory caters to specific needs, making it a go-to choice for customers requiring particular products or brands.
FreshDirect also presents a viable alternative for delivery drivers seeking opportunities beyond Instacart. The company’s focus on quality and strong vendor relationships often translates into a streamlined and efficient delivery process.
Drivers working with FreshDirect can expect well-organized routes and a steady flow of delivery tasks, especially given the brand’s popularity among customers who value fresh and local products.
The emphasis on customer service and quality products can also lead to better customer interactions and potentially higher tips for drivers dedicated to maintaining the service standards that FreshDirect is known for.
- Unique Selling Points: Features weekly specials and discounts, available in select East Coast cities.
- User Experience: A reliable and straightforward online shopping experience.
- Cost and Subscription: Variable delivery fees, no mandatory subscription.
Peapod, a notable alternative to Instacart, caters primarily to customers in the Northeastern U.S., offering a diverse range of products including groceries, office supplies, and home essentials.
Setting up an account on Peapod is simple, and the platform stands out for its coupon application feature before checkout, enhancing the shopping experience.
Peapod’s pricing is competitive, with average grocery prices and a minimal delivery fee, and no service charge. The platform’s PodPass membership program offers additional benefits for frequent shoppers.
Peapod ensures a transparent pricing model and a minimum order requirement of $30, with reduced delivery fees for larger orders.
The company employs full-time delivery personnel, ensuring reliable service, and offers an environmentally friendly option to recycle grocery bags.
More Gig Economy Apps As Instacart Alternative Job
TaskRabbit: More than Just Delivery
TaskRabbit goes beyond grocery delivery. It’s a hub for all sorts of help, from shopping to odd jobs like furniture assembly or small repairs.
Set your price, work on your terms, and enjoy easy payment through the app. It’s available in many cities and accessible via Android and iOS apps, making it a great choice for varied services.
Safeway isn’t just a grocery store; it offers a dedicated delivery service where available. Enjoy same-day delivery in some areas, weekly specials, and the “Just for U” rewards program.
Their Android and iOS apps make shopping for groceries easy and convenient.
Uber is a ride-sharing service you probably already know about. If you have a car and a valid licence, you can drive people around rather than delivering food or groceries and make money for that.
If you hate driving alone all day long, it might be better option for you.
Uber Eats is known for its vast selection of restaurant options and quick delivery. It’s more restaurant-focused and offers a user-friendly app for Android and iOS, allowing customers to track their orders in real time in many major cities.
GrubHub delivers food from a wide range of local restaurants, including unique cuisines. It also allows for alcohol delivery. Noted for excellent customer service, GrubHub’s apps are available for Android and iOS users.
Operating in multiple countries, Deliveroo partners with restaurants that meet strict quality standards. Offering both standard and express delivery, its Android and iOS apps make it easy for users in different countries to enjoy quality food.
Dumpling: Personal Shopping Reimagined
Dumpling offers a unique personal shopper service. Shoppers set their schedule and can earn significantly per order. The app, available for Android and iOS, provides a more personalized shopping experience.
Extra Reading: Is Instacart worth it as a job?
Things to Consider When Choosing an Instacart Alternative
From the Perspective of Customers
- Delivery Areas and Store Partnerships: It’s crucial to pick a service that operates in your locality and collaborates with your favorite stores. This ensures that you have access to the stores you trust and frequent, making your online shopping experience seamless.
- Pricing Structure: We all want value for money. Take the time to compare how different services stack up in terms of membership fees, delivery charges, and the cost of products. This helps you find a service that fits your budget and doesn’t spring any financial surprises.
- Service Quality and Reliability: Nobody likes late deliveries or missing items. Looking at customer reviews and ratings gives you a good idea of how reliable a service is. This way, you can trust that your groceries will arrive on time and as expected.
- Product Range and Quality: Depending on your needs, the variety and quality of products offered can be a deciding factor. If you prefer organic or specialty foods, look for an app that caters to these preferences. A good range means you can get all your shopping done in one go.
- Ease of Use: A user-friendly app or website is a must. It should be easy to navigate, search for items, and check out. A frustrating interface can turn grocery shopping into a chore, so choose a platform that makes the process smooth and hassle-free.
From the Perspective of Delivery Drivers
- Job opportunities As a driver, you want a service that has partnerships with multiple stores in various areas. This increases the number of potential delivery jobs, allowing you to work more efficiently and earn more.
- Pay: Understand how you are compensated. Consider services that offer transparent pay structures, including how tips are handled. Some services might offer better incentives or bonuses, making them more lucrative for drivers.
- Service Quality and Reliability: Your reputation as a driver can be affected by the service’s overall reliability. Choose a company that values quality service and supports its drivers in fulfilling orders accurately and on time.
- Product Range and Quality: The variety of products a service offers can impact your deliveries. For instance, delivering fresh or fragile items might require extra care, while larger orders might mean more earnings per trip.
- Ease of Use: The driver’s side of the app should be intuitive and efficient. It should provide clear delivery instructions, easy navigation to stores and customer locations, and a straightforward process for reporting issues. A well-designed app can make your job as a delivery driver much more manageable.
Extra Reading: How to make $1k a week with Instacart?
Requirements and Qualifications for Gig Economy Delivery Jobs
Different platforms have their own guidelines but most common requirements are:
- Age Requirements: The age requirement varies among different platforms. The general minimum age is usually 18 years, but some services like Amazon Flex and Cornershop require you to be 21 or 19, respectively.
- Vehicle Access: Access to a reliable vehicle is a common requirement. This could be a car, bike, or scooter, depending on the company’s policies. For instance, Amazon Flex demands a mid-sized or larger car, while DoorDash and Uber Eats allow deliveries via bike or scooter.
- Background Checks: Most delivery platforms require a background check. This is to ensure safety standards and trustworthiness of the drivers. The specifics of the background check may vary, but generally include a review of driving history and any criminal record.
- Other Requirements: Additional requirements can include a valid driver’s license, car insurance, and in some cases, specific items like thermal bags (for SkipTheDishes). For platforms like Shipt, the ability to lift a certain amount of weight (45 pounds) is also required.
Maximizing Earnings in Delivery Jobs
- Working During Peak Hours: Earnings can be higher during busy times like nights, weekends, or special events. Platforms often offer surge pricing or bonuses during these periods.
- Providing Excellent Customer Service: Good service can lead to higher tips. Being friendly, timely, and professional increases customer satisfaction and the likelihood of receiving tips.
- Working with Multiple Apps: Diversifying the platforms you work with can maximize order volume and income potential. This also allows for more flexibility and control over working hours.
- Expense Tracking: As independent contractors, delivery drivers are responsible for their expenses such as gas, vehicle maintenance, and insurance. Using mileage tracking apps can help manage these effectively.
Can You Work For These Services Without Owning A Car
- Bike or Scooter Deliveries: Several platforms allow deliveries using bikes or scooters, which can be ideal in urban areas or for those without access to a car.
- Car Rental Services: For those who don’t own a car, rental services like Getaround offer a way to engage in delivery jobs. The rental costs need to be weighed against potential earnings.
Pros and Cons of Gig Economy Jobs
- Flexibility: One of the biggest advantages is the flexibility to choose when and where to work. This is ideal for those seeking part-time work or needing to balance other commitments.
- Diverse Opportunities: The gig economy offers a variety of jobs, from food delivery to grocery shopping, allowing for different experiences and skills development.
- Immediate Earnings: Many platforms offer quick payouts, sometimes even after each delivery, which can be beneficial for immediate income needs.
- Inconsistent Income: Earnings can be unpredictable and fluctuate based on demand, hours worked, and market saturation.
- No Employment Benefits: As independent contractors, workers typically don’t receive benefits like health insurance, paid leave, or retirement plans. Plus they have to keep tab on their own taxes.
- Expense and Risk Burden: Gig workers bear the cost of their expenses (like vehicle maintenance and gas) and are at risk for things like accidents or wear and tear on their vehicles.
- Competition: High competition can make it challenging to secure consistent work, especially in densely populated areas.
Final Words On Instacart Alternatives
When considering grocery delivery apps, Instacart stands out as a key contender, but it’s not your only choice.
Diving into Instacart alternative apps can lead to discovering new services, possibly more favorable pricing, and shopping experiences that feel more tailored to your needs.
Your priorities matter here – whether it’s saving money, accessing a broader variety of products, or enjoying conveniences like same-day delivery.
There’s probably an app out there that aligns perfectly with your grocery shopping requirements. The best app for you will hinge on what you value most, where you live, and your day-to-day lifestyle.
Similarly for delivery drivers, exploring other apps can mean more opportunities for work, different pay structures, and varied customer interactions.
Things like flexibility in scheduling, earning potential, or the type of orders you prefer to handle will influence which app suits you best.
Ultimately, the ideal choice for a delivery driver will depend on individual work preferences, the geographic area they serve, and their personal goals in the gig economy.
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.