Traditionally, when you sign up to shop for Instacart, you have two options: As a full-service shopper, Or an in-store shopper, a full-fledged employee of Instacart that earns an hourly wage and is eligible for benefits.
But you might have noticed shop-only orders, and wondered what that means. What are shop-only orders on Instacart? Keep reading for all you need to know!
What Are Instacart Shop Only Orders In 2023?
Shop only batches are for full-service Instacart shoppers, not in-store shoppers in 2023. As the name suggests, it’s a batch with no delivery component; rather, shoppers are fulfilling pick-up orders for customers. Shop only orders give full-service shoppers more batch options, though these orders do not include tips because they do not involve delivery.
To learn more about how these shop only orders work, how you can get them, how much you can expect to make, and other common FAQs, read on!
How Do Instacart Shop Only Orders Work?
About a year ago, u/LogicCure posted a screenshot of an email they received from Instacart.
“Hi Shopper,” it began, “We’re introducing a new type of batch in your region, Shop-Only.”
The email went on to describe the nature of these batches:
“You only need to pick and pack the customer’s order and stage it in the designated staging area – no delivery needed.”
It also mentioned at the bottom how the batches would be clearly labeled Shop-Only, so that shoppers knew ahead of time it would not require the delivery component,
In this incredibly informative video, you can see how the batch notification also includes the possible earnings, like any other order (about 1:49).
These shop-only batches are available for full-service shoppers, not for in-store shoppers, to whose jobs this appears to be eerily similar.
When full-service shoppers accept the shop-only orders, they shop the items like normal, but check-out is slightly different.
Because they’re not taking the bags with them to deliver, they must instead notify the cashier that the bags are staying on the premises for a shop-only order.
After they’re done checking out, shoppers take the bags to the store’s staging area, labeling them and grouping them by cooler or non-cooler.
Frozen items head to a freezer and refrigerated items go to a fridge, to stay at the correct temperature until the customer arrives for pick-up.
The shopper enters the corresponding bag information to the shelf, upon which they put it in each area. This way, the person taking the bags to the car can find them easily.
And this very helpful content creator on YouTube also reminds shoppers to take photos of the staging areas where they left the bags.
This is for both the person carrying the bags out, and for the shoppers themselves, as proof that the bags were left in the correct location.
After that, you’re done with your shop-only order. As a reminder, you don’t get a tip because of the lack of delivery, so these are lower-earning batches.
However, the trade-off is less work and using up less time (especially if you can get a few shop-only orders for one store).
How Do You Get Instacart Shop Only Orders?
Commenters on this Reddit thread remark that they began receiving Instacart shop-only orders simply by signing into the Shopper app and “opening” for batches.
“Never seen one in a year and half,” one shopper wrote in 2021. “This week, every day.”
So, if your area offers shop-only batches now, you can expect them to pop up, the same as full-service ones.
What areas offer shop-only batches? Currently, they appear to be mostly concentrated in the Southeastern U.S. (Florida and surrounding area).
Further information currently isn’t available about whether the orders have extended beyond that geographical area, but if you are in Florida, check it out!
How Much Do You Make with Instacart Shop Only Orders?
The amount you make with Instacart shop-only orders depends on the order size, and it will likely be less than you would make for a full-service order.
After all, without the delivery component, you do not receive a tip.
What you do receive is a guaranteed amount; whether that’s $10 or $20, the total and final amount doesn’t depend on the generosity of your customer.
That also removes the possibility that you could be tip baited.
If you can get shop-only orders from just one store, you could potentially earn quite a bit in one day.
That’s because you’re saving time by not battling traffic or driving long distances to deliver, and you can complete the orders in fairly rapid succession.
One commenter on this Reddit thread states that they “instantly fell in love” with shop-only orders because of how easy they were.
Are Instacart Shop Only Orders the Same as In-Store Shoppers?
Instacart shop-only orders are the same as the pick-up orders that in-store shoppers fulfill, but they are handled separately and paid out differently.
In-store shoppers are actually employees of Instacart, so they earn an hourly wage, versus full-service shoppers, who get paid by the batch.
Of course, batches are assigned differently for full-service shoppers in the Shopper app.
Their ratings affect their access to the best batches, among a pool of other full-service shoppers competing in the same area for orders.
Shop-only Instacart batches appear to be a newer feature for full-service shoppers, and it has some people wondering if in-store shoppers are being phased out.
Only time will tell, but meanwhile, shop-only orders present a terrific opportunity for shoppers to complete batches quickly and earn guaranteed money for each.