When you sign on to become a shopper for Instacart, time is of the essence. The fastest and most efficient shoppers, after all, can earn upwards of $45/hour.
So, what’s their secret? Are they up at the crack of dawn taking batches? If you’re wondering what time Instacart batches start, you’re in luck. I’ve done the research and I have an answer for you!
What Time Do Instacart Batches Start In 2023?
In most markets, Instacart batches start when the company’s normal business hours begin, which is around 9 am in 2023. However, the time at which batches start actually correlates to the time retailers open and shoppers begin to accept them. In some areas with 24-hour convenience/grocery stores, batches can also occur 24 hours a day.
To learn more about Instacart’s regular hours, the possibility of 24/7 Instacart delivery, plus other related questions, like when Instacart is most active, and how the app decides who gets batches, keep reading!
What Are Instacart’s Regular Hours?
The author at Ridester.com advises, “Most delivery windows with Instacart start at 9 am each morning.”
Generally, most batches tend to wrap up around 9 pm or 10 pm at night.
Think about your favorite grocery store. What time does it open? Probably around 7 or 8 am.
Instacart’s batches usually begin about an hour or so after the store opens.
However, Aldi is known for its more limited hours (it’s part of how the company saves on operational costs, and then pass the savings onto its customers).
Instacart itself doesn’t have any real start or end time for batches. Rather, it’s up to the individual stores, so Instacart is reliable on those operating hours.
Does Instacart Deliver 24/7?
In some markets where convenience or grocery stores are open 24/7, there is no definite start or end time for batches, because they can also be shopped 24/7.
This is a newer development that came about in September 2021, as Instacart teamed up with partners like 7-Eleven, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Safeway.
Certain stores in certain cities are open 24 hours a day, and Instacart decided to match that convenience.
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with a 24/7 c-store or grocery store, and you’re a bit of a night owl who wants to earn some extra money, this could be a great opportunity.
Instead of having to get up early to grab the first batches, you could just stay up late.
What Time Is Instacart Most Active?
Despite many Instacart batches starting between 7 and 9 am, those are actually not the most active times to be shopping.
Rather, it is the time between 4 pm and 9 pm, which sees the most app traffic on weekdays, according to This Online World.
Think about who Instacart is going to appeal to most: working professionals who have the disposable income to afford grocery delivery.
If money isn’t their main worry, then usually time is their most precious resource.
That means that when they get off work between 4 and 6 pm, they’re going to reach for their phone and order groceries, rather than make the stop or go out for them.
The good news for shoppers is that you don’t have to get up at 6 am on weekdays to make the most money with Instacart.
On weekends, however, the peak hours are a little different, because more people are off work.
For example, Saturdays and Sundays can be busy pretty much all day, especially in the afternoon.
Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to be up early to catch the opening batches; but it also couldn’t hurt if you want to get in as much earning potential as possible.
How Does Instacart Decide Who Gets Batches?
You might think that if you get up early and “open for business,” that you will gain access to all the batches arriving in the morning.
Unfortunately, that’s not how Instacart doles out batches.
The app uses more of a merit-based system; the highest-rated shoppers get first dibs on batches, with the option to accept the best ones and pass on the less profitable.
So, the only way to grab the choice batches first thing in the morning is to have the best possible shopper rating.
Otherwise, you might end up with the less desirable batches with lower earning potential, or you could end up with no batches at all until things pick up later.
Can Someone Ride with You While Making an Instacart Delivery?
Instacart shopping appeals to a lot of moms, some of whom might be stay-at-home, who are looking to make a little extra income.
If they’re staying home with the kids, though, that means they would have to bring the kids along, especially if they’re looking to shop the earlier batches first thing in the morning.
This s a safety and insurance issue, like if a shopper got into a car accident, and there was another person in their vehicle.
However, I know multiple Instacart shoppers who have brought along a friend or even their child, while working.
You may not always get caught, but there is a good chance you will, and your account will be suspended.
Instacart batches can start as early as an hour after specific stores open, so a 6 am open could mean shopping and delivery by 7 am.
Some storefronts even deliver 24/7; but the key to getting the most desirable and profitable batches, especially in the morning, is to have the best possible shopper rating.