Why Is Instacart So Slow? (10 Reasons Why)

Ordering groceries through Instacart is generally a pleasant experience, as shoppers tend to be efficient and communicative.

Sometimes, though, orders can get pushed back from their originally scheduled time or it might seem like your shopper is taking forever to make their way around the store. So, what’s taking so long? If you’d like to find out, keep reading for 10 reasons why Instacart is so slow!

Why Is Instacart So Slow In 2022?


1. There Aren’t Enough Instacart Shoppers

Sometimes when Instacart comes to a new area, there are more shoppers than customers.

Other times, though, there are simply not enough shoppers to keep up with customer demand.

That latter issue can definitely slow down your Instacart experience, as you open the app and see that your grocery store has no deliveries or pick-ups available for hours.

If it’s a shopper supply issue, then all you can do is put in your order for a later time and wait.

However, especially with pick-up orders, even if your delivery window isn’t until 6 pm. (for example), the efficient shoppers will get to it much earlier.

2. Instacart Is Busier Than Usual

Consider the time of year – is it close to a huge holiday that merits a feast, like Thanksgiving or Christmas?

Or perhaps there’s some major weather event coming that has everyone panic-buying groceries.

If you’re just trying to order your typical weekly grocery haul during these kinds of times, you may very well meet with slower shopping.

This could come in the form of fewer available slots and wait times for an available slot that can span a day or even a few days.

Once the event passes, though, Instacart quickly rights itself and service goes back to normal.

3. You Have a New Instacart Shopper

Don’t forget that every experienced Instacart shopper had to start somewhere.

So, if your order is taking longer than you expected, it could be because you have a new shopper who isn’t fully acclimated to using the app or navigating the grocery stores (or both!).

Be patient, though, as there is a learning curve. Try not to say anything until after the shop is completed, otherwise, you might really frazzle the person.

4. Your Instacart Driver Is From Out of Town

Did you know that Instacart shoppers sometimes visit other nearby towns or cities to take advantage of the larger market, because there aren’t as many orders on their own?

Well, if your order is taking longer to reach you, especially during the delivery part, it could be that your driver isn’t from your city or town.

5. You’re Ordering During Instacart’s Peak Hours

Consider the day of the week – is it Saturday or Sunday, when many working professionals and families tend to do their grocery shopping?

Or consider even the time of day – when it comes to grocery delivery, 4 to 8 pm. on weekdays tend to be the busiest hours for shoppers.

This is because 9-5 workers (those who are most likely able to afford Instacart regularly) are finishing up their days and starting to think about how they don’t want to go grocery shopping.

During these busier-than-usual times, you may find Instacart is a lot slower in getting you your order.

6. The Weather Is Bad in Your Instacart Area

6. The Weather Is Bad in Your Instacart Area

As mentioned above, a major weather event can have an impact on how long your Instacart order takes.

And it’s not just available time slots; if the roads are bad, your driver is going to have to go a lot slower in order to be safe.

Look outside – if there are two feet of snow, and that’s the reason you don’t want to go out, cut your driver some slack if they take an extra 10, 20, or however many minutes to reach you.

7. You Didn’t Pay Extra for Instacart’s Priority Delivery

If you’re used to paying extra for Instacart’s Priority delivery option and one day you forget, then yes, it’s going to be a long wait, more like two hours instead of one.

If the faster delivery times are important to you, make sure you’re double-checking that you have selected Priority delivery at check-out, because it’s not normally the default.

8. The Instacart App Is Glitching

I have heard people complain about glitches, and have myself experienced glitches, with both the Instacart app and the website.

For example, you might think your shopper is taking forever to find your items when the reality is the app froze and they have already checked out.

If you start to grow suspicious, it’s never a bad idea to hard-close the app and reopen it.

9. You Didn’t Give Your Instacart Shopper Enough Instructions

An Instacart shop in progress might seem like it’s taking too long if your shopper has to keep stopping to ask you questions.

If you opted not to add any replacement suggestions to items the app informed you were low or possibly not in stock, your shopper will likely ask you what you want to do.

So, if you’re not paying attention to your phone, then minutes are going to slip by while they wait to see if you respond to their queries.

This is why it’s important to stay by your phone and only order when you’re sure you can monitor the shopping while it’s happening.

10. You Gave Your Instacart Shopper Too Many Instructions

Conversely, if every single item on your list comes with a note, your shopper is going to be slow-moving around the store.

For example, including instructions about what kind of weight you’re looking for with the package of chicken thighs or the color of the limes is fair to do.

However, if all 30 items on your list come with a personal specification – wouldn’t it almost be faster if you just did the grocery shopping?

To know more, you can also read our posts on why is Instacart so expensive, what is Instacart Express, what are demo orders on Instacart.

Conclusion

Sometimes Instacart can take longer than expected, though the company goes out of its way to ensure a smooth, quick delivery experience.

Occasionally, the issue is the customer; in some ways, the type of customer we are can greatly influence the speed at which we receive our groceries.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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