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What Are Instacart Demo Orders?

Last updated: January 6, 2022
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vector graphic showing two instacart demo orders on separate smartphone screens

Are you a new Instacart shopper trying to get familiar with how to accept batches on the Instacart app?

Doing anything new can feel awkward, and delivering on the Instacart grocery delivery app isn’t any different.

If you’re feeling intimidated about accepting your first batch for a real customer, then you should know that you can try the Instacart demo orders option.

You’ll have an opportunity to get a feel for how the Instacart app works, understand what to expect when fulfilling an “in-store” grocery order, and gain confidence before officially starting with Instacart.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about using Instacart demo orders.

Once you get a handle on the process, you’ll feel better about getting started on your journey to earning anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour as an Instacart full-service shopper.

What Are Instacart Demo Orders?

The Instacart demo orders option is a feature that Instacart shoppers can use to practice before accepting any real Instacart orders.

These handy little orders allow you to practice the entire process of fulfilling an order, from beginning to end, without having to worry about dealing with customers.

Using a demo order, you can go through a practice batch, see how the Instacart shopper app presents the order, the questions it asks you to fill out (such as product weights, for example), and learn how to complete the order.

Are Demo Orders Real Instacart Orders?

No, demo orders aren’t real Instacart orders.

They’re practice orders.

However, they look exactly like an actual order will.

The big difference between doing an Instacart demo order vs. regular Instacart deliveries is you won’t need to go to the store, bag groceries, or drive anywhere.

Instead, you do this process from the comfort of your home inside the Instacart app.

Do You Have to Do the Demo Orders on Instacart?

No, you don’t have to do demo orders on Instacart.

They’re an excellent way for new shoppers to get comfortable with how the app works, though, and see what’s expected of you when fulfilling an order.

It’s an optional training aspect that Instacart developed for its app.

It’s a unique feature inside the gig economy industry.

Most side hustles, such as Lyft, UberEats, or DoorDash, for instance, require you to open up the “live” app and do your first customer run without understanding the inner workings of the apps.

Use the demo feature on Instacart’s app to remove those initial jitters that you might feel.

How Do You Complete Instacart Demo Orders? [Tutorial]

Now that you know what Instacart demo orders are, let’s take a look at how you complete them.

When you open up the app, you’ll see a list of options from the Dashboard.

Near the bottom of the list is an option labeled “Demo orders’.

Tap on it, and you’ll see various demo orders to choose from.

Instacart lists the demo orders by store.

Look for Walmart or Kroger, for example, and choose one to practice with.

You’ll see a customer’s name, how many items they’ve ordered, and how far you would need to drive to reach the store.

It’s all fake information.

You aren’t looking at a real customer or an actual order.

Remember, it’s simply a trial run to give you experience working through the online grocery order steps inside the food delivery app.

Click on the green “accept” option next to one of the demo orders to start the practice batch.

Depending on the batch you’ve selected, you’ll see various types of food presented to you.

Most Instacart demo orders will ask you to pick up a mixture of canned foods, meats, and fresh vegetables or fruit.

You’ll see each item’s location within the store and item prices.

Other buttons will appear exactly as they will when you start doing real Instacart batches.

Here are some of the buttons you’ll see.

  • “Message the customer”
  • “Can’t find item”
  • “Found item”

It’s essential to know about these options because you’ll use them often once you’re working for actual customers.

If you can’t find an item a customer placed on their grocery list, you can use the “can’t find item” or “message the customer” buttons to ask what replacement items your customer might like.

As you work through the order, enter any information the app asks for.

It will sometimes ask you to enter an item’s weight.

Simply make up a weight number during this fake demo order process so you can complete the order.

Use the “Found item” each time you want to tell the app that you found what the customer wants.

Remember, you aren’t going to a store to do this.

It’s something you do from home to get used to using the app.

You’ll use the “Found item” button on real batches to continue moving successfully through each store.

Finalize your Instacart demo orders, and you’re all set.

Do this a few times until you feel like you know how to get around the app while performing a batch.

Do You Get Paid for Demo Orders on Instacart?

No, you don’t get paid for demo orders on Instacart.

It’s a training feature to help you as a new personal Instacart shopper.

You aren’t going to a store and fulfilling an order.

Since there isn’t any money exchanged between a customer and Instacart, you can’t get paid.

The process is all about helping you understand how the app works and what’s expected of you when fulfilling a batch order.

Other Questions People Are Asking

If you’re like other Instacart shoppers, you most likely have additional questions about the entire Instacart shopping process.

vector graphic showing two instacart demo orders on separate smartphone screens

How Do I Get My First Batch on Instacart?

Schedule your first shift inside the app to get your first actual customer order on the Instacart app.

Click on “Set Your Availability” from the admin panel to do this.

At the time of your shift, drive into your home zone area.

Turn on the app and go online as a shopper.

You’ll start seeing available batches appear after clicking on the “View batches” button.

You can’t miss the button because it has a green dollar sign icon.

Select the first batch you want to accept, and you’re now on your way as an Instacart shopper.

Instacart gives you plenty of information about each batch so you can feel comfortable accepting the batches that match your needs.

For example, you’ll see how far you need to drive during the batch order process.

The app will also show you how much you’ll earn for the trip.

It even presents the tip your customer pre-selected.

Does Instacart Pay If No Orders Are Available?

No, Instacart doesn’t pay shoppers if no orders are available.

You only get paid when you successfully complete the order and the customer pays for it.

If there are no active batches during your shift, then you won’t receive any earnings for that period.

Log back in later to see if new batches are now available.

Over time, you’ll learn the best times in your area to schedule shifts for.

You shouldn’t have trouble finding plenty of work if you live in a relatively well-populated town or city.

You can also consider using a batch grabber.

Wrapping Up

Now it’s your turn.

Turn on the app and select the Instacart demo orders option.

Try a few demo orders until you feel ready to go out and do the job for real.

Instacart is a fun way to make money without going into an office each day.

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