Grocery delivery services may be commonly used across the United States, but when it’s time to decide on a tip, you may find that tipping expectations aren’t exactly common knowledge. Understanding Shipt tipping before you use the service can help you leave the right level of gratuity the first time around.
The gig economy has only gained prominence in the most recent decade, so it’s no surprise that customers (new and old) are still lost when it comes to standard tipping etiquette. Shipt, the Target-owned grocery delivery platform, doesn’t make social expectations any clearer. With a policy that never requires — but highly recommends — customers to tip, there’s a lot left up in the air.
In this article, we’ll clear things up by diving into when you need to tip on Shipt and how much money you should leave for your personal shoppers.
- Shipt Tipping Etiquette
- How Much to Tip Shipt Shoppers
- How to Tip on the Shipt App
- Frequently Asked Questions
Shipt Tipping Etiquette
When ordering groceries on Shipt, leaving a tip for your delivery drivers (known as Shipt Shoppers) is expected. After all, tipping is customary in the U.S. when someone like a waiter or hairstylist performs a service on your behalf. Just as you’d pay someone who delivers a pizza to you, you should make it a habit to tip the person who shops for and delivers items from your grocery list. This is especially true if you’re using a Shipt promo code and already saving money on your order.
Shipt tipping isn’t just a way to show your gratitude. Many shoppers also depend on tips to make a decent living, especially if they have family members to support. Shipt Shoppers make an average of just $11 per hour — and that’s before expenses like gas and frequent oil changes cut down their actual profit. As independent contractors, these shoppers are responsible for covering the job-related expenses they accrue, so at the end of the day, many (if not most) rely on tips to ensure their real earnings aren’t below minimum wage.
Your entire tip will go to your Shipt Shopper, so don’t worry about the company taking a cut.
Tipping for Pick-Up Orders
In select markets, you may be able to opt for a pick-up order instead of a home delivery — but doing so doesn’t mean that you can get away without tipping.
While ordering pick-up from food delivery platforms like Uber Eats may allow you to save on tips, since no delivery person is involved, ordering pick-up from Shipt still requires the help of a personal shopper. When you place a grocery pick-up request, a Shipt Shopper is dispatched to perform the shopping service and help you load your car as needed when you arrive.
Sometimes, your shopper may still need to head to more than one grocery store to fulfill your order, so selecting the “Pickup” option may not reduce their driving time either. For example, they may be heading to Kroger (who also offers grocery delivery, by the way) for a few specific items before shopping and meeting you at the Meijer store you select as your pick-up location.
How Much to Tip Shipt Shoppers
Now that you know gratuity is expected on your grocery delivery orders, we’ll expand on Shipt tipping etiquette by telling you how much you actually need to budget out for a tip.
The standard tip for a home delivery is 15% of your order total. This amount is adequate for just about any normal delivery, in which nothing in particular — good or bad — stands out. However, if your driver puts in extra effort by helping you with a large order or heavy items, or makes your day by being extra friendly, you may consider upping your tip to at least 20%. Essentially, 15% should be your base tip, while anything extra should reflect the quality of service you receive.
If something goes wrong and your Shipt Shopper is at fault, it is fine to drop your tip to 10%. For example, you may tip less if your delivery person handles fragile items carelessly or cancels out-of-stock items without trying to contact you about substitutions first. Make sure you don’t penalize shoppers for situations beyond their control, such as delayed delivery times due to traffic.
Because drivers depend on tips, we generally don’t recommend dropping your tip below 10% unless you have an extremely poor experience, such as an incident that involves harassment or a stolen item. In these zero-tip situations, you’ll likely have reason to file a complaint with Shipt customer service, too.
Sometimes, a 10% base tip is fine for pick-up orders, but again, always consider the amount of time and effort your Shipt Shopper puts in. For example, if your shopper solely shopped at the pick-up location and simply hands off a small amount of groceries when you arrive, 10% is adequate. If they shopped for a large or heavy order, helped load groceries into your trunk, or waited for your late arrival to the pick-up location, make sure to use 15% as your base tip.
How to Tip on the Shipt App
Shipt tipping is only available to customers after your order is delivered, so there’s no way to pre-select a tip on the checkout page. Still, it’s easy to add a tip using the Shipt app. As soon as your grocery delivery is complete, you can open your app and immediately be taken to a screen to rate and tip your delivery person.
If the Shipt tipping screen doesn’t appear for you, you can also head to your “Orders” tab, select the specific order you want to add a tip to, and edit your driver rating and tip.
Another option you have is to open the order receipt you receive in your email, then tap the appropriate link to be taken straight to the tipping screen.
Regardless of what route you take to select your tip, the credit card you used to pay for your order will be the payment method used for your tip.
Frequently Asked Questions
With Shipt tipping etiquette fully broken down, you can start doing your grocery shopping online without wondering what you need to give your delivery people in return. To learn more about Shipt tipping, consider our answers to these frequently asked questions:
Can I tip my Shipt Shopper in cash?
Absolutely. If you’d rather tip with cash than through your app, there are no rules that bar you from doing so. Simply hand your Shipt Shopper the cash tip once the delivery or grocery pick-up is complete and follow the same tipping etiquette we outlined above.
Can I change my tip after initially selecting a tip amount?
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to change your tip after your initial selection, even for a short time frame. Due to this, it’s important to be attentive when selecting your tip and make sure the amount you choose is appropriate for your Shipt Shopper’s service quality.
If I was charged a pick-up or delivery fee, do I still need to tip?
Yes. If you were charged a $7 fee for a pick-up or delivery request, this is simply a small order fee that’s added onto any order with a subtotal under $35. This fee is not a replacement for your driver tip and does not go directly to your Shipt Shopper.
I requested a few grocery items that were on sale. Should I tip based on the original prices of these items?
Customers are not expected to tip based on the original prices of individual items (for example, if you purchased something from the “What’s On Sale” section of the platform). However, if you did apply a Shipt promo code that got you a deal off your entire order, we do recommend calculating your tip based on what the order total is before the discount is applied.
Perfect Your Shipt Tipping
When you know how much you should be tipping your Shipt Shoppers, you help the delivery people you interact with continue providing the grocery delivery service you love. Tips are necessary for these drivers to make more than minimum wage after all their independent contractor expenses are taken into account. Plus, when your Shipt Shopper goes above and beyond, you always have the opportunity to tip more and express your gratitude in the most helpful way.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.