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In a time when smartphones and on-demand services are becoming a big part of consumers’ lives, there’s no question that grocery delivery services fit right in. These services make it easy for you to shop from your mobile device and pay for a local to head to the grocery store for you. By signing up for Shipt, you can try the concept out for yourself. So what is Shipt exactly?
For busy families that are always on the lookout for ways to save time, Shipt can be a great asset that helps you cross grocery shopping off your massive to-do list. First launched in 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama, it’s now one of the fastest-growing grocery delivery apps in the U.S. and has even overtaken Amazon Fresh in growth and share of revenue.
This comprehensive guide will explain what Shipt is, how it works, and how you can sign up for the service today.
- What Is Shipt?
- How Shipt Works
- How Much Does Shipt Cost?
- How to Sign Up for Shipt
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Shipt?
Shipt is a national grocery delivery service that was acquired by Target in 2017. The company allows you to shop for what you need just by scrolling through your smartphone or computer, and matches you with Shipt drivers (known as Shipt Shoppers) who bring your selected items straight to your door.
On Shipt, customers can stock up on everything from food and drinks to pet food and toiletries. You can find thousands of grocery items and supplies every single week, even including alcohol in select markets. These items are sourced from Target and a variety of national chains — such as Kroger, Meijer, H-E-B, Costco, CVS, Petco, and Publix — as well as other local grocery stores.
After Target’s acquisition, Shipt actually tripled in growth, making it the growing national service it is today.
How Shipt Works
Shopping on Shipt is incredibly simple. Members simply need to log in to the Shipt app (available on iOS 10.0, Android 5.0, or later) or head to shop.shipt.com/login to start browsing through available items and current sales. If you have a general idea of what you need to purchase, you can also sort by category or make a search to speed up your shopping process. Then, tap the green plus sign next to each item you want to add to your cart.
Once you’ve added all your desired items — no minimum order necessary — you can head to checkout and select your preferred delivery window. This delivery time can be as little as one hour in advance, or up to a week ahead. In some markets, deliveries may be available throughout all 24 hours of the day, as Shipt’s services can be requested as long as there’s a grocery store in your area that’s open. The main requirement is that you must be home at the time of delivery.
Before completing the checkout process, make sure to add any delivery notes that will help your Shipt Shopper deliver your items. You can also tap “Add Note” next to any item if you have any preferences (for example, a preferred weight for a head of broccoli) or other special instructions.
While your Shipt Shopper is grabbing items at the store, they may contact you if they find that an item is out of stock. This way, they’ll be able to coordinate a substitute item or confirm that you’d prefer to skip the item. You can also add notes about substitution preferences in the “Add Note” area before checkout if you want to save time or avoid missing a call.
How Much Does Shipt Cost?
Shipt is a membership-based grocery delivery service, unlike its primary competitor Instacart. As such, the platform is only available to members who pay a $14 monthly membership fee or a $99 annual membership fee. Having this fee in place allows the company to offer considerably fast delivery — even during peak hours — at no extra charge. Same-day delivery will never cost you any more than next-day or next-week delivery.
Instead of varying prices based on your ordered items, location, and delivery window, you can consistently expect free delivery for all orders over $35. A $7 delivery fee will only be charged for small orders that are $35 or under. Service fees only apply at select retailers, but you’ll know about them before you check out.
While Shipt doesn’t require tips, tipping is common etiquette that is expected of customers. We recommend tipping your Shopper at least 15% for every order, as this helps these independent contractors make a comfortable living wage. If your Shipt Shopper puts in a particularly noticeable amount of effort — for example, if you’ve ordered heavy items for them to deliver or they’re just extra friendly — you may consider tipping 20%.
In terms of the cost of the grocery items you buy, the average Shipt customer pays about $5 more on the platform than they would in store for every $35 spent. This isn’t a drastically higher price, given the convenience factor. Plus, Shipt does offer deals just like a normal grocery store. Using the Shipt app can also help you stick to a budget, as you’ll see exactly what you’re paying and be able to adjust your cart before checking out.
How to Sign Up for Shipt
When you’re ready to sign up for your Shipt membership, you can start by heading to the Shipt homepage, entering your ZIP code, and tapping “Get started.” Review the retailers available in your area and tap “Get started” again.
On the following page, sign up with your Google or Facebook account. Alternatively, you can enter your full name, email address, and preferred password before tapping “Create account.”
Opt into the annual or monthly membership plan.
Enter your payment information and submit when complete.
Once you’ve taken these steps, you should be ready to make your first grocery order. The credit card or debit card you submitted in the last step will be the card that’s charged for your future orders on the platform.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know the answer to our initial question — “What is Shipt?” — you can decide whether or not it’s the service for you. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you figure out if the grocery delivery service can fulfill your needs.
1. Is Shipt available in every state?
Shipt is currently available in 48 states, with Alaska and West Virginia being the outliers. You can check if the company services your specific city by scrolling down on this page and tapping on your state name.
2. Are there any limitations to what I can order on Shipt?
While Shipt can deliver the majority of items you can find in a standard grocery store, the company is legally restricted from delivering gift cards, tobacco, propane tanks, and lottery cards. While prescription medication delivery isn’t legally barred in every market, Shipt Shoppers are always restricted from picking up items in this category for you.
3. If I’m on vacation, can I still get groceries sent via Shipt?
As long as you’re in one of Shipt’s markets, absolutely. With one Shipt membership, you can get groceries delivered to any service area. This means that you can even send your friends or family members groceries any time you want.
4. What payment methods can I use?
Most major credit cards and debit cards in the United States are accepted by Shipt. This includes reloadable gift cards, like the Visa gift card. However, you won’t be able to pay with gift cards that are dedicated to specific stores or EBT cards. Although Shipt is owned by Target, the Target REDcard or its benefits cannot be used on your grocery order either.
Get Groceries Delivered to Your Door
Shipt is a convenient grocery delivery service that helps customers throughout the U.S. save time and gas. The fast-growing, Target-owned company is helping plenty of busy families stay healthy and stocked up with easy access to fresh produce, meat, and other necessities. With Shipt, you can escape the hassle of heading to the grocery store just by connecting with locals who can act as your personal shopper for the day.
If you’re not ready to make a commitment at full price, the good news is that you don’t have to. Read our guide to Shipt promo codes, where we’ll even provide some savings tips for when you start shopping.
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.