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What Is Shipt? The Basics Of This Service, Explained

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Key Takeaways

  • Shipt offers convenient grocery delivery from local and chain retailers online.
  • Membership options for one-time or regular deliveries, adding shopping flexibility.
  • Unique multi-store shopping feature in one order, expanding product choices.
  • Reliable service highly rated, yet availability and communication can improve.

What Is Shipt?

Shipt is an online delivery service that enables you to shop for groceries from local and chain retailers in your area.

After you log into the website or smartphone app and select the items you’d like to purchase, Shipt matches you with a shopper.

Their role is to buy items from your favorite stores and deliver them to your location.

Founded in 2014 and acquired in 2017 by Target Corporation, Shipt has expanded across 37 states by 2024. The membership-based service has offices in over 200 U.S. cities and delivers goods from many stores, including:

  • Target
  • Office Depot
  • Costco
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Petco
  • H-E-B

If you’re not sure if Shipt covers your area, you can visit their website and enter your zip code to check.

Don’t fret if it doesn’t; the company will likely expand to your location soon because it’s determined to cater to shoppers’ needs across the country.

How Shipt Works

The way Shipt works is straightforward from the moment you sign up to the minute the shopper hands you your groceries:

1. Membership

Shipt is suitable for occasional and everyday shoppers.

If you’re unlikely to use it daily, you can request a one-time order with a single-delivery cost of $10.

You’ll also need to pay a service fee and a delivery fee, both of which will appear on the checkout page.

A more cost-effective way to shop for groceries with Shipt is to sign up for Shipt Everyday at $10.99 per month or $99 a year.

Our recommendation is to use this membership if you’re a frequent buyer instead of the single delivery option.

To test the water first, you can opt for a 14-day free trial with unlimited deliveries before committing to the paid membership.

2. Placing Orders

On the Shipt app or site, you may shop by store from the list of retailers that will show up automatically on your home screen.

These stores will vary from one location to another based on which stores have partnered with the service.

You’ll also find the estimated delivery time displayed for each store.

Select a pharmacy, pet store, or grocery store, then browse its products and start adding items to your cart. Alternatively, you can shop by category or brand or type the item’s name into the search bar.

Shipt allows you to add products from multiple shops, too, and have them delivered to your doorstep by the same shopper.

To get to the checkout, tap the shopping cart icon for a final look at the items you’ve picked. Then, it’ll be time to determine the delivery time.

The Shipt app asks you to pick a one-hour delivery window on the same day or the next few days based on the specific retailer.

Next, choose substitution instructions, type in your payment information, and provide details like your phone number and address.

3. Delivery Process

A trained Shipt shopper will then head to the store to buy the items you’ve picked, using your shopping list as guidance. They’ll buy the exact size and brand of each product.

If an item is out of stock or they have any questions for you, they’ll contact you via text.

Shopping for meat and produce may not be as easy as grabbing a bottle of ketchup from a specific brand. The shopper is trained to choose the highest quality item available in this case.

When they’re done purchasing your stuff, the Shipt shopper will deliver it to you during the delivery window you’ve specified earlier.

How Much Does Shipt Cost?

Shipt Everyday annual memberships are $99, which gives you unlimited free deliveries for orders over $35. If your order is worth less than $35, service fees may apply plus a flat $7 delivery fee.

Some items, like alcohol, may cost you extra, which is around $7 as an alcohol fee.

As for tipping, you can add your preferred amount during checkout. You might even increase it after delivery if the service was better than you’d expected!

Seasonal promotions can also give you the chance to save some cash during the first year of use.

Using Shipt: A High-Level Overview

Ordering groceries via Shipt is a breeze, even if you’re not tech-savvy. Here are the basic instructions on signing up and shopping to receiving deliveries:

  1. Visit the Shipt website or download the smartphone app.
  2. Sign up for a Shipt account by entering your personal details, then confirm your email address.
  3. Open the app, select the store(s) you want to buy groceries from, and then add items to your cart by tapping the plus (+) icon next to each product. Adjust the quantity according to your needs.
  4. After shopping, select the cart icon in the upper-right corner to review your items before purchase.
  5. Determine the delivery window, enter your payment method, and include your delivery details.
  6. Choose your substitution option in case an item isn’t available.
  7. Decide whether you want the shopper to leave the order at your door and leave your tip (optional).
  8. The shopper will reach out to you if they have any questions about your order, and then they’ll drop by during the one-hour window you’ve already chosen.
  9. If you need to cancel your Shipt order, you can do that up to an hour before delivery is due.

What Sets Shipt Apart From Other Delivery Services?

Shipt has one major selling point that makes it unique amongst most delivery services, which is the ability to shop from multiple stores in the same order. This option is also available with Instacart but not in Walmart+.

Additionally, Shipt is determined to build solid relationships between shoppers and customers. This is thanks to a new feature where if you rate a shopper five stars, they’re likely to receive more orders from you in the future!

The delivery service excels at giving its subscribed members a stellar experience by frequently offering them promotions. This includes discounts during the holidays, free same-day delivery for orders over $35, and more.

Its membership is also considered affordable when you compare it to Amazon Fresh and Walmart+, which cost $14.99 and $12.95 per month respectively.

You get to pick your substitution preference, too, which isn’t available with services like Amazon Fresh.

Is Shipt Worth It? An Analysis

Subscribing to a Shipt is worth it if you want to save time and energy spent on buying groceries every day.

This is beneficial for people who have tight schedules, are at work for the majority of the day, or have mobility issues and can’t leave the house.

It’s also a fantastic same-day delivery option for people quarantined at home and don’t have friends or family who can shop for groceries on their behalf.

Shipt combines cost-effectiveness, ease of use, product availability (since it covers most chain stores), and convenience. Evidence of its reputation shows in how it currently has a 67% 5-star rating on Trustpilot!

These testimonials praised the service’s simple interface and mistake-free shopping experience. They even compared it to shopping at the store, claiming that using Shipt was far more time-saving.

However, there are still some areas that need improvement, like not being available in every state. Plus, Shipt could use a store pickup function.

Another drawback is that communication between shoppers and customers is inconsistent. It depends on your luck with the specific shopper grabbing your order.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a couple of questions that may still be on your mind after reading our article about the Shipt service.

What is the difference between Shipt and Instacart?

Shipt and Instacart differ slightly in subscription fees since Shipt will cost you $10.99 per month while Instacart is a bit lower at $9.99. Both have a $99 yearly subscription, though.

Another point of distinction is availability. Instacart covers a wider portion of the United States, so it can be the better option if you don’t live in a major city.

Why do people use Shipt?

People use Shipt because it takes the hassle of grocery shopping off their minds, especially if their schedules are too busy.

Shipt is also a favorite of many because you tailor the entire shopping experience to your preferences. This includes the delivery time slot, payment options, store selection, substitution considerations, and others.

Plus, the human factor (Shipt shoppers) and customer messaging feature don’t make you feel like you’re dealing with a machine.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t want to trouble yourself with daily visits to the grocery store, using Shipt can be a reliable alternative. You can place your order from the comfort of your couch, while running on the treadmill, or during work hours.

It makes grocery shopping convenient and accessible to all people.

To determine whether Shipt is worth it, think about several factors like your budget and how frequently you’ll be using the service. Also, consider your lifestyle to see if committing to the ongoing subscription is born out of a necessity or a luxury.

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