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Why Is Instacart So Slow In 2023?

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Have you ordered an Instacart food delivery recently, and it had taken more than three hours before you got your groceries?

Many are wondering: why is Instacart so slow in 2023?

What has happened in recent months?

In the guide below, I provide the answers you’re looking for.

As a regular Instacart user, I have relied on it to get my groceries delivered when I’m busy taking care of the house or my kids.

The slowdown made me late on making lunch and sometimes dinner.

As such, I’ve looked into ways to increase the speed of Instacart deliveries.

Below, I will outline all the reasons why Instacart deliveries slowed down and how to get your groceries brought home more quickly.

Ready to learn more?

Let’s get started!

How Long Does Instacart Usually Take?

Instacart usually takes only two hours or less to deliver your groceries to your front door.

However, the company does provide a five-hour time frame during which the shopper can complete the delivery.

As such, you may find that it could take three, four, or even five hours before you get your groceries, cleaning supplies, and other necessary items.

Average Time for Deliveries

The average batch of groceries can take a delivery person to bring to your home in about one hour or no more than 90 minutes.

However, during peak delivery times and in busy cities, you may end up waiting five hours.

Minimum and Maximum Delivery Times

If you ordered a priority grocery delivery, you could get the needed items in as little as 45 minutes.

Standard deliveries have a timeline of about two hours at minimum.

The maximum time for Instacart deliveries is five hours.  

What is a Good Instacart Speed for Shoppers?

A good Instacart speed for shoppers is usually below 100 seconds per item.

For instance, if you purchase 30 items, a good Instacart shopper will bring your batch of groceries to your house in only 50 minutes.

Why is Instacart so Slow?

There are numerous reasons why Instacart deliveries are slow in your area, which include:

  • Fewer shoppers available
  • Your home is located far from the shop
  • The time you requested groceries is busy with orders
  • The delivery driver doesn’t know your neighborhood

Common Reasons Instacart is Slow for Customers

Below, we outline several of the most common reasons why Instacart delivery has slowed down for customers in certain regions.

1. Not Enough Shoppers

One possible reason for slow delivery may relate to too few shoppers and more orders than the app can handle.

However, the company has announced its plan to hire more shoppers.

2. You Live Far From Store

If your home is located more than half an hour from the store, it will take much longer for the shopper to get the groceries to your front door.

3. You’re Not Tipping Enough

Shoppers are more likely to accept orders from customers who tip well.

If you leave no gratuity or small tips, you will likely wait longer for a shopper to choose your order.

4. Busy Time

The demand for grocery deliveries from Instacart surged by 300 percent in 2020, while the average order grew by 35 percent.

That led to more busy times and long wait times for customers.

5. New Shopper

If the grocery delivery is taking too long, you may have a new shopper bringing your items.

New shoppers can take longer to find supplies since they’ve never worked at Instacart before.

6. The Driver is Unfamiliar With the Area

You may also get groceries delivered late if the delivery driver does not know your neighborhood very well and may have gotten lost trying to drive to your home.

Unfamiliar areas can lead drivers to show up late.

7. Bad Weather

Are you ordering Instacart grocery delivery when it’s snowing outdoors?

Or is there heavy rain in your area?

If so, bad weather may lead shoppers to drive more slowly and take longer to get to their homes.

8. You Didn’t Pay for Priority Deliver

If you want your food delivered in less than two hours or as little as 45 minutes, you will have to pay for priority delivery.

Otherwise, you may end up waiting longer.

9. App Glitch

It is also possible that the Instacart online app had a glitch or is down.

If so, your order will not get picked up until the mobile app gets back to working order.

10. You Didn’t Provide Clear Enough Instructions

Did you explain where you want your groceries delivered or left?

Do you have an apartment that requires a code to get into the building?

You will need to leave these types of instructions when ordering your groceries through the app.

Otherwise, it will take longer for the shopper to bring you your groceries.

Common Reasons Instacart is Slow for Shoppers

Sometimes, shoppers may find the Instacart mobile app working too slowly or causing problems with picking up orders.

For instance, shoppers with low ratings won’t get as many orders coming their way.

Other times, less demand may lead more shoppers to compete for fewer orders.

1. Low Instacart Shopper Rating

As an Instacart shopper, did you get a few bad ratings? If so, that may lead you to get fewer orders.

Work hard to increase your rating to get more orders.

2. Not Shopping at Peak Times

Shoppers who only have time to complete Instacart deliveries at odd times, such as mornings or afternoons on a weekday, may not get as many orders as those shopping on the weekend or Friday nights.

3. High Competition

When shopping in certain neighborhoods with fewer orders, you may see more Instacart shoppers and less demand.

That means you’ll have to compete more with other shoppers to get any one order.

You may have fewer orders to fill.

4. Bad Areas

You may also live in a bad region for Instacart grocery deliveries.

Most people in your area may go shopping for groceries themselves, and too few customers end up using the Instacart mobile app.

As such, you won’t get many orders or much money by working as an Instacart shopper.

How to Speed Up Your Instacart Order

There are several simple ways to speed up how quickly your Instacart order gets to your front door.

Instacart offers the Fast and Flexible program along with the Order Ahead option.

You can also order during less busy times or ask the driver to leave the order at the door.

1. Fast and Flexible Program

The Fast and Flexible Program from Instacart lets customers have the first available shopper fill their order without having to pick a time frame for the order to arrive at their home.

2. Order Ahead

The Order Ahead program at Instacart allows consumers to order groceries as much as two weeks ahead of time.

You can choose all your grocery items ahead of time.

3. Order During Best Times

You will also need to order your groceries during the least busy or peak times.

That can include weekday mornings or afternoons.

Avoid ordering during the weekend, which is usually the busiest.

4. Request Order Left at Door

Another way that shoppers can more quickly bring your groceries to your home is for them to leave everything at the door.

Request that when ordering your groceries.

How to Get Instacart Batches Faster

As a shopper, you can get more Instacart batches if you work to get a higher rating, work during busy times, and agree to multiple orders at once.

1. Get a Higher Rating

If you work quickly and pick out the exact items your customers request, you can get a higher rating and more Instacart batches faster.

2. Work During Peak Times

You can also start working through the Instacart app during peak times when there are more orders available.

Usually, you should work during the weekends to get more orders quickly.

3. Find Busy Stores

Certain shops are busier than others.

Find the stores with the most customers using Instacart.

You may need to check forums or try out different stores until finding the right one.

4. Accept More Than One Order

Another way to make more money as an Instacart shopper is to accept two orders at once and purchase all items at one store.

Then, you can deliver groceries to both customers instead of going back to the shop.

How to Check if Instacart is Down

You can check the server status of Instacart on Google Play or through the App store.

The Instacart website can also show the server status.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, I answer a few of the most common questions about Instacart and its late deliveries.

What do I do about a late delivery on Instacart?

You can get a refund if your groceries are delivered past the five-hour time frame.

Contact the customer service line.  

Is Instacart dying as a company?

Instacart had a strong growth period in 2020 during the quarantine period of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, the boom has faded, and the company has seen fewer customers.

Wrapping Up

You now know the answer to the question: why is Instacart so slow?

You can try ordering your groceries during nonpeak times and picking the Fast and Flexible program or the Order Ahead program.

These steps can bring your food to your house much more quickly.

Let us know if you have any questions below!

3 thoughts on “Why Is Instacart So Slow In 2023?”

  1. Sometimes we shoppers have 2 or 3 customers at one time, sometimes with stops at more than one store. We shop for all customers in that “batch” at one or more stores then we deliver to all customers in order. It’s not always one customer at one store and then straight to their house.

  2. Just want people to know this, so hopefully they will understand this and not lower tips if it takes us longer than they think it should

  3. Instacart also group orders into batches. Shoppers are shopping to 2 to 3 customer in a batch, and they have to fullfill all orders before they can check out, as well as following delivery instruction (who gets the order first)


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