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Why Is Instacart So Slow? Reasons Why & Ways To Speed Up

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Key Takeaways

  • Instacart typically promises delivery within two hours, but peak times can extend this to five hours.
  • Slow deliveries can result from too few shoppers, far distances, busy times, or new, unfamiliar drivers.
  • Customers can speed up orders by using Fast and Flexible, ordering ahead, or requesting doorstep delivery.
  • Shoppers can get batches faster by improving their rating, working peak times, and accepting multiple orders.

How Long Does Instacart Usually Take?

Instacart typically delivers groceries within two hours. However, delivery times can vary, with a possible range up to five hours, especially during peak periods or in busy areas.

On average, deliveries are completed in about one hour to 90 minutes. Priority deliveries can be as quick as 45 minutes, while standard deliveries usually take around two hours. The maximum delivery time is set at five hours.

For shoppers, a good speed is under 100 seconds per item, potentially enabling a delivery of 30 items in just 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

Instacart deliveries can slow down for several reasons:

  1. Insufficient Shoppers: A shortage of shoppers for the volume of orders can delay deliveries. Instacart plans to hire more shoppers to address this issue.
  2. Distance from Store: Deliveries take longer if your home is far from the store, especially over half an hour away.
  3. Low Tips: Shoppers prefer orders with higher tips, so low or no tips can result in longer wait times.
  4. High Demand: Instacart experienced a 300% surge in demand in 2020, leading to busier times and longer waits.
  5. New Shoppers: Inexperienced shoppers may take longer to find items, delaying delivery.
  6. Driver Unfamiliarity with Area: Deliveries can be late if drivers are not familiar with your neighborhood.
  7. Bad Weather: Inclement weather, like snow or heavy rain, can slow down deliveries as shoppers drive more cautiously.
  8. Non-Priority Delivery: Choosing standard delivery over priority means longer wait times, as priority orders are delivered faster.
  9. App Glitches: Technical issues with the Instacart app can prevent orders from being picked up promptly.
  10. Unclear Delivery Instructions: Not providing clear instructions for grocery drop-off, especially in secured buildings, can delay deliveries.

Common Reasons Instacart is Slow for Shoppers

Instacart shoppers may experience slowdowns for various reasons, including:

  1. Low Shopper Rating: A low rating can result in fewer orders. Improving your rating can help increase the number of orders you receive.
  2. Non-Peak Shopping Times: Shopping during off-peak times, like weekday mornings or afternoons, may result in fewer orders compared to peak times, such as weekends or Friday nights.
  3. High Competition: In areas with many shoppers but fewer orders, competition can be intense, leading to fewer opportunities to pick up orders.
  4. Less Demand in Certain Areas: If you’re in an area where fewer people use Instacart, possibly because they prefer shopping for groceries themselves, you’ll likely receive fewer orders, affecting your earnings.

Pro Tip: 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.

How to Speed Up Your Instacart Order

  1. Use the Fast and Flexible Program: This option allows the first available shopper to fill your order without selecting a specific delivery time, potentially speeding up the process.
  2. Utilize the Order Ahead Feature: Instacart’s Order Ahead allows you to schedule grocery orders up to two weeks in advance, helping you plan and potentially expedite your delivery.
  3. Order During Off-Peak Times: Placing orders during less busy times, such as weekday mornings or afternoons, can lead to faster fulfillment compared to busier times like weekends.
  4. Opt for Doorstep Delivery: Requesting that your order be left at your door can streamline the delivery process, allowing shoppers to drop off groceries without direct hand-off.

How to Get Instacart Batches Faster

To increase the speed at which you receive Instacart batches as a shopper, consider these tips:

  1. Improve Your Rating: Deliver orders promptly and accurately to enhance your rating, which can lead to receiving more batches more quickly.
  2. Work During High-Demand Times: Peak times, especially weekends, typically have a higher volume of orders. Working during these periods can result in more batch opportunities.
  3. Identify and Work in Busy Areas: Some stores have a higher demand for Instacart services. Experiment with different locations or consult forums to find these busier stores for more batch options.
  4. Accept Multiple Orders Simultaneously: If possible, take on more than one order at a time. This strategy allows you to shop for and deliver multiple orders in one trip, optimizing your earnings and efficiency.

4 thoughts on “Why Is Instacart So Slow? Reasons Why & Ways To Speed Up”

  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.

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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)

    Reply
  4. Honestly,I would go with another service. Batching, not enough shopper. My items are always messed up and late. Rediculous to.offer a service that you can handle. There’s plenty of competition out there that actually DELIVERS GROCERIES ON TIW. like the commercial says. It’s just not efficient. Unhappy

    Reply

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