Over the years, the emergence of service and product providers has been rapid due to the fast growth of the on-demand economy. The on-demand economy similarly well-known as the access economy ranges from vacation rentals, pet care, shipping, health, beauty, home cleaning, to car rides to, of course, delivery. The growth of the on-demand delivery service market has been facilitated mostly by lifestyle changes, apart from other factors. One of the areas of delivery services that have not been left behind in all of this is that of grocery (fresh fruits and vegetables) delivery. An array of grocery delivery alternatives exists for customer’s use, but the most notable ones include; Amazon’s Prime Fresh, Google’s Express and, of course, Instacart.
Instacart was founded in the year 2012 with services in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Mountain View. With the phenomenal growth in business operations over successive years, Instacart services are presently available for use by customers in over 15 cities in the USA including Denver, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Oregon, New York City and Philadelphia, plus much more.
How Instacart Works, the Uber of Delivery!
The major advantage Instacart has over his peers is that it does not stock fresh produce. Its job is simply letting you shop in your favorite grocery stores. This is done through its website and smartphone app available for both IOS and Android platforms. These grocery stores include; the Food Emporium, Costco, Cub Foods, Bi-Rate Market and Whole Foods. There are three basic steps for Instacart grocery shopping.
I. You first creating an Instacart account.Subsequently, you order fresh groceries online from local stores of your choice; you can make orders from any smartphone device through the Instacart app. your order will then be sent to one of the Instacart employees.
II. You schedule the time you want the fresh groceries delivered.
III. Your fresh groceries will then be delivered to your doorstep by the personal shopper.
Instacart Product Pricing
Sometimes the prices of groceries in Instacart are lower, the same or even occasionally higher when compared to in-store prices. What you are guaranteed, in most cases, is a good deal with Instacart.
How Ordering For Groceries Work with Instacart
Choosing a groceries store or stores after logging into instacart is the first step.
Before confirming an order, Instacart allows you to substitute the items that may be out of stock. Apart from that, it offers its own recommendations to you.
After placing an order, the confirmation page gives you live updates until your personal shopper delivers your items. These live updates include the name of your personal shopper and when the shopper started shopping. The receipt is often emailed after groceries delivery to you.
Working As an Independent Contractor with Instacart.
Independent contractors usually don’t enjoy the benefits of permanent employees such as minimum wage restrictions, compensation for expenses and health insurance.
Over 4,000 personal shoppers are contracted by Instacart who work in various cities across the country. The compensation of independent contractors is based on a formula that factors in two key things; First, the total number of orders for every shift and secondly, the number of items for every order.
Requirements for an Independent Contractor to Sign Up with Instacart
a. An acceptable driving record with 2+ years of experience in driving
b. A reliable access to an effective transport vehicle.
c. Consistent access to and effective use of the latest smartphone ( Android 4.0 + or iPhone 5 or above ).
d. Be able to transport alcohol ( 21+ ).
e. Be able to lift 30 – 40lbs.
What the Work of Independent Contractor Involves
a. A recommended grocery which often will be the first store for your shopping is often texted to you about 30 minutes before your shift commences. ( Time is of the essence ).
b. Assigning you a batch may take time even after your shift commences. You will have to wait. After receiving the batch; an amount of time is given for you to “acknowledge” the batch. Acknowledging the batch effectively starts the order.
c. After that, you will receive a text with a link which when clicked opens in the Instacart shopper app with a list of items to shop. The major issue here is that the weights and or prices are not always correct.
d. After dealing with all the items in your shopping list, you check for any replacements made and confirm with the customer through a call for the same. If the customer doesn’t receive the call, you will be forced to leave a message.
e. In the checkout section, payments are made with the credit cards issued by the company. You are required to keep all receipts and deposit them in the office of city manager.
f. Immediately you get to your car, you proceed to the app and click “Start delivery” and the customer is notified of the same.
g. Finding a nearby legal parking in residential areas can be a challenge, but if you can avoid paying the parking fees the better.
h. You then deliver the groceries to the customer’s “doorstep.”
i. Repeat the same process.
The Advantages of Instacart
• Easy ordering experience and customer-friendly personal shoppers.
• The online item selection is as close to what you would get in-store.
• You are able to order from different stores at once.
• Very convenient.
• First order delivery is free
The Disadvantages of Instacart
• Since the prices attached to items are set by Instacart, they may vary from actual in-store prices.
• Instacart does not take store sales, rewards or coupons into account.
• You can’t overly be fastidious about an item or items.
Instacart is heavily dependent on the quality of the services offered by its workers, who are mostly independent contractors. like other jobs, working as an independent contractor comes with disadvantages and advantages as already alluded above. With Instacart, it is no different. In fact, for the last five years of its existence, Instacart has been the subject of various lawsuits by independent contractors revolving around the refusal by the company to classify its independent contractors as employees – which would guarantee them associated benefits. Therefore, having a healthy workforce with a motivation to render their services will always remain a challenge to the likes of Instacart. At same time you do have the opportunity to decide when to work as for many busy moms, and dads might be a great option.
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