Instacart rolls out tip-protection for shoppers; More tipping and batching improvements introduced

April 6, 2022

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In Instacart’s second release in a four-month rollout of fresh commitments for the shopper community, the leading grocery delivery company introduced a tip-protection for shoppers. This is to secure them against customers who zero up the tip after delivery. 

This will apply if the customer reduces the tip to zero after delivery without reporting an issue in the order. Instacart will cover the zeroed-up tip for up to $10. It is actually rare for the customer to reduce the tip to zero, but this shall ensure shoppers on such rare occasions. Further, Instacart reported a steady decline in the number of orders where tips are removed after delivery.    

The shoppers will also be able to cash out their tips faster. The current 24-hour window will be reduced significantly so that shoppers would be able to access their tips only 2 hours after order delivery.  

Another improvement in tipping is the adoption of various ways to prompt customers to give high tips for shoppers. Specifically, customers who rated their shoppers with 5 stars will receive a prompt to up their tip in appreciation for the excellent service rendered by the shopper. Since its rollout in the past months, it has boosted shoppers’ earrings to an average of 6% through tips from eligible customers. 

Meanwhile, customers who opt not to leave tips had been the focus of another feature that was tested to improve tipping. Upon check-out, these customers receive encouragement to recognize the hard work of the shopper. This feature’s test resulted in a 12% average reduction of non-tipping customers.   

These improvement features in tipping could be part of the company’s attempt to appease shoppers who had been complaining for years due to low pay and lack of communication from the company. Specifically, “tip” is a topic of concern. Workers were demanding for the current 5% default tip to be raised to 10% of the total bill of the customer,  

Meanwhile, aside from tipping, Instacart is also looking at batching types that intend to increase shopper earnings. With the multi-batch, shoppers could maximize their time by shopping from more than one store location in one batch. For instance, the shoppers can take a batch of orders from two customers at two stores. That way, they would only have to make one trip across town to earn. Further, shoppers could accept additional orders while at the grocery store, allowing them to add more customers to the batch. These batch types are still being piloted in markets in North America.  

John Adams, Vice President of Instacart’s Shopper & Fulfillment Product, said that these improvements in tipping and batching are intended to help 600,000 people have a more reliable and profitable shopping experience with Instacart. 

As the world eases back to normal, this is a critical time for the company to reinvent itself. Doing so by getting into the shoppers’ good graces is a nice move.

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