Is Instacart Worth the Price?

Reuters
September 23, 2020 Topic: Technology Region: Americas Blog Brand: Techland Tags: InstacartCoronavirusPandemicTechnologyApps

Is Instacart Worth the Price?

For many people, keeping out of harm’s way during this global pandemic is a top priority. And paying up a hundred bucks a year is indeed a small price to pay for a little peace of mind during these uncertain times.

 

For more than six months now, the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has continued its unrelenting march across the United States.

And what this pandemic has revealed over that time is that we are willing to adapt and largely change our way of life. One of the more conspicuous ways is how we now shop for groceries.

 

Today, many people either can’t get to the grocery store or aren’t willing to risk their health to enter one. This means that grocery delivery apps are witnessing a huge boost in demand, and perhaps no other company is reaping the rewards as much as Instacart, which offers same-day delivery and pickup services to bring fresh groceries and everyday essentials to people in North America.

The company has already forged partnerships with more than 400 national, regional, and local retailers, including Albertsons, ALDI, Costco, Kroger, Loblaw, Publix, Sam’s Club, Sprouts, and Wegmans, among others.

“COVID-19 created a massive shift for the grocery industry and forever changed how people view the necessity of on-demand services,” Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said in a press release.

“Overnight, Instacart became an essential service for millions of families across North America and our teams have worked incredibly hard to safely serve customers and shoppers during this time of need. … This pandemic has fundamentally reshaped the way people think about grocery and e-commerce, and we’re proud to have Instacart continue to play an important role in people’s lives now and long after this crisis subsides.”  

As for the pricing to use the service, it can get relatively expensive especially if you add on the tips. It’s great to know that the first order is free, but if you want to continue to use the service as a nonmember, it starts at $3.99 for same-day and next-day orders that are more than $35.

If you sign up for Instacart Express—starting at $99 annually or $9.99 monthly—then you’ll be able to get unlimited free delivery for orders that are more than $35.

Keep in mind that Instacart has nothing to do with how the prices are set at the grocery stores. That said, don’t forget about the tipping costs, which are strongly encouraged by the company. People typically tip $5 or roughly 20 percent of the total bill, whichever is higher.

Yes, forking over $99 a year and tipping every time you get a grocery delivery might be hard to swallow for some. But compared to other options out there, such as Shipt and Walmart+, it is still pretty reasonable.  

The recently launched Walmart+ costs $98 a year or $12.95 a month and includes a fifteen-day free trial period. The service offers unlimited free delivery from stores, fuel discounts and access to tools that make shopping faster for families.  

For many people, keeping out of harm’s way during this global pandemic is a top priority. And paying up a hundred bucks a year is indeed a small price to pay for a little peace of mind during these uncertain times.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.  

Image: Reuters