Instacart vs. Shipt: Which grocery delivery service is better to shop with?

If you read our previous piece on the top 6 food delivery apps in 2021, you’d be no stranger to how food delivery services are revolutionizing our world.

With a few taps on your smartphone, you can order just about any kind of food from a vast collection of apps. What’s more mouthwatering is how fast your order can be delivered to your doorstep. It literally just takes minutes!

Two of such apps that stand out to us are Instacart and Shipt. In this Instacart vs Shipt face-off, we’ll be revealing all the amazing qualities of both services.

Even better; you’ll know which one is the best service to shop with, by the end of this article!

Shopping with Instacart vs Shipt: which one is better?

Before we review shopping with Instacart vs Shipt, let’s put a short biography on both names!

Instacart 

Instacart grocery delivery service
Photo credit: @instacart on Instagram

Instacart is a food delivery service that provides both app and website platforms for customers to order groceries and household items. It was created in 2012, with its headquarters in San Francisco, and happens to be one of the largest food delivery services worldwide today.

Instacart currently operates in 5,500 cities spread out in the United States and Canada. It’s also in partnership with prominent grocery stores like Publix, Sam’s Club, Target, Kroger and Meijer.

Shipt

A woman wearing white shirt with Shipt logo while standing in front of a Shipt stand
Photo credit: @shipt on Instagram

Like Instacart, Shipt is another brilliant food delivery service. It arrived much later than Instacart, having been launched in 2014, with its headquarters situated in Birmingham, Alabama. 

It also provides both website and app interfaces for customers to order household and food items easily.

Now that we know enough about both delivery services, let’s determine which one is better with the following criteria.

Delivery fees

Facebook feeds page on Samsung smartphone screen

Generally, Instacart and Shipt both perform exceptionally to ensure customers have the best experience while ordering on their platforms. However, they aren’t completely the same.

Shipt offers its shoppers the choice of paying per order or using its services for an annual fee of $99. This ensures no customer is forced to subscribe for a membership fee they won’t even use for half of the year.

The annual fee covers all your delivery charges for an entire year. So you can order grocery items worth any amount without paying a separate delivery fee.

Making orders above $35 would earn you a delivery fee waiver. That means, you don’t have to pay a delivery fee at all!

But all orders below $35 attract a fixed delivery fee of $7. Occasionally, you’ll get the chance to use coupons to get discounts on your orders.

As for Instacart’s delivery fees, users without membership will have to pay for orders above $35. The delivery fee costs $3.99. Payment for orders under $35 may vary.

As a user with the Instacart Express membership, you’ll get free delivery on all orders above $35. Instacart Express costs $99 annually, and there’s also a separate monthly fee of $9.99.

Who wins this round?

Instacart. 

Instacart offers more flexibility in terms of delivery fees. You get to pay on an annual, monthly or pay-per-order basis, whereas Shipt restricts you to annual or pay-per-order delivery fees, which are quite costly.

Delivery speed

delivery man riding bicycle with speed

With Shipt, there’s no limit to what you can order. You can purchase pet supplies, personal medication, fresh produce, household items, office supplies, etc. All items will be delivered to your home address in less than 1 hour

On the other hand, Instacart shoppers deliver beauty products, home and decoration products, medications, office supplies, and even sporting equipment. The delivery time is between 1 to 2 hours.

Who wins this round?

Shipt.

If you’re crazy about fast delivery, then Shipt is the service you’d want to shop with because of its short delivery window.

Delivery locations

Man driving while using GPS

Instacart operates within more than 5,500 cities and is in partnership with an estimated 600 retail supermarkets, whereas Shipt works in about 5,000 cities.

Who wins this round?

Instacart.

More locations means wider your choices for you to shop with, and in the long run, the better your experiences. There are locations where you might not be able to access Shipt, so the best option in that situation is to use Instacart. 

If you’d like to know whether Shipt operates in your area, click here.

The overall winner

Everybody has their preferences, so determining the better grocery delivery service boils down to what you’d like it to do for you.

But if you ask us, Instacart is the obvious winner. It might not offer faster delivery when compared to Shipt, but it is accessible from anywhere in the USA and Canada. It also offers flexibility in payment options, which is one factor most grocery delivery services these days overlook.


If you enjoyed our comparison review, you should check out these other articles. They’ll be worth your while for sure!