Shipt is one of the major grocery delivery apps available to shoppers and has some similarities to the car rental company Avis. Back in the day, Avis was the second-largest rental car company in the country. Their motto was “We try harder.” Shipt is competing with Instacart, and like Avis, Shipt is trying harder to provide a positive experience for shoppers and customers. In fact, Shipt positions themselves as having shoppers who are “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Take a few minutes and read about why you might want to become a Shipt shopper. The topics we’ll cover include
- What it takes to become a Shipt shopper.
- Why be a Shipt shopper?.
- A day in the life of a Shipt shopper.
- Strategy #1: Choose your stores.
- Strategy #2: Choose your service area.
- Convenient Shipt features for shoppers.
- The habits of a highly successful Shipt shopper.
- It’s all in the attitude.
- Making Gridwise a part of your Shipt strategy.
What it takes to become a Shipt shopper
Go to the Shipt website and enter your ZIP code to see whether Shipt is available in your area. Instacart is in about 5,500 cities in the US. Shipt is available in about 5,000. If they are available in your area, then it’s onto filling out the online application. You will need
- to be at least 18 years of age
- a valid US driver’s license and auto insurance
- a reliable vehicle, 1997 or newer
- knowledge of produce selection
- the ability to lift 40 pounds
- an iPhone (iOS 10 or newer) or Android (5.1 or newer) smartphone
- to pass a background check on your driving record and criminal record.
Once you turn in the application, certification takes two to three weeks. Then you are ready to be a Shipt shopper.
Why be a Shipt shopper?
Instacart launched in 2012. Shipt came along in 2014. Both companies meandered along, not making a lot of money. Then the pandemic came along, and things skyrocketed. According to Power Reviews, 73% of consumers reported that they had made an online grocery purchase in 2021. That number was a mere 17% in 2017. A year later, in Q1 2022, that number was 71%. Shoppers discovered they liked services such as Shipt.
In May 2021, Gridwise published its pay survey of Shipt vs. Instacart. You can check it out at Shipt vs. Instacart: Which is better for shoppers and drivers? Shipt shoppers were making a good wage to the tune of $18.15 per hour.
Aphid Cart did a YouTube video about his Shipt shopping experience, and he made close to $23.00 an hour and that was after paying for gas. That rate moves Shipt up to one of the higher-paying gig-driving jobs, reaching parity with Lyft and Uber.
Part of this is due to Shipt’s bonus structure. For completing eight deliveries that day, Aphid Cart made a $70 bonus, which was almost a third of his Shipt shopper pay.
A day in the life of a Shipt shopper
One of the big differences between Shipt and Instacart is that Instacart is primarily a grocery delivery service, although they do list drug stores and other retail outlets on their website. This grocery-only image is reinforced by the carrot in their logo.
Shipt is owned by Target, which may cause you to think they are a Target-only service. Not true. Shipt shoppers not only go to all the major grocery stores, they also shop and deliver for other outlets such as Best Buy, Office Max, Sephora, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and others. More variety means more opportunities.
Starting your day as a Shipt shopper begins with logging on the Shipt shopper app and indicating which hours you are available that day. For each block you select, the app shows you which orders are available. Unlike rideshare, you can pick and choose the orders you want.
As you go through the store, filling an order, you scan the products through the Shipt app, which lets the consumer know that you have found that item.
Once you have completed the order and run it through checkout, you scan the receipt with your phone. The app then gives you the delivery address.
If you want more details on being a Shipt shopper, check out the YouTube videos of Edgar and Dianna, a couple in Southern California. One of their most popular videos is Day in the Life as a Shipt Shopper! Edgar is a part-time Shipt shopper, accompanied by Dianna to help the work go a bit quicker.
Strategy #1: Choose your stores
This is where strategy starts. Each order is attached to a store. If you watch the Edgar and Dianna video, they travel from store to store throughout the Los Angeles basin. But this is not a strategy shared by all. Robert Woldhuis limited his shopping activities to one store in the Detroit, Michigan area. It worked for him. In 2020, Woldhuis made more than $100,000 as a Shipt shopper, and he did it wearing wacky costumes and having a good time. It also got him in the What People Earn 2021 in Parade Magazine!
Another benefit of Woldhuis’ strategy is that by working only one store, his delivery area was considerably smaller. This saved him a lot of time driving to his deliveries; it also saved him a lot of gas money because his delivery area was tighter.
Strategy #2: Choose your service area
The service area you work in and deliver to can also make a huge difference in your success as a Shipt shopper.
The most successful Shipt shoppers go where the shoppers are—the suburbs. Not surprising, the higher income brackets produce better results.
Convenient Shipt features for shoppers
There are some nice Shipt features that make shopping easier. Let’s look at three which are especially convenient.
The Shipt app identifies the aisle and area where you can find products. This is not always the case. There are stores where there is no navigation, and shoppers are left to discover the products on their own. This is where Robert Woldhuis’ one-store strategy works well. Because he limited his shopping to a single venue, he knew it like the back of his hand.
Shipt customers can indicate alternative products in case their first one is out of stock. This is especially nice because there are still product shortages in many stores. If the product is not on the shelves, the Shipt shopper can get the alternative. There are still times, however, when neither product is in stock and the shopper has to contact the customer.
It is not uncommon to get two orders at the same store from Shipt. This is great because if you are working toward a bonus for a certain number of deliveries fulfilled, you get credit for both deliveries. Plus, you make the income from both deliveries.
The habits of a highly successful Shipt shopper
What makes the successful Shipt shopper? The biggest elements are saving time and increasing efficiency. You can do these by following some simple recommendations.
- Store employees are your friends. Being on a first-name basis with them makes a difference. If you can ask an employee about a recent birthday celebration, the birth of a child, or how their vacation was, it makes a good impression, and it is also more likely that those employees will help you in a pinch.
- The line at the deli is a black hole of lost time. Make it your first stop. This is where knowing the deli worker comes in handy. Leave your written list, then go on about the rest of your shopping, and swing back later to pick up the order.
- Know your produce. This is one of those quirky little things that Shipt lists in their shopper requirements. If you know the difference between iceberg lettuce and a head of cabbage (they are easy to confuse), you’ll save yourself a lot of woe.
- Women shoppers can save time by using a fanny pack and leaving their purse in the car. It’s one less thing to worry about, especially when it is time to run down the aisle for that solitary item.
- Don’t play bumper cart if there are already two or three shoppers in an aisle. Leave your cart at the end of the aisle, run down and get your product, and get back and move on. Ladies: this is why you left your purse in the car.
- Make sure every item has a barcode. They’ve been known to fall off. Nothing wastes time like having to send a bagger off for a price check.
- Use every extra second. If you find yourself standing in a longer-than-normal checkout line, take the time to scroll through the app looking for deliveries you can do later in the day.
- Closely related to this, don’t dismiss an order on the app because it doesn’t fit your formula of what is profitable and worth your time. Sometimes that measly $20.00 delivery is enough to put you over the top for a bonus.
- Purchase bulk thank-you notes on Amazon. You can get an assorted pack of distinctive looking notecards with envelopes for $20.00. When you’re having your morning cup of coffee or watching TV the night before, take the time to write a short note for each delivery. Your customers will be touched by them and motivated to tip. Thank-you notes also get you a nice rating in the Shipt shopper reviews.
- Watch social media. There are a lot of YouTube videos from Shipt shoppers. They’re full of helpful tips. The same goes for Reddit and Quora.
It’s all in the attitude
Robert Woldhuis, the $100,000-a-year Shipt shopper, said it best in Parade Magazine. “Besides the great relationships that I’ve built with both customers and store employees, the best part of this job is the flexibility. I take pride in what I do and what I’ve been able to accomplish.”
Indeed, the key to success in any job is taking pride in what you do.
Finally, make Gridwise part of your Shipt strategy
Gridwise is a must-have for all gig drivers, and Shipt is no different. Save on fuel costs through the Gridwise Gas Program, a Gridwise benefit that saves you as much as $50/month when you purchase fuel. Read about it at Gridwise Increases Gas Discount to Help Rideshare and Delivery Drivers.
On top of gas discounts, you’ll get a free Shipt mileage and earnings tracker that keeps your mileage, earnings, and expenses all in one place for you to view whenever you need it (tax time, anybody?).
In case you haven’t already, you really need to check out the Edgar and Dianna video!