Should Rideshare Drivers Work for Shipt?

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We previously wrote about what it’s like to work as an Instacart shopper, and now we’ll discuss what working as a shopper for Shipt is all about. 

Launched in the summer of 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama, Shipt is a same-day grocery delivery company that was sold in December 2017 to retail behemoth Target for $550 million. Like other grocery delivery startups, Shipt uses a smartphone app and a local network of shoppers to carry out its business. 

Let’s get into what shopping for Shipt is like so you can see if it’s right for you.

Overview

Shipt operates as a same-day, next-hour shopping service to deliver fresh groceries and everyday essentials for a fee of $99 a year (or $14 a month). Delivery is free for orders over $35. The company operates in more than 260 cities throughout the United States, and has quickly expanded since the Target deal went through. View the full list of cities here

Shipt relies on a network of vetted shoppers who shop for groceries and deliver them to customers’ homes. Shoppers are able to set their own schedules and are rated by customers for their performance. Shipt partners with various retailers in each location, which helps expedite the process . 

According to Shipt CEO Bill Smith, there’s something special about the company that makes it stand out from the competition. As he explained during an August 2018 interview with CNBC: “The fact that [the shoppers] go above and beyond is really the key to this. For example, a member will order a children’s cough syrup, or some item that indicates the customer has a sick child at home, and our shopper will pick up a balloon for their child and deliver it with the order.”

How Does It Work?

To work as a Shipt shopper, you set your availability on the schedule up to five days in advance. By doing so, you have marked yourself as available to shop orders in your area. You can either limit your shopping to a single zone (meaning a several-mile zone with at least one retailer), or you can choose to shop in multiple zones. 

Once you’ve set your availability, you’ll start to see shopping gigs coming though. For each gig the shopper app will notify you of important information such as the store where you’ll shop, the size of the order, and the delivery destination address. You don’t have to accept every shopping gig that comes through, but Shipt does measure your acceptance rate. If you reject too many, you could lose your ability to work with the company.

After accepting a shopping order, you will drive to the specified grocery store, pick up the requested items, pay with a Shipt debit card at a register, and deliver the groceries to the customer. You’re allowed to shop multiple orders at one time–but be sure to stay organized and not mix them up!

Requirements

Shipt’s requirements for shoppers, as stated on its website, are as follows:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance
  • A reliable vehicle, 1997 or newer
  • Knowledge of produce selection
  • Insulated cooler bags
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds with or without assistance
  • A smartphone: iPhone (iOS 10 or newer) or Android (5.1 or newer) 

How Do You Sign Up?

You can apply to be a shopper on the Shipt website. The application asks for basic information such as name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and the area where you prefer to shop. You’ll also indicate your availability to shop on Sundays and Mondays, which are peak shopping days. 

Once approved, you’ll receive an email with an invitation to join the Shipt Shopper Hub, an online resource that provides lots of information about getting started and what being a Shipt shopper entails. You’ll also receive a link to an optional online course that provides additional information about using the Shipt Shopper app. Finally, you’ll receive a Shipt-branded tee shirt in the mail that you’ll be expected to wear while working. 

How Much Can You Make?

Shipt shoppers are independent contractors and don’t have a minimum amount of orders they need to complete. How much you make is directly correlated with how much you work.

You’ll be paid per order by commission. Currently, the commision equals $5 plus 7.5 percent of the order amount. Each order that comes in has an estimated pay that is based on how long it will take to complete the order. The majority of orders take about an hour to complete. 

According to Glassdoor, Shipt shoppers make an average of $11 per hour. Since Shipt is adamant about providing amazing customer service, shoppers report that customers tip well and often, which will help increase your hourly rate. 

Completing orders on time is of utmost importance when being a Shipt shopper. After you have completed several successful shopping assignments, you can start claiming multiple orders at the same time, which will help increase your income.

Even if you’re not on the Shipt schedule, you can occasionally log on to the app to check for orders with “bounties” on them. These are orders that remain unclaimed, and Shipt entices shoppers to grab them by adding bonuses on top of the normal shopping rate. The closer you are to delivery time, the higher the bounty, so it’s a good way to earn some pretty sizeable cash in your free time. 

According to the Shipt website, shoppers are paid via direct deposit every Friday for the work completed the previous week (Monday through Sunday). 

Is Shipt Right for Me?

Whether being a Shipt shopper is right for you is a highly personal decision. Here are some things to consider.

One positive aspect of shopping for Shipt is that tipping is highly encouraged. If you are customer service-minded and willing to go the extra mile, you might end up with some pretty nice tips. Simple gestures such as checking with a customer to see if they need to add anything to their order, or bringing groceries inside and setting them on the countertop can go a long way. 

Working on Sundays and Mondays is also a great way to maximize your earnings, as they are the most delivery-heavy days. If you schedule yourself for these days ahead of time, you can maximize your ability to claim orders. 

Shopping for Shipt is a relatively easy side hustle to add to your rideshare schedule, especially when it’s a slow driving day. As long as you don’t mind grocery shopping and have a knack for interacting with customers, it might be a good addition to your gig selection. 

Have you ever delivered for Shipt? Tell us about your experience in the comments. 

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