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Instacart app: Empty shopping cart in parking lot

A Comprehensive Guide to the Instacart App for Customers

Last updated: March 30, 2020
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Groceries delivered straight to your door — now why didn’t we think of that? That’s the convenience Instacart offers hungry customers.

No longer are you required to hop in the car, fight traffic on the way to the grocery store, and then wait patiently in the check-out line. Instacart enables you to order all your grocery items right from your phone and then have them delivered to wherever you’re at.

In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Instacart app — how to get set up, how to navigate the app, and a few ways you can save money by using Instacart.

What Is Instacart?

Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service that allows you to order groceries from your phone and have them delivered right to your door. For a small delivery fee, you can simplify your grocery shopping experience, save time, and in some cases, save money.

Once you place an order, an Instacart Shopper will drive to your favorite store and pick up your grocery items. After they fill your grocery list, they’ll navigate to your location to drop off your order. And just like that — you have groceries at your door without ever having to leave your couch.

Instacart is the largest grocery delivery service and is available all across the United States, including some of these more popular cities:

  • San Francisco
  • New York City
  • Atlanta
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Austin
  • Miami

So how can you get started using Instacart? Let’s jump right in.

Getting Set Up

Signing up for Instacart is a quick and easy process that only takes a few minutes. You can have the app downloaded and be shopping for your next order in no time.

Download Instacart App

The first step to using Instacart is downloading the app. The Instacart app works on iOS for iPhones and also works on Android devices. To download the app, you can head to the App Store or to Google Play.

Just to give you a heads up — you can also place orders online at Instacart.com, but you might as well download the app. You never know when you’re going to want to place an order while you’re on the go.

Sign Up or Log In

After downloading the app or heading to the Instacart website, you’ll need to sign up for Instacart or log in if you’re already a member.

Screenshot 20190324 170657

If you’re new to Instacart, you’ll need to quickly create your account. This can be done by typing in your zip code, choosing your local store, and then filling out your name, email, and password. You can also opt to sign in with your Google or Facebook account, which is a much easier process.

Choose Store

When you sign up or log in to your account, you’ll be asked to pick the store you wish to order from. Not all stores in your area are available on Instacart — only the stores that choose to partner with the service. These stores may include Whole Foods Market, Publix, or Safeway, just to name a few.

Start Shopping

Once you choose your favorite local store, you’ll be redirected to the home screen. From there you can begin browsing through the Instacart app and build your shopping list. Before you start, it might be useful to go over some of the app’s menu items, functions, and hidden secrets.

Navigating the Instacart App

The Instacart app’s main function is to build your grocery list, place your order, and then receive notifications regarding the delivery of your order. Once you arrive at the home screen, you’ll see four tabs on the bottom menu — Home, Browse, Coupons, and Your Items.

Home

The Home page is where you’ll land once logging in. This is where you’ll begin your shopping journey. From here you can search for products and add them to your cart.

As you scroll through, you’ll see many different item choices that are organized by product category. You can also find current promotions scattered throughout the page.

Screenshot 20190324 205852

For example, one section includes current delivery promotions for purchasing a certain brand’s products. This could be a promotion like “Buy $20.00 or more of Kraft products and you’ll get $5.00 off.”

Another easy way to search for products is by using the Browse tab.

Browse

If you’d like to cut to the chase, you can tap the Browse tab and go to the category of your choice. There are many different categories you can begin searching through including fresh local produce, frozen foods, items that are on sale, and many more.

Screenshot 20190324 171035

To give you an idea, here are some of the many categories you can start looking over:

  • Sale
  • Produce
  • Dairy & Eggs
  • Pantry
  • Deli
  • Bakery
  • Snacks
  • Frozen
  • Beverages
  • Meat & Seafood
  • Canned Goods
  • Bulk Items
  • International
  • Breakfast
  • Personal Care
  • Babies
  • Pets
  • Household

Once you choose your category of groceries, you can scroll through products and add them to your cart. For instance, say you want to add ginger to your cart — you’ll navigate to the ginger option within the produce category and tap on the plus sign. It will then ask you how many items you’d like to add to your cart.

Screenshot 20190324 210429

Beyond hopping around categories, you can also type in your product by tapping the search icon at the top. This is a nice feature if you know exactly what you want and you’re in a hurry.

If you’d like to save money on your grocery order, you can tap the Coupon tab to start finding current deals.

Coupons

The Coupon tab will show you all current offers at the store you’re shopping from. This feature is excellent for pinching pennies and saving cash on your orders.

Screenshot 20190324 171051

To find exclusive coupons you’re interested in, you can search through popular items or the items that will bring you the biggest savings. You can also look through categories for products that might pleasantly surprise you.

If you choose any items that have a discount or reduced price, it will automatically be reflected on your bill when checking out.

The last tab on the Instacart app — and perhaps one of the most convenient functionalities — is the Your Items tab.

Your Items

If you’ve ordered from Instacart before, you can make your life a little bit easier by tapping on the Your Items tab. From there you can see all of the products that were included in previous purchases.

This makes subsequent orders more convenient and overall, a much easier shopping experience. If you want to order the same items again, they’ll all be waiting for you here. Your next order will likely be much quicker since you can find all of your favorite items in one place.

Completing Your Order

After you’ve found all of the items you wish to purchase, you can proceed to your shopping cart to check out. From here you can make any last minute changes and add notes to your order before completing your purchase.

  1. Add notes to your order: If you’d like to add any specific notes to items like “Pick out bananas that are still green,” then this is where you’ll do it.
  2. Choose your delivery time: You’ll be able to schedule deliveries ahead of time or opt for one-hour delivery. You’ll see how much each delivery time costs at the right side of the screen.
  3. Enter personal information: To complete your order, you’ll need to provide your phone number and payment information.
  4. Add a driver tip: Tips are not required but are definitely appreciated by your hard-working driver.
  5. Add a promo code: If you have a promo code you’d like to apply, this is where you can type in your code.
  6. Confirm and complete your order: After you’ve confirmed all of your order items, you can complete your order and wait for it to arrive.

Screenshot 20190324 213704

Once your personal shopper begins shopping for your order, you’ll be notified through the Instacart app. Throughout the delivery process, you’ll be given notifications regarding the status of your order. This includes when your items are picked up, when the driver is en route to your home, and when your order arrives at your door. You will also be able to communicate with your shopper to solve any issues with your order.

Additional App Functionalities

The Instacart app also enables you to do additional tasks, like manage your account, add promo codes, and refer friends. By tapping on the menu in the top left corner, you can access additional profile options.

Let’s take a look at the additional functions of the app.

  • Check your previous orders: You can find all of your previous order information here, including receipts and a detailed description of each order.
  • Instacart Express: This is Instacart’s premium membership that gets you free delivery on orders that exceed $35.
  • Refer friends: You can earn $10 off your next order by referring a friend to use Instacart.
  • Add a promo code: If you have a promo code that you’d like to apply, you can also do it here.
  • Account settings: Within the account settings section, you can add your loyalty cards, like Costco and Petco cards, manage your addresses, and change any payment methods you have on file. You can also manage how often you receive notifications from Instacart.

Let Instacart Do Your Grocery Shopping

Now that you have a handle of the Instacart app, it’s time to download and start filling out your grocery list. Once you see how convenient Instacart is, it’ll be hard to grocery shop any other way.

Why leave your house when you don’t have to? Sit back, relax, and let Instacart handle your grocery shopping from now on.

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