- An Overview of Instacart
- The Best Jobs Like Instacart: At A Glance
- The Best Instacart Alternatives at a Glance
- The Best Instacart Alternatives in 2024
- Notable Mentions: Even More Jobs Like Instacart You Should Check Out
- Wrapping Up
An Overview of Instacart
Instacart is a grocery delivery service that lets users order food and groceries from their local stores and restaurants.
Users send a list of the items they need and the coupons they want to use through the app to an Instacart Shopper, who picks them up and delivers them directly to the user’s house.
With a conservative estimated income of about $25 per hour, being an Instacart shopper is a lucrative delivery job and a great way to tap into the 455 billion-dollar gig economy.
The app allows freelance drivers to choose how and when they work through three job opportunities:
- Instore shopper: Exclusively involves picking out and compiling customers’ orders with the store
- Delivery-only shopper: Only involves providing delivery services
- Full-service shopper: Involves shopping, checking out, and delivering customers’ orders.
Where Does Instacart Excel?
Instacart offers its drivers multiple opportunities to make extra money through different delivery jobs, with minimum guaranteed rates that help ensure fair compensation.
The app also supports a chat function, where shoppers and customers can communicate in real-time to confirm orders and delivery routes.
Where Does Instacart Fall Short?
As freelance drivers, full-service shoppers can incur high overhead costs, which can lead to low payments after expenses. The job is also not accessible to some people since drivers must be able to lift at least 30 lbs.
The Best Jobs Like Instacart: At A Glance
An overview of our suggestions below.
- Uber Eats
- Amazon Flex
The Best Instacart Alternatives at a Glance
While there are many worthy contenders for the best Instacart alternative, two options stand out when you consider these two fundamental questions:
What is the Best Alternative to Instacart?
Of all the jobs like Instacart, Shipt stands out as the best alternative. Shipt Shoppers are responsible for shopping, checking out, and delivering customer goods, similar to full-service Instacart shoppers, which would make the transition that much easier.
Who is Instacart’s Biggest Competitor?
Claiming about 65% of the market share, DoorDash is the leading food delivery service in the US and Instacart’s biggest competitor. It uses a similar payment model to Instacart, where driver earnings include a base rate, promotions, and tips.
The Best Instacart Alternatives in 2024
Here are our top ten Instacart alternatives that offer you the flexibility to work on your schedule and get paid to deliver groceries.
- The good: A top-tier online grocery delivery service.
- The bad: Variable earnings based on location and workload.
- When to choose Shipt: If you’re looking to maximize your income through a flexible delivery gig.
Shipt is one of the best on-demand household essentials and grocery delivery services. Being a Shipt Shopper allows freelance drivers to work on a flexible schedule while earning at one of the most competitive rates of the gig economy.
Like Instacart, the base pay for a Shopper is $22–$25 per hour with tips. And with the service available in over 5,000 cities in the US, drivers are almost always guaranteed delivery jobs.
Why is Shipt a Great Option?
Shipt is an American Sign Language (ASL) friendly company with plenty of opportunities for deaf people. It also complies with federal, state, and local hiring laws, including the Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance, and offers comprehensive Shipt Shopper training and onboarding to set drivers up for success.
Drawbacks to Shipt
Shipt Shoppers have to schedule their shifts beforehand. Drivers and shoppers can’t open the app and start working whenever they want.
The job requires that applicants can lift between 30–40 lbs to safely fulfill hefty orders. But even if you satisfy the app’s driver requirements, remember that Shipt only hires on an as-needed basis from a waitlist of eligible candidates
- The good: Dashers can use a car, bike, scooter, or even walk to complete orders.
- The bad: DoorDash does not offer instant payouts.
- When to choose DoorDash: If you don’t have a car and are looking to make money delivering food
DoorDash offers plenty of opportunities for gig workers and traditionally employed people looking to supplement their income.
The app provides fully flexible schedules, where Dashers can choose when and how much they work. They also get to see what each job is worth, including the tip they will get before accepting any food delivery jobs.
Dashers can use a car, bike, or scooter to complete orders—another major consideration in favor of the service in the DoorDash vs Instacart head-to-head.
Why is DoorDash a Great Option?
DoorDash is available in over 4,000 cities and is still expanding and providing employment to food delivery app drivers nationwide. For drivers already on DoorDash’s roster, the company provides excess auto insurance that covers up to $1,000,000 in bodily injury and property damage to third parties for accidents while on active delivery.
Drawbacks to DoorDash
DoorDash requires its drivers to maintain a minimum driver rating of 4.2 or risk penalties.
3. Uber Eats
- The good: Available in over 6,000 cities across the US and more than 45 countries.
- The bad: Uber Eats does not offer a base rate or fixed income.
- When to choose Uber Eats: This is the ideal side hustle for Uber rideshare drivers in large metropolitan areas.
As an Uber subsidiary, Uber Eats is one of the giants of the food delivery niche, going toe-to-toe with services like DoorDash and Instacart. The added name recognition further makes Uber Eats one of the best grocery delivery apps to work for.
Before accepting an order, the app shows the order details upfront, including the kind of payment. Uber Eats allows its drivers to complete orders over different modes of transport, including by car, bike, or scooter.
But even so, the driver must have a valid driver’s license, a 1999 model or newer car, or a scooter with a minimum 50 cc motor.
Driver payments, including any tips, are made once a week, usually on Mondays through direct deposit.
Why is Uber Eats a Great Option?
Uber Eats offers pickup and delivery services from over 600,000 partners, ensuring regular and consistent work for its drivers, not to mention the promos and incentives it provides to enhance driver earnings.
The Uber Eats app is easy to use, with a simple, user-friendly interface, eliminating potential errors during deliveries.
Drawbacks to Uber Eats
Uber Eats Does not support orders from multiple deliveries in the same order, which can negatively impact efficiency. Also, the app operates such that drivers must work during peak hours to maximize their earnings.
- The good: Postmates is highly flexible; for example, it supports food delivery services via car, bike, or scooter.
- The bad: High overhead costs, which can eat into your earnings.
- When to choose Postmates: This is one of the best jobs like Instacart for gig workers that does not require a car.
Postmates is one of the top online food delivery jobs and is widely regarded as a leader in the on-demand category thanks to its ‘anything’ delivery service.
Since its inception, the service has grown to over 4,200 cities across the US and boasts one of the largest on-demand fleets, with over 100,000 couriers and a network of partners that have the brand a verb in pop culture.
On average, Postmates drivers make about $19 per hour, with some variance from city to city.
Why is Postmates a Great Option?
In 2020, Uber acquired Postmates, increasing its customer base and solidifying its dominance over the delivery service industry. The app further offers 24/7 services, giving its drivers more time to schedule work hours, whether part-time or full-time and get paid.
Drawbacks to Postmates
As freelance contractors, Postmates drivers can incur high overhead costs, which eat into their earnings. This is worse in large cities and metropolitan areas where operating costs are high and can cut into drivers’ profits.
- The good: Grubhub is available in over 3,200 cities across all 50 states.
- The bad: The app is less popular with users because of its higher delivery fees.
- When to choose GrubHub: If you want full control over your working hours, then GrubHub is the perfect side gig for you.
Originally, Grubhub was an online provider of restaurant menus. However, the app has evolved over the years into one of the best apps like Instacart.
Grubhub drivers earn up to $20 per hour; however, the average driver makes about $12 per hour. Payment is based on the distance, mileage, and time. That is, drivers earn based on the mileage rate for the distance it takes to pick up meals and deliver them to customers.
The app offers a base rate of $3.25 per order and $0.50 per mile driven, making Grubhub one of the highest-paying apps like Instacart.
Why is GrubHub a Great Option?
Grubhub is available in over 4,000 US cities, where the app operates through partnerships with local fast-food joints and restaurants. And unlike some of the other delivery apps like Instacart, drivers don’t have to shop and check out items.
Drawbacks to GrubHub
GrubHub offers slightly less competitive rates compared to other delivery app jobs, which might put off some gig drivers. The app also requires applicants to have at least two years of driving experience to be considered, locking out new drivers.
6. Amazon Flex
- The good: Offers the option between attended or unattended (doorstep) deliveries.
- The bad: Jobs are available in shift blocks, where experienced drivers have early access.
- When to choose Amazon Flex: Flex is the perfect alternative for freelance workers looking for steady, regular, high-paying delivery work.
Amazon Flex is one of the top-rated jobs like Instacart, with among the most competitive compensation rates of any gig economy job.
Unlike Instacart full-service drivers or Shipt shoppers, Flex drivers don’t have to do the actual shopping— they only bring packages from point A to point B. But even so, Amazon requires Flex drivers to have outstanding customer service skills and may deactivate driver’s accounts because of customer complaints.
Why is Amazon Flex a Great Option?
- At least 21 years old
- A valid driver’s license
- A passed background check
- A social security number
Once accepted, Flex drivers earn an average of $18–$25 per hour with additional surge pricing, putting them ahead of other jobs like Instacart.
Drawbacks to Amazon Flex
Drivers cannot deliver using a bike or scooter. They need a mid-size or larger 4-door vehicle, which is not accessible to all applicants. Also, Amazon requires drivers to claim shifts beforehand, usually in blocks of 2–4 hours, for drivers to get paid.
- The good: TaskRabbit allows you to make extra money from different skills and hobbies.
- The bad: The app does not offer any benefits beyond the pay and flexibility.
- When to choose TaskRabbit: If you want to earn extra income from your skills or hobbies.
TaskRabbit is an online marketplace that connects gig workers with people who need odd jobs done, from assembling IKEA furniture to grocery pickup and delivery.
The app frees gig workers to earn money without limiting themself to delivery jobs. Taskers can do virtually any odd job for customers—in fact, some of the most popular tasks include running errands for customers or fixing something in a customer’s home.
Once approved, Taskers create a profile listing their skills and rates and start accepting tasks. Customers also have the option to determine the amount they want to pay for the jobs they have.
Ultimately, though, TaskRabbit manages all payments such that no cash exchanges hands. But taskers do get to keep all their earnings and receive payments weekly.
Why is Taskrabbit a Great Option?
Taskers can earn up to $60 for their services, depending on the task, location, and demand. The app allows Taskers to enjoy a variety of jobs and build a network of clients over time as they work, especially in major towns and cities where there’s a decent amount of work available.
Drawbacks to TaskRabbit
Work can be inconsistent and hard to predict, making it hard to estimate your income over time. This is made even worse in smaller towns, where jobs can be few and far between.
- The good: One of the top-paying gig jobs for freelance drivers in Texas.
- The bad: The services are in the top metropolitan and suburban areas of Texas.
- When to choose Favor: This app presents a lucrative earning opportunity for gig drivers based in Texas.
Favor Delivery is a Texas-based on-demand delivery service for Texan restaurants and businesses and a top app like Instacart in the Lone Star State.
Favor Delivery is committed to providing the best user experience of any on-demand delivery app. This is reflected in some of its policies, including its commitment to only working with local businesses, ensuring users get the best from their neighborhood stores.
Additionally, Favor takes advantage of cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to improve efficiency and user experience.
Runners or Favor Delivery drivers can earn up to $18 per hour, where their earnings are determined by their location and demand.
Why is Favor a Great Option?
Favor is accessible to over 90% of Texas households and takes advantage of advanced technologies, including AI-based personalization and machine learning, to enhance each customer’s experience. Favor also prioritizes working with local stores, restaurants and businesses, building its user base and cementing its popularity with Texans.
Drawbacks to Favor
Favor is only available to drivers in and around the metropolitan areas of Texas. This limits its viability exclusively to gig drivers within the Armadillo State.
Notable Mentions: Even More Jobs Like Instacart You Should Check Out
Here are a few lesser-known Instacart alternatives you should consider if you wish to edge out the competition and enhance your earnings:
Cornershop is yet another grocery delivery service under the Uber umbrella. Operationally, the app is almost similar to Instacart, where delivery drivers do the grocery shopping and then make the deliveries.
Drivers earn an hourly rate of $16—less than the Instacart average, but still competitive enough that you should consider Cornerstone a great option to supplement your other gig delivery jobs.
2. Deliver That
Promising an average hourly rate of about $25 per hour, Deliver That is worth your consideration as a side hustle if the service is available in your area.
On this app, drivers mostly deliver food and groceries, similar to other food delivery apps, and earn a lucrative income while at it. However, with availability in only a dozen US states, Deliver
That might not be competitive enough to take on as a full-time gig.
This is another top app like Instacart, commonly regarded as the go-to delivery service for groceries, snacks, personal care products, and other household items. Some people refer to GoPuff as an on-demand convenience store.
With its 24-hour on-demand delivery, GoPuff delivers food, over-the-counter medication, alcohol, and other convenience store essentials to its users at a $1.95 flat fee.
However, unlike other grocery delivery jobs, GoPuff operates from centralized fulfillment centers where drivers pick up orders for delivery. These warehouses streamline operations, cut delivery time, and eliminate the need to drive to pick up different items across different locations.
Shipt is the clear winner in this race, thanks to its flexible hours and lucrative rates, with DoorDash being a close runner-up.
But no matter your preferred app, like Instacart, these apps can provide you with a steady source of income, with plenty of opportunities to expand your skills and perhaps even explore new career alternatives.