Instacart is the best-known name in grocery delivery, and a major player in the world of gig driving. If you are considering the possibility of gig driving in Canada, take a look at Instacart. Here is some essential information to help you explore possibilities.
Instacart: How It Works
Instacart launched its grocery shopping & delivery service in Canada in 2017, and continues to be the dominant third-party grocery gig in hundreds of cities all across the country.
The amazing Instacart software program, using the Internet, matches a customer with a Shopper who picks the groceries and delivers the order to the customer’s door, using their own private car.
As an Instacart Shopper, you are treated as an “independent contractor” (not an employee). This means you sign a contract with Instacart which specifies the terms and mutual commitments of the arrangement. And it means you must provide the car (covering operating expenses) and the technology (smartphone with Internet connection).
If you are in good standing and logged in, Instacart gives you free access to their online platform and matches you with customers placing orders in your area. Using your Smartphone’s map program, the Cornershop app guides you to the store, and later to the delivery location. While you are picking the groceries, the app displays a very detailed list of items which the customer has ordered, including photos and barcodes. As you find each item on the shelves, you confirm the purchase in the app (or recommend a replacement if the original item is not available). The app confirms details about pricing, quantities & weights; guides the checkout process; and facilitates communication with the customer and with Instacart support. The app also displays your earnings information in real time, and keeps a record of all your orders and statistics.
Being an “independent contractor” also means you are free to pick & deliver groceries whenever & wherever you want (in cities where you meet the requirements). This is one of the main reasons gig drivers like shopping with Instacart: YOU ARE YOUR OWN BOSS. You can work as few or as many hours as you choose; and your earnings will be largely a factor of your own efforts. That’s freedom!
Instacart deposits your earnings once a week into your bank account. Need an extra $300 this week? Get in the car, pick & deliver 10 or 12 orders, and the money will be in your bank account early the following week. Nice!
By the way, the Gig Café (11 Facebook Groups) is a GREAT place to learn from other gig drivers across Canada – including a group specifically for Instacart drivers.
How Has the Covid Pandemic Affected Instacart?
The pandemic hitting Canada in 2020 had significant impact upon grocery gig driving. Initially, there was extreme concern about the spread of the virus between store staff, drivers and customers. Many gig drivers played it safe and stayed home. For those who courageously continued working, the world was now very different: Masks were mandatory everywhere. Hand sanitizer was applied 100 times a day. Distancing was an absolute must. Outdoor lineups were more common. Entry to offices & high-rise buildings was more difficult. But Shoppers adjusted, took precautions, stayed safe, and made good money.
And with so many people across Canada now staying home (including millions who began working remotely), suddenly there was a massive surge in online grocery delivery. Business boomed for Instacart, the main player. For those Instacart Shoppers who courageously stayed on the road throughout this time, it was a bonanza. Other Shoppers who were sitting on the sidelines cautiously returned to get in on the action – and new drivers switched over from rideshare gigs.
Let the world recognize that Canadian Instacart Shoppers are PANDEMIC HEROES, courageously delivering food to multitudes of people in lockdown or working remotely or in quarantine, in cities & communities all across our great nation.
After looking over this information, you may want to study more complete and up-to-date details found on the Instacart Website. That’s where you will also find information which applies specifically to the location where you plan to drive.
Ready to Start?
Once you are confident Instacart may be a good fit for you, then you might as well go ahead and take the next step: SIGN UP! It only takes a few minutes to set up your Instacart Account, providing basic information to establish your driver profile.
Don’t worry – Instacart does not require fees or deposits, and there are no binding obligations or legal traps. At any point along the way, you can pause to get answers to your questions. But if you’re ready to move forward, the sooner you sign up and launch the registration process, the sooner you’ll be out on the road earning money.
(Note: When you click the link to go to Instacart’s sign-up page, the sign-up address will automatically include a Referral Code NTHDD0BAD. This tells Instacart you were referred by Gig Drivers of Canada. We would be grateful if you will use that sign-up page (or enter the Referral Code in the sign-up box), so Gig Drivers can receive recognition and a small referral reward to help cover our expenses. Thank you very much!)
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