Instacart versus Shipt – Who wins?
Note: This is not a paid blog post, and I receive no compensation for my blogs. All views are my own.
Instacart recently announced a partnership with Kroger so if you are a customer; you can now order Kroger groceries via the Instacart app. If you have the choice, you may ask, which is better Instacart or Shipt? The Instacart versus Shipt battle becomes increasingly competitive because Instacart has a wider variety of stores to choose from including Publix, Costco, Kroger, Petco, and Aldi (Atlanta). Shipt has Publix, Costco, Kroger, and Target (Atlanta).
The critical difference is the subscription costs and the markup on groceries. We’ve already demonstrated the markup on groceries that Instacart and Shipt have over Publix and Kroger in another post. Sometimes groceries were marked up as much as 25% on each item, so the comparison comes down the value of which stores you want access to and the costs of grocery delivery.
Instacart has Express. It’s $149 per year and offers free delivery on orders over $35, and you avoid “peak hour” delivery fees.
Otherwise, you can order any time and pay fees based on how much you order and when you want it delivered. Each item is marked up between 10-25% above store prices. You can choose not to subscribe, pay fees, but still, you should tip the delivery person when they arrive. In cash if possible.
While shopping on Instacart’s interface, you will be met with several attempts to get you to spend more. Pop-ups and reminders at the end of the purchase coax you to buy more to “save more”. It’s irritating and causes you to spend more time questioning your purchase decisions. If you like to spend more, it’s perfect!
Shipt also has a subscription service that is $99 per year with a sundry of fees you may incur depending on how much and when you want it delivered. Shipt also marks both Kroger and Publix items up 10-25% in some cases. Shipt has one advantage over Instacart: Target.
I promised in my last post to tell you about how Target stacked up in the price comparison between Publix, Kroger, and Walmart. As usual, Walmart beats all prices about 90% of the time. I found that while Target was missing 6 out of 26 items on our sample grocery list that they consistently beat Publix prices and in some cases Kroger. You should also know that Target will match any advertised price so if you take the time to ask a store associate to match a price it will be worth it.
In addition to that, Target’s pricing on the All 2X Free & Clear was jaw-dropping. It wasn’t on sale but at the time of this post but its $9.99 price for 141 ounces sure beat Publix $12.99 and Kroger’s $13.59. So imagine adding an additional 10-25% on that price if you order that item from Instacart’s app while you still pay $9.99 and have it delivered from Shipt? Need I say more?
And the other item that got me? The K-cup pods. Target’s price was $.75 per cup. Remember that Instacart’s Publix was $1.10 and Shipt’s Publix was $1.18. You might as well take a friend to the Starbuck’s Cafe and share a cappuccino! Actually, do that, it sounds nice and they grind the beans that day.
Shipt and Target
Here’s the sweet spot: if you shop at Target, Shipt is not marking up your groceries. All things comparable? Shipt and Target are the most economical choice! That is if you aren’t going to use curbside pickup from Kroger or Target. Publix still doesn’t have the curbside pickup but Aldi has announced that they too will be adding this service. The challenge Target has in the grocery space is that their selections are a little to be desired. I spend at least three days a week in Target and I still find that gluten-free, vegetarian, organic, and niche items that both Publix and Kroger have room for, are in short supply. I think that will change with market demand though. If Target can keep up the Shipt membership pricing with the non-marked-up items, I would say it’s a win-win.
Did I mention you can order non-grocery items via Shipt and have those delivered with food? Yep. Insanity. Go shopping! Don’t forget to tip your curbside delivery and delivery contractors!