Instacart aims to incentivize its base of personal shoppers with the launch of a new rewards program.
Called Cart Star, the three-tier program enables shoppers to collect points based on the number of orders they fulfill, San Francisco-based Instacart said Thursday. Ten points are earned per customer order shopped or delivered. Within the same three-month qualifying period, shoppers reach the Gold Cart tier at 200 points, Platinum Cart at 1,000 points and Diamond Cart at 2,000 points.
To get access to Cart Star, shoppers must maintain a 4.7 average customer rating, Instacart noted. Overall, the third-party delivery giant fields more than 600,000 personal shoppers, who pick, pack and deliver online grocery and other retail orders. The company said Cart Star was developed in response to shopper feedback.
“We’re thrilled to unveil our Cart Star program to recognize top shoppers with impactful incentives that help them stand out to their customers, improve their access to earnings and reach their personal goals,” Tom Maguire, vice president of operations and care at Instacart, said in a statement.
On the rewards side, shoppers in all Cart Star tiers get access to cash back on gas and car maintenance discounts via partnerships with Upside and CarAdvise, respectively, Instacart said. With Upside, Gold Cart shoppers can receive up to 29 cents per gallon cash back at thousands of participating gas stations nationwide, while Platinum and Diamond Cart shoppers can receive up to 33 cents per gallon cash back. The partnership with CarAdvise gives Gold Cart shoppers an extra 25% off an oil change, and Platinum and Diamond Cart shoppers get an extra 50% off an oil change.
The Cart Star rollout also brings enhanced in-app functionality for shoppers to boost their access to earnings and batches on the Instacart platform. Platinum and Diamond Cart shoppers will receive recognition in the Instacart app, indicating to customers when their shopper has achieved those status levels, along with information such as number of orders shopped and how long the shopper has been on the platform, Instacart said. The company noted that, in testing the rewards program, customers who saw a top shopper badge on their shopper’s profile were more likely to leave a higher rating and higher tip.
In addition, Diamond Cart shoppers within close range of a store’s location — as shown by a highlighted area in the Shopper app — will get priority access to batches, according to Instacart. These shoppers will also get exclusive early access to batches with the ability to accept batches before stores open.
Instacart, too, is partnering with additional rewards providers such as Care.com to help shoppers with Backup Care for loved ones when needed. Diamond Cart shoppers will have access to two days of Backup Care per quarter, for the cost of $1 per hour or $10 per day. If a shopper has unexpected caregiving needs for a child, senior or pet, they can use Care.com for Backup Care, the company said.
“Our new Cart Star program was developed to celebrate and recognize top shoppers, delivering unique offerings and in-app functionality to enhance their shopper experience,” commented John Adams, vice president of shopper and fulfillment product at Instacart. “These new updates will reward top shoppers by increasing their access to batches and giving them more opportunities to earn. We look forward to continuing to build on each of our commitments to deliver an even better app experience for shoppers in the future.”
The introduction of Cart Star comes about a month and a half after Instacart unveiled a new customer ratings system for personal shoppers that the company described as providing a “more helpful, informative and fair experience” for its delivery workforce. Instead of order batches being prioritized according to the highest rating possible, shoppers now must uphold a 4.7 average rating or above for batch prioritization, Instacart reported. The company said it also now forgives more ratings for “reasons that may be outside of a shopper’s control,” such as when certain customers consistently rate shoppers below 5 stars.