So, you’re currently working as an Instacart Shopper but aren’t getting any batches.
This is the frustrating nature of many gig apps…sometimes, there just isn’t enough work to go around and your hourly pay can suffer.
But, if you’re wondering why you don’t have batches, you aren’t powerless.
In fact, there are some common reasons to get no Instacart batches, and there are some tips to make more money with Instacart you can use to turn your luck around.
So, let’s dive into how to get more batches on Instacart so you can get back to making money!
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How To Get More Batches On Instacart
A lack of Instacart batches means less money in your pocket and a lot of waiting around time, which is frustrating.
So, I’m going to cover some proven tricks to get more Instacart batches. I’m then covering some crucial mistakes to avoid to make sure you earn as much money as possible.
1. Wait Near Instacart Hot Spots
One of the simplest ways to get more batches on Instacart is to wait near hot spots. This is basically a zone with a lot of stores, so the odds of getting an order from the zone is higher than other areas.
The Instacart Shopper app has a map that shows you hot spots around your area.
These hotspots are areas with multiple grocery stores and a high order volume, so you can wait around them to increase your chances of getting a batch.
The interactive map tells you how far away you are from a hot spot and also gives you a demand rating (high demand, low demand, etc.).
This isn’t foolproof, but waiting at a hot spot can help you get batches faster on Instacart.
Just remember to be within at least 1 mile of a hot spot to increase the odds you get a batch.
2. Complete The Alcohol Certification Course
Did you know that nearly 14% of batches include some sort of alcohol within the order?
So, if you live in an alcohol-enabled Instacart state, an easy way to get more batches with Instacart is to complete the alcohol certification course.
And this isn’t some complicated in-person course or program you need to pass; you can find the alcohol certification course right in the shopper app.
You can pass this course in a single sitting, but you need to be 21 or older to deliver alcohol for Instacart, so keep this in mind!
3. Get Your Cooler Bags Approved
If you own some insulated food delivery bag to complete your deliveries with, get your cooler bags approved immediately!
Like the alcohol certification course, you can actually get your food delivery bags approved by Instacart and get more batches that include frozen or temperature-sensitive items.
To get your bags approved by Instacart, tap the food safety sign within the app and go through the verification process for your cooler bags.
You need to take a picture of your insulated bags and show proof that your bags are actually insulated and can keep food cold. But, a picture and some info about your bag should get the job done.
This is another easy trick to get more Instacart batches, and if you don’t have any bags, you can find affordable ones on Amazon or at Walmart for around $20 to $30.
4. Shop On The Busiest Instacart Days
If you’re still wondering how to get more batches on Instacart, the answer might be to shop on the right day.
I mentioned shopping at peak Instacart times earlier, and the reason for this is to just go online when customers are the most active.
These are the best days to go online on Instacart (from best to worst):
According to Instacart, Sunday has 25% more batches than Wednesday!
If your market is very competitive, Monday is also a great day to take advantage of since there are still a lot of batches, but less shoppers online.
Customer demand is a big part of all this, so take advantage of busier days when you can. Depending on your location, the order of best shopping days might be different.
Also note that Instacart batches start in the morning, so you can wake up early around 7:30 to claim the early batches!
5. Get Your Prescription Delivery Certification
Similar to cooler bags and alcohol, there is a special certification you have to complete to deliver prescriptions to products to customers.
Again, this is just another way to get more Instacart batches since Instacart partners with companies like CVS and lets customers get their prescriptions delivered.
And, you don’t need a medical background to get these batches; you just complete a short course like the alcohol course to become eligible.
Just note: some shoppers say that prescription orders usually give less tips and pay less in general. So, use your judgement and don’t accept prescription orders just for the sake of accepting more batches!
Either way, it’s one more qualification that can unlock greater batch potential for the future.
It will give you a much greater competitive advantage as well in a busy neighborhood where there are a lot of shoppers.
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6. Improve Your Instacart Shopper Rating
Although it seems like an obvious suggestion, rating is still one of the most important ways to get more batches on Instacart.
Aim to perform your absolute best as a shopper to make your way up at least a 4.6 rating out of 5.
Of course, to improve your rating, you have to get batches. It’s a bit of a catch 22 scenario, but that’s why doing your best is a must when you do get them.
As your customer rating goes up, your batches will significantly increase. Just remember to accept them quickly!
7. Accept Double Batches When You Can
For those who don’t know, a double batch is two full orders being completed simultaneously in the same grocery store.
You will recognize it on the Instacart app as “2 Full Service Orders”.
These batches typically pay more than a single batch, but they don’t necessarily pay double.
However, if you’re hurting for cash, a double-batch can help you make a decent chunk of money that hour. If you do very well, you’ll probably get two decent ratings as well to help your overall shopper rating increase faster.
Just remember that you’ll need enough space in your car to fit twice the amount of groceries.
Extra Reading – Does Instacart Pay For Gas?
8. Contact Instacart Support
If you’re still wondering how to get batches on Instacart, one final trick you can try is to contact Shopper support to ask this exact question.
This isn’t likely to work, but Shopper support might be able to explain why batches are slow in your order or what you can do to get more batches.
Also make sure your phone is properly connected to the app and that your data is on since this is sometimes an easy mistake to make.
You can also try exiting and closing the Instacart Shopper app and then opening it again to see if that fixes any technical issues.
9. Use The Cart Star Program
One final way to get more and better batches on Instacart is to tak advantage of the new Cart Star program.
This program awards high-performing shoppers with perks like discounts on gas through the GetUpside app and priority access to batches.
Once you’re in the program, you earn 10 points for every batch you complete. And if you reach Diamond tier, which requires 200 batches completed, you get priority access to batches and acces to higher-paying batches too!
The qualification period lasts three months, so you have three months to complete 200 batches if you want to reach Diamond. But this is one new and effective way to get more batches on Instacart, and it also gives you the higher-paying ones as well.
Instacart is still rolling out this rewards program but anticipates it will be in every U.S. market near the end of 2022.
Why Am I Not Getting Batches On Instacart?
Now that you know some tips for getting more Instacart orders, I want to cover some common mistakes shoppers make that might be holding them back with this side hustle.
There are ways to fix a lack of Instacart batches. But you have to understand the five main reasons for not getting batches:
- Low Instacart Shopper Rating
- Competition With Other Shoppers
- Low Instacart Customer Order Volume
- Waiting too far from stores
- You’re Not Accepting Batches Fast Enough
Let’s cover each of these in greater detail so you can start making money with Instacart each week again.
1. Low Instacart Shopper Rating
The number one reason you get zero Instacart batches is because you have a low Instacart Shopper rating.
When you complete a batch on Instacart, customers rate their experience out of five stars and cover aspects like order accuracy, your timeliness, and the overall experience.
Your Instacart Shopper rating is your average rating over the last 100 batches.
Instacart suggests that you maintain at least 4.6 stars (out of 5) to receive enough batches. So, a lower rating immediately hurts your chances of receiving a steady stream of batches while you’re working.
If you have a lower rating, it’s time to work on your customer service skills to increase your rating. This means:
- Texting your customer more about when you start shopping, if you encounter difficulties, and when you leave the store
- Being friendly
- Being on time
- Handling groceries with care
Over time, you can increase your Instacart Shopper rating which helps you get more batches.
Of course, anything higher than 4.6 is excellent and should likely keep you at the top of the list for shoppers to earn batches.
Remember there are a ton of factors that Instacart uses to decide your batch worthiness, so don’t sweat if your rating is in the clear!
If you have a 4.6 or higher and still aren’t getting batches, you might be experiencing one (or more) of the other three reasons.
2. Competition With Other Shoppers
Another reason you get no Instacart batches is simply a result of competition with other shoppers.
This is also common sense: if there are too many shoppers and not enough orders to go around, Instacart sends batch requests to the highest-rated shoppers first, so you might be missing out.
If you live in a city with a ton of Instacart Shoppers and aren’t getting any batches, you have a few options:
- Try shopping during peak Instacart times (Friday and the weekend are the best days for Instacart)
- Try shopping at non-peak hours just to test out if less competition with other shoppers help you out
Basically, experiment with different days and times while you gradually increase your Instacart Shopper rating to get more batches.
3. Low Instacart Customer Order Volume
Another factor that can lead to no batches on Instacart is a lack of customers.
Again, this is basic supply and demand and makes sense; if fewer Instacart customers are ordering on the platform, there’s fewer batches to go around.
If you have a high shopper rating and never get batches, this reason is probably the culprit.
However, to avoid this low order volume problem, you can check the Instacart Shopper app’s hot spot map (as mentioned above) which highlights areas where you should get more batches.
This heat map isn’t perfect, but it does show you areas of town with stores that are getting a lot of orders.
If you live in a major city, this really shouldn’t be a problem, but this could be the reason for no Instacart batches if you live in a small or medium-sized town.
4. Waiting Too Far From Stores
I know it might be tempting to wait for Instacart batches from the comfort of your sofa, but if you live far away from grocery stores, this could be hurting your earnings.
Instacart factors in your location when assigning batches. This is why many shoppers park their vehicles in parking lots near several grocery stores.
So, if you aren’t receiving Instacart batches, try waiting around locations on the Instacart heat map or generally busy areas in your city.
5. Not Accepting Batches Fast Enough
Timeliness is a major factor in deciding whether or not you’re going to get batches.
For starters, you have four minutes to accept a batch request when it comes in.
This means looking at the batch, pay, items in the delivery, distance, and deciding if that batch is worth it or not. If you’re too slow or aren’t checking your phone for some reason, the time will expire and you’ll miss the batch.
Additionally, you have up to one hour from accepting an Instacart batch to then slide the “start shopping” slider to begin shopping.
Instacart sends you reminder notifications after you accept a batch but aren’t moving towards the store, and after about an hour, you’re unassigned from the batch.
This is a more niche-case of why you don’t have Instacart batches, but the point is, get quick at deciding if a batch is worth it or not, accept it, and head right to the store.
6. Waiting Near The Wrong Stores
One final reason for getting no batches on Instacart is that you’re waiting by the wrong store.
Or, even worse, you’re waiting by stores that generally have low-paying batches.
The best Instacart Stores are typically major grocery stores where you can get large batches with a high base payout and the potential for lucrative tips.
Some of the best Instacart stores to wait near include:
- Sam’s Club
Retailers like CVS can be good Instacart stores too if you get high-paying prescription orders, but for the most part, major grocery stores are where you get the best and most frequent Instacart batches.
How Does Instacart Assign Batches?
It’s helpful to understand how Instacart assigns batches in the first place so you can narrow down potential culprits if you aren’t getting any Instacart batches.
Instacart assigns batches using five factors:
- Your Instacart Shopper rating
- Customer demand
- Your location
- Accuracy with deliveries
According to a survey by Instacart, over 75% of shoppers felt like customer rating is a fair way for customers to evaluate their experience with shoppers.
Whether or not you believe your Instacart Shopper rating is a fair metric or not is up to you.
However, it’s clear that your shopper rating is extremely important in determining whether or not you’re going to get batches!
Other factors that influence how many Instacart batches you get include the size of the city you live in and if you’re close to numerous grocery stores that Instacart customers order from.
Plus, there are some other factors that influence how many batches you get, like working on days with higher demand.
What To Do If You Still Don’t Get Batches
If you still get no Instacart batches after trying all of these tips, the only thing to do is wait.
Instacart changes its algorithm sometimes, and consumer habits change as well. Plus, sometimes, Instacart is slow in certain markets. Hopefully, with a decent shopper rating and waiting in the right areas, you can get more Instacart batches.
But, you don’t have to let your delivery earnings fall off a cliff while you wait. There’s plenty of other jobs like Instacart you can turn to in the meantime to make more money.
For example, you can make money delivering for DoorDash or try driving for Uber Eats. Delivery gigs like Grubhub are also a viable option.
Both food delivery apps let you work when you want, and the orders are also simpler to complete than Instacart batches since you’re not doing any shopping.
You can also try other driving apps, like driving with Roadie or GoShare, two peer-to-peer delivery gigs.
Finally, gig jobs like Amazon Flex pay you up to $25 per hour for delivering packages for Amazon, so it’s a great way to make quick money in your spare time.
Extra Reading – How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make A Week?
What Do Other Instacart Shoppers Suggest?
One other tip for how to get more Instacart orders is to follow tips from other Instacart Shoppers who are having more success in their markets or have faced this problem before.
Here’s what some other Instacart Shoppers are saying on Reddit for ways to get more Instacart batches:
- UndercoverShopper says: “I’m finally back at a 4.98 after a a month of being at 4.96. It was definitely a struggle to get a good order at any time of the day. Now, all I’m seeing is excellent order values.”
- journeytoonowhere says: “What I’ve done, and maybe in the future you can try if needed, is that whenever my rating drops to below 5.0 ill go to an area where people are more, delightful, and or grab a quick easy batch. Odds of good mark are increased in my experience, then when rating is back up, go into more..critical areas and youll see batches before those with lower rating who tend to stay in the critical areas.”
- GerbilSchooler13 says: “The last few Sundays here have had pretty decent batches sticking around for a pretty long time. Last Sunday, after 7pm, there were about 3-4/10 or so batches that would have been worth my time taking but I was done for the day.”
As you can see, maintaining a high shopper rating is very important for getting more Instacart orders.
These shoppers take low-paying, easy orders if their ratings drop to get a quick 5-star rating to help bring their overall shopping rating back up.
They also state how shopping on busy days is important too, so try your best to go online on Friday and the weekends.
This video from YouTuber Gig Nation also provides a great explanation for why there aren’t batches on Instacart.
His tips to get more batches on Instacart include adding more shopper zones, keeping your acceptance rate high, and shopping on the best days like I mentioned.
Extra Reading – The Best Ways To Make $5,000 Fast.
In summary, it’s important to remember that getting no batches on Instacart is not the end of the world. There is almost always a way to fix it, improve your rating, or resolve any customer-related issues.
Worst case scenario, you can try a ton of other gig economy apps like DoorDash, goPuff, or Shipt.
Gig apps take some practice to maximize your earnings. But, I hope our guide on how to get more batches on Instacart helps you get back on track and increase your hourly earnings!
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