Online grocery shopping sales in the United States are estimated to grow to nearly $60 billion by the year 2023, according to Statista. When you consider how convenient online grocery delivery is, it’s not hard to see why.
Plus, If there’s one thing that’s clear from the past few weeks, it’s that grocery delivery services are here to stay.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading grocery delivery companies like Instacart are hiring an additional 300,000 grocery shoppers. Similarly, Amazon plans to bring on an extra 100,000 warehouse workers, drivers, and grocery store shoppers to meet delivery demands.
Shipt was founded in 2014 and has since become the fastest-growing grocery delivery service in the United States, according to Business Wire.
Target acquired Shipt in 2017, and Shipt now operates in more than 260 cities in the U.S. This members-only service is best known for offering incredibly fast delivery times, same-day orders from Target, and alcohol or prescription delivery options.
Shipt is currently hiring across the country. If you want to pick up a new side gig or are looking for a primary job that starts paying relatively quickly, Shipt shopping is a relatively easy job with a low learning curve.
What Shipt Shoppers Do
Shipt allows its members (customers) to order same-day delivery for groceries or Target products. As a Shipt member, it’s easy to choose a grocery chain or Target, build a shopping list, and request delivery to your front door.
Shipt Shoppers are the workers responsible for purchasing groceries or products and delivering them to Shipt members. Shoppers manage every part of this process through the Shipt app in three primary steps.
Scheduling Shifts & Accepting Orders
Shipt shoppers use the Shipt app to schedule themselves into a delivery zone. A delivery zone is the combination of the delivery time frame and the specific metro you’re willing to shop in.
You can schedule zones up to a week in advance. However, you can also set your schedule the same day you want to work, so there’s flexibility.
Scheduling yourself doesn’t mean you automatically receive grocery orders. Orders become available based on your shopper rating and the demand in your zone. The highest-rated Shipt shopper in a zone gets the offer first, so it’s essential you deliver on time and have excellent customer service to build your rating over time. However, Shipt temporarily places new shoppers near the top of the chain to give them a chance to accept orders. Shoppers gain a rating after completing their first few shopping trips, after which orders become available to you based on your rating.
If you receive an order offer, you can tap the order within the Shipt app to learn more about what’s involved. Information includes the closest store to you, the delivery address, and the number of items in the order. It’s important to review this information carefully so you have a general idea of how long the shopping trip will take.
If the order doesn’t interfere with other deliveries you have scheduled, hit claim to take the job.
The first step in shopping for a Shipt order is to view the delivery time frame for the order and any notes or special requests.
Shipt members can make special requests or list per-item substitution preferences. It’s critical to understand the unique requests on each order to provide high-quality service.
Message the Shipt member when you begin your shopping trip. That lets the member know their order is in progress, and it’s a nice customer service touch that can influence your rating or tip amount.
To begin shopping, tap the “Shop Order” button within the app to get to work. That highlights special requests once again and outlines the shopping list for the order. It’s best to do the shopping in the order recommended on the list since Shipt organizes it by store category to help save time.
It’s essential you follow your shopping list and accommodate any special requests. Getting it right increases the odds of a positive review and potential tips. Shipt members can leave notes on anything from a fruit’s desired ripeness to specific substitution preferences they have.
Once you locate something on your list, add it to your cart, and cross it off the list within the Shipt app. It’s vital you buy the right size and quantity. The Shipt app lets shoppers scan the products’ bar codes to ensure they match what the member ordered, so it’s easy to double-check if you are unsure. Buying incorrect sizes or quantities can alter the order’s cost and possibly upset the Shipt member. Obtaining positive reviews boosts your overall Shipt rating, which is essential for getting more order offers — and ultimately earning more money.
Checking Out & Delivering the Order
Shipt Shoppers check out using their prepaid Shipt card. The card has enough funds on it since Shipt knows roughly how much your order will cost. However, if you’re short on funds for any reason, it’s easy to contact Shipt HQ through the app to add funds to your card.
Finally, shoppers must take a photo of their receipt within the Shipt app before delivering the order.
The Shipt app provides a GPS navigation tool to help shoppers navigate to a delivery address. Orders may contain special delivery requests or information such as the door code to enter a gated community or apartment complex. Check your order notes to see if the member wants their groceries left at the door for contactless delivery.
If your order is not a drop-off order, when you arrive, ask the member if they want you to take their groceries inside for them. Once the member has their groceries, end the delivery through the Shipt app. It’s important to remember this step to ensure Shipt marks your delivery as being on time and boosts your rating accordingly. Late deliveries can also result in a lower Shipt Shopper rating since Shipt members can rate their delivery experience after an order is complete.
Shipt members don’t have to tip. However, members can tip in cash once you arrive or through the Shipt app after they receive a delivery. Shipt Shoppers keep 100% of the tips they earn.
Shipt Shopper Pay
Shipt shoppers are independent contractors and earn a delivery fee (plus any tips) for each order they complete. The company pays via direct deposit every Friday for orders from the previous Monday through Sunday.
Each order has a delivery fee based on how long it will take to complete. According to Shipt, orders typically take one hour to complete and can pay up to $22. But that’s not indicative of every market or season.
Additionally, your speed and performance also impact your hourly rate and how much, if anything, you earn in tips. Because Shipt doesn’t require members to tip, tip amounts can vary greatly. While Shipt makes no recommendations about how much customers should tip, a 2019 U.S. Foods survey shows that grocery delivery drivers make an average of $4 in tips per order.
According to Glassdoor, Shipt shoppers earn anywhere from $7 to $26 per hour. However, the average hourly pay for Shipt Shoppers is between $12 and $15 per hour.
Indeed salary reviews also show that Shipt workers earn $22 per hour. But it’s hard to pin down an exact hourly pay expectation since it depends on multiple factors. The only real way to learn how much money you can make as a Shipt Shopper is to ask other local Shipt shoppers or test the app in your metro.
However, if you complete a Shipt order per hour, it’s a reliable side hustle that pays minimum wage or higher and can help boost your monthly income.
How to Become a Shipt Shopper
Requirements for Becoming a Shipt Shopper
Before you begin the application process, consult the list of cities Shipt operates in. If Shipt operates in your city, the requirements are relatively easy to meet.
Shipt shoppers must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance
- Have a reliable year model 1997 or newer vehicle
- Have knowledge of grocery store produce and products to accurately complete grocery orders
- Be capable of lifting 40 pounds
- Have an iPhone (iOS 10 or later) or an Android (5.1 or later) smartphone
Applying to Become a Shipt Shopper
The Shipt application process is relatively simple and only takes a few minutes. You just provide them with some basic information about yourself, such as:
Here is what information you provide online:
- Personal Information. Name, email address, phone number, desired city of operation
- Age. You must be over 18 to shop for Shipt; applicants 21 years or older can participate in Shipt’s alcohol delivery program
- Address. To receive your onboarding resources, like your Shipt shopper shirt and prepaid Shipt card, which shoppers use to pay for grocery orders
- Availability. They specifically want to know if you can work Sunday and Monday, the two busiest days for grocery orders
- Smoking. If you smoke, note that Shipt shoppers can’t smoke during a shift
- Driver Information. The age of your vehicle and how much driving experience you have
Shipt sends out a confirmation email within one to two business days. If you pass this first step, there are several additional steps to become eligible to work.
Shipt applicants also take part in a virtual interview. It involves submitting written responses to questions about previous customer service experience and how you would behave in various shopping scenarios. Applicants also record and submit a video component of answers to similar questions.
Additionally, there’s some paperwork. Applicants sign a Shipt shopper agreement, a background check consent form, and a W-9 form.
The time to become an actual Shipt Shopper depends on how long the background check takes, how quickly you submit forms, and the demand for Shipt shoppers in your area. Expect to wait several days or up to a week unless demand is high.
Shipt may also delay how soon you can schedule shifts once you’re eligible to work. That helps prevent your city from having too many active Shipt shoppers at once. However, due to current demands for grocery delivery, that may not be a concern.
Things to Know Before Becoming a Shipt Shopper
Shipt shopping is flexible, and the requirements for getting started are reasonably lenient. However, there are several factors you should also consider before signing up to be a Shipt shopper.
1. Tax Implications for Independent Contractors
Shipt shoppers, like most gig workers, are independent contractors, not employees. Side hustles have several tax implications, and you may have to follow new rules to log on-the-job expenses.
Shipt doesn’t withhold any income tax on direct deposits. Therefore, contractors must track their own income and expenses and make quarterly estimated state and federal tax payments.
Plus, if they earn more than $400 per year, independent contractors must also pay self-employment tax. This tax is roughly 15.3% of self-employment income.
2. Shipt Doesn’t Cover Expenses
Another critical aspect of working as an independent contractor is learning how to deal with expenses.
Shipt pays for groceries, but that’s it. Shipt doesn’t cover fuel costs, vehicle maintenance and repairs, or general depreciation on your vehicle. Factor in your fuel costs and vehicle depreciation after your first few Shipt trips to find your actual hourly rate.
Note: Shipt is currently providing up to two weeks of financial assistance to shoppers who contract coronavirus or who are under mandatory quarantine by order of a public health authority. This support system pays shoppers their average weekly Shipt earnings, including tips, based on what they earned for four weeks before infection.
However, other than this temporary coverage, Shipt does not pay for on-the-job expenses or if you’re unable to work.
3. Your Shipt Rating Really Matters
Customer service and building a high shopper rating is crucial for consistently getting orders.
Successful shoppers make an effort to communicate with members, adjust orders to meet their needs, and always deliver on time. This job isn’t as simple as just buying groceries and eventually delivering them. Professionalism is truly a component of making decent money with Shipt.
4. Work Opportunity Varies
The number of Shipt orders you receive varies based on your rating. However, your location and the number of Shipt Shoppers in your area also impact work opportunities.
Shipt is an excellent company to work for if you need to make money quickly. But it’s important to give yourself a runway to test the viability of this side hustle in your specific area. Shipt often delays the start of workers if there are too many Shipt Shoppers in a zone, and you also need time to learn the ropes and improve your rating.
Shipt is the fastest-growing grocery delivery service in the country. If you meet the hiring requirements and want an effective side hustle, working as a Shipt shopper is an excellent way to earn a decent hourly wage and to find fast work.
However, it’s essential you understand the implications of working as an independent contractor. Shipt pays well, but your expenses aren’t covered. Furthermore, you’re responsible for accurately reporting your income and paying income tax and possibly self-employment tax.
Finally, give yourself time to learn the ropes and test out how much demand there is for Shipt in your city. But as long as you provide stellar customer service and work on optimizing your delivery skills to complete orders accurately and quickly, working as a Shipt Shopper offers plenty of opportunity to make extra money.
Do you currently work for Shipt or another grocery delivery service?