Online grocery delivery giant Instacart has launched two new product features to speed service and unlock more delivery windows amid booming order volume triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.
In late March, Instacart worker Annaliisa Arambula accepted a grocery order that came with a big tip: $55. The store was just down the street, everything the customer wanted was available, and the order seemed to go off without a hitch.
While some workers said they have grown wary of large tips because of tip baiting, others sometimes risk picking up low tip orders in the hopes the person will pay more in cash. It doesn’t always work, though.
The ability to change the tip price up to three days after grocery drop-off is an option provided through the Instacart application.
According to Instacart, tip-baiting is rare. Customers either adjusted their tip upward or did not adjust tip at all on 99.5% of orders. The company also removed the “none” option in the customer tip section with hopes that customers will tip at a minimum.
Instacart has been on a hiring spree as customer demand increased more than 300% year over year last week alone. Last month, the Instacart shopper community grew to 350,000 active shoppers, up from 200,000 two weeks ago.
Instacart says it has also hired and signed an additional 15,000 representatives that will join the team by May. With that, Instacart says it will have a Care team of about 18,000 members.
Overall, Instacart partners with more than 350 grocery retailers and delivers from over 25,000 stores in 5,500-plus cities in North America. The company’s service is available to more than 85% of U.S. households and 70% of Canadian households.