Instacart Pricing Model and Strategy [Complete Detail 2024]

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that offers customers the convenience of shopping for groceries online and having them delivered right to their doorstep. This service benefits individuals with busy schedules, mobility issues, or those who simply prefer the ease of online shopping. Through its user-friendly app and website, customers can browse a wide range of products from various local grocery stores, ensuring they can access their favorite brands and items without leaving the comfort of their homes.

The company operates on a pricing model that is quite different from traditional grocery stores, often including delivery fees and service charges, which has allowed it to quickly gain popularity among consumers. Instacart also offers a membership option, Instacart Express, which provides benefits such as reduced service fees and free delivery on orders over a certain amount, making it an attractive option for frequent users.

In addition to providing a wide range of products, Instacart allows users to select their preferred delivery times, ranging from as fast as one hour to scheduling deliveries days in advance. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for those with unpredictable schedules or who want to plan for special events. The service also offers personalized recommendations based on previous purchases, helping users discover new products and saving them time. Furthermore, Instacart’s partnership with major grocery chains and local markets ensures that customers have access to fresh produce, pantry staples, household essentials, and even unique specialty items, thus enhancing the shopping experience.

How On-Demand Delivery Affects Businesses Around The Globe?

The rise of on-demand delivery services, like Instacart, has had a significant impact on businesses around the globe. Traditional grocery stores are facing increased competition from these services, as they offer convenience and flexibility that brick-and-mortar stores may not be able to match.

One major effect is the changing shopping habits of consumers. With the ease of ordering groceries online and having them delivered straight to their doorstep, more people are choosing to do their grocery shopping through on-demand delivery services instead of physically going to a store. This shift in consumer behavior has forced traditional grocery stores to adapt and improve their online offerings to stay competitive.

Another impact is the increase in demand for delivery and logistics services. On-demand delivery services like Instacart require a network of shoppers and drivers to fulfill orders, creating job opportunities and boosting local economies. Companies that specialize in delivery and logistics have also seen a surge in business as they partner with on-demand services to provide efficient and timely deliveries.

Also Read: How Does Instacart Work to Make Money?

What Is Instacart?

Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service that allows customers to order groceries and household essentials from their favorite local stores and have them delivered in as little as one hour. Founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, a former Amazon engineer, the company has since grown into a multi-billion dollar business, revolutionizing the way people shop for groceries.

Today, Instacart operates in over 5,500 cities across the United States and Canada, serving millions of households. The service offers a wide range of products, from fresh produce and meats to pantry staples and specialty items, making it convenient for customers to get everything they need without leaving their homes. Customers can even choose from a variety of stores, ensuring they get the brands and products they prefer. Additionally, Instacart partners with major retailers such as Costco, Safeway, and Kroger, expanding its reach and variety.

Instacart’s user-friendly app and website, coupled with its reliable and speedy delivery, have made it a popular choice for busy individuals and families looking to save time and effort on grocery shopping. Features like real-time order tracking, personalized shopping preferences, and substitution options enhance the customer experience. The service also supports same-day delivery, scheduled deliveries, and even curbside pickup in some locations.

In recent years, Instacart has also introduced new services, such as Instacart Express, which offers unlimited free deliveries for a monthly or annual fee, and a prescription delivery service in partnership with various pharmacies. These additions further cement Instacart’s position as a leader in the grocery delivery market, continually adapting to meet the evolving needs of its customers.

How does Instacart work?

To use Instacart, customers must first create an account and provide their delivery address. They can then browse through the available stores in their area and add items to their virtual cart. Customers can also access their purchase history and saved shopping lists for convenience.

After placing an order, a personal shopper is assigned to fulfill the request at the selected store. The shopper receives the order, collects the requested items, and checks out on behalf of the customer. Customers can communicate with their shoppers throughout the process if they have any specific requests or questions.

Once the order is complete, the shopper delivers it to the customer’s specified location. Customers can track the progress of their orders in real-time through the Instacart app or website. If any items are out of stock, the shopper will suggest nearby alternatives for the customer to approve or decline.

What is Instacart’s pricing strategy?

Instacart’s pricing strategy is based on a combination of delivery fees, service fees, and item prices. The delivery fee depends on the size of the order and the chosen delivery time slot. Customers can also choose to pay for an Instacart Express membership, which offers free deliveries for a flat monthly or annual fee.

The service fee covers the cost of Instacart’s operations and varies based on the total cost of the order. Item prices are set by individual retailers and may sometimes differ from in-store prices.

Instacart Mark-up V.S. In-store prices

One aspect of Instacart’s pricing strategy is the markup on in-store prices. This means that some items may be more expensive on Instacart compared to their in-store prices. The reason for this mark-up is to cover the cost of picking and delivering the items, as well as other operational expenses.

Instacart V.S. Online Grocery Market

Compared to other online grocery delivery services, Instacart’s pricing strategy offers a range of options for customers. Customers can choose between same-day or next-day delivery, as well as different membership plans for additional savings. However, customers need to compare prices with other services and consider potential mark-ups before making a purchase.

Promotional Offers

Instacart also offers various promotional offers and discounts throughout the year, such as free delivery on certain orders or special deals on popular items. These promotions are communicated through the app and website, providing another way for customers to save money on their orders.

Read More: Leading Apps Like Instacart: Best Instacart Alternatives

How much does Instacart cost for its consumers?

The cost of Instacart for consumers depends on several factors, such as the service fee, markup on in-store prices, and promotions or discounts offered. In general, customers can expect to pay for the total cost of their items plus a delivery fee and service fee. However, with the option to choose different delivery times and membership plans, customers have some control over how much they spend on Instacart. It’s important for customers to carefully consider these costs before placing an order and compare them with other options in the online grocery market.  Overall, while Instacart may have a slightly higher price point compared to other online grocery delivery services, the convenience and variety of options make it a popular choice for many consumers.  So, customers should carefully analyze their own needs and budget before deciding whether Instacart is the right fit for them.

Delivery Fees

The delivery fee on Instacart varies depending on the customer’s location, order size, and delivery time. Customers can choose between same-day or next-day delivery options, with same-day orders typically having a higher delivery fee. Additionally, orders over a certain amount may qualify for free delivery.

Service Fee

In addition to the cost of items and delivery fees, customers can also expect to pay a service fee on their Instacart order. This fee covers the cost of shopping and delivering the order, as well as supporting the Instacart platform. The service fee is typically 5% of the total order cost but may vary based on factors such as demand and location.

Markup on In-Store Prices

Instacart also has a markup on in-store prices, which means that customers may end up paying slightly more for items through the app compared to if they had gone to the store themselves. This markup pays for services such as maintaining inventory and providing customer support.

Fast and Flexible and Order Ahead Options

One of the main benefits of using Instacart is its fast and flexible delivery options. Customers can often receive their orders within just a few hours, making it ideal for last-minute or urgent grocery needs. This quick turnaround time can be a lifesaver for busy individuals or families who need groceries in a pinch. In addition, Instacart also offers an “Order Ahead” option, allowing customers to schedule deliveries up to two weeks in advance. This feature is perfect for those who like to plan or have a specific event or occasion coming up, ensuring that their grocery needs are met without any last-minute rush. Furthermore, Instacart offers a wide range of products from various stores, giving customers the convenience of one-stop shopping from the comfort of their own homes.

How Much Does it Cost to Get groceries delivered by Instacart?

The cost of grocery delivery through Instacart can vary depending on factors such as the size of the order, distance for delivery, and demand at the time of placing the order. Customers may also incur additional costs such as taxes, tips for their shoppers, and service fees. However, compared to other grocery delivery services or traditional methods of shopping in-store, Instacart is generally considered to be affordable and convenient. Plus, customers have the option to become Instacart Express members for a monthly or yearly fee, which offers benefits such as free delivery on orders over a certain amount and exclusive discounts.

Delivery charges for Instacart

The delivery charges for Instacart can range from $3.99 to $9.99 per order, depending on the size and urgency of the delivery. However, these charges may be waived or reduced through promotions or by becoming an Instacart Express member. The cost of the actual groceries purchased through Instacart is comparable to in-store prices, with occasional sales and discounts available as well.

Grocery Charges

In addition to the delivery charges, there may also be additional fees for certain items, such as alcohol or heavy items. These fees are displayed on the app or website before checkout, allowing customers to make informed decisions about their purchases.

Tipping costs

One of the unique features of Instacart is the ability to tip your shopper for their services. This is not a mandatory cost, but it is recommended as a way to show appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Shoppers often go above and beyond to ensure that your groceries are selected with care and delivered promptly. The average tip amount ranges from $5-$10, depending on the size and complexity of the order, but customers are encouraged to tip more generously if they feel their shopper provided exceptional service. Tipping is a great way to support the individuals who help make your shopping experience convenient and enjoyable.

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The Pros and Cons of Ordering through Instacart

While Instacart offers many benefits and conveniences, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.


  • Convenient and time-saving: Instacart allows customers to shop from the comfort of their own home or office, saving them valuable time and effort.
  • Wide selection of stores: With Instacart’s partnerships with various grocery stores, customers have access to a wide range of products and brands.
  • Same-day delivery options: For urgent grocery needs, customers can choose same-day delivery for an additional fee.
  • Contactless delivery: During the pandemic, Instacart has implemented contactless delivery measures to ensure the safety of both customers and shoppers.
  • Flexibility in delivery time: Customers can choose a specific delivery window that works best for their schedule.


  • Additional fees: Instacart charges various fees such as service fees, delivery fees, and peak hour pricing, which can add up to the overall cost.
  • Availability may vary: Depending on location and store partnerships, some products or stores may not be available through Instacart.
  • Quality control: Since shoppers are responsible for selecting groceries, there may be instances where items are not up to the customer’s standards or preferences.
  • Dependence on shopper availability: In peak times or busy areas, it may be challenging to get a shopper to accept and fulfill your order immediately.
  • Tipping can add up: While tipping is not mandatory on Instacart, it is encouraged as shoppers rely on tips for their income. This can add up to the overall cost of using the service.

How can iTechnolabs help you to build an App like Instacart?

iTechnolabs can help you build an app like Instacart by providing a team of experienced mobile app developers and designers who specialize in developing on-demand delivery apps. Our team will work closely with you to understand your requirements and develop a customized solution tailored to your specific business needs. We ensure that the app is user-friendly, scalable, and equipped with the latest features to provide an exceptional user experience. From conceptualization to deployment, we offer end-to-end services including UI/UX design, backend development, quality assurance, and post-launch support to help your app succeed in the competitive market.

  • Customized Development: We take the time to thoroughly understand your unique business requirements, industry specifics, and target audience to develop a tailored solution that perfectly aligns with your needs and objectives.
  • Experienced Team: Our team consists of seasoned developers and designers with extensive experience in creating on-demand delivery apps. Each team member brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, ensuring that every aspect of your project is handled with precision and care.
  • User-Friendly Interface: We design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces to ensure a seamless and enjoyable user experience for all your customers. Our focus is on creating an aesthetic, easy-to-navigate layout that enhances user satisfaction and engagement.
  • Scalability: Our solutions are built to scale, ensuring your app can handle growing user demands and market expansion. Whether you’re starting with a small user base or anticipating rapid growth, our scalable architecture adapts to your evolving needs.
  • Latest Features: We integrate the latest features and cutting-edge technologies to provide advanced functionalities and keep your app ahead of the competition. This includes real-time tracking, secure payment gateways, push notifications, and more.
  • End-to-End Services: From initial conceptualization to final deployment, we offer comprehensive services including UI/UX design, backend development, and quality assurance. Our holistic approach ensures a cohesive and well-integrated final product.
  • Post-Launch Support: Our commitment doesn’t end at launch; we provide ongoing support and maintenance to ensure your app runs smoothly and efficiently. We offer regular updates, bug fixes, and feature enhancements to keep your app performing at its best.

Are you planning to build an app like Instacart?

Contact us!

Partnering with iTechnolabs to develop your Instacart pricing model brings numerous advantages that can significantly enhance your business operations and profitability. By leveraging their expertise, you gain access to advanced analytical tools and data-driven insights, which help optimize pricing strategies, increase customer satisfaction, and drive higher revenue. Furthermore, their tailored solutions ensure that your pricing model remains competitive and adaptive to market changes, ultimately leading to long-term success and growth.

  • Expertise in Pricing Mechanisms: iTechnolabs boasts a team of experts who are well-versed in various pricing strategies and models. Their in-depth knowledge and experience ensure that your pricing strategy is both competitive and sustainable in the long term.
  • Advanced Technology Integration: Leveraging cutting-edge technology, iTechnolabs incorporates machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics into your pricing model. This integration allows for real-time adjustments and data-driven decision-making, ensuring maximum profitability and market responsiveness.
  • Custom Solutions: iTechnolabs understands that each business has unique needs and challenges. They provide tailored solutions that align with your specific requirements, whether through flat rate fees, percentage markups, or subscription-based models. This customization ensures that your pricing strategy resonates with your target audience and business goals.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: The team at iTechnolabs doesn’t just set your pricing model and leave it. They offer ongoing monitoring and analysis to evaluate the performance of your pricing strategy. This continuous oversight allows for timely adjustments based on key metrics and customer feedback, ensuring that your pricing remains effective and profitable.
  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: By implementing a dynamic and well-thought-out pricing model, iTechnolabs helps you offer prices that reflect real-time demand and supply variations. This flexibility can lead to higher customer satisfaction as consumers perceive fair and transparent pricing.

Important: Crafting a Perfect App: Essential Steps in Shopping App Development


With iTechnolabs’ expertise and commitment to delivering results, you can rest assured that your pricing strategy is in good hands. By staying ahead of the curve with technology integration, offering customized solutions, and continuously monitoring and improving your pricing model, iTechnolabs helps you stay competitive and drive success in the market. Don’t settle for a generic pricing strategy – partner with iTechnolabs to optimize your prices and achieve long-term sustainability.

Frequently Asked Questions On InstaCart Pricing Model (FAQs)

Que. How much does it cost to build an app like InstaCart?

Ans. The cost of building an app like InstaCart can vary depending on the complexity, features, and functionalities you want to include. It also depends on whether you choose to develop the app in-house or outsource it to a software development company. On average, it can cost anywhere between $50,000 to $1 million. However, partnering with iTechnolabs can help you build a cost-effective solution tailored to your specific business needs.

Que. Does InstaCart offer same-day delivery?

Ans. Yes, InstaCart offers same-day delivery for most products in their inventory, allowing you to receive your groceries and essentials quickly and conveniently. Additionally, they provide an option for customers to schedule their deliveries for a specific date and time, ensuring flexibility to fit your busy lifestyle. This way, you can plan and receive your items precisely when you need them.

Que. Does iTechnolabs offer a readymade grocery app? 

Ans. Yes, iTechnolabs offers a readymade grocery app as we believe in providing ready-to-launch and customized solutions tailored to your specific business needs and preferences. Our team of experts works closely with you to understand your requirements and develop a unique solution that meets all your expectations, ensuring maximum efficiency and effectiveness for your business.

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