- Instacart announced on Thursday a rewards program for its personal shoppers called Cart Star, in the final installment of its four-part rollout of new tools for its workers.
- The program has three tiers based on the number of points workers earn from orders within a three-month period: 200 points for Gold, 1,000 for Platinum and 2,000 for Diamond. Shoppers must maintain a 4.7 average on a five-star customer rating scale to be eligible.
- The three levels offer access to cash back on gas through Upside, discounts on car maintenance through CarAdvise, and for Diamond members, backup care through Care.com.
With its new rewards program for personal shoppers, Instacart aims to keep its workforce engaged and offering a high level of service at a time when e-commerce sales have moderated from their levels earlier in the pandemic.
One of Instacart’s advantages in the third-party delivery space is its robust workforce of more than 600,000 gig workers. At times, though, the company has had a rocky relationship on the labor front. The multi-part rollout of new tools and features is clearly a bid to make Instacart a more appealing place to work, as the company looks to retain and attract gig workers.
Similar to how grocers leverage rewards programs to give loyal customers access to special deals, Cart Star ties incentives to the number of orders worker fulfill. Workers earn 10 points per customer order and can earn 20 points or more when they shop a multi-order batch, according to Instacart.
Shoppers who reach Platinum and Diamond levels will get their status recognized in the customer app.
Diamond-level members can access two days of “backup care” per quarter from Care.com for $1 per hour or $10 per day. Those members will also be offered priority access to batches when they are within “close range” of a store and will get “exclusive early access to batches” including being able to accept batches for stores before they open, Instacart said.
With Cart Star, Instacart said its shoppers will also have “enhanced in-app functionality to help them increase their access to earnings and batches on the platform.” For example, customers will be able to see when a gig worker achieved their Cart Star status alongside information about how many orders that person has shopped and how long they’ve worked for Instacart,
“In testing, customers who saw a top shopper badge on their shopper’s profile were more likely to leave a higher rating and higher tip for their shopper,” Instacart noted in the announcement.
Last summer, H-E-B President Craig Boyan identified childcare limitations as a top concern for grocers when it comes to hiring, and Hy-Vee partnered with a child care network to help its workers access in-home providers. A year later, childcare access in the U.S. is still an issue as people return to work. Instacart noted workers can use Care.com to help with caregiving needs for children, pets and older adults.
High gas prices have also impacted workers, with companies such as Instacart and Uber adding fuel charges to orders a few months ago.
Through Upside, Gold-level workers can get 29 cents in cash back per gallon at “thousands” of participating gas stations in the U.S., while Platinum- and Diamond-level ones can get 33 cents, per the announcement.
With the CarAdvise partnership, Gold-level workers can get 25% off an oil change, while Platinum and Diamond shoppers get 50% off.
The other worker tools Instacart previously introduced during the rollout included in-store navigation, tip protection and multi-store batching and a revamped customer ratings system.
While Cart Star marks the last of the multi-phase worker tool rollout, Instacart suggested it will continue to make enhancements for its workers.
“We look forward to continuing to build on each of our commitments to deliver an even better app experience for shoppers in the future,” John Adams, Instacart’s vice president of shopper and fulfillment product, said in the announcement.