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Instacart introduces new shopper rewards program

Instacart Cart Star
Instacart is offering shopper incentives via the Cart Star program.

Instacart is rolling out tailored incentives for its delivery personnel.

The online delivery platform is launching Cart Star, a new rewards program for its shoppers (Instacart’s term for workers who fulfill online customer orders at partner brick-and-mortar stores). The Cart Star program will offer incentives via three tiers: Gold, Platinum, or Diamond Cart.

Every qualifying shopper in the Cart Star program will receive tailored rewards and offerings through third-party partners, as well as directly within the Instacart platform. To qualify for Cart Star, shoppers will accumulate points based on the number of orders they fulfill, earning 10 points per customer order they shop or deliver.

Gold Cart shoppers will have earned 200 points, Platinum Cart will have earned 1,000 points, and Diamond Cart will have earned 2,000 points within the same three-month qualifying period. Shoppers must also maintain a 4.7 average customer rating to have access to the program.

[Read more: Instacart reboots customer ratings system]

To support shoppers on the platform, Instacart is partnering with additional rewards providers. Shoppers at all levels of the Cart Star program will have access to cash back on gas and car maintenance discounts via partnerships with Upside and CarAdvise, respectively. In addition, Diamond Cart shoppers will have access to two days of backup care per quarter from, for the cost of $1 per hour or $10 per day.

Instacart is also delivering enhanced in-app functionality for shoppers at various levels of the Cart Star program to help them increase their access to earnings and batches on the platform. Platinum and Diamond Cart shoppers will receive recognition in the Instacart app, indicating to customers when their shopper has achieved this status along with information like number of orders shopped and how long the shopper has been on the platform. 

In testing, Instacart says 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. In addition, Diamond Cart shoppers who are within close range of a store's location, as shown by a highlighted area in the shopper app, will get priority access to batches. They will also get exclusive early access to delivery batches with the ability to accept batches before stores open.

This announcement is the fourth and final in Instacart's multi-month rollout of new shopper support offerings and perks. Along with the revised customer ratings systems, these also include new shopper app features and several upgrades to the customer tipping process.

“Shoppers are an important part of the Instacart community, helping us invite the world to share love through food," said Tom Maguire, VP of operations & care at Instacart. "They balance empathy and efficiency with communication and problem-solving, and we're thrilled to unveil our Cart Star program to recognize top shoppers with impactful incentives that help them stand out to their customers, improve their access to earnings, and reach their personal goals."

"Our new Cart Star program was developed to celebrate and recognize top shoppers, delivering unique offerings and in-app functionality to enhance their shopper experience," said John Adams, VP of shopper & fulfillment product at Instacart. "These new updates will reward top shoppers by increasing their access to batches and giving them more opportunities to earn. We look forward to continuing to build on each of our commitments to deliver an even better app experience for shoppers in the future."

Instacart partners with more than 800 national, regional, and local retail brands to facilitate online shopping, delivery and pickup services from more than 70,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America.

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