Instacart reboots customer ratings system

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Instacart is modifying how shoppers are rated.

Instacart is making what it says are delivery personnel-friendly changes to its customer ratings and batch prioritization system.

The online delivery platform is now requiring shoppers (Instacart’s term for workers who fulfill online customer orders at partner brick-and-mortar stores) to maintain a 4.7 star-average rating or above for prioritization in fulfilling delivery batches. Previously, Instacart prioritized shoppers with the highest rating possible.

The company also said it is forgiving more ratings for reasons that may be outside of a shopper's control, including if a customer consistently rates shoppers below five stars. Shoppers will also now see text in the Instacart shopper app notifying them when they are close enough to a store location to see available batches.

When a shopper enters a store's designated vicinity, text will appear in the app to let them know that they are ideally situated, and if they can expect to see batches from this retail location in the near future. The app may also show other recommended store locations nearby that have higher batch availability, in case they would prefer to move to another nearby store location.

In addition, Instacart is introducing a new "Your stats" screen that shows information about a shopper's experience on the platform, including their average customer rating, customer feedback, and statistics like how many orders they've completed. A new section within the shopper app will provide information about batch accuracy, including details such as items found and replacements.

A shopper's accuracy information does not have any impact on their rating or access to batches, but is offered to provide insights into their shopping experience on the app.

Furthermore, Instacart will now solicit batch-level feedback after each batch shoppers complete. As part of this feedback, shoppers can share if they had an issue with a customer and would no longer like to be paired with them moving forward. According to Instacart, each of these features and updates was developed based on direct shopper feedback.

Instacart releases new shopper app features
These new offerings come on the heels of several new features Instacart officially launched on its shopper app in March 2022. At that time, Instacart began providing live phone support, enabling shoppers to call and speak with a care representative directly through the Instacart shopper app.

In addition, the company introduced a safety toolkit, designed to provide shoppers with immediate access to safety functionality including in-app emergency calling, incident reporting, and safety alerts, from one tap in the shopper app. Instacart is also unveiling a new in-app navigation feature, which will provide shoppers with an interactive map of the grocery store.

In April 2022, Instacart released several upgrades to the customer tipping process on its platform. These included a tip protection feature that will apply when a customer “zeroes out” their tip after delivery without reporting an order issue. Instacart will cover the amount of the zeroed-out tip, up to $10. Instacart also unveiled several new features designed to encourage higher customer tips and make them easier for shoppers to provide.

Instacart will deliver product features related to recognition and rewards for its best shoppersin June 2022.

"Our reimagined ratings system was developed in close collaboration with the shopper community to better support their needs," said John Adams, VP of shopper & fulfillment product at Instacart. "It's incredibly important to us to nurture a community built on best intent — deepening the trust between shoppers, customers, and all of us at Instacart. By delivering on shopper feedback to make the customer ratings system even more fair, accurate, and reliable, we're taking another step in ensuring that shoppers feel heard and supported through their experience."