Instacart offers tiered rewards to gig workers
Instacart has introduced a three-pronged tiered-rewards program, Cart Star, to drive loyalty among its shoppers (delivery personnel).
The program offers incentives across three tiers: Gold, Platinum or Diamond.
To qualify for Cart Star, shoppers accumulate points based on the number of orders they fulfill within a three-month qualifying period, earning 10 points per order. Gold Cart status kicks in at 200 points, Platinum Cart at 1,000 points, and Diamond Cart will have earned 2,000 points.
Rewards under the program include:
- Childcare discount: Diamond Cart shoppers gain access to two days of Backup Care in-home for a child, senior or pet, or in-center childcare, through a partnership with Care.com for $1 per hour or $10 per day.
- Gas/oil change discount: Through partnerships with Upside and CarAdvise, shoppers across all three Cart Star levels receive cash back at gas stations and a discount on an oil change. Platinum and Diamond Cart members receive bigger savings.
- Customer recognition: Platinum and Diamond Cart shoppers receive recognition in the Instacart app, indicating to customers their status, number of orders shopped and how long they’ve been delivering for Instacart. In testing, customers who saw a top shopper badge on their profile were likelier to leave a higher rating and higher tip for their shopper.
- Preferred order status: Diamond Cart shoppers who are within close range of a store’s location gain priority access to batches and exclusive early access to batches with the ability to accept batches before stores open.
Shoppers must maintain a 4.7 average customer rating to have access to the program.
The incentive program is the final installment of its four-part rollout of new tools for its workers that also included tip protections and an overhaul of its customer rating system to dilute the impact of hard-to-please customers.
Instacart has faced numerous walkouts from its independent contractor workforce over worker protections, including two threatened strikes in 2020 and 2021 as growth surged during the pandemic. Recently, sales have slowed as consumers return to pre-pandemic shopping habits and moderate their spending due to inflation. Heightened competition is also arriving from Uber Eats and Doordash.
- Instacart Introduces Cart Star, New Shopper Rewards Program – Instacart
- Instacart’s rewards program for shoppers includes priority choice of orders before stores open – The Verge
- Instacart Launches Employee Rewards Program – Loyalty 360
- Should Instacart discard shopper ratings from chronically grumpy customers? – RetailWire
- Instacart’s comedown speaks volumes about the plight of digital retail – Fortune
- Instacart Searches for a Direction as Its Pandemic Boom Fades – The New York Times
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Instacart’s Cart Star rewards program lead to greater retention of its independent contractor workforce? Does it help resolve some of the shortcomings of the gig working model?