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Instacart Introduces New Rewards Program for Shoppers

Cart Star part of recent efforts to incentivize and recognize gig workers
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Instacart rewards
Through its new rewards program, Instacart shoppers earn rewards including access to batches, cash back on gas and backup care.

Instacart is delivering fresh benefits for its shopper community. The grocery tech company announced that it is launching a new shopper rewards program called Cart Star.

Depending on their level of commitment and activity, shoppers can receive tailored rewards and offerings through Instacart’s platform and from participating third-party partners. The Cart Star program offers varying incentives in Gold, Platinum and Diamond Cart levels, with points earned based on the number of orders fulfilled. For example, Gold Cart shoppers can earn 200 points in a three-month period, while Diamond Cart customers have the ability to net 2,000 points in that time span.

At a time of soaring gas prices, the benefits include fuel savings for shoppers who drive. According to Instacart, 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.

In addition, shoppers who are near a store’s location can get early access to batches. Some can accept batches before a retail location opens.

Backup care is another new perk. Through a partnership with, Instacart is offering backup care for shoppers' loved ones if or when needed.

The Cart Star program – based on direct shopper feedback – also rewards shoppers for their performance. To qualify for the benefits, users must maintain a 4.7 average customer rating. Platinum and Diamond Cart shoppers also receive recognition in the app when they reach the next level of the program. Such incentives work, Instacart found: When testing the program, the company found that those who have a top shopper badge on their in-app profile tend to have higher ratings and get bigger tips.

"Shoppers are an important part of the Instacart community, helping us invite the world to share love through food," said Tom Maguire, Instacart’s VP of operations ad care. "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."

Added John Adams, VP of shopper and fulfillment product: "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. 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."

The rollout of the rewards program is the latest in Instacart’s recent focus on its shopper community, in an economy when labor shortages are impacting many industries. Earlier this year, the company added a feature that allows shoppers to block customers that they do not want to be paired with and also added a screen that includes statistics like average customer rating and customer feedback.

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