In days past, the only way you could shop as a blind/visually impaired individual was to go with someone, or ask for help at the service desk. If you asked someone from the service desk, sometimes it was difficult to indicate your shopping choices if the person didn’t speak the language well or was illiterate.
What is Instacart?
So glad you asked! Instacart is a shopping website and app for Android and iPhone platforms that allows you to get groceries delivered to your home, usually within two hours! Using the app or website, you simply search or browse for the groceries you want. When you discover something you want, just add it to your cart. The Instacart app even lets you shop grocery deals!
One thing that I really like is that with some products you can get cooking instructions and ingredients. The app also remembers what you got in the past, so if you’re clueless about shopping like me, you can just look at recent items, then add them into the cart.
How Does Instacart Work?
First you need to sign up for the Instacart service. You can do this within the app or on the website linked to above. You will be asked for your zip code to determine if service is available in your area. If service is provided where you are, then it’s a standard sign up process. You will need to provide various contact info as well as credit card payment info.
Let the Shopping Begin!
Now, just add all the items into your shopping cart. Instacart will show you the total price along with any savings due to deals and/or discounts. Be aware that Instacart will temporarily take out approximately $15 extra, to account for any changes in products or prices that may occur during the shopping, such as adding more items or replacing an item that isn’t in stock with an item that is a bit pricier. The final price will be adjusted once your groceries are delivered to you. You can also leave a tip either when you check out, or after you get your groceries and rate your driver.
Once you’re happy with your cart—is any woman ever truly happy with their cart?—you can check out. At this point, you’ll be asked when you want your groceries. You can choose based on availability of drivers and shoppers. Many times this will be within one or two hours.
Now You’re a Shopper Watcher!
You will get notifications as your shopping progresses. When shopping starts, if an item is out of stock and needs to be replaced, your shopper selects a similar item, and you can approve the new selection by activating the notification. You can also choose to browse for similar items yourself. Your new choice will be communicated to your shopper via the Instacart app. Your shopper will need to ask you questions once in a while. You should be comfortable chatting through a chat window (not via Siri). This will allow you to quickly communicate with your shopper. While you can specify in preferences that you would prefer a phone call, I have rarely seen this used in spite of the fact that I have this turned on in my preferences.
Groceries Delivered to Your Door
Now all you need to do is put those groceries where they belong. Tip: if you use the app regularly, you probably will want to subscribe to the express service. This is a $99 per year subscription, but it will wave the service and delivery fees. This can save you money quickly depending on how much you use the Instacart service. With that, I’m off to get shopping. I hope you enjoy shopping more independently. I find that I’m more informed now that I’m a regular Instacart user. From my table to your table… Qapla!