How Late Does Instacart Deliver? Everything You Need To Know

How Late Does Instacart Deliver

Instacart promises that their Instacart prices will be roughly 10% cheaper than your local Whole Foods, and they’ll deliver the groceries to your door (or wherever you want them delivered) in as little as an hour. However, not all is well with this grocery delivery service.

For instance, how late does instacart deliver? The answer to that question depends.

Generally speaking, instacart delivers as late as you need them to. If you want groceries delivered at 10:00 PM on a Sunday night, and the stores and shoppers are still open (and awake!), then instacart can do it.

However, some Whole Foods and other grocery stores may be closed by 10:00 PM (especially on Sunday’s). If your local store is closed, then instacart won’t be able to deliver you groceries.

Additionally, if you live in a rural area or somewhere excessively far from the local grocery store, then instacart may require that you order your groceries at least one hour before closing at the grocery store.

Also keep in mind that not all InstaCart shoppers are willing to deliver late into the night, so be sure to read their description of the service before you select it.

The key here is to work with your Instacart shopper, and not against them. Make sure that you know what time instacart delivers to your area, and plan accordingly.

Remember that once you place your order, all of the control is in the shopper’s hands (and apps). If you want to ensure that you get your groceries delivered at 10:00 PM (and the local grocery store is still open), then place your order for delivery at least one hour before closing time.

The Reasons Your Instacart Order Is Delivered Late

You’ve just returned from that grocery store. The cashier is finishing packing your groceries into the bags, and you’re thinking to yourself, “Taking a taxi home will be so much easier than carrying all these heavy bags around.”

But when you get home, there’s no taxi waiting outside. Instead, there’s a note on your door.

Why is the Instacart shopper always late? Here are five reasons your Instacart order gets delivered later than it says on the app.

1. The store is out of product.                                       

If you’re like me, then you can’t live without your morning coffee or afternoon sweet snack to get you through the day. Yet sometimes, bae just won’t understand why he/she has been ghosted all of a sudden!

You quickly open up your Instacart app to find that your favorite coffee brand has run out of the medium-dark roast you’ve come to love. There’s nothing left but “light” and “dark.”

So you go for the dark, even though it just doesn’t have the same taste like your usual. When you get home, you see a note on your door that the shopper couldn’t find your coffee in this neighborhood, and it will take a few days to resupply. 

 2. The store is experiencing technical difficulties.        

Sometimes the product you want isn’t out of stock at all, but there’s just something wrong with the store’s system.

For instance, sometimes the barcode scanner isn’t working, so when your shopper scans all of your groceries one by one, they have to wait for the cashier to manually input every code before proceeding to the next item. 

3. Your shopper got behind on their other deliveries.        

Your shopper is doing the best they can, but sometimes life throws them a curveball.

Maybe they picked up another order at the same time as yours and got stuck in traffic, or maybe it’s raining really hard outside, so they had to park a few blocks away and carry all their groceries in.

Whatever the case may be, your shopper has been at it for hours now, and they need to get home so they can get some rest before their day job tomorrow morning. They’ll try to get your order delivered as soon as possible! 

4. The shopper gave up after waiting too long.                            

This happens more often than I’d like to admit, honestly.

Your shopper has your groceries on their front seat, or in the trunk of their car, or maybe even on the back of their bike.

They’re prepared to deliver your groceries, but it’s been fifteen minutes since you confirmed your order and they hadn’t heard a peep from you. Maybe there was a glitch in the system and the app didn’t go through? So they wait a little longer, but still nothing happens. You’ve been ghosted! 

5. There’s an inaccurately labeled product.                

This one is the worst because you have no idea when it might happen to you.

Sometimes, a shopper will check out for you and pick up all your items successfully, but when they get home and start packing everything in the bags, they realize that some of your items aren’t what you ordered. For example, maybe you were sent a pink grapefruit instead of a red grapefruit.

Some stores will refund you for this mistake and send someone out to deliver the correct product immediately (however, even if you receive the correct item in time, it will still arrive late).

Other stores, however, won’t refund you for this product mistake. If that’s the case, then they’ll simply send another shopper back to the store to pick up your correct item so it can be delivered on time with the rest of your groceries. 

So next time you have a late delivery, don’t be too angry with your shopper–they’re just trying to do their best! The above reasons are why a lot of people’s deliveries arrive late. Hopefully, this article will help everyone better understand what might cause your Instacart order to be delivered late.

How Can I Speed Up My Instacart Order?

Did you know that with Instacart Select, you can order items from Whole Foods Market, Costco, Petco, and more? It’s a huge selection of products at your fingertips with fast delivery! But did you know about our service guarantee? Service Guarantee shows our dedication to getting orders delivered as quickly as possible. If, for any reason, an order does not arrive within 4 hours, Instacart will refund the entire cost of that order.

If you are looking to speed up your purchase even more, here are 5 ways to get an Instacart order delivered in record time!

1. Choose an Express Hour

Select only items marked “Express” during checkout. Customers who choose “Express” items will receive priority in the queue. By default, customers are placed in the Non-Express line which has longer checkout times.

2. Pay with a Card

Whether you’re using your PayPal account or debit card, putting it on file before placing an order means that the same card information is already filled out. This can shave off precious seconds during checkout and get your order in the Express line.

3. Order Your Favorite Products First

Is there a combination of items that you love and want to make sure they’re on your order? Is this item always out of stock when it’s time for delivery day? If these products are marked “Express,” then be sure to add them as the first items in your cart.

4. In a Rush? Order Your Groceries for Same Day Delivery

Choose “Next-Day” or “2-Hour” delivery during checkout, and Instacart will deliver your groceries as fast as possible! To take advantage of this, you must log in before 3 PM to see these options.

5. Add a Tip to Your Order

Tips are not required, but an easy way to thank the shopper for their hard work! If you feel your shopper went above and beyond in service, show your gratitude by adding a tip after checkout. As always, Instacart shoppers keep 100% of the tips they receive from customers.

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be sure to get your Instacart orders in record time.

How Instacart works

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that allows people to order items online or with their mobile phone and have them delivered in as little as one hour! A shopper picks the items requested by the customer, purchases them in person at a local store, and delivers them. Shoppers are paid an hourly rate plus 100% of the tips customers give them.

It works like this: a customer signs up at, the website or mobile application then uses GPS data from your device to load your address and any customized service instructions (for example, “the peas need to go in a specific drawer”). Customers can select which store they’d like their groceries from, browse through the available items available for purchase, and checkout. The customer can set a delivery time that works best with their schedule, then sit back while Instacart does all the work!

If you’re new to Instacart or have not created an account yet, you’ll be prompted to enter your billing information at this point. After inputting your payment information, you are presented with a list of available Instacart Express membership plans. A monthly membership plan allows customers to get free delivery on all orders over $35, and an annual membership plan costs less than the monthly membership per year. Customers who sign up for this service can enjoy free grocery deliveries on any order they place!

After selecting items off the store’s shelves, the order is placed in a virtual cart for checkout. Customers can remove or exchange items before completing their purchase. If you have any special requests or instructions, just add them here! When customers are ready to check out, they pay with any major credit card and enter their tip (optional) for the shopper who delivers their groceries. Delivery rates vary based on time of day, distance, and a number of orders in your area, but customers do not have to tip unless they feel the shopper has gone above and beyond!

Once customers complete their order, an email is sent out with one-click access to a map view of the shopper’s location.  Customers can track a shopper through a live map, communicate with them directly, and receive notification once the order has been delivered. The app provides all of this information to customers so they can track their groceries during delivery.

Instacart allows customers to select nationwide stores like Whole Foods Market, Costco, Petco, CVS, etc…or local grocery stores such as Safeway, Lucky’s Market, and Sprouts Farmers Market.

How Much Does Instacart Cost?

The cost of Instacart varies depending on a variety of factors.  For example, if you choose to receive your deliveries in one-hour windows rather than pre-scheduled times, the delivery fees will increase.  In addition, there is a variable fee for the number of items in each order and which store you choose to pick up from.  If you do not have a minimum order amount, the delivery fee will be higher.  In total, Instacart offers four different service options for their customers:

* Personal Shopper – No subscription is required for this option! This plan allows users to simply pay per order when they need groceries delivered. In addition to this personal shopper service, Instacart offers the option to purchase pre-made food items online. This is an excellent choice for customers who are short on time and have very little experience in grocery shopping.

* Instacart Express – This subscription plan allows customers to use all of the services that Instacart has to offer without having to pay for delivery on each individual order. In addition, the cost of the membership is a flat fee rather than a variable amount based on your orders.  In addition to receiving free deliveries, members also receive early access to select deals and offers from their favorite retailers. This is a great option if you regularly use Instacart during peak hours or have a large family.

* Instacart + Amazon – This option combines the best features of Instacart with Amazon’s robust shipping capabilities.  In addition to being able to store your grocery list on Amazon Pantry, customers are also guaranteed next-day delivery on all orders placed before 3 p.m.  Amazon offers same-day, one-day, and two-day shipping options as well.  In addition, you can receive unlimited deliveries from any store on the Instacart platform with this plan, including your local grocer.

* Instacart Express + Amazon – This final option combines the best parts of each service to provide customers with unbeatable convenience at an affordable price.  Not only do you receive next-day delivery on all orders placed before 3 p.m., but you also receive early access to select deals and offers from retailers like Instacart Express.  For individuals or families that are looking for the most bang for their buck, this is our top pick!

Regardless of which option you choose, Instacart offers a feature to suit every customer’s needs.  To see the pricing options available for your city, all you have to do is log in at or download their app!


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