Instacart vs Amazon Fresh – Dollarsanity

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Looking for a grocery delivery service and wondering the differences between Instacart vs Amazon Fresh? Here is what you need to know about these two popular delivery services when making a decision for your family.

Getting your groceries is now easier than ever before! While you used to have to go to the store and pick up items yourself, new services have popped up in the last couple of years. You can now do your grocery shopping with a few clicks of a button, and have everything you want and need brought right to your door.

Not sure what grocery delivery service is right for you? Here is a look at Instacart vs Amazon Fresh and what you need to know about these two services. Hopefully this info can help you decide which app is best for you, and to decide your next go-to when you require groceries.

What Is Amazon Fresh?

First off is the globally known giant, Amazon. Amazon Fresh is a subsidiary of the delivery company and deals in groceries, everyday items, locally sourced favorite items and more. You can browse through the huge variety of goods they have on the official Amazon website.

What Is Instacart?

Instacart offers delivery of groceries and pick-up services since 2012. Instead of storing goods itself, it sources all your groceries from local grocery stores and businesses.

Any order you place on the website is assigned to a shopper, who will deliver your groceries on the set date.

Instacart Vs Amazon Fresh

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what these grocery delivery services are, let’s talk about their individual features, like membership benefits, availability of goods, and other factors. These can all help you decide which service is best for you: Instacart vs Amazon Fresh.

Membership Details and Benefits: Amazon Fresh vs Instacart

Let’s start by looking into the membership costs and benefits of Instacart vs Amazon Fresh.

Amazon Fresh membership

Amazon Fresh was initially separate from Amazon, but now comes free with Amazon Prime membership. Members can subscribe to this membership for $12.99 per month or $119 per year.

Users who have a valid SNAP EBT card can receive free access to Amazon Fresh. This includes access to Amazon Fresh and free delivery on orders of $35 or more ($50 or more in NYC). It also comes with free delivery on Amazon grocery orders of $25 or more with no minimum spend for Prime members.

With Prime membership, you get free delivery on all your products from the Amazon store and Amazon Fresh. You also get exclusive deals that Amazon provides, since they have a partnership with Whole Foods.

You can also avail yourself of free two-day delivery on prescriptions from Amazon Pharmacy, as well as receive free membership to Amazon Prime video, music, and books. This is a huge collection of TV shows, millions of songs, thousands of e-books, and much more.

Instacart membership

Instacart offers membership for $9.99 per month or $99 per year. With an Instacart Express membership, you receive free delivery on orders over $35 and don’t have to deal with extra fees.

Extra fees like Busy Pricing occur when shoppers receive a huge amount of orders and charge a premium on top of the usual amount.

Customer Support: Amazon Fresh vs Instacart

If you have a problem, need to make a return, etc, which grocery delivery platform has better customer service?

Amazon Fresh support

Amazon Fresh offers live customer support, and is usually able to solve all your queries regarding grocery orders, delivery timings, etc. 

You can also provide details about your issue and a customer representative will contact you regarding refunds or solving your issue.

Instacart support

Instacart has a direct helpline at 1-888-246-7822 as well as email support at [email protected].

You can also chat with your designated shopper for a more personalized experience, as they would be completing your order in real time.

Delivery Times: Amazon Fresh vs Instacart

Next, how long can you expect to wait when using Amazon Fresh or Instacart?

Amazon Fresh times

Amazon Fresh has a two-hour delivery policy for most of their goods. To be eligible for this, you must meet the order minimum or have Prime membership. 

Need faster delivery for orders below the $35 minimum? Get delivery within 1 hour for a $10 fee, or within 2 hours for a $6 fee.

Order pickups are also available in some cities. This is a free option but you’ll have to get yourself to a Whole Foods pickup location.

Instacart times

This service offers free two-hour delivery for orders over $35. Orders below that minimum have a fee starting at $3.99 (which can go up, if you’re not an express member).

They can also charge pick-up fees, and separate fees for orders containing alcohol.

Availability of Goods: Amazon Fresh vs Instacart

When you’re ordering groceries, you want to be confident that you’ll be able to get the things you want. Let’s look at the product selection at Instacart vs Amazon Fresh.

Amazon Fresh selection & locations

Amazon Fresh has almost everything that you can buy from your local Whole Foods. This services is mostly available in urban areas and cities, with a slightly lower reach than Instacart. To see if you’re eligible for delivery, you can enter your area’s postal code on the Amazon website.

The discounts offered are also only for the WholeFoods’ 365 Everyday items. In addition, you can also get exclusive discounts for Prime members or occasional promotional deals.

Instacart selection & locations

In terms of availability and variety, Instacart offers much more, partnering with a massive number of stores. These stores include Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, CVS, and Kroger, to name a few.

Instacart operates in more than 5,500 cities across the United States and has a generally wider reach than Amazon Fresh. They also offer promotional deals and coupons.

Prices: Amazon Fresh vs Instacart

Prices on Amazon Fresh are generally 10%-30% cheaper for packaged goods. Other than that, the prices at Amazon Fresh are usually the same as Instacart.

Both Instacart and Amazon Fresh have the discretion to price their items higher than the in-store prices.

User Experience: Amazon Fresh vs Instacart

Are these services easy to use? If you’re new to grocery shopping apps, this could be a relevant question.

Amazon Fresh UX

Amazon Fresh will be extremely easy to use for users who have previous experience browsing on the Amazon store. The whole process is similar. You can easily add or remove items from your cart, apply discounts (if any), and make payments.

Instacart UX

This grocery service also uses a similar user interface, with options for bulk buying and a separate tab for pick-ups. Users can shop by their favorite stores, or from a general category. Overall, it is very easy to use and place orders on.

Instacart vs Amazon Fresh: Which One is Right for You?

Now that we’ve gone over the differences of the two services, let’s decide which one is best for you.

First, if you’re already an avid user of Amazon Prime, it might make sense to stick with that platform. The benefits offered via Amazon Prime membership include so much more than the Instacart Express membership offers. Amazon Fresh also manages to provide lower costs on some of its products.

However, if you want more variety in your product selection, then Instacart would be your best bet.

If you’re someone who likes to shop around and compare prices, you could sign up for both Instacart and Amazon Fresh. Then, place your order with whichever makes sense based on what you want to buy that day.

That being said, not all services are available yet in all areas. Check with the grocery delivery service for availability in your area before placing an order. No matter what service you order from, be sure to tip your delivery person. These drivers are working hard to help bring everyone what they need.

Learn more about shopping with or working for Instacart here!