Instacart vs Peapod

Shopping for groceries has been considered as an annoying task by many people. Navigating through seemingly-unorganized aisles while lifting heavy bags is just too much for the nerves. Fortunately, there are now several software services designed specifically to help you with that. Instacart and Peapod are two popular examples of grocery shopping services that many people use regularly with great satisfaction. Of course, each of them has unique features and benefits. See the comparisons between Instacart vs Peapod below to determine which one is better for you!

What is Instacart?
Instacart is a grocery shopping and delivery service that has partnered with various stores and people as its shoppers. Unlike most of its competitors, Instacart employs people to work as its shoppers. So, when you use Instacart as a customer, you are basically asking another person to do the shopping for you. Many stores that have partnered with Instacart usually have dedicated sections and cash registers for Instacart shoppers.

Instacart is available in at least 26 states across the United States, including cities like Atlanta, Boulder, and Washington DC. It has started to operate in Vancouver and Toronto since November 2017. See also: FreshDirect vs Instacart.

You can think of Instacart as a personal grocery shopping service. Whenever you need to buy some grocery, you can open the Instacart app in your smartphone and choose one of the available local stores. Then, you can choose the items that you want to buy and place your order. The minimum order is $10. Instacart will have someone cruise the aisles for you. It is a same-day delivery service, and you can choose to have the grocery delivered within one or two hours. Each order has a fee between $5.99 – $8.99, but it highly recommends you to give some tip to the shopper according to the size of your grocery.

Reasons to Choose Instacart
There are several reasons to choose Instacart vs Peapod. Perhaps the first and foremost reason is the impressive customer service and delivery. Whenever you need something as soon as possible, Instacart makes an excellent solution. You can have the order sent within a few hours. This is very convenient, especially for buying fresh foods.

The customer service is truly impressive. Most, if not all Instacart shoppers are very nice. They are responsible and responsive, and they know how to pick the good stuff. Whenever an item in your order is unavailable or in a bad condition, they can contact you to ask whether you’d like a replacement or not. More often than not, they also make nice suggestions for a replacement.

Instacart is very easy and intuitive to use. You can find stores and items easily. One cool thing about Instacart is that it allows you to shop from boutique grocery stores such as Costco, even though you are not a member of those stores.

Weaknesses of Instacart
There are also several weaknesses of Instacart vs Peapod. The first disadvantage of Instacart is that you need to hound your smartphone all the time while waiting for your order. You want to be there when the shopper contact you. Otherwise, if you don’t choose a substitution for a missing item, it is made for you. Well, the shoppers usually choose good replacements, but there is a risk that the substitution does not suit your preference.

The second disadvantage of Instacart is that the prices in the app may be higher than the in-store prices. Instacart’s prices vary by the store. But note that the in-app prices do not include in-store sales. And don’t forget to consider the tip for the shopper; if you buy a sizable amount of grocery, you should give a good tip for the tremendous effort.

What is Peapod?
Peapod is an online grocery delivery service owned by Ahold Delhaize. It sells and delivers items from Ahold Delhaize’s stores as well as from its own warehouses. It operates in various cities in New England, Midwest, Mid Atlantic, and South Atlantic.

Peapod has a minimum order of $60. You can’t place an order any lower than that. So, it is suitable for getting your regular groceries, but not for the smaller occasional purchases. Peapod accepts credit and debit cards for payments. A payment is done online when ordering, and the actual transaction is finalized after the delivery is done. The delivery fee is $9.95 for an order between $60 – $100, and $6.95 for an order above $100.

Peapod can provide a next-day delivery, but it seems to be unable to do a same-day delivery. There are two kinds of delivery services, attended and unattended. The attended delivery requires you to be present to receive the delivery, whereas the unattended delivery will leave the grocery boxes on your porch. Don’t touch the dry ice packs in the boxes! You can choose to have the delivery done in one of the available time slots, ranging from 7 am to 10 pm for seven days a week.

Reasons to Choose Peapod
When choosing between Instacart vs Peapod, you can choose Peapod whenever you need to save some money. Peapod offers all mass-market and conventional brands, and the prices are quite low. To make things even better, Peapod also offers sales and discounts from time to time.

In addition, Peapod accepts manufacturer’s coupons. You just need to hand the coupons to the delivery person (or put them in an envelope that is clearly marked in the case of an unattended delivery), and they will adjust the total cost before the transaction is finalized. Peapod also accepts Internet coupons up to $5.00 per item.

Weaknesses of Peapod
Peapod does not have a same-day delivery, so it is not good for occasional orders that need to be received as soon as possible. The selections of items are also rather limited.

Peapod’s item quality is generally good. But some items like fruits and vegetables sometimes get damaged. The good thing is, Peapod can give you a reimbursement in the case of a damaged item. But most people prefer not to get damaged items in the first place.

- Partners with grocery stores and individuals as shoppers- Sells and delivers from Ahold Delhaize and its own warehouses
- Same-day delivery- Next-day delivery
- The shoppers usually choose good-quality items and replacements- Good-quality items, but sometimes fresh items arrive damaged
- Requires you to stand-by with your smartphone- Very convenient delivery options
- Can buy from boutique stores even if you are not a member- Accepts manufacturer’s and Internet coupons

Whenever you need a same-day delivery or fresh items, Instacart is more recommended. Instacart is also a great choice if you feel more comfortable with having a good shopper selecting the items for you. On the other hand, Peapod is great for regular groceries. It often has low prices, and it accepts coupons. But it is somehow not good for fresh items.

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