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Instacart takes aim at users who cheated shoppers with tips – TechCrunch

At the height of the pandemic, grocery delivery giant Instacart dealt with “tipping” or a rude tactic in which customers lured shoppers with a large tip, then reduced that tip to zero after having received groceries. Instacart then alleged that less than 0.5% of orders had tips removed after delivery, but then introduced a series of new policies, including mandatory feedback if a tip is removed, disabling customers who routinely remove tips tips and tip adjustment reduction. three-day to 24-hour window.

Today, weeks after announcing a new SaaS-focused business model amid a reduced valuation, the delivery unicorn is introducing yet another protection for buyers. According to a press release, Instacart is rolling out a tip protection service to give its shoppers more reliable access to their tips.

The protection will see Instacart protect shoppers from customers who remove a tip without reporting a problem with an order. Instacart says it will cover the zeroed tip amount up to $10. “While it’s extremely rare for a tip to be reversed after delivery, Instacart wants to make sure shoppers are taken care of if this happens,” the company said in a statement. It’s unclear how the company landed on $10 as an ideal tip; when a percentage may be more effective if buyers with large orders lose their tips after delivery. For what it’s worth, Instacart said the number of orders with tips removed after delivery has steadily

Instacart’s update may be its latest attempt to appease shoppers, who have been on strike for years over the company’s low wages and lack of communication.

Tipping has been a particularly tense topic, with some workers requiring the default tip to be at least 10% of a customer’s total bill, up from the current default of 5%. Tip protection takes that worry away by providing more reliability to tips that can be withdrawn, but doesn’t go into the heart of making higher earnings a more automatic feature in the app. When asked if there are plans to increase the tip by default, Instacart highlighted its efforts to get customers to consider increasing their tips:

“We also urge customers to consider increasing their tip each time they give a shopper 5 stars, as another way to recognize great service from over-the-top shoppers.” Shoppers have seen an average 6% increase in revenue from tips on qualifying orders as we’ve been testing this feature for the past few months,” the company wrote in an email to TechCrunch. “At checkout, if the customer chooses not to leave a tip, we encourage them to consider adding one to recognize their customer’s hard work. In testing, this feature resulted in an average reduction of 12% in the number of customers choosing not to tip. »

Along with the new tipping protections, Instacart also shared the launch of multi-store bundles, which allow shoppers to select bundles that include multiple store locations. A spokesperson explained that a shopper can take a batch that includes orders from two customers at two different stores and then take just one trip across town to maximize the time spent earning money.

The company is certainly reinventing itself, so getting on good terms with buyers can be a good idea. Co-founder Apoorva Mehta stepped down as Instacart’s chief executive in July, to be replaced by Facebook chief Fiji Simo. Her rise to chief executive came as the pandemic winds down and parts of the world begin to reopen, a crucial time for the company to rethink the way it does business.

Under Simo, a few executives left, including the head of payments and the head of talent. The company recently announced that it is creating a service that includes e-commerce support for online grocery stores, delivery fulfillment assistance, digital retail advertising technology, analytics and online technical support. store.