Amazon Fresh vs Instacart: Which is better for Grocery Delivery?

By Altay Gursel | July 11, 2020
Home / Blogging / Amazon Fresh vs Instacart: Which is better for Grocery Delivery?

Should you work with Amazon Fresh or Instacart?

Amazon Fresh & Instacart Comparison

We love the convenience. We want to simplify our lives by making the processes easier and more efficient for us. Grocery shopping is one of the tasks most people don’t like, but they have to do it anyway not to die from starvation.

The good news you no more need to go to the store to buy your groceries. There are a few options to make groceries can come to instead of you go for them.

There are two reputable companies providing grocery delivery services. As the title of this post suggests, they are Amazon Fresh and Instacart. Needless to say, both companies are solid and very reputable.

However, which one could be a better option for you to order your groceries without going to the store?

In this post, we will review the services of these companies in an effort to help you to make an educated choice.

What is Amazon Fresh?

Amazon Fresh is the grocery delivery and pickup service owned by Amazon. It allows people to order their grocery needs through a dedicated phone app or from the Amazon Fresh website.

Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh offers

Amazon Fresh helps people to buy their groceries online by eliminating the need to visit a local grocery store. You can choose from supermarkets and local shops in your city that you want to buy from.


Watching TV, Taking Surveys, Shopping & Cash Offers

The range of products you can find on Amazon Fresh is quite versatile. You can find personal care items, beverages, grocery ( meats, snacks, dairy, pantry staples, etc.).

  • Attended Delivery,
  • Doorstep Delivery,
  • Pickup (in select cities)

The program offers free delivery services for the orders over $35 (before taxes) if the delivery address is in an eligible region. Deliveries made to all other regions are free if it is more than $50 (before taxes).

If your order is under the local free-shipping threshold (before tax), you will be asked to pay a $9.99 delivery fee.

The pickup option is available for the Prime members in select cities without having an additional cost, and even without an order minimum. Prime members in the participating cities can choose a pickup location and reserve the time they want to pick up their products.

Join prime

Amazon Fresh program applies a subscription fee in order to benefit from their program. Prime members can use this program by only making an additional $14.99 per month payment.

In fact, you can benefit from their 30-day free trial, and only then you will be paying the above-mentioned monthly payment.

If you are an Amazon Prime Subscriber, it makes a lot of sense to use Amazon Fresh since it really simplifies life by leaving you more personal time to enjoy.

The program is available only in select cities but it is gradually expanding its coverage to include more cities as their service areas.

shop groceries with Amazon Fresh

If your delivery address is an eligible location, you can schedule your 2-hour grocery delivery for free provided that your order is above the minimum threshold I have just mentioned.

How could you know if your order is qualified for free delivery?

Sign in to your Amazon account and enter your zip code to learn, that is it.

How soon does Amazon Fresh deliver the orders?

There is a free 2-hour grocery delivery for Prime members in select regions on Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market if the order meets with the minimum purchase amount requirement.

It is also possible to receive orders 1-hour and under 1-hour if you agree to pay delivery fees.

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The Comparison of Amazon Fresh & Instacart

Amazon Fresh Pros

  • Prices are usually cheaper than most convenient local options.
  • The quality of the products is equally as good as the local options.
  • Fast and easy refund if an item is missing or the quality doesn’t meet your expectations.
  • Multiple delivery options.
  • Generally up to %10 more affordable than Instacart on most items.

Amazon Fresh Cons

  • The $14.99 monthly fee to pay every month.
  • Delivery charge to pay for the orders don’t meet the minimum order threshold.
  • Not all US cities are included in the program. (Cities that products currently delivered are New York Metro, Boston, Baltimore, Stamford, Seattle Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, London and parts of California, New Jersey, and Northern Virginia.)
  • Coupons are not applicable to discount the checkout price.

What is Instacart?

Instacart is founded in 2012 and quickly scaled its operations all around the US. It offers same-day grocery delivery and grocery pickup services.

By 2017, the company also started to begin delivery in Canada.


Instacart Pros

  • Instacart’s delivery tends to be faster than Amazon Fresh.
  • Serves in more cities (5500 cities in North America by partnering 350 national, regional and local retailer partners, 25000 different grocery stores in North America.)
  • Some of the Instacart partners are Albertsons, ALDI, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Loblaw, Sprouts, Wegmans and Publix.
  • Accessible to over 85% of U.S. households, serving in all 50 states, and 70% of Canadian households.
  • Ability to provide real-time updates.
  • Multiple delivery options that are similar to Amazon Fresh.

Instacart Cons

  • Most items are more expensive than Amazon and even than local grocery stores.
  • It is claimed by many people that missing items is a common issue.
  • It comes with an extra service fee that you only notice once you want to checkout.

Instacart has blanketed almost the entire US and operating in almost every major city. At this point, Amazon is playing to catch its competitor. Since Instacart has partnered with almost every major grocery store except Walmart, Amazon should work harder if it wants to dominate the grocery delivery service with Amazon Fresh.

How About Missing Items?

Both Instacart and Amazon Fresh occasionally forget to include certain items in packaging which can create additional tasks for you to deal with.

I mean you save your time and energy by not driving to the store. However, dealing with unshipped products by outreaching these companies and keeping a back and forth communication can ruin your day.

Is Amazon Fresh cheaper than Instacart?

Prices of both grocery delivery services are very similar. However, on most items, Amazon tends to be a little cheaper. On rare occasions, the price difference between both providers can reach up to 10%. Also, Instacart charges a service fee that adds up to your checkout price.

Unless you buy many items at once you will not likely see any significant price difference using these services.

Bottom Line:

I am more in favor of Amazon Fresh since I find its interface, pricing and the checkout process much better. However, if you want to go with the Instacart then it is still a great company that you may want to work with.

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