How To Choose Between Being a Shipt Driver vs. Shopper

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By Tadas Antanavicius


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By William Ross

Gig Pro

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By Drew Chandler

Gig Pro

Last Updated on 2023-06-22

Being a Shipt Driver vs. a Shipt Shopper are two very different roles.

The Shipt Shopper role is the more well-known of the two. In this role, shoppers accept grocery list requests on-demand from customers, shop them from the grocery store’s shelves, and deliver them to the customer’s doorstep all in one go. This is similar to Instacart’s Full-Service Shopper role.

The Shipt Driver role works with a different part of Shipt’s business. Shipt has a partnership with Target, the retail store, and has its Shipt Drivers deliver large sets (30+ packages) of Target orders on a predefined delivery route. Think of this as similar to working for Amazon Flex fulfilling Amazon e-commerce orders.

Pros and Cons of Being a Shipt Shopper

As a shopper, the steps you take are:

  1. Set your schedule in the app for the time slots you are available to work
  2. Watch the app for opportunities to accept grocery list order offers
  3. When you accept an offer, make your way to the selected grocery store
  4. Shop items off the shelves, then check out
  5. Deliver the shopped items directly to the customer’s doorstep

You may be communicating with the customer throughout this whole process - they may send you messages with additional requests or clarifications, and you may need to contact them to discuss item replacements or delivery time updates.

Pros of being a Shipt Shopper:

  • This is fully on-demand. You can do one order in a day, or a dozen. Start and stop whenever you want.
  • You get to interact with your customers directly. This means you have more opportunities to increase your earnings with tips. Doing a good job here means you can earn more as a Shopper than as a Driver.
  • You can even choose to do simple delivery-only “shopping” trips, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time browsing grocery stores. Drew Chandler, a Shipt shopper with two years of experience, explains: “This includes offers like RX pick ups from CVS and Meijer, Best Buy, Office Depot etc. Perfect for quick cash if you don't feel like doing heavy shopping.”
  • You have the opportunity to earn “Preferred Shopper” status with certain customers. If a customer feels you've done a good job, they can request you to be one of their preferred shoppers - this means you get first priority when that customer places an order. Drew notes: “I currently have around 20 preferred members - it’s a great way to earn even more.”


  • Because you are interacting with customers, this may not be a great role for introverts. Customers may get angry or be difficult to deal with, and some Shoppers find it stressful to play this role of “customer service.”
  • Related to the above point, poor customer service performance (or just bad luck) can lead to deactivation. For every shop, you get rated out of 5 stars. If your average rating falls below a 4.75, you are at risk of being deactivated.

Pro’s and Con’s of Being a Shipt Driver

As a driver, the steps you take are:

  1. Check the app for available delivery routes as they come available throughout the day
  2. Claim the routes you are willing to take
  3. Drive to the distribution center at the designated time to pick up the orders
  4. Drive the delivery route, dropping orders along the way

This role is mostly done from the comfort of your car, with no one to answer to but yourself. When you claim a route, it will usually take a few hours to complete that route.

Pros of being a Shipt Driver:

  • If you claim a long delivery route, you’re getting paid to work for the next 3+ hours straight. Unlike with on-demand shopping, where you’re not getting paid as you wait for the second and third orders of the day.
  • This work is easier than being a Shopper. Instead of making tricky decisions on which produce to purchase, you are just driving up and down the street dropping off packages.
  • There is no interaction with customers, so you don’t risk making anyone angry or having to do “customer service.”


  • Since you don’t have the opportunity to earn tips, you will likely earn less money than if you work as a Shopper
  • You will be driving for most of the day, so you need to watch your gas and car maintenance expenses more carefully
  • Some Drivers report that it is difficult for them to be assigned routes unless they own at least a large SUV

You can be both a Shipt Shopper and a Shipt Driver

These days, yes, you can do both.

When the Shipt Driver role launched initially in late 2021 / early 2022, Shoppers would have been told that they need to deactivate their Shopper profile in order to apply to become a Shipt Driver. This is no longer the case.

Ever since around March 2022, Shipt started allowing Shoppers to be Drivers, and vice-versa. After you are already one or the other, simply proceed to apply to additionally be a Shopper or apply to additionally be a Driver, and Shipt will update your app to allow you to do both if you are accepted.

Shipt Shopper app vs. the Shipt Driver app

There is actually only one mobile app for Shopper and Drivers. It is (confusingly) called the “Shipt Shopper” app.

After you are accepted to be a Shopper or a Driver (or both), the app’s menu options will be automatically updated to allow you to proceed.

Read more here about using the app as a Shopper, and read more here about using the app as a Driver. 

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