You might think of DoorDash as just a restaurant delivery app, but over the years the delivery app has added many types of delivery services.
You can get delivery from a convenience store or a local DashMart, Petco delivers some orders via DoorDash, and now DoorDash is partnering with many national retailers to offer same-day delivery.
If you’re a Dasher, you may have seen a new type of order pop up: Shop and deliver.
With shop and deliver orders, Dashers go into partnered stores to pick out items, purchase them with the DoorDash Red Card, then deliver the items to customers.
It’s a new earnings opportunity that’s quite different from typical restaurant orders, so you won’t be surprised that reactions from Dashers are mixed.
Some like the earnings and the change of pace, and others still prefer delivering food.
“Shop and delivers are the best orders to take. Higher base pay and much faster to complete”
“If the payout isn’t better, I’ll stick to delivering food”
“It’s even better than Instacart in my area. I actually wish I would get more of these”
“They always have such good pay and they’re easy for Walgreens, CVS”
“If I won’t shop for Instacart for $7 plus $2 tip I’m not going to Dollar General for DD for $7.75”
“Shop orders are an auto decline for me”
“I like the change of pace, I like getting to walk around for a little while”
Read more to learn how shop and deliver orders work, how much you can make, and how you can maximize your earnings.
What is Shop and Deliver on DoorDash?
For Shop and Deliver orders, Dashers visit a store to pick out items and pay for them with the Red Card. After paying, Dashers deliver the order to the customer as normal. It’s similar to shopping for Instacart.
Major partnered stores that are eligible for shop and deliver include CVS, Walgreens, Office Depot, 7/11, and Safeway. DoorDash is quickly adding new partnered stores, so expect shop and deliver locations to expand.
Here’s what’s on the order request screen for a shop and deliver order: It is labeled as a Red Card order, says shop and deliver, and lists the store name and location.
Like other DoorDash orders, shop and deliver requests list the number of items, estimated mileage, and an estimated payout that includes some or all of the customer’s tip.
Acceptance rate rule: Currently, you have to maintain a 50% acceptance rate for shop and deliver orders to continue getting the orders.
That’s different from normal DoorDash orders, where your acceptance rating doesn’t affect the orders you get. If you cherry pick shop and deliver too much, you’ll lose access to them.
How to opt in to shop and deliver orders: DoorDash may send you an email about shop and deliver with an opt in button. If you haven’t received that, check Account > Settings in the Dasher app for an opt in. You can also contact DoorDash to ask if you can opt in (or out).
How much do Dashers get paid for shop and deliver orders?
The pay formula for shop and deliver orders is the same as other orders: Base pay + promotions + tips.
Dashers have found that base pay for shop and deliver orders tends to be higher. This is likely because shop and deliver orders are relatively new on DoorDash, so DoorDash pays more to incentivize drivers to try a new order type.
Like any other DoorDash order, the request screen for shop and deliver gives you enough information to give you a good sense for overall pay.
After the order is done you’ll be able to see how much of the payout was from base pay, and how much was from tips.
Here are some examples of payouts for shop and deliver orders.
The order below is a $9.50 payout for 5 items, and only a 0.9 mile delivery. That’s a solid order that shouldn’t take too much time.
Below is a great shop and deliver order. It paid $15.75 for only a single item. Base pay was $10.75 and the tip was $5.
To give an example of a lower payout, here’s an order for only $3.75. There is only 1 item on the order and the delivery distance is short, but the extra steps involved with shop and deliver might not make this worth it. You can easily get $3.75 just to pick up a bag of fast food.
What it’s like to do a shop and deliver order: The process
After you accept a shop and deliver order, navigate to the store. After you arrive at the store at mark that you are beginning the delivery, the app will display a list of items, along with aisle locations.
Locate the items and scan the barcode to mark that you picked it out. If the item is out of stock, you may be able to pick out a replacement. More on that below.
Once you have all the items, head to the checkout area and use your Red Card to pay for the order. You may receive other instructions, like taking a photo of the receipt.
Once you’re out of the store, navigate to the customer and drop off the order according to the drop-off instructions.
Remember that you will only be able to receive shop and deliver orders if you have an active red card, so if you don’t, order a new one in the Dasher app.
How substitutions & replacements work
If all goes well, you will be able to pick out exactly what the customer wants. But often, an item will be out of stock and you may have to pick a replacement item.
Replacements are one of the more challenging parts of being a shopper. It’s one of the biggest points of friction, causing slowdowns, miscommunications, and potentially upset customers.
The DoorDash app allows customers to select potential replacements, or it gives them the option for no replacements. If the customer does not want a replacement, you can select an item as missing and move on.
If the customer has selected a specific replacement and you can find it, it’s not too hard to scan the replacement into the app. Though some shoppers report issues with scanning replacements.
But if the customer is accepting replacements but hasn’t picked a specific one, it’s up to you to find a good replacement and and communicate with the customer.
Customers are expecting a seamless experience, and may not be expecting a text or a call. So you may get no response. In that case, you might want to either use your best judgement to replace the item, or refund it.
How Dashers feel about doing replacements
“[Replacements] are a very easy process and it’s very easy to make changes to the customers order in the app when some thing is unavailable.”
“It’s a lot easier now that you can make substitutions or refund an item yourself in the app.”
“Texting customers about substitutions is a crapshoot, and I will not call them because they often act like they don’t know who I am and why I’m calling them”
“Texting customers is the biggest lol ever. They never respond and so I end up calling. They then respond in a bitchy tone at best and I have to sit there and figure out what flavor of Crest is palatable enough for them”
Is shop and deliver the same as Walmart and DashMart orders?
Shop and deliver orders are not the same as Walmart and DashMart orders. With Walmart and DashMart, the orders are prepared for you, so you don’t have to do any shopping. They are also prepaid, so a Red Card is not required.
Other order types on DoorDash
How DoorDash shop and deliver compares to Instacart
Shop and deliver on DoorDash sounds nearly identical to shopping for Instacart, but there are a few key differences.
The main difference is average order size, and location: Instacart orders are typically larger orders at grocery stores, while shop and deliver is small orders at drugstores or other home supply stores.
So when you’re doing shopping and delivery for DoorDash, you won’t have to do large, family-sized grocery orders. Expect orders to be smaller on DoorDash.
One Dashers said, “With DoorDash it’s always about 3 – 5 easy to find items with nice pay and nice tip. With Instacart its a 25 to 50 item order with no tip to maybe $2.”
More about Instacart
Shop and Deliver Strategies
Optimizing shop and deliver orders isn’t too different from regular DoorDash orders: Come up with payout standards and stick to them.
Look for orders with strong numbers: Good payout, not too many items, and not too many miles. But keep in mind that you need to maintain a 50% acceptance rate if you want to continue doing shop and deliver orders.
When it comes to the logistics of shop and deliver, you want to minimize your time in the store and minimize complications. If you find that certain stores take too long to shop in, skip orders from that store in the future.
Figuring out replacements is a challenge. Communicating with the customer about replacements can cause big delays, which eats into your income.
The experts on replacements are Instacart shoppers, and most of them fall into two camps: Find a logical replacement and move on without getting confirmation from the customer, or don’t do replacements unless the customer states a specific one. Choose your replacement style and stick to it.
It’s also a good idea to use shop and deliver orders as a way to give yourself a much needed change of pace if restaurant deliveries are getting too repetitive.
More Reading for Dashers
- DoorDash Driver Requirements
- How to Schedule More Hours on DoorDash
- How to Get More from Peak Pay and Challenges
I am a relatively new Dasher and have received mixed messages about replacements. It is my understanding that any replacement hast to go through the Dasher app, and I need to scan the barcode. I was told this by customer service. However, I read that if the customer authorizes a replacement either verbally to me or by text, I’m allowed to replace it, even though I can’t scan it. What is the real story here?
Doug H says
There are definitely still some design problems with the replacement system and there isn’t actually one great answer for this. But the main issue is that if you can’t scan an item, you run the risk of your red card being rejected at checkout because the expected total doesn’t match the actual total. Some dashers say that if the unscannable replacement is a similar cost to the missing item, you can mark the original item as added and buy the replacement.
It’s not as good of a system as instacart, and a lot of shoppers end up refunding items rather than dealing with replacements. Which isn’t a great experience for the customer, but you can put most of the blame for that on DoorDash!
You might have to rewrite this. A lot if this has changed. I haven’t seen base pay go above $6.50 and that was for a 26 item order, 5 miles away at a meijer. So looks like the test phase is over in our market and they no longer give higher pay based on item count which they should as the more items the longer it takes. So guess I won’t be doing anymore shop and delivers. It’s kinda sad, I loved doing them, but not getting paid Peanuts to do it.
Doug H says
Thanks for the comment. What other parts of the article look inaccurate to you?
Shop and pay orders do not require 50% acceptance rate