When it’s at its best, Spark can keep you busy with back-to-back orders. But every driver eventually goes through long stretches without getting any orders.
Is something wrong with your account? Are there too many other drivers to compete with? Are your metrics preventing you from getting more orders?
Many different factors can combine to cause slow days, so there’s not always a straightforward answer to explain why you aren’t getting any orders.
And even if you find out why you aren’t getting orders, is there anything you can do to get more?
Read on to examine all the factors that can cause a lack of orders and the steps you can take to start earning again!
- No orders? The most likely explanations
- Speculation: Popular theories that may (or may not) be true
- Solutions: How to get more orders
- Quotes from Spark drivers about this problem
No orders? The most likely explanations
Drivers have many different theories, but these are the most likely reasons that you aren’t seeing any orders.
Low order volume: Not enough orders to go around
The number of customer orders at each store is not consistent from day to day. Slow days happen! Sometimes, there aren’t enough orders to keep everyone busy.
Low order volume is the simplest explanation for the cause of a slow day. Here’s how you can tell it’s order volume and not something more complicated: The Spark algorithm is the same in every market, and many markets are continually busy while others have slow periods.
That suggests that ratings, proximity, bots, and other complicated explanations are far less important than the number of customer orders.
When there are enough orders, drivers stay busy. If it was the Spark algorithm, drivers in ALL markets would experience slow days.
Too many drivers competing for the same orders
If you’re not getting orders, another explanation is that too many drivers are competing for too few orders.
Spark does not limit the number of drivers that can be online simultaneously, so there’s nothing to prevent an oversupply of drivers from going online even when there aren’t enough orders to keep them busy.
Spark also uses bonuses and incentives to lure more drivers out on the road, which contributes to oversupply.
Drivers often complain that weekend incentives are so effective that they can make it hard to get an order.
To add to the issue, Spark regularly onboards new groups of drivers that can add more competition to your market.
Driver supply is a tricky balancing act: Spark wants enough drivers to quickly complete all orders while also ensuring drivers are satisfied with their earnings.
But in the end, customer experience usually beats driver satisfaction. Spark will allow drivers to have a slow day if it guarantees that customers get a fast delivery.
The balance between driver supply and order volume
There’s a constantly shifting balance between order volume and driver supply. Order volume could be high, but you’ll still experience a slow day if the number of online drivers is even higher.
Or the order volume could be lower than average, but fewer drivers are online, making it feel like orders are plentiful.
Because order volume and driver supply constantly shift, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what’s to blame.
The Spark app is known to have glitches and errors that can prevent you from seeing orders, or cause you to lose orders.
For example, this driver reported that they weren’t getting any Round Robin orders. After contacting Spark support, a support agent told them that they had received 3 Round Robins, but the notifications never appeared.
Other drivers report similar issues with notifications that prevented them from seeing new orders.
Another frustrating glitch was that Round Robins disappeared before you could accept them. The offer would pop up and then disappear. Multiple drivers reported the same problem, once again demonstrating that a glitchy app can hurt your earnings.
Drivers also reported getting offers while already on a trip, which caused their acceptance rate to drop quickly.
With the number of confirmed glitches, there’s a chance that your lack of orders could be a glitch or a problem with your account. It’s worth contacting support to see if orders have been going out to you but you aren’t receiving them.
Other drivers are gaming the system with bots and multiple accounts
The bot issue is a controversial one. Some drivers swear that bots have taken over nearly every market, giving some drivers an unfair edge that allows them to automatically swoop up all the offers.
But other drivers say that the bot problem is overstated or not real, and low order volume is probably to blame for a slow day.
We can confirm that Spark bots are real. One example is “Spark Ninjas,” a service that promises to use software to give you more orders. Amazon Flex and other apps also have bot issues, so we know that bots on gig apps are real.
Even though bots are real, it’s hard to say how much of an effect they really have on orders.
Another unfair tactic many drivers witness is other drivers using multiple phones and accounts to claim more than one order at a time. It’s hard to get a batch when one person can get 3 at the same time!
Another tactic is for one driver to shop for a shopping & delivery order while another delivers it. The shopping driver stays at the store to do more orders. It’s against the TOS, but it’s not an uncommon practice.
Spark is working to solve the account sharing problem and now uses an identity verification system to ensure that only the account holder can use the account, so there is hope that honest shoppers could start seeing more orders.
Speculation: Popular theories that may (or may not) be true
Read any Spark driver forum and you’ll see a number of wild theories to explain a lack of orders. Some are more plausible than others, and the 3 reasons below are commonly held beliefs that could be true, but don’t have as much evidence to support them as the reasons above.
Proximity to store
Some drivers believe that drivers closer to the store are more likely to get order offers. Many drivers believe this to be true, but others don’t.
It’s hard to prove if proximity actually matters because Spark no longer says anything about it in their driver support documents.
Previous support documents recommended placing yourself close to a store, but the current driver help docs don’t mention proximity at all.
Anecdotally, many drivers say that they get more orders when they are very close to the store. But others disagree and say that they regularly get orders from stores that are miles away.
Metrics: Does your acceptance rate matter?
Do shoppers with higher metrics get more orders? That’s a big debate among shoppers, and it’s a difficult question to answer because Spark no longer says if your acceptance rate makes a difference.
In the past, Spark documents said that a higher acceptance rate gives you ‘prioritized orders.’ But the current documents at drive4spark.walmart.com no longer say anything about a higher acceptance rate leading to order priority.
It’s possible that your metrics matter, particularly if you’re in a competitive market with lots of drivers and not enough orders to go around.
Customer and store feedback
Customers and store employees can rate drivers, so some drivers believe that customer & store feedback can affect the number of offers you receive.
For example, if a customer gave you a low rating, you might not receive their orders in the future. That’s what some drivers speculate, but there’s no confirmation.
And the same goes for store employees. Some drivers believe that poor feedback from store employees can prevent you from seeing orders.
Without more evidence, it’s hard to say whether customer & store feedback makes a big difference.
Are the heat maps reliable? No orders in a busy zone
Spark uses a color-coded heat map to let you know when a store is busy. Stores will be outlined in dark orange, and a message in the app will say, “High demand. This location is very busy right now!”
But many drivers complain that they still don’t get any orders even when the heat map indicates that a store is ‘very busy.’
So, can you trust heat maps? Nobody knows exactly how the heat maps work and it doesn’t seem like they are reliable enough to plan your day around.
Don’t go far out of your way just because a heat map says that a store is busy. You might find yourself wasting time in the parking lot without any order offers.
Solutions: How to get more orders
You might not be able to control customer order volume or the number of active drivers, but you can take steps to increase your chances of getting orders.
Try another zone or store
Experiment with every zone and store in your area. You might find one that is consistently busier.
And don’t worry about changing your zone and being unable to switch back into your home zone: You can change your zone whenever you want without issue.
There’s also an old trick for drivers experiencing no orders: Change your zone then quickly change it back. That may ‘reset’ something on Spark’s end and help you get orders again.
Contact support and ask if something is wrong
Glitches and account errors happen all the time on Spark. Contacting support can help you troubleshoot your issue and potentially identify problems with your account.
For example, Spark support can see if you were offered Round Robins. If they say you received Round Robin offers but never saw them, that confirms a problem with your account.
Support might also know about other common glitches and give you steps to bring things back to normal.
Talking to support can feel like a waste of time, but it’s worth it if you’re desperately low on orders.
Experiment with proximity. Get closer to the store
If you’re not getting many orders and you’re far from a store, try waiting in the parking lot at a store and see if new orders start coming in.
Even though there is no direct confirmation that your proximity to a store actually matters, it’s worth experimenting.
Consider raising your acceptance rate
Nobody can say for sure if your acceptance rating affects the orders you get, but if you aren’t getting many orders it may be worth increasing your acceptance rate for a week or two.
See if you start getting more orders once your acceptance rate is in the green tier. Even though Spark no longer says that your AR can give you prioritized orders, the system may be still in place despite being absent from the support docs.
Get friendly with store associates and ask about order volume
Some store associates can view the Spark order assignment system. They can see how many orders have come in that day, and how many are waiting to be fulfilled.
If you get friendly with a store associate, they might be able to let you know when it’s a slow day.
Or if they say that there are lots of orders and you still aren’t getting any, it could indicate that something is wrong with your account that requires further troubleshooting.
Quotes from Spark drivers
Here’s what Spark drivers have to say about the no-orders problem!
“Anyone else getting virtually no offers anymore? I used to be flooded, now I’m lucky to get one or two a week”
“Last week I made about $1100 on spark. This week I’m getting zero offers”
“This is what over saturation gets you. Too many drivers, not enough orders to go around”
“I’ve only seen 2 offers in 4 hours”
“I called customer service with spark and told me there’s just no order in my area for another hour!”
“Go to another zone! It was booming here when I was out. Did 7 trips in 4 hours”
Can’t get any orders on Spark? Try another delivery app
Sometimes, Spark just isn’t busy enough to meet your earnings goals. You can do everything right and still get no orders! To maximize your chances of staying busy, you need backup apps.
Sign up for apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Instacart. The requirements are easy, and unlike Spark, there usually isn’t a waitlist to get started.
When Spark is slow, hop on a backup app. Run multiple apps at the same time and devote your time to the one that gives you the best orders!