When you talk to delivery drivers on apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash, they’ll tell you your acceptance rate (AR) doesn’t matter. You can decline orders all day and new ones will still come in.
That may not be the case on Spark.
Spark used to say that a higher acceptance rate can lead to ‘prioritized orders.’
UPDATE: Spark documents no longer claim that a higher acceptance rate leads to prioritized orders. The effect of your acceptance rate is less clear than ever, and Spark offers no guidance on this issue.
Shoppers have split opinions on whether maintaining a high acceptance rate actually makes a difference.
Many say it’s a trick by Spark to manipulate you into taking orders that you wouldn’t otherwise or that any order priority is a mild benefit that isn’t worth the trouble.
So, does your acceptance rate matter or not? Read on for more info covering both sides of the issue.
First, a lesson on how acceptance rating (AR) works on Spark
On Spark, your acceptance rating is the number of offers you accept out of the total offers you receive. It is based on your most recent 50 offers.
If you accepted the last 35 offers out of the last 50 that you received, your acceptance rate would be 35/50, or 70%.
Only round robin (RR) orders count toward your acceptance rate. First-come-first serve offers don’t count.
Your acceptance rate is calculated on a rolling basis, meaning your oldest offer is removed when a new offer comes in.
If your oldest offer was an acceptance and you accept your next offer, your AR won’t increase.
If the oldest offer was an acceptance and you decline the next offer, your AR will go down. A decline replaced an acceptance in the calculation.
There is no minimum acceptance rate
A low acceptance rating does NOT lead to deactivation. You do not need to maintain a minimum acceptance rate to stay active on Spark.
In the shopper FAQ, Spark says, “There are no minimum number of offer acceptances required.”
However, low ratings on the other metrics—customer rating, drop rate, and on-time arrival—may contribute to deactivations.
Spark USED to say that your acceptance rate matters
In a past version of their shopper FAQ, Spark specifically stated that there is a benefit to having a higher acceptance rate: “A higher acceptance rate helps keep you prioritized to receive offers.”
However, that same FAQ page no longer says that a higher acceptance rate gives you prioritized orders. Now, we’re in the dark. It’s no longer clear if AR really matters.
It’s possible that AR still leads to order priority, but Spark will not confirm or deny any theories about acceptance rates.
Here’s how order priority potentially works: If there are 10 orders going out and 15 Spark shoppers available, those with higher ARs will see the orders first. If someone rejects the offer, shoppers with lower ARs will see the offer next.
Order priority was a benefit if orders are in short supply. But order priority isn’t as big of a factor in markets with plenty of orders to go around.
Many shoppers say that a high acceptance rate helps them get more offers in their highly competitive markets.
When they allow their acceptance rate to dip low, they stop receiving as many offers as they did when their AR was higher.
Spark drivers who say acceptance rating matters
“I have to keep it green in my zone to get anything of note”
“[Acceptance rate] matters in my desired zones. I notice a difference based on my own testing”
“It’s market dependent. I will say that it does matter especially when it’s slow like it is lately”
“Low AR means you’re likely to be stuck with the garbage rejected by those with higher AR”
The minimum acceptance rate for prioritized orders
Spark doesn’t say exactly how high your acceptance rate needs to be to get prioritized offers.
But there are three tiers for acceptance ratings that hint at the minimum AR you may need to keep getting priority.
The metrics tiers are green, yellow, and red
- Green: Acceptance rate of 40% and higher
- Yellow: Less than 40%
- Red: 0%
It’s likely that your AR must be in the green tier to receive order priority, but there is no direct evidence from Spark. Different markets may have different requirements.
Order priority is not the same as ‘better’ orders
One misconception about getting order priority is that it will give you better, higher-paying orders. Or more bonuses and incentives.
Again, now that Spark has updated their shopper FAQ, we can’t be certain that AR gives you order priority.
But even when order priority was a confirmed fact, many shoppers said that their high acceptance rating didn’t necessarily lead to the ‘best’ orders.
Spark only promised priority, not quality. So it’s possible that your high AR will put you first in line for a bad order.
Many Spark shoppers say that your acceptance rate doesn’t make a difference
Many shoppers say that keeping a high AR doesn’t make a difference in their day-to-day experience.
Shoppers say they get plenty of offers even when their acceptance rating dips well below the green tier of 40% or higher.
They say that the number of orders they get with a high AR is the same as when they have a low AR. And the order quality is the same too.
Quotes from shoppers who say acceptance rating doesn’t matter
“I have had 0% when my zone is very competitive and I’ll still get offers”
“It doesn’t matter. I had 20 offers in first come first serve at 7pm last night”
“I used to be in the 80s and it’s just as bad as it is now, I’m at 30s.”
“No, mine is 15 percent and I get RR’s every hour everyday on the dot.”
“My acceptance rate this week was 0%. Guess what? Absolutely no difference in offers the last 2 days.”
“I guarantee you it does not matter. My AR has literally been zero twice. I turned it on and got orders”
The answer: It’s market dependent. You’ll have to find out for yourself
Generally speaking, the shoppers who say acceptance rating matters come from markets with fewer orders to go around.
And shoppers who say that AR doesn’t matter are in markets where orders are plentiful.
Order priority can make a big difference if there are more drivers than offers.
But when there are more orders than drivers, everyone online will receive an offer and order priority doesn’t come into play.
This shopper on Reddit put it well:
“This is probably one the most zone dependent things in all of Spark. For some, it means absolutely nothing. For others, it’s the difference between offers and no offers. Then there are those who are in the middle, who may get some offers if it’s higher, and worse offers the lower it gets.”
Other acceptance rate problems: Random AR drops, miscalculations, glitches
Not only do you have to worry about keeping your acceptance rating up to get order priority, but you also have to worry that the metric is even correctly calculated to begin with.
Shoppers report many different problems with their Spark metrics.
Sometimes it drops randomly even when they haven’t logged into the app, or other times it doesn’t increase even after accepting many orders in a row.
Some issues are misunderstandings about how the AR calculation works, but legitimate errors also happen.
Sometimes the Spark app doesn’t update metrics for a few days, and other times there may be an outright glitch that nobody fully understands.
What Spark shoppers say about rating errors
“Doing 8 to 10 orders a day and my acceptance rate is 0%”
“Mine [AR] is not updating correctly. Yesterday, I started at 70%. I accepted 8 round robins and rejected 1 round robin, and I am at 72% this morning.”
“Why does my RR Acceptance rate keep dropping when I haven’t even received any orders?”
“My acceptance rate has been stuck at 0% for almost 2 weeks.”
“I haven’t logged on in about 3 weeks. I dropped from around 30% to 9% AR somehow.”
You’re an independent contractor: Take the offers that work for you!
I run 5-6 apps. I don’t give a F about my AR on any of them. I accept the best and only profitable offers any company sends me.
The biggest perk of being an independent contractor is that you’re free to accept or decline any offer that comes your way.
Don’t let the scary red text on your metrics page convince you to take unprofitable offers.
In the long run, you will harm your profitability if you take bad orders just to increase your acceptance rate.
Focus on your earnings per mile and earnings per hour. Then, set a target and only accept orders that match your criteria.
But that’s easy to say when orders are coming in. What should you do if you aren’t getting anything at all?
Not enough orders on Spark? Try other apps
Like all the other gig apps, Spark has its ups and downs. Sometimes you’re swimming in orders and other times you waste a day waiting for orders to arrive.
It could be that Spark hired too many drivers or that order volume in your area has dropped off. Either way, you have no control over larger market forces.
But you do have control over the services that you work for. As a gig worker, the best way to keep your income consistent is to sign up for as many apps as possible.
When things are slow on one app, sign into another. While you’re sitting in your car waiting for a Spark order, why not hop onto Instacart too?
There’s almost no reward for loyalty in the gig economy. Go to the app that is busiest at the moment!
Other gigs that are perfect for Spark drivers