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This is the final article in a series of articles I have been writing about living life without a car when my car was in the shop for some minor repairs. Last month I wrote about what you need to have in place to use the online grocery shopping and delivery service Shipt. This month I am writing about how it works.

After you download the app and create an account, you’re ready to begin shopping. As part of setting up your account, the app will find participating stores closest to your location and prompt you to choose one. In Michigan, you have two options: Meijer and Target. If both are available you can switch between the two each time you shop.

Using the app is pretty straight forward. When you open it, the delivery address you specified and the store you selected when you set up your account will be displayed along with the next available delivery time. Don’t worry if that’s not the time you want. You will select your actual delivery time later in the process.

Also displayed will be a search bar and a series of categories (Buy Again, On Sale, Browse, Favorites, etc.). You can use either to select the groceries you want.

The first time I used Shipt, I used the search bar. I typed in the name of the item I wanted and all the products containing that name were displayed along with their pictures and prices. From the displayed list I selected the specific item I wanted and added it to my shopping cart by tapping the plus sign located to the bottom right of its picture. If you tap the picture, you will be presented with more detailed information about the item and have the ability to add additional quantities of that item to your cart.

As you use Shipt it keeps track of the items you buy and compiles a list of those items in the Browse Again category. Since I’m a creature of habit and tend to buy the same things over and over again, the next time I used Shipt I shopped using that category. After tapping the icon, all the items I purchased in the past were displayed. I then tapped all the items I wanted to buy, which added them to my shopping cart.

Once you fill your cart with all the items you want, it’s time to check out. Confirm your cart contains the items you want by tapping the cart icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen. If it does, tap the green Checkout bar which is located at the bottom of your screen. Doing so will display a list of available delivery times. Selecting the time you want will display the delivery address, the delivery time you selected, how you prefer to be notified regarding substitutions, your payment method and the total cost of your order. If everything looks good, tap the green Place Order button at the bottom of your screen. If not, you can make changes by tapping the Edit button next to what you want to change.

Tapping the Place Order button will place your order and also display an order confirmation. In addition, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you associated with your account when you set it up.

A few minutes after you place your order a Shipt shopper will claim it. The shopper’s picture along with their first name will appear in the app on the confirmation page along with their first name. When they begin shopping they will send you a text and ask you if you want to add anything to your order.

While they shop, if you indicated you wanted them to contact you regarding substitutions they will send you a text if something you ordered is not available and will suggest a substitution, which you can accept or deny. Once they finish shopping they will notify you that they are checking out and once they check out, they will notify you that they are on their way to the delivery address you specified.

When they arrive, if you need help putting your groceries away they will assist you. If not, they will place them wherever you want. I have always had a positive experience. My shoppers have been very helpful and very friendly. I have received all the groceries I ordered (unless unavailable at the store) and the cold items were cold, the frozen items were frozen, and the fresh items fresh.

After your shopper drops off your groceries, you will have the opportunity to rate them and give them a tip through the app. Both are very important tasks to complete. Rating them lets Shipt know how well they did their job. Tipping them is a way of thanking them for a job well done. Additionally, Shipt shoppers can see your tip history, which can influence whether they claim your order. A Shipt shopper whom I know told me that better tippers tend to attract the better shoppers.

For me, using Shipt has been pretty easy. Like with anything, I have found that the more I use it the better I get at it. The groceries themselves are a little more expensive (that’s how Shipt makes their money) and the tip does add to the cost, however, you can’t beat the convenience. So, the next time you find yourself without a car and in need of groceries, rather than take the bus or bum a ride from a friend you just might want to give Shipt a try.