During the holidays, people across the country tried out virtual holiday feasts and long-distance gifting for the first time. Many used Shipt to do it. That meant that our nationwide community of Shipt Shoppers and support teams at Shipt HQ faced a staggering amount of work to get those orders delivered. In the 5 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, our order volume increased more than 200%, with the highest single day of orders in company history happening the week leading up to Christmas.
Earlier this week, we announced that our busiest shoppers and many of these HQ teams would receive one-time bonuses for their immense efforts.
But they’re so much more than just their work at Shipt. They are mothers and fathers. They are video game nerds and future firefighters. They are connectors and motivators. They are incredible. And they could very well be the people behind your next Shipt order.
The beating heart of Shipt
Ask anyone at HQ who the beating heart of Shipt is, and you’ll hear the same answer without hesitation: Shipt Shoppers.
A guardian angel in Spokane
You don’t get that sort of immediate response from just delivering groceries. You get it from the kind of moment Stephanie C. experienced in November of last year, when she claimed a small order consisting of candy corn, a small hairbrush, children’s leggings, and a blanket.
Stephanie, who lives in Spokane, WA, soon learned that her customer was actually out of state, and that the delivery was for her sister, whose daughter had been flown to a children’s hospital the night before.
This emotional order happened only 2 months into Stephanie’s time as a shopper, but it gave her a new perspective on a lifelong goal.
“My entire life, I’ve known I wanted to help people, but was never sure how. Shipt has provided me the opportunity to do just that.”
A Bay Area do-gooder
Down the coast in San Francisco, Tahani S. came to a similar conclusion. When the Bay Area locked down and more and more orders began to roll in, Tahani’s drive to do good compelled her to go from being a weekend-only shopper to taking on as many orders as she could.
The heartfelt hustle paid off – literally. In September of last year, Tahani paid off a car loan she had just taken out in 2019. Her next goal? A down payment on a house for her family.
Former personal trainer, part-time Santa
Crossing off goals both big and small is what motivates Christopher Y. to keep shopping 6 days a week in Honolulu.
When the pandemic escalated, Christopher lost his job as a personal trainer at a UFC gym. After 4 months of unemployment, a friend suggested he try Shipt shopping.
He soon realized that helping vulnerable people in his community offered the same sense of satisfaction he got from helping others reach their fitness goals.
He even got the chance to play Santa when a customer in New York asked if he would gift wrap an order of toys for a long-distance family member a few days before Christmas.
Keeping the beat
If shoppers like Stephanie, Tahani, and Christopher are the beating heart of Shipt, these HQ teams play a huge role in keeping that heart healthy, pumping, and motivated.
Pulse-checker of the shopper community
Jada, a Social Media Response specialist, often checks the pulse of the shopper community through the Shipt Shopper Lounge, a Facebook group where shoppers from all over the country share stories, tips, and jokes about their work. She saw a lot of perseverance too.
Through the lounge, she saw firsthand how shoppers adapted as high-demand items went in and out of stock, weather turned days sideways, and communities across the country adapted to a new normal.
A comrade in times good and bad
As shoppers dug down and took extra orders, several HQ teams were picking up extra shifts. Operations specialists are responsible for the crucial roles of growing the shopper community and ensuring that all orders can be fulfilled.
When the going got tough, Gabe L., a senior Operations specialist, recalled a unified sense of rally and camaraderie as various team members volunteered to lend a hand.
Rolling out the welcome Mac
Once shoppers are hired and start claiming orders, they’re introduced to Mac M. and the Shopper Activation team. This small but mighty team offers encouragement and advice as new shoppers set their initial goals for personal success.
From those who’d recently lost their jobs, to recent retirees looking for ways to stay active, to good Samaritans who wanted to lend a helping hand, Mac had a front-row seat to the origin stories of a new class of shopper heroes.
As these new shoppers grew from beginners to experts, Alex S. and the Shopper Excellence team offered more advanced resources and coaching to help them improve and find continued success to build their business.
“I played sports my whole life – I was a team captain in college. I absolutely love helping, guiding, and challenging people to find their potential,” Alex said.
While these teams, and many others, played a critical role in helping new and old shoppers deliver 5-star experiences last year, there’s 1 team, the largest at Shipt, that we haven’t talked about yet.
Upholding the Shipt experience
Whether you’ve ordered from or shopped with Shipt, you may have called this team. You probably know them as the Shipt Support team or the Experience Team. But at Shipt HQ, they’re lovingly referred to as the X-Team.
This helpful force of hundreds solves whatever questions shoppers and members may have. Declined cards, item mix-ups, app walkthroughs – you name it, X-Team has handled it.
As order volume surged last year, Shipt doubled the number of X-Teamers to provide the kind of quality support new members and shoppers needed.
A professional problem-solver
Noehmi R. was part of this new X-Team class. A self-described passionate problem-solver, Noehmi immediately took to the fast-paced nature of the job and found kinship with new shoppers who were getting used to a new line of work like she was.
“I put myself in their shoes – it’s a new job, there’s going to be a learning curve, and you want someone to be there to help you, not scold you,” she said. “I tell them it’s fine, we got this, we’ll get through it together,” she said.
A Southern gentleman
Todd C. hired only a few months before Noehmi, uses his Southern small-town charm and 2 decades of grocery experience to approach his work with a similarly calm and collected demeanor.
“I just tell them – look, there’s no rush. I’ll take as much time as you need. That’s why I’m here,” Todd said. “If you don’t like Southern accents, I’m sorry if you get me! But we’ll get through it the best we can.”
A TC of many hats.
Behind experiencers like Todd and Noehmi are team commanders, also called TCs, like JaMel D., who has a smile you can practically hear through the phone thanks to his bright personality.
“I have a heart for people – I take care of people. I make them feel valued and appreciated. I’m an encourager. I’m a motivator. At times, I’m a therapist. We wear so many hats on X-Team,” he explained.
A comeback like no other.
It’s a role that Amanda H., who joined X-Team in 2019, immediately set her sights on after getting hired. After a few missed chances, she finally got the TC promotion last June.
Unfortunately, she had to wait a little longer. On her birthday, the day she was set to start TC training, Amanda suffered a stroke.
She spent the next 4 months in and out of the hospital and physical therapy, but says she never felt separated from her Shipt community.
In November, Amanda felt strong enough to return to work, trained as a TC, and hit the ground running with her own team just in time for the holiday season.
“It’s been crazy, but I’m still here,” Amanda said. “I told myself I can look at this one of two ways: Be angry and sad about it, or be positive and thankful for everything that’s happened.”
While the above can’t capture all that went into making the holiday season possible, we hope it begins to show just how thankful we are for every person who plays a part in the Shipt community.