A Guide to an On-Demand Grocery Delivery Application

When everything can be ordered and bought online, businesses that lack their online presence shall find it almost illusive to fight their peers and stay competitive. Instacart business model has proved that probably the fastest-growing business today is on-demand grocery delivery. Having hundreds of products on the screen, users today are free to order anything and they are assured to get their goods at their doorsteps within a few minutes.
Revolutionizing your grocery store’s online presence with a custom delivery app is becoming the new norm these days and beyond. This guide will help you through the simplest process of making a grocery delivery application. It is highly useful especially when you are non-technical and want to build a customized solution for your grocery business.
By the end of this year (2023), the total revenue in the grocery market is expected to touch a whopping USD 560+ billion; furthermore, grocery delivery app users are likely to reach the 2000+ million mark by 2027 – these grocery app stats are derived from a renowned research company Statista.
Other many research firms and marketing agencies have favored the lucrative business of grocery delivery apps and have sensed that it is high time for entrepreneurs to contact a grocery app development company and build a customized app to lead the market. The time is now.

What is a Grocery Delivery App?
A grocery delivery app refers to a customized application through which a consumer can order grocery items from a grocery store that can be nearby or at some distance. Users have their accounts on such applications and they can browse from the list of grocery items and specific grocery stores near them.
The grocery delivery segment comprises food and non-food products that can be purchased from grocery stores on daily basis. The items are now not limited to food and beverages today because the grocery section has grown manifold since its inception.

Grocery delivery systems were in place but they got a tremendous boost after the recent pandemic. People avoided stepping out of their homes and started ordering groceries online through various mobile apps and channels. Quick Commerce, mCommerce, eCommerce, and other segments came into the picture as routine tasks for online grocery shopping.
Why Invest in a Grocery Delivery App?
The grocery delivery application has been quite popular these years because of the latest trends and consumer demands of buying everything online. Furthermore, the wave of the last-minute hyperlocal, quick-commerce, or 10-minute delivery app has brought a revolution in online purchases because consumers can order anything that they need instantly. Here are three solid reasons why invest in grocery delivery apps.

Fast-growing market: According to Statista, more than 75 percent of people opined that they would prefer purchasing everything online. The latest types of eCommerce apps are stealing the limelight from traditional websites for retailers and brands. The latest technologies such as voice commerce, social and quick commerce, and last-mile commerce have been quite popular in today’s grocery market.
Unique consumer experience: Consumer satisfaction is a surefire way to any business success. With online grocery delivery applications, businesses can render a unique consumer experience because users can place quick orders and pay securely. The shipment can be tracked and goods can be delivered to their doorsteps in the shortest possible time, in 10 minutes, in some cases.
Stronger customer bond: It is the loyalty of customers that makes a company lead the market. More and more customers are added to the list of companies’ product purchasers and service seekers only through the best treatment they get from brands. By providing the best grocery delivery application, customers get addicted to their services and the bond between the company and users gets strengthened.

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How does the On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Work?

On-demand grocery delivery app work in a simple way. Users on the mobile application search for their products randomly or from their choicest grocery stores (which are registered on the application). After selecting the items they add the quantity they want of the item that they have selected.
In the next step, the user is asked for the address where the grocery list should be delivered. The application then takes users to a secure payment gateway where they pay securely (through various paying options, or they can pay as ‘cash on delivery’).
Finally, once the order is placed, the vendors pack the goods ordered and keep them ready. Meanwhile, the grocery delivery application finds the delivery partner and sends them a location to pick up and drop off the parcels. The delivery person takes all the goods after confirming on their app and delivers to the doorsteps of a buyer.
Innovative Business Models for Grocery Delivery Apps That Will Change Your Game
The market for on-demand grocery delivery has been quite competitive these years especially after the pandemic changed people’s habit of buying things online. You need to be quite clear in venturing into this sector before you go to develop a custom grocery delivery solution.
You need to check the types of business models to select which one is suitable for your business; of course, demographic and psychographic studies would play a crucial role.
Aggregator app model
The most common type of grocery delivery app business model is an aggregator model. It simply lists out the nearby grocery shops to users. The user is free to choose anyone from the list. Once chosen, the user can browse through the menu offered by the store along with quantity and price. The user can then keep picking the items they want and finally go for the checkout. The selected items will be displayed at the end along with the total price that users can pay through various payment gateways. Once the order is placed after the payment option is selected, the users can track their parcels live.
Multi-Vendor Marketplace app model
Quite similar to the grocery store aggregator model, this model additionally offers delivery partners who will pick up the grocery from one place and drop off them all at the users’ doorsteps. The delivery persons are kept on standby so that they can pick up and drop off groceries when an order is made.
Single store or personalized grocery delivery app model
Dedicated to one particular grocery shop, the single-store app is a grocery delivery app sought by grocery shop owners. In other words, if a local grocery store’s owner wants to build a customized app for his or her own’s sake, a single-store app is the outcome.
Grocery chain model
A little more extensive version of the single-store app model is the grocery chain model wherein a businessperson owns more than one grocery outlet – it could be within a town, city, or even country. All grocery stores and their operations are brought on a single mobile application and can be handled through it.
Hyperlocal grocery delivery
Hyperlocal grocery delivery refers to grocery pickup from one place and dropping off at a particular destination, the doorsteps of buyers. It has been quite a popular model in grocery delivery as here the business person owns an app that simply brings all three -a buyers, a vendor, and a delivery partner on the same board.
Farm-to-table grocery delivery
The recent pandemic has made everyone health-conscious, and the demand for organic, fresh, and pesticide-less food has been raging ever since. Grocery delivery applications that bring vegetables and other grocery items directly from farm to home are the need of an hour. Here, consumers can directly order required items from farm-fresh stores that assures superior quality.

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How does a Grocery Delivery Application Make Money?
What are the ways in which grocery stores can generate income through a grocery delivery app? This question comes to mind of every grocery store owner. There are several ways to earn revenue from an application. For an on-demand grocery delivery app, things are not new. As a grocery delivery app owner, you can charge fees or commissions to grocery stores or directly to your consumers. Here are a few monetization ideas –

In-app ads: give app space on rent for ads such as video, banners, native, reward, and interstitial.
Subscription: one of the most famous app monetization models is subscription wherein you charge users for a specific subscription or a vendor for more features or facilities on the app.
Data monetization: data is the new fuel. Sharing specific data under rules and regulations will help you earn great revenue.
Transactional apps: charging a small transaction fee on each order or placement of the company shall get you a steady income.
Affiliate programs: sharing is caring! Based on the give-and-take business model, affiliate marketing is something you can avail of. Good revenue is assured when you share others’ links and products, and they share yours.
Sponsorships: Sponsorship is another way to monetize your grocery delivery app. Offering free marketing and other benefits, you can ask companies and brands for funds.

Features of On-Demand Grocery Delivery App
Essential grocery delivery app features that can help you to maximize profit can be divided into general and unique ones. While general app features are common and make an app usable, the unique or advanced features shall give your app an extra edge over other competitors in the market.
General Features
User registration: new registration and login should be the basic features through which users can get into their personal space. Various ways to log in (through email, phone number, and/or social media) shall be an added advantage.
Search: one of the basic features of an app is a search option. A wide range of grocery products can be listed through search. Users can then select the items.
Shopping cart: selected items’ quantity along with costs and the total are displayed in the shopping cart. Users can have a glance at their cart at any given point in time.
Secure payment: to win customers’ trust, offering various payment methods such as eWallet, bank transfer, credit and debit cards, and other modes forms a basic feature.
GPS-based features: the locations of users and grocery stores are important because the delivery partners would pick up the parcels and drop them off at buyers’ doorsteps only if a location is accurate and not confusing.
Geolocation In Mobile App: What are the top benefits of incorporating it?
Notifications: notifications and alerts of all kinds are appreciated as general features of the online grocery delivery app. Shipment whereabouts, offers and discounts, and payment initiation are a few notification alerts that fall under general features.
Feedback and reviews: to build trust, users rely on feedback and reviews. Allowing these as general features will help your app display the most favorite items and grocery stores. It shall increase the user base overall. Also, it’ll help store owners improve themselves.
Helpdesk: for any application’s success, customer support is the backbone. Any glitch, concern, complaint, or feedback should be shared as early as possible with customer care. In grocery delivery mobile apps, this can be achieved through deploying customer care executives or can simply be handled through chatbots.
Unique features
A wishlist/favorite: users shall be able to bookmark or mark their favorite grocery shops and items with stars so that they can easily find them and repeat the order as and when they want. This saves time and adds value to your app.
Essential nutritional information: an advanced feature on the grocery delivery app would be complete nutrition information such as calories, sugar, and salt content in the food and drink items. This would make health-conscious users happier.
Comparison: product and price comparison could be a very useful advanced feature on a grocery delivery mobile application. Users can tally products and prices in other grocery outlets and can choose the best option that saves them money.
Voice assistance: the latest in technology is mobile applications working on voice commands. This saves a lot of time and effort for users. An on-demand grocery delivery app can stand out with its services through voice assistants.

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Which are the Leading Mobile Apps providing Grocery Delivery Services?
There are many renowned mobile apps for grocery delivery. If you want to excel in the business, you may study each of them and learn the pros and cons. During the customization of your grocery delivery app, you can address the pain areas and concerns of users that other peers lack.
Here is the list of top grocery delivery mobile apps in 2023 –

Walmart Grocery
Amazon Prime Now

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Team Structure Required to Create a Grocery Delivery Mobile App
Online grocery delivery application requires a special task force who are experienced in building software tools. Not limited to one department, a customized software app development for grocery delivery caters to multiple departments and experts. Here is the team structure required for your project –

Project Manager
Mobile App Developers
Front-End Developers
Back-End Developers
Quality Assurance Expert

Tech Stack Used in Grocery App Development
Based on the technology platform you choose plus the size and complexity of a grocery delivery app, the tech stack used differs. Nevertheless, here we list the most common tech stack for an app for on-demand grocery –

Back-end development – PHP, Laravel, Node.js, .NET, Java,
Front-end development – React, Angular, Vue.js
Databases – MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle
Android development – Java, Kotlin
iOS Development – Swift, Objective-C
Cross-platform mobile development – Flutter, React Native

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How to Build a User-Friendly Grocery Delivery App in 6 Simple Steps?
To build a customized grocery delivery app successfully, you need to have a step-by-step process of development. Each stage requires a strategically driven approach wherein you sync with the development team and discuss the whereabouts of your project. Mobile app development companies may adapt one or more methodologies to create an application such as waterfall and/or agile to proceed with the customization of your product.
Here is the most common procedure that is being followed by top mobile app development companies around the world.

Research: Market research about the latest trends in the grocery business and consumer demands play a crucial role in any venture. Hence, you need to have intense research on the demography and psychography segmentation of users. You can take the professional help of research firms.
Choose: Once you have all the business objectives penned down along with research and market studies, the next step is to choose the best grocery delivery app developer. You can select your mobile app development company based on their experience, client reviews, cost to develop an app, portfolio, and product maintenance plans.
Design: Once the mobile app development partner is hired, the next step is to think about the design of your app. Grocery app UI/UX is the backbone of your business because if the design is complicated, the application is not going to find its place in people’s minds. A prominent agency will create wireframes and prototypes before commencing the development of your application. Also, you can choose to hire the best UI/UX designer for your grocery app.
Develop: The development stage is the core of the process to build a mobile app wherein all the components of the app come live with their functionalities. In other words, now, the components start functioning after computer coding.
Testing: Once the application is developed, it is rigorously tested before it becomes a final deliverable. Mobile app testing minimizes defects and enhances the quality of the application.
Deploy: Grocery delivery app, after the phase of development, is deployed on a predefined platform or network. The deployment may include app store optimization or installing the mobile software application on a local/closed network with all the compliance in place.
Maintain: the last step of grocery delivery app development is the maintenance of the product. Most mobile app development companies offer maintenance contracts on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. The mobile app maintenance should include regular updates and bug fixes to assure the smooth functioning of the product.
How much does it Cost to Develop a Grocery Delivery App?
The cost to develop an on-demand grocery delivery app is a major factor for any business, be it a startup or enterprise. It is because it takes a major chunk of your budget and thus affects your overall production cost and price of services/products.
The mobile app development cost is based on several factors. A few of the most important ones are mentioned below.
Complexity and size: The simpler the app, the lesser the budget- it is the universal rule for any mobile app. A grocery delivery app with minimum screens shall cost you less as compared to a full-fledged system. As you add functions and features to your grocery store app, the cost increases. The new concept of the grocery super app which contains almost everything related to groceries shall cost you the highest compared to Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Development which has minimum cost.
Outsourcing destination: The outsourcing of mobile app development cost in India shall be way less than what you get quotes from companies in the US and the UK. The reason is simple, countries like India are outsourcing hubs where developers can be hired at affordable rates. Also, you may be presented with different hiring models with different prices or charges.
Top Countries to Outsource Software Development
Tech platform and security: The price of app development also depends on the chosen technology stack and the level of security you want in your app. For instance, the iOS app development for grocery delivery may cost you a bit more as compared to Android app development. Even further, cross-platform app development shall be much more affordable as you use a single code to run your app on both operating systems.
All in all, there is no narrow range of costs to build a grocery delivery app. A wide range is expected from $35,000 to $500,000 to create a customized application for grocery delivery; nevertheless, discussing with your tech partner about having a clear idea of a budget is recommended.

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Frequently Asked Questions Grocery Delivery Application

Online grocery shopping is one of the latest trends and home delivery of groceries is just the right thing that people are looking for. Also, it has a proven track record of offering great business to grocery store owners. Furthermore, you can have a grocery delivery app to increase customer, sales, and hence expand your business further. Hence you can say it is a profitable venture for you.

Grocery delivery app development is a lengthy process -it starts with market and consumer research, designing and development, and then finally deployment. You need to follow the process step-by-step. Or you can hire experienced mobile app development companies with experience to create an app for your grocery business.

You can find the top on-demand grocery app development company by checking their portfolio and past work in the same industry i.e., grocery. Also, a company that offers quality solutions at reasonable costs and a company that has international certifications (such as ISO) is suitable for your project. You can also choose to contact top directories providing a list of companies such as TopDevelopers.co to choose the right one for you.

Development of a clone app such as Instacart can take up to one to six months depending on the features you want to add, amend, or remove; however, only a clone app development solution provider can help you estimate the development period and cost for the same.

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