How to make a grocery delivery app on demand: a complete guide



It looks like you are wondering how to make a grocery delivery app. Here we are.

This guide is designed to help startup founders, product managers, and serial entrepreneurs figure out the ins and outs of their own grocery app development.

You will learn about:

  • Why now is the right time to launch a new grocery delivery app in the market
  • How much does it cost to develop a grocery delivery app,
  • What are the steps to develop a grocery delivery app,
  • Checklist for finding and selecting a technical partner,
  • And more!

Without further ado, let’s start by defining a grocery delivery app and how it differs from similar apps.

If you prefer visuals over text, skip straight to the bonus “How to Build a grocery Delivery App” infographic.

What is a grocery delivery mobile app?

A grocery delivery app is an app that allows users to order groceries online. Application owners are responsible for facilitating grocery delivery to users’ homes in accordance with their terms and conditions.

Most grocery apps are subscription-based, meaning users have to pay monthly or annual fees in addition to the price of the grocery on the platform.

As a startup, you have the opportunity to create different types of grocery delivery apps. The two most prominent applications are:

  • Aggregators
  • Marketplace


Aggregators are apps that basically list nearby grocery stores to platform users. Aggregators typically include stores like Walmart and other large grocery chains. How do applications base on this model work?

  • The platform user can then choose from the list of displayed stores.
  • Users can add their grocery selection to the in-app cart from the online menu.
  • They will check the cart and make payments.
  • After confirming the order, the user can track the order in real time until they receive the items.
  • The responsibility for delivery rests solely with the store owners or the app’s delivery team.

The complex functioning of such apps depends on the partnership between the store owners and the startup.


Marketplace grocery apps are a bit like aggregators. However, they differ in their basic way of functioning.

This grocery app allows nearby merchants to display their groceries while customers contact them through the platform. It serves as a means of contact between buyers and sellers.

For marketplaces, the startup must have a mechanism to facilitate communication between merchants and app users.

When is the best time to develop an online grocery delivery app?

Wondering when is the best time to build a grocery delivery app? Well, now is the best time to have one as a business endeavor.

According to AppTopia data, owning a grocery delivery product is a very profitable move. And due to two main factors, now is the best time to have a grocery delivery app.

The first factor is the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a surge in the use of grocery apps as it provides a safe way to shop without violating social distancing rules.

Grocery delivery services are now promoting adherence to contactless delivery, a strength in convincing most traditional brick-and-mortar shoppers.

Another reason why your startup should have a grocery delivery app is the ever-increasing demand for such apps.

Research by Elluminati Inc shows that 58% of customers prioritize convenience over anything else.

And the way to reach that 58% is to create an easy-to-use app that makes shopping convenient for them.

The second factor is successful examples

Fridge No More is a new app that offers users a free grocery delivery service within 15 minutes. The company has a well-distributed number of delivery representatives to help meet the needs of consumers within a given time frame.

There are no minimum orders, so users can order what they need, no matter how small the item. Fridge No More can help you with anything from a pint of ice cream to an entire grocery list for the month.

Gladkoborov and Danilov founded the app after seeing the popularity of their similar app in their native Russia.

The application optimizes the speed. Right now they are mainly focused on densely populated areas. Fridge No More is currently available in the app store for both Android and iOS devices.

Now let’s learn more about the cost of developing your own grocery app.

How much would it cost to build an on-demand delivery app?

The cost of developing an on-demand product application ranges from $45,000 to $150,000.

The type and location of the team, as well as the type of application itself, are the 3 main factors that affect the development budget.

How to create a grocery delivery app

Creating a successful grocery delivery app involves both technical and marketing processes.

To help you understand how your grocery delivery app works, we’ll explain how your existing one works.

For example, Instacart. It allows users to shop from their preferred local grocery store online.

The app then dispatches a personal shopper to make the required physical purchases and make same-day delivery.

Instacart does not own warehouses; instead, her customers shop on time, which is limited to only large grocery stores in the area.

Now that you know how an app works, let’s dive into the intricacies of building your grocery store app.

To create a grocery delivery app, you need to take care of both the business and technical side of app development.

Stages of business development

The business development phase is one of the most overlooked but essential developmental processes.

The business development phase involves identifying the market potential and potential risks of investing in a new product. You should also clarify the scope and vision of the team and understand your target audience.

For a grocery app to be successful, two important business development conditions must be met. They are the marketing and discovery stages.

Marketing of Demand Grocery Delivery App

With a projection of more than $4.8 trillion in total e-commerce retail sales expected by 2021, it’s easy to assume that there is plenty of opportunity for everyone.

However, more than 80% of businesses in this niche fail within the first two years. Experts believe that competition in the e-commerce sector is the main reason for the high failure rate.

So if you want to make progress, you should prioritize marketing. You should have a marketing budget that is 2-3 times the app development budget.

Even if your grocery app might be top-notch, bad marketing can make your startup unprofitable.

Technical development phase

As a startup, finding the right app development team is at the heart of the technical development phase.

The team should have a proven track record of creating highly useful applications that provide the best possible user experience.

Generally, the technical development phase of a grocery delivery app involves creating an MVP and a scaled MVP with different app feature sets for a grocery shopping app.

Features of MVP

MVP is the phase where the central focus is on developing the core features of the application.

To create a grocery delivery MVP application, you need to develop features for the following:

  • Admin bar
  • Customer Application
  • Courier application

Tech Stack for grocery delivery platform development

The technology stacks used in a typical grocery delivery platform can be very diverse. The chosen technology stack should be responsive and reliable.

In our opinion, an ideal example of a suitable technology stack includes:

  • Backend: Laravel,
  • Admin panel: Laravel Nova and JavaScript, HTML5, CSS,
  • Mobile development: React Native or Java apps for Android and Swift for iOS
  • Database: MongoDB or MySQL
  • Payment gateway: Braintree, PayPal, Stripe or other payment options
  • Geolocation: Google Maps API
  • Tools: Twilio, Firebase, Google SDK and Facebook SDK
  • Server: AWS

Mandatory team

You need a team of 8 professionals to help you with your product. They are:

  • Project manager
  • Business analyst
  • UX/UI Designer
  • CTO
  • Mobile Developer
  • Backend developer
  • Quality Assurance Tester
  • DevOps

How to choose a team to develop an app like Instacart

Choosing the right team is very important to the success of your product. Here are some things you should keep in mind while choosing your mobile app developers team:

  • Similar experience. Track the total number of successful grocery delivery apps created.
  • Level of expertise. Check the company’s experience in developing applications, working with similar applications, technology stacks, or solving complex technical problems.
  • Project portfolio: Browse through their portfolio of applications and verify their ability to realize your project.

What will be next?

Building a successful grocery delivery platform like Iinstacart involves more than just building a responsive app. You should strive to create an ideal business model that will help your startup grow.

The best way to do this is to hire a complete application development team. By full-stack, we mean a team that can take care of both the technical and business sides.

At SpdLoad, we are equipped with the right technology and expertise to help you develop a successful grocery delivery app. Still, have doubts?


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