Blog Post

Grocery Delivery App
On-Demand Apps

Does building a Grocery Delivery App like Instacart cost much?

Sanjay Kidecha,

On-demand services are like a blessing in disguise when it comes to satisfying instant human needs. You demand food, groceries, or medicines, and you can have them delivered on the same day without moving out from your home.  This lucrative industry has grabbed more than 22.4 million consumers and a worth of $57.6 billion, around $4.6 billion on food/grocery, to be specific. Instacart, Postmates, and Doordash are some of the famous players in grocery shopping and delivery service. And in this blog, we will discuss on-demand grocery delivery app development like Instaart, How Instacart works, and Instacart’s pricing model and strategy. 

On-demand grocery delivery is a top-notch industry in current times. It has replaced the brick-and-mortar grocery stores by fulfilling day-to-day essentials needs in a few hours. The exponentially rising demand needs an exceptionally working on-demand grocery delivery app development like Instacart. As reported by Forbes Magazine, Instacart was ranked as America’s Most Promising Company in 2015. Well, ever since then, it has never taken a step back. The growing number of users, employees, and services in various cities has stunned entrepreneurs. The enthusiasts rapidly want to develop an app like Instacart in current times. 

So now, even you have developed an idea around a Grocery Delivery App development like Instacart and have been looking forward to starting with its execution. However, you are still stuck at estimating the cost to make an app like Instacart. You are still struggling with queries, such as how to get started with the grocery app development and cost estimation when you have no knowledge about what factors are going to impact it or what does a limited feature app costs to create an MVP first.

Well, you have reached out to the right website. In this article, I will take you through the Instacart introduction and the various factors that affect the Cost to Develop Grocery App like Instacart, i.e., the business model, various services, the team required, etc. in order to integrate an on-demand Grocery Delivery App. So let’s get into an in-depth analysis right away:

A Brief about Instacart:

Instacart was launched in the year 2012 and has rapidly grown in various parts of the USA. The app is accessible in multiple locations and has hundreds of registered local grocery stores. 

Instacart increased its sales ten times during the covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the sales grew by 20 times in areas such as California, New York, Washington, and Oregon. 

How does Instacart work
How does Instacart work? 

Instacart is a popular grocery shopping and delivery application delivering the order within five hours of the order placement. Users can check out the items listed on the store, add items to the cart, and schedule a delivery. 

Instacart doesn’t have its own inventory, meaning, if the listed item is unavailable, the app will help users find replacements of the same.

The user is charged $3.99 for a planned delivery or within two hours delivery for any order above $35. And for orders to be delivered within 1 hour, it charges $5.99. 

If the user order is below $35, the application charges $7.99 for 2 hours delivery and $9.99 for one-hour delivery.

Instacart’s membership is available for $99, in which free deliveries are available to the users.

Business Model for an On-Demand Grocery Delivery App

Well, the business model for an On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Development involves three models to make money out of selling services and goods, i.e., the Commission model, the Subscription model, and Service Charges. Here we have the details on each:

  • Commission Model: This model for an on-demand app development involves the implementation of different commission charges on different goods, which further depends on which products are trending or are in demand, etc.
  • Subscription Model: As the name suggests, this is a subscription-based revenue model, which further includes various offers depending upon what subscription plan people buy.
  • Service Charges: This revenue model involves earning profits via online stores by working independently; moreover, a subscription plan can be of benefit if used alone.

Read Also: What Grocery Delivery Startup Must Learn From Instacart Business Model?

What is Instacart’s pricing strategy?

Instacart adopts a sharing economy-based model, owing to which it has gained immense popularity and continues to make a grand entry in various cities. 

The pricing over deliveries remains as mentioned above; however, the pricing strategy for Instacart is as below. 

Instacart Price and In-store price:

Instacart mark-up prices are usually the same as in-store prices but may differ a bit (usually 15% higher) for certain retail stores like Costco. 

Other factors affecting the pricing are:

Instacart provides comfortable services and assured quality of products. As per their report, it has more than 40,000 stores and operates in 5500+ cities across the US and Canada. 

Instacart promises value for money and ensures that customer satisfaction remains the top priority. The pricing is consistent and transparent, which is the primary reason why customers trust Instacart moreover other applications.

Features Required for an On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart

Grocery Delivery App Features – User panel

  • User profile & Registration: This feature involves the login and sign-up with the use of email or social media accounts or phone numbers as per the User’s choice.
  • Customer Feedback & Review: Relevant customer feedbacks and reviews on different products allow other people to feel secure while shopping, especially for their first purchase. 
  • Search Option: This feature of the grocery delivery app helps customers to directly carry out a search for the particular products in particular categories depending upon their price range as well as brands.
  • Delivery Tracking: The delivery tracking feature of the grocery app involves real-time tracking of the delivery details such as order arrival.
  • Order Management: With this feature of the grocery delivery app, people are able to manage (place or cancel) their orders and replace them as well whenever they require without going through the list of products all over again.
  • Multiple Payment Options: Since this on-demand grocery delivery app comes with the provision of various payment options such as COD, debit or credit card, or more, people have the convenience to shop without looking for cash in their wallet every time they shop, especially for prepaid orders and they make their payments digitally before or after delivery of goods.
  • Schedule Delivery: The grocery delivery app’s schedule delivery feature lets the customer schedule their order arrival depending upon their convenience in their hectic life.

Grocery Delivery App Features – Admin Panel

  • Dashboard: This involves a one-stop solution in order to track as well as managing all the orders placed by the customer orders. This further involves activities that help in keeping the grocery delivery app on which people can rely.
  • Allocation of Orders: This feature of the grocery delivery app involves the allocation of new grocery orders to various grocery stores and keeps a check on the thing that the order execution takes place smoothly.
  • Manage Payments: This feature of the grocery delivery app allows the acceptance as well as management of all the payment models, which further involves an expanding grocery business.
  • Assign Managers: This grocery delivery app feature allows smooth operation and execution of orders so that people can rely on the app and involves store managers who take care of this thing.
  • Inventory Management: This grocery app feature allows admins to manage the entire inventory with convenience by handling and managing the customer orders in an appropriate manner.
  • Manage Customers: This feature allows the grocery app owners to manage their users with the use of an app, which includes witnessing and coordinating with their users.

Grocery Delivery App Features – Delivery Panel

  • Geo-Location Services: By the integration of Google Maps with GPS, this feature of the Grocery Delivery App helps the delivery boy in tracking the customer location.
  • Accept or Reject Delivery Request: This involves the acceptance or rejection of an order request which depends on the location of the customer or the time that it would require to be delivered.
  • Delivery Request Notification: With the use of this feature, the store manager is able to get notified whenever an order is placed or requested to be delivered, including the order number.
  • In-app Calling/In-app Chat: The in-app Chat or call helps the drivers to communicate or discuss with the use of an app in order to change the route or time of order delivery and more.
  • Get Delivery Confirmation: This involves notifying the driver regarding the order delivery status in order to get the customer’s delivery confirmation as well as grocery stores.

Must-have Technologies for Grocery Delivery App 

The technologies that are involved and have to be implemented in an On-Demand Grocery Delivery App development like Instacart include the following: 

  • Push Notifications:, Twilio
  • Payment Methods:  Stripe, EWallets, Braintree & PayPal
  • Database: Hbase, MailChimp Integration, Cassandra, MongoDB, Postgres
  • Real-time Analytics: Cisco, IBM, Hadoop, Apache Flink, Spark, BigData
  • Cloud Environment: Azure, AWS, Google
  • SMS, Phone Verification, and Voice: Twilio, Nexmo

Grocery Delivery App Development Team Structure

In order to develop an  on-demand Grocery Delivery App, a development team of QA experts, as well as skilled UX and UI (User Interface) designers and app developers, are required. Moreover, here is what skills one should be opting for while looking out for a great team:

  • App Designers: UX/UI designers with Expertise in the field of grocery delivery app designing, Graphic Designer, and more.

  • Project Manager: This involves someone who acquires good knowledge as well as managerial skills in order to work out a solution.

  • App Testers: This involves Quality Assurance, i.e., QA Experts with relevant skills such as testing and bug tracking.

On-Demand Grocery App
How much does it Cost to Develop an On-Demand Grocery App?

In order to carry out an estimation on the grocery app development cost, you must keep in mind the following factors, which include how complex a grocery app is, the numbers of platforms you want to launch it on, what country, and the audience it targets, etc.

  • The app developers based in Eastern Europe cost around $80 per hour to $150 per hour.
  • The grocery app developers based in the S.A cost around $50 per hour to $250 per hour.
  • Indian app developers cost around $10 per hour to $80 per hour.

The Cost to Develop On-Demand Grocery App that has a limited number of features, coding depends on the following:

  • Technical documentation costs around $1000 to $2000
  • QA and testing costs around $2000 to $4000
  • UI/UX Designing costs around $1500 to $3000
  • Front-end, as well as Back-end development, costs around $10,000 to $ 20,000

In the end, considering the above-presented factors in order to calculate the Cost to Build an On-demand Grocery Delivery App like Instacart, on average, for a single platform such as Android or iOS, it costs about $10,000 to $20,000. However, the cost goes up as you increase the number of features or more, and hence, make a list of everything you have to integrate into your grocery delivery app accordingly.

Sanjay Kidecha

Sanjay Kidecha is the Chief Operating Officer at Kody Technolab, where he seamlessly blends his expertise in operations, finance and technology to drive innovation and operational excellence. A passionate advocate for digital transformation, Sanjay writes extensively about how various industries can leverage technology to stay ahead. His insights on emerging trends and practical guides helps leading companies navigate this fast-paced tech world.

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