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The ongoing Coronavirus outbreak is hitting the global economy hard. However, as people remain indoors to protect themselves from getting infected, the demand for online food delivery and grocery delivery has increased substantially. If you have an idea of a grocery delivery service app like Instacart and want to know the cost of developing it, then you are at the right place.

China, where the virus originally broke has experienced a 20% rise in the demand for grocery deliveries during January. Sales of fresh food on jumped from 215% in February. For the tens of millions of Chinese locked down at home, these deliveries have become an essential part of their daily lives. 

With contactless delivery becoming a necessity, on-demand service apps like Instacart are trending all over the world. Grocery providers are taking their business to the next level with grocery delivery apps.

Here is your comprehensive guide on how much it costs to develop a Grocery Delivery App like Instacart.

What is On-demand Grocery Application and How Does it Work?

Grocery delivery apps let customers get groceries to be delivered at their doorstep. The service is nothing new; however, the shift to mobile applications has made it affordable and hence widespread. With mobile applications like Instacart, people no longer need to send a domestic worker to get groceries; they can simply order it with a few taps.

In a nutshell, grocery mobile application development is very similar to the apps that offer on-demand services. An online delivery application usually involves two applications, an app for customers and a local app for those who will be making a delivery. 

It is also possible to combine functionality required by customers and delivery applications within the same app, but this could also make your app cumbersome. Hence, it is hardly an efficient approach.

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What to Keep in Mind Before Developing a Grocery Delivery App?

Here are two on-demand delivery models for a grocery shop application:

  • The delivery service has its store with groceries they deliver.
  • The delivery service partners with several different stores and makes deliveries for them.

Walmart has its application and the company also offers a delivery service. On the other hand, stores like Costco, partner with services like Instacart to offer delivery to customers. There are several ways to implement this technique.

Features to include in Grocery Delivery App MVP

Before diving into development, evaluate your idea and find a unique value proposition, then plan for a Minimum Viable Product.

Grocery delivery apps are not very innovative, yet spending a fortune to launch a complete version without market research and preparation would be wasted.

Here are 5 mistakes a start-up makes when building an MVP

Here are the features to be included in the Customer App and Delivery App MVP:

Customer App:

  • User profiles
  • Menus/items in stock
  • List of stores
  • Payment gateway
  • Cart/order page
  • Order Status
  • Order history
  • Notifications

Delivery App:

  • Profile
  • Map for navigation
  • List of orders (showing items and delivery addresses)
  • Admin Panel
  • Customer data
  • Revenue
  • Menus/items in stock
  • List of stores

Naturally, for the customer and delivery application to function properly, they will need to communicate in real time so deliveries are done in the stipulated time.

The selling of any grocery shopping application is that the service should be delivered on time. For effective app-to-app communication, you will need WebSocket APIs on your backend.

Also in grocery delivery applications like Instacart, it is important to display lists of items with the most recent prices.

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Extended Features to be Included in Grocery Mobile Application

In addition to the bare necessities, your app will have a signature feature that makes it stand out from the crowd. Here are a few suggestions for some of the extended features in the grocery mobile application:

  • Login up with social networks:

Allow your customers to sign up through social channels without having to go through the lengthy registration process. This will make signup easy for customers.

  • Add an alternative option:

With an alternative field, customers could choose an alternative if any particular item is unavailable. This will enhance the user experience and lead to fewer cases of partially completed orders.

  • Add a chatbot:

There are numerous ways to implement chatbots. A chatbot shows customers and delivers personnel valuable information about products.

  • Call and chat support:

Call and chat support is also a good option to add, which will make users love your application. This will enable them to get support from the technical team or make last-minute changes to the order.

  • Voice Recognition:

Voice recognition will let your customers place an order on the go without having them stop and type the product name, which will again be appreciated by your busy customers.

  • Ratings and Reviews:

Allow your customers to add ratings and reviews for each delivery. This will help you track the performance of your delivery workers and your app’s performance. You can also provide this feature to your delivery workers.

How do on-demand delivery services make money?

When you think about the grocery delivery app, the first question that comes to mind is how to make a profit. 

Here are some of the monetization options available for the homeowners of on-demand grocery delivery services:

  1. You can set the price of each item a little higher than the actual price of the product. You can be honest and transparent about this. Create a notification that pops up the first time as a customer starts placing an order. You can also include a reminder in your policy.
  2. The second option is to charge a delivery fee. This is the most common monetization model, in which customers are charged for the products according to the actual price, but they pay a fee for delivery.
  3. Include ads in your app. This is the most commonly used monetization model. Many apps include ads, which cover expenses, thereby enabling companies to charge less to the customers.
  4. Once your app becomes popular, you can charge a monthly fee from shops to partner with you and get their products displayed on your platform. In return, stores will get exposure and more customers.

You can use a single monetization model or combine several depending on the popularity of your app.

What backend technologies are best for building a grocery delivery app?

The backend of a grocery delivery app is the engine that drives its functionality. It’s responsible for managing user data, processing orders, coordinating with databases, and ensuring a seamless user experience. Choosing the right backend technology can greatly impact the app’s performance, scalability, and overall success.

Top Backend Technologies for Grocery Delivery Apps


Node.js is a popular choice for building real-time applications due to its event-driven architecture. It excels in handling concurrent connections and is known for its scalability. Its non-blocking I/O operations make it suitable for apps that require real-time updates and interactions. With Node.js, your grocery delivery app can provide instant order tracking and status updates to users.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails, often referred to as Rails, is a robust framework that emphasizes convention over configuration. It’s known for its rapid development capabilities, making it an excellent choice for startups. With its strong community support, you can find a wide range of plugins and gems to expedite development. Rails is a solid option if you’re aiming to launch your grocery delivery app quickly without compromising on quality.


Django is a high-level Python framework that offers scalability, security, and a clean, pragmatic design. It includes various built-in features like authentication, content administration, and database management. Django’s versatility makes it suitable for complex applications like grocery delivery platforms, where user authentication, data management, and real-time updates are essential.


Firebase is a comprehensive platform that provides backend-as-a-service, allowing developers to focus on building great user experiences. It offers real-time database synchronization, authentication services, and cloud functions for custom logic. If you’re looking to rapidly develop a grocery delivery app with real-time capabilities and minimal backend management, Firebase could be your go-to choice.


Laravel is a PHP framework known for its elegant syntax and powerful features. It’s particularly well-suited for applications that require user authentication, complex routing, and database management. Laravel’s modular structure allows developers to create scalable and maintainable codebases, making it a solid option for long-term growth.

Cost to Develop Grocery Delivery App like Instacart?

The exact price of developing a grocery app like Instacart depends on multiple factors such as the complexity of the app and choice of developers, but we can give you a rough figure for the basic features.

If you are planning to work with an offshore development company or hire an offshore developer, then plan to go for both iOS and Android platforms, this is the team you will need to hire:

  • 1 Project Manager
  • 1-2 iOS Developers
  • 2-3Android Developers
  • 1-2 UI/UX Designers
  • 1 Backend Developers
  • 2 QA Specialists

Competitor Research: Analyzing Leading Grocery Delivery Apps

To gain a competitive edge, it’s essential to analyze the strategies and technologies used by leading grocery delivery apps. Conduct thorough research on apps like Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and Walmart Grocery to understand their backend technologies, user experience, and features. This research can provide valuable insights into industry best practices and help you make informed decisions.

How does geolocation work in apps like Instacart for tracking delivery?

Geolocation technology leverages a combination of Global Positioning System (GPS), cellular networks, Wi-Fi, and software algorithms to determine the precise geographical location of a device, such as a smartphone. GPS satellites orbiting the Earth emit signals that are received by devices, allowing them to calculate their exact coordinates. This information is then used by apps to offer location-based services, such as directions, local recommendations, and, in the case of Instacart, delivery tracking.

Geolocation in Delivery Apps

Delivery apps integrate geolocation technology to enhance user experience and streamline logistics. When you place an order on Instacart, for instance, the app utilizes your device’s geolocation data to track the progress of the assigned shopper as they collect items from the store and make their way to your location. This real-time tracking ensures you’re aware of any delays or estimated arrival times, adding an extra layer of transparency to the delivery process.

How Does Instacart Use Geolocation for Tracking?

Instacart employs geolocation technology in a seamless manner to keep users informed throughout the delivery journey. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how it works:

  1. Order Confirmation: Once you’ve placed an order, Instacart’s app collects your location data.

  2. Shopper Assignment: A shopper is assigned to your order, and their device’s location is also tracked.

  3. In-Store Shopping: As the shopper collects items from the store, their progress is tracked using GPS and store layouts.

  4. En Route Tracking: Once the shopper is en route, the app calculates the estimated delivery time based on their real-time location and distance from your address.

  5. Real-time Updates: You receive real-time updates on the shopper’s location, allowing you to prepare for the delivery.

  6. Delivery Confirmation: After the delivery is made, the app confirms the successful drop-off and provides the final location update.

Benefits of Geolocation Tracking

The integration of geolocation tracking in delivery apps offers several key benefits:

  • Transparency: Users can track the progress of their orders, reducing uncertainty about delivery times.

  • Efficiency: Real-time tracking enables route optimization, ensuring prompt deliveries even in dynamic traffic conditions.

  • Communication: Geolocation technology facilitates effective communication between shoppers and customers, allowing for smooth interactions.

  • Enhanced Experience: The overall user experience is elevated through the provision of accurate and helpful information.

Current Trends in the Grocery Delivery App Market

In recent years, the grocery delivery app market has witnessed a significant surge in demand, revolutionizing how consumers shop for groceries. These apps offer convenience, time-saving benefits, and a wide array of choices. In this, we explore the current trends shaping this dynamic industry.

1. Rise of Contactless Delivery

Contactless delivery has become a standard feature in grocery delivery apps. This trend gained prominence during the pandemic and has since become a preferred option for many consumers concerned about safety.

2. Same-Day Delivery

Another emerging trend is the emphasis on same-day delivery. Companies are investing in logistics and infrastructure to ensure prompt delivery, meeting the growing demand for immediacy.

3. AI and Machine Learning in Grocery Apps

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning algorithms are playing a crucial role in enhancing the user experience. These technologies analyze shopping patterns, suggest personalized recommendations, and optimize delivery routes for efficiency.

4. IoT Integration

Integration with Internet of Things (IoT) devices is another innovation seen in grocery delivery apps. Smart refrigerators, for example, can automatically add items to a user’s shopping list based on consumption patterns.

5. Eco-friendly Practices in Delivery

Many grocery delivery apps are prioritizing sustainability by offering eco-friendly packaging options and promoting reusable packaging. This trend resonates with environmentally conscious consumers.

6. Local Sourcing

Another aspect of sustainability is the focus on local sourcing. Apps are partnering with local farmers and producers, promoting community support and reducing carbon footprints.

7. Personalization and Convenience

Personalization is key to enhancing the customer experience. Apps are leveraging data analytics to offer tailored recommendations, discounts, and promotions based on individual preferences.

8. User-Friendly Interfaces

Simplicity and ease of use are paramount. Intuitive interfaces, quick checkout processes, and multiple payment options contribute to a seamless shopping experience.

Privacy and Security Measures

While geolocation technology enhances convenience, it also raises concerns about privacy. Delivery apps like Instacart implement robust security measures to protect user data. These measures include encrypted communication, strict access controls, and anonymization of personal information. Users have the option to enable location sharing only while the app is in use, giving them greater control over their data.

Have an app Idea

With two separate apps to build, each with its own design and feature set, how long will it take to build a grocery app depending on the number of members in your team? Here are the estimated hours that will be required to build a grocery delivery app.

With an average piece of around $35 per hour, the cost to develop a grocery delivery app like Instacart will be approximately $62,000. This will increase depending on the features you want to include and the technologies.

Still, have questions about how to create an app like Instacart or want to know a more precise cost estimate? Feel free to get in touch with us, we are ready to assist you with the features that your app should include and the cost to develop a grocery development app.

5 Innovative Tech Features For Grocery Startups 2023

Before we enter this discussion let me clear you 2 things the ideas we are going to discuss are not theories. They have been practically applied by our team in our client’s projects. Second, it is not a Newton Science that costs a fortune to implement; just a couple of hundred dollars, and it can be developed. Read along with the article to know the best grocery app features to add:

The world is moving towards automation and you definitely don’t want to miss out on it. However, Grocery is one of the oldest and biggest markets. Be it a Brick and Mortar or an online store, everything is at a boom and new features are popping out every day to help customers shop easily and fast. The US online grocery market is hitting $40 Billion and is expecting to grow at 150% annually reaching $220 Billion by 2025. Indian grocery is hitting $4 Billion and is expecting to grow at 300% with the increasing penetration of internet users and acceptance of online shopping. Nonetheless, Stats are pretty much the same for different countries around the globe.

As the market is growing and maturing with time, the expectation of the consumers is also increasing at the same pace. Furthermore, Consumers want things to be more automated and easy to check out their carts. Imagine if your customers can shop and checkout on their own without having to stand in long queues. If they could discover products in 1 action.

New features:

1. Barcode scanning-based product Identification:

Problem: The main aim of any application is to make the customer reach the end goal as soon as possible. Moreover, Product discovery is the most time-consuming process for the customer, where they have to enter the category. Then subcategory and scroll through the different variants of the same products to place an order.

Solution: All this hassle can be removed if the customer has the product in his hand. He can just scan the barcode and the product will automatically pop out on the screen and get added to the cart. Also, If the customer wants multiple quantities they just have to place the product multiple times in front of the camera.

2. Store map to locate the product:

Problem: Frequently I have visited big stores and got completely lost. It becomes more inconvenient when you hate to ask people where to find things. Therefore, you get tired and irritated.

Solution: An app that has an in-build store map. The user can scan the barcode of a wrapper or manually type the name of the product and the application could navigate the user to the specific shelf in the store. Where the product could be found. Moreover, In a general observation, the sales have been observed to have increased by 14% in 3 months of experimentation.

3. Using AI’s Object detection based Product Identification:

Problem: In grocery fields, there are products that may not have a barcode or you might have thrown away the wrapper. In that case, you have to go through the hassle of selecting the right product manually which takes time and is a bit annoying.

Solution: What if you could just show your camera the image of the product and it could tell you all the brands offering that product? Something like Soya Chucks or beans, etc. Or if you could show your camera the packaging and it could find the exact match for you.

4. Face Recognition/ Fingerprint-based Login systems:

Problem: With the rising trend of digitalization there is an application for almost everything. It is humanly impossible to remember all the passwords for such a wide range of apps. For too long we have been using the traditional ways of logging in and registering through phone numbers email IDs or Social Media logins with passwords.

Solution: All smartphones these days are equipped with front cameras and fingerprint scanners. We can create login systems that are fast and do not need any effort to remember long cumbersome passwords.

Futuristic Tech:

100% Automated Shopping Experience

  • Imagine a time when you just entered the store and the store camera can detect if you are an existing customer or a new customer.
  • When you enter, the system will search your face to see if you have ever entered the store. However, if it finds a match your profile will have been fetched from the database. In case you enter the store for the first time, the system will create a profile for you.
  • As you shop, the store camera will detect your activity and update your cart,
  • Once you have finished shopping you can go to the mobile app and check out the order by online payment or cash on the counter.

The advantage to Brick and Mortar Shops:

  • Better Customer Recognitions

Features that have become obsolete:

  • Searching for product
  • Typing inside the app
  • Manual Product verification
  • Paper-based invoicing
  • Waiting in long ques
  • Roaming around the store to find product

Technology is as big as our imagination. If we can image it then technology has the capability to make it happen. Hit is if you have new ideas we are always on a hunt.

For the love of technology let’s build something incredible.

Instacart Delivery App: Get Groceries At Your Doorstep In as little As an Hour

What is Instacart?

Instacart is a delivery app to get groceries and other living place essentials at your doorstep. It is one of the most efficient and trusted platforms in the USA with its headquarters in California, USA. It is an on-demand e-store having grown tremendously since its incorporation.

This grocery store has set up an example for budding entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are keen on learning Instacart’s business model and planning the next big thing. Are you one of them? Are you looking forward to learning and setting up an example just like the Instacart Delivery App?

Indeed, the article will guide you to plan your next big thing. Below are the details of the big brand Instacart Delivery App and a guide to lead you to your destination. Furthermore, the first part will help you in understanding the brand value. The next part will take you to the pathway to your dream project.

What Does the Instacart Delivery App Have in the Store?

Instacart was incorporated in 2012 and has been successful in growing at a constant pace since then. Also, It has various distinctive features that make Instacart stand out from other platforms. Before going into how to create such a platform let’s first understand their business model.

Key Activities:

  • Buying from local vendors;
  • Customer management;
  • Customer service;
  • A dedicated counter at stores for faster checkout;
  • Hand-picking the products for each order;


  • Website;
  • Mobile App for iOS and Android.

Target Segments:

  • Store;
  • Localities;
  • Shopper.

Cost Structure:

  • Salary to employees;
  • Delivery-based delivery personnel;
  • Set-up and running costs;
  • Payment to shops.

Revenue Stream:

  • Surcharge on store price;
  • Delivery cost;
  • Discount pricing from shops;
  • Membership plans.

The above structure shows the main agenda of Instacart. Furthermore, the idea behind it is to reach the maximum number of people with quality service. At this stage, you can figure out the resources you will need to build a start-up grocery store. Also, you should now have an idea about the flow of major expenses and income streams.

Now, let’s get to the main agenda of this article which is to build an app like Instacart.

A guide to an explicit grocery home delivery e-store.

The grocery home delivery business is a big opportunity for budding entrepreneurs. However, It can be looked like a master plan for a start-up due to the size of the market which creates enough space for multiple big players to co-exist. Another strong reason is limited competition. However, it is important to have both – an efficient website and a mobile application for all operating systems.

For you to reach to Instacart-like website, ensure that the below aspects are taken care of by your developer. However, before you reach out to your developer, you should be prepared with the help of these 4 ways.

1. Flexible payment options:

Make sure that you give your customers the liberty to choose from multiple payment options.

2. Push notification:

Intimate your clients regarding new products through push notifications

3. Scheduled delivery:

Let the customers choose their convenient time for delivery of the ordered items.

4. Advanced search option:

Let the customers have the honor of searching the products in no time with an advanced search algorithm.

5. User sign-in:

Introduce a sign-in option for users for easy tracking or cancellation of products.

6. Categorization of products:

this feature will help the users to save their precious time searching for products in your e-store.

7. Easy order placement:

Keep the order placement procedure simple yet unique. Easy and quick steps will attract a regular number of customers.

8. Scan QR codes:

This feature will help to speed up the shopping procedure.

9. Barcode Scanning:

With the advancement in tech, you can have a barcode scanner in-build in the app.

If the above areas are taken care of, it will help to boost customer experience and gain customer loyalty. Grocery brands like Amazon Grocery, Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Instacart are killing the market with salient features. Below are the features that these big brands offer to their customers.

What unique do my competitors offer?

Amazon: Amazon has won the market with its one-click payment method. It saves the card details except for a pin or password with a secured platform and allows quick payment.

Kroger: Kroger with the implementation of beacon technology is doing really great. It also has features like a grocery list based on a location basis which helps customers to select their products wisely.

Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart helps customers scan the QR codes for a quick search of desired products. Also, it has a personalized wish list, product location feature, and many more which helped the brand to gain loyal customers.

Instacart: Instacart was the first brand to implement grocery home delivery within an hour. This is the major advantage that Instacart offers and makes itself stand out from other brands. Here a real person goes and shops the products to ensure good quality products are purchased.

Instacart has proved that start-ups can be successful to compete with big brands. Also, Their idea has boosted the confidence of budding entrepreneurs. However, there are various websites and app features that helped the brand to reach where they are today.

By combining the salient features offered by various brands, you can come up with a whole new idea. Amazon, Kroger, and Instacart are setting an example of how a brand should work for the benefit of its customers.

Instacart Delivery App Customer Acquisition

  • Word of Mouth Advertising;
  • Internet Marketing;
  • Free first delivery;
  • Various discount offers.

Possible Challenges

  • Retaining Delivery Personnel;
  • Meeting Delivery Time;
  • Managing Peak Hours;
  • Stores running out of stock;
  • Regular Inventory Updates;
  • Shore’s cooperation.

After building apps for 3 Grocery home delivery-related startups we can confidently tell you that the market is enormous and this is what investors are looking at. With just a click of an idea, you can make the change. It’s all about knowing the customer’s problems and preferences. Once you research the market and come up with a unique solution like Instacart, it won’t matter how long you have been in a market or what is your valuations. Till the time your services are good and timely, you can win the market. Moreover, Instacart researched and found out the main problem for customers was the quick grocery home delivery and handpicking the right product. Hence, they introduced a 1-hour delivery option.

Likewise, you can create your brand value by market trends and research to reach an ultimate solution. Moreover, This will help you to reach your destination by over 40%. The entire process will demand a hell lot of time and effort. But, it’s all worth it in the end.

Develop App like Instakart from Graffersid

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level and create an app like Instacart, look no further. Partner with Graffersid to bring your vision to life! Our experienced team specializes in developing top-notch apps that cater to your unique requirements. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to revolutionize your industry. Get in touch with us today and let’s turn your idea into a reality. Your success awaits!