Grocery Delivery App Development: A Definitive Guide

Grocery Delivery App Development: A Definitive Guide

25 November 2022 • 17 min read

On-demand grocery delivery is yet another service people can effortlessly access, and this kind of shopping is growing more popular. Just consider that in the US alone, almost half of the population purchases groceries online.

Want to enter that thriving niche? Continue reading our post to learn more about grocery delivery app development. Today, we’ll discuss the must-have features of such applications and the technologies behind them.

Softermii will also share its profound expertise in eCommerce and delivery niches. We’ll use projects like Hollar, Dollar Shave Club, and Esthetic as successful examples of our previous work. But first, discover why you should opt for grocery store delivery app development.

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Why You Should Create a Grocery Delivery App in 2023

You may have noticed that there are plenty of grocery & food delivery applications available. So does it make sense to build an app like Instacart? Definitely! Find out the main reasons below.

Join the Fast Growing Niche

The demand for grocery delivery is growing significantly every year, making the global online grocery market expand. Grand View Research forecasts it will rise from over $354 billion in 2022 to more than $2 trillion in 2030. It’s about a 25% annual growth. Sounds impressive? You can catch the wave, enter a fast-evolving industry, and profit from it.

Drive Innovation in Grocery Shopping

You introduce innovation into the usual shopping process by engaging in grocery delivery app development. These innovations, in turn, improve the customer experience, allowing consumers to order all the necessary goods simply through an application on their smartphones.

Build Stronger Relationships with Your Customers

Whether you are a grocery store owner, supermarket chain manager, delivery service provider, etc., you should build trust with your customers. McKinsey states that personal relationships are one of the core aspects contributing to the profitability of your business.

On-demand grocery delivery app development is best for establishing a strong customer connection. Why? Because you can personalize their experience by conducting analytics and coming up with relevant recommendations.

The Main Types of Grocery Shopping Apps You Can Develop

Fortunately, the grocery delivery market is growing at an incredible pace. Yet, it also means that it faces increased competition.

Before becoming one of this market’s players, you should think through your business model and formulate the ideas of your application as clearly as possible. One of the things to help you with is learning about the main grocery delivery app types.

Aggregator App

You need to cooperate with local stores if you plan to develop a grocery delivery app on the aggregator model. Here, users choose the necessary grocery store from the list, place and pay for the order, and the store owner takes care of the delivery.

Marketplace App

The marketplace application works similarly to an aggregator, with one difference. This model engages its own grocery courier service, which delivers from stores to customer addresses.

Instacart is an example of such a grocery delivery platform. The company lists various stores and takes over the delivery function.

Single-Store App

A single-store app is a software developed for a particular store. In this model, the store owner takes responsibility for updating the list of goods, processing orders, and their delivery.

Grocery Chain App

The grocery chain app is similar to a single-store app. The only thing is that, in this case, the platform extends to an entire network of stores of a specific brand. Walmart is a well-known example.

Personalized Grocery App

These applications for grocery shopping provide more opportunities than just adding products to the cart and waiting for their delivery. Such apps offer a higher level of personalization than the other types mentioned today. For example, customers can set reminders, plan purchases, etc.

Must-Have Features of a Grocery Delivery App

To understand how to make a grocery delivery app, it’s worth knowing that this software is divided into several elements. First part of the application is used by customers, and the other is designed for store owners and delivery staff usage.

Let’s look at the must-have features that store owners and delivery service providers need to serve their customers well.

Simple Registration

You should make the staff registration process as simple as possible. Let delivery workers quickly register their accounts by entering their number and email and creating a password and username.

Profile Management

This feature is designed to manage your employees’ existing accounts. Make it easy for them to update or change their profile information.

Wallet Management

Grocery delivery app development

Thanks to this feature, your delivery staff can check their account balance. Also, it would be good if they could easily withdraw the earned money.

Order Management

How to make a grocery delivery app

This feature will allow your employees to manage customer orders conveniently. Give your staff an option to check order status and accept or reject new ones.

Email Notifications

This feature will allow your employees to send various email notifications regarding customer orders. It can be information about the order status, a receipt, special offers, etc.


This feature is fundamental in grocery delivery app development. Thanks to geolocation, your employees can deliver orders efficiently, and customers, in turn, will see where the courier is.

Delivery History

Make your own grocery delivery app

This feature will be handy for the store owner and the delivery staff. Both will be able to track their progress and the number of completed orders.

Earning Status

Add this feature so your delivery workers can easily track their earnings.

Multi-Language Support

Thanks to the support of different languages in the application, your staff will communicate with your customers more easily.

You may also be interested in Food Waste Management App Development.

Features for the Client Side of the Grocery Ordering App

Let’s now move to the client side to build a grocery delivery app. Here are the must-have features:

Login and Registration

Of course, users of your platform should be able to register. Remember that this process should be simple and clear.

Profile Management

The ability to edit personal information, update preferences, etc.: you must implement this through the profile management feature.

Listings and Product Cards

Grocery delivery app development cost

Your takeaway grocery delivery app should display the offered products conveniently. Add listings by category and ensure that the product cards are well-designed.

Search, Filters, and Navigation

Grocery store delivery app development

Implement advanced search to make an app like Instacart. The availability of various filters and categories will allow your customers to find the products they are interested in more easily and quickly.

Add to Cart and Checkout

Thanks to these features, your customers can add products to the cart and pay for them. Everything is like in an actual grocery store.

Several Payment Options

Add multiple payment methods to make life easier for your customers. These can be, for example, credit and debit cards, digital wallets, or cash on delivery.

Online Wallet

An online wallet is another feature that you can integrate into your grocery delivery application. Thanks to it, users can effortlessly pay for purchases without leaving your platform.

Discount Cards and Coupons

This feature will help you win the favor of your customers. So remember to add discount cards or coupons to your app.

Delivery Tracking

Grocery delivery app development company

Thanks to this feature, customers can track the status of their orders in real-time. And built-in geolocation will help them see exactly where the delivery guy is.

Choice of Delivery Time Interval

Adding an option to set an interval for order delivery is a good idea. In this way, customers will be able to schedule their purchases for a specific time.

Purchase History

Build a grocery delivery app

Thanks to this feature, your users can conveniently view the list of their orders. You can also allow them to repeat previous purchases.

Rating and Reviews

This feature is a decision-making factor for customers. Let the users be able to view the ratings and reviews about the stores and choose the one that suits them best.

Help and Support

In case of any questions or problems, allow your users to contact the support service.

Push Notifications

Thanks to this feature, your customers will get all the delivery information, special offers notifications, etc. That’s why you need to integrate push notifications into your app.

Virtual Grocery Shopping Experience with AR and VR

If you thought that to build a grocery shopping delivery app, you need to take care of the integration of numerous features, then you are correct. Such applications consist of many elements and require separate functionality for each.

But if you have mastered the must-have features and are considering what else to add to your app, pay attention to AR and VR.

Augmented reality, or AR, allows you to supplement the real-world environment with computer-generated content.

Virtual reality, or VR, is a technology that allows you to create a completely simulated environment to be explored in 360 degrees.

What do these technologies have to do with grocery delivery app development? They can be a great addition to your app.

Just imagine that your customers can view the available products in 3D as if they have already bought them. Or, for example, to see how this or that product will look on the shelf of their refrigerator.

AR and VR are growing innovations already used in many industries, and eCommerce is no exception. Thus, you can implement this in your application.

Food and Grocery Delivery App Design Tips

What makes a decent UI/UX or web design for a grocery delivery app? Let’s see some best practices.

Smooth Navigation

In the application, with various stores and numerous products on display, well-thought-out navigation is a must. Simplicity should be noticeable throughout the app, from quick registration to finding the necessary products.

Think carefully about what the buyer’s journey will be in your software solution. Also, make all the features of your platform easily accessible.

Detailed Product Description

High-quality product photos are just half of your journey to success. Ensure all products are well described and that the buyer has no additional questions after viewing the product card. You can also significantly improve the shopping experience by providing video reviews.


Another thing that will bring your app design to perfection is interactivity. Use animations, engaging notifications, and interactive elements in your application to keep users on your platform for as long as possible.

Tech Stack for Your Grocery Delivery App

Must-have features and design are just some things to consider before actually learning how to create a grocery delivery app. What else should you pay attention to? Discover the suggested tech stack for your application.

Frontend development: Angular or React

Mobile development: Swift for iOS, Kotlin for Android operating system

Backend development: PHP or Node JS

Database: MySQL or MongoDB

Grocery store listings: Spoonacular Food API

Delivery time: Google Matrix API

Email notifications: Sendgrid

Push notifications: Firebase

Geolocation: Google Maps

Payment gateways: Stripe, PayPal

Cloud environment for SaaS based apps: Azure, Google Cloud, AWS

It’s an approximate technology stack you can use in grocery delivery or booking app development. Yet, you may select other tools following your app requirements and budget.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart

The last thing you should know to learn how to create an app like Instacart is an approximate development cost. Keep in mind that there are some critical factors 

influencing the final price.

As a rule, grocery delivery app development cost depends on the following:

  • Number and complexity of features
  • Selected tech stack
  • Development team salary rates

Let’s look at the development process step-by-step. Then, we’ll provide you with the approximate costs of each phase.

Step 1. Discovery & UI/UX Design

Time: 280 hours

Cost: $11 200

It is the first step from which you start developing a grocery delivery app. This stage involves validating your concept, thoroughly studying the market and competitors, and researching your audience. In this step, you identify the strengths of your app that will set you apart from others like Instacart and highlight your unique value proposition.

This stage also involves creating the design of your platform. To develop native applications, you must handle the UI/UX for iOS and Android separately. To create a cross-platform one, you should develop universal design solutions. At the end of this step, you get mockups of your platform.

Step 2. Development

Time: 640 hours

Cost: $25 600

In this step, your developers turn the mockups into a working solution. They implement all the platform features and necessary elements using your chosen tech stack. At the end of this stage, you get a minimum viable product (MVP).

Step 3. Testing & Market Launch

Time: 240 hours 

Cost: $9 600

Your QA specialists check the grocery delivery app for various bugs at this stage. After your team finds bugs, they immediately fix them, bringing your software to perfection.

After your software solution is entirely ready, you launch it on the market. Your team monitors the launch and does everything to make it go as smoothly as possible.

Step 4. Technical Documentation

Time: 40 hours

Cost: $1 600

It is the last step of developing a grocery delivery app. It includes creating all the documentation for the application, particularly the product manual.

Let's summarize all of these in the table below:

Development Stages




Discovery & Research

280 hours

$11 200



640 hours

$25 600



240 hours

$9 600


Creating technical documentation

40 hours

$1 600


1 200 hours (5 month)

$48 800 

These are rough costs if you want to make your own grocery delivery app. Do you require more precise estimations? Contact the Softermii team.

Choosing a Grocery Delivery App Development Company

Need someone to develop a mobile app for grocery delivery? Here are a few tips that will help you hire the right candidate for this job:

  • Ensure the dev company has prior experience in your niche
  • Make sure of the experts’ qualifications and skills
  • Study the vendor’s portfolio and clients’ feedback

We’ll help you significantly simplify your search. Softermii is an experienced grocery delivery app builder with many-year expertise in the eCommerce niche. Our experts successfully delivered the following projects:


How to create a grocery delivery app

Hollar is a discount retail platform. Here, users can easily find inexpensive products and order them directly to their homes.

Our team worked on improving Android and iOS MVPs, significantly expanding the functionality of these mobile applications. We have also updated the UI/UX of this platform.

As a result, we created an addictive and entertaining app with top functionality.

Dollar Shave Club

Develop a mobile app for grocery delivery

Dollar Shave Club is a company that sells razors and facial products for men. They don’t have brick-and-mortar stores and deliver all their goods online.

Our team improved the UI/UX of the Dollar Shave Club iOS app. In addition, we developed an Android app from scratch, conducted all the necessary testing, and rolled out a top-notch product.

As a result, we managed to increase the number of users from 3,900 to 500,000 and raise the overall level of customer satisfaction.


Create a grocery delivery app

Esthetic is a female underwear retail platform. It offers a quick checkout process, an intuitive design, and AI content personalization.

Currently, our team is working on the development of a mobile and web application. This platform is backed with multi-warehouse support, scalable cloud infrastructure, and a CRM system. Esthetic also offers worldwide shipping options to its customers.

Final Thoughts

Grocery delivery app development is a promising endeavor today. Your business will only benefit, considering this market’s rapid growth and the mass transition to online shopping.

As you can see, grocery delivery apps are multifaceted platforms with separate features for customers, store owners, and delivery staff. The development of such software requires careful attention and profound expertise.

If you need someone who can provide that expertise, then Softermii is here to help. Our background in eCommerce, including delivery software development, will enable us to create an online grocery app for you. So don’t hesitate to contact our team.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you compete with an app like Instacart?

It would help if you considered your business model and app type carefully. You should be ready for the increased competition and anticipate all limitations before the software development process.

How long does it take to develop an app like Instacart?

Considering the numerous elements and features such apps require, it will take at least six months to make an app like Instacart.

How many team members does it take to develop an app like Instacart?

As a rule, you require one or two mobile developers, one backend developer, one or two designers, two QA experts, and one project manager. So you need six to eight people to build a grocery delivery app.

Do I need to integrate payment gateways for a grocery delivery app?

Yes, payment gateways are a must in grocery delivery app development.

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