Build app like Postmates

Postmates is one of the most popular on-demand platforms that also provides grocery and food delivery. Their unique technologies make them one of the leaders in the delivery market. Want to know why? Read the article to the end and find out what makes Postmates delivery app special.
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Table of contents

Background of Postmates

The founders of Postmates have been working in mobile companies for many years. They dreamed of the idea of ​​creating a delivery app for merchants. Their goal was to bring sellers and their customers together in a way that never existed before. This dream came true as soon as smartphones and applications began to appear as we know them now.
First of all, it was an interface for sellers, then it was decided to create an interface for users. After doing some analytics, Postmates saw that shoppers most often use their app to order food. Thus, people began to perceive Postmates as a food delivery platform, however, it is not. Postmates is one of the U.S. on-demand delivery companies. Bastian Lehmann, the co-founder of Postmates, calls the company “anti-Amazon” because they work with local stores in contrast to Amazon which has its own warehouses. “We like to take the city and use it as a warehouse” - he says.
In the middle of 2020, one of the most world-famous logistic company Uber bought Postmates for almost $7 billion thus capturing a niche that was new for them- grocery and restaurant meal delivery.

How an app like Postmates makes money

Postmates benefits from making their client base wider by partnering with local restaurants, while a commission charge for the food delivery helps Postmates to gain a margin on every order.
Postmates also takes a service cost at the rate of 9% per order. Depending on the delivery time and distance, Postmate drivers receive 80 percent of the delivery charges per order.
To sum up, the delivery fee, merchant agreements, and service charge are therefore the sources of revenue. This business model was created to benefit every participant-the merchant, the driver, and surely the company itself.

How does Postmates app work

How does postmates app work
The principles of Postmates are pretty clear and straightforward. After the client has installed the application on the phone, he browses goods in the online store. He puts it in the basket and places an order. After that, he chooses the way of payment: for example, online with an e-wallet or by cash. When the payment is confirmed, the order is sent to an able and nearest Postmate to provide quick delivery. This process is called “stacking”, when the algorithm determines a Postmate that will take the least amount of time, depending on their current location, to pick up and ship the order.
Postmates differs from other delivery services in its special algorithm: it predicts exactly how much time it takes for a merchant to complete the order and delivery time based on the current Postmate location even if he’s on his way to his next point to pick up the order, then it compares more than one Postmates and offers order to the nearest one. This approach helps save a lot of time and also increase efficiency. When a Postmate takes an order from his smartphone, the customer can track its way right to him.

Core features of the Postmates app

Many applications for the delivery of food create different interfaces for restaurants or stores, couriers, and buyers. We present you these three model solutions which include all the key features you need based on our experience in the development of food delivery apps and also studying leading companies and the latest industry trends.

Simple and quick registration

That’s the moment when a customer starts to learn your app. Save his time and integrate quick sign up/sign in with Gmail, Facebook, or other accounts.

Payment system

Today every online store has a payment with e-wallets or cards. Use the most popular systems for your app like Apple Pay, PayPal, or Google Pay to make it user friendly. Also, don’t forget to provide support for different cards and the function of choosing a card to pay during making a purchase.

Order description

Add the function to comment on the order for your customer to provide additional information as well as let him choose the delivery option: for example, contactless delivery.

History of previous orders

This feature can help your customers reorder products without picking them up again and again. For this purpose, you may also build the Favourite products feature which allows marking some products on-demand and keep them on one page from where a client can easily order them.

Delivery tracker and timer

These features absolutely increase customer loyalty. Your clients shouldn’t worry about their everyday routine because they can calculate their time right. Your delivery app will be appreciated especially by working professionals who are, as you remember, our target audience.

Reviews

Let your customers write reviews for the products they like or for couriers.

Chat with couriers and the support center

If a customer is late for home to accept the order or a delivery driver is stuck in a traffic jam, a chat will help solve these problems and come to an agreement. In case of emergency, a user needs to report to the help center. So also see about the help center’s chat integration to make your contact search easier for a client.
The app version for a restaurant or a store can contain such features:
  • Features for content management. Restaurants or shop staff should be able to quickly change their content in your app: for instance, their menu or products, prices, photos, special offers, and other important details.
  • Features for order management. It’s a special dashboard for admins to see the existing orders and update their statuses. Besides, making auto real-time alerts for completed orders, canceled orders, and orders out for delivery can also be good functionality.
  • Interaction with clients and couriers. Provide contact between shops and delivery drivers. The auto-notification when the order is ready to pick up will be a great solution.
Chat with couriers and the support center
Couriers’ app interface may have the following features:
  • Registration.It’s very important for your customer to know that a delivery driver is approved by the company. For example, ask couriers to take a selfie with their documents to make sure it is a real person.
  • Orders panel. Show couriers all available orders and their details. If you want your employees to be happy, add a sorting function by time, location, etc.
  • Interaction with shops/restaurants and clients. This feature is necessary to notify restaurants and shops when a delivery driver is on his way to pick up the order and also to let customers know that the order is going to them.

How to start an app like Postmates

You decided to make your own app like Postmates. What are your next steps? We’ll help you make a plan right now.
  1. Think about your product. Set goals. Make a plan on how to promote and monetize your app. Answer the question: What problem it should solve? What features do you want to build in it?
  2. Define your target audience.
  3. Hire a team of developers and choose the technology stack.
  4. While the team is working on a technical part, look for clients among restaurants and grocery stores, negotiate and get investments.
  5. After your product is ready, find people to work with, i.o. delivery drivers. Remember that there are a lot of young people full of energy and interested in part-time jobs. Collect reviews for your employees and reward the best workers to motivate the whole team.

Postmates's target audience

One of the first things every startup owner should do is to answer the question “Who is my customer?”. Without determining the target audience, the whole business may fail, even if the idea is brilliant.
For the food delivery apps, as Postmates is, the main target is students or busy professionals who haven’t enough time to cook for themselves. In general, they are young people under 35 who actively use technologies in their everyday life.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people can’t leave their houses on their own choice to save lives. So middle-aged and even senior people have to order grocery and food delivery. The target audience of such apps expanded and gave food delivery companies an opportunity to grow.

Technology stack for an app like Postmates

The success you may achieve with your application is mostly predetermined by the technology stack you use to build it. For on-demand delivery apps like Postmates you may need:
Frontend development. For iOS version of your product: React Native, Swift, Objective-C, Xamarin. For Android version: React Native, Kotlin, С/С++, PhoneGap.
Backend services. Firebase, GraphQL, Rest API.
Sign In. Gmail SDK, Facebook CDK.
Location. Google Maps
Push notifications. Push.io
Payment. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay

Other apps like apps like Postmates

In the pandemic period, the delivery market gained traction and the competition level increased. Here is the list of the most popular delivery apps in 2020:
grubhub.com/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer, nofollow">Grubhub is one of the main competitors for Postmates. After a user enters his location in the app, he’ll see all the restaurants in the area. He can also choose a cuisine type or a particular menu item. A user can also add his location to favorites and name it, for example, “home” or “work”.
UberEats took many features from Uber: estimated delivery time, cashless payments. It has a wide network in many cities where people appreciate the app for its usability.
Doordash works as Grubhub. It is a user-friendly app with a good and simple interface, that provides contactless delivery as the default option.
Instacart provides quick grocery delivery from local stores. A user makes an order and a shopper completes it in the store.
Delivery.com another delivery app that has a reward program for repeated use.

Cost to build app like Postmates

The cost of building an app like Postmates from scratch depends on several factors: the number of features you want to build, on a mobile platform you choose (iOS, Android, or both) and also on the size of the development team and its location (mind a designer and QA tester). The development of an average delivery app will be about $50000 if you hire developers from Eastern Europe.

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