Create a grocery delivery app ( guide 2021 )

Our clients become grocery delivery industry leaders by using solutions we help them build.

Why create a grocery delivery app

Grocery app market is an industry that develops really fast. If you already have Grocery business it’s time to create an app for it. There’s another model of grocery delivery: you can build an app, provide delivery support and collaborate with shops and supermarkets. We prepared some facts which can show you that this business is very profitable.
Look at the statistics
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What can we see here?
  • About 22 billion dollars- that is the total sum for online grocery sales in 2019. By 2021 this number is expected to increase to 29.7 billion.
  • The growth of online grocery business is rapid. In the beginning, it was about 6 billion but doubled in four years.
A little bit more statistics:
  • According to Business insider, 10% of consumers in US use online grocery shops every day.
  • Using OneSpace research, we learned that the average basket size is $72. In fact, it’s 30% higher than in physical shops.
In conditions of COVID-19, people need grocery delivery apps to have the opportunity to get products from their favorite online shops.
With a grocery delivery app you can:
  1. Support small grocery shops. Considering this unusual situation, you can assist small grocers to run their business with help of your grocery delivery app. And you can make a great profit from it: many grocery apps deliver food from supermarkets. But you can be original and deal with small shops.
  2. Encourage Keeping Social Distance. You can contribute to stop spreading the viruses by providing users with a secure and easy customer experience.
  3. Reduce the rate of unemployment. Grocery delivery systems provide opportunities for different segments of the population.
  4. Provide fast delivery. Your clients will always be satisfied: usually grocery apps deliver products on the same day.

How a grocery delivery app works

If you want to start your own grocery delivery business, we’re glad to show you how it works.
How a grocery delivery app works
  1. Making an order. First of all, a consumer downloads your grocery delivery app to his phone. It’s not hard to do using AppStore or Google Play. Then he puts products from different sections of your online shop in his virtual basket. He can pay online right in the app: he types his billing information. Then he also fills in the field with a shipping address.
  2. Processing and implementation. Your app processes the order and sends it directly to a shopper (it can be your employee, or contractor: depends on your business system). This person goes to a warehouse of a local shop with the shopping list and buys products.
  3. Delivery. The shopper delivers the order in his own car or gives it to a delivery driver. The driver who delivers orders according to his roadmap arrives at the consumer’s address and gives the order. If the payment wasn’t collected and the consumer wants to pay cash, the driver provides the receipt.

How a grocery delivery app makes money

It’s very important to set your grocery delivery app business model. In other words, ways you can make money on it. We revealed four reliable ways:
  1. One of the most popular business model is subscription. Membership fee in many services is about $100 per year. There’s also a monthly option: from $10 to $14. For consumers it’s a good way to save money on delivery. This subscription gives extra benefit of free delivery for orders of a certain price, and other valuable bonuses.
  2. For those who do not often use online grocery delivery, applications introduce a commission and delivery cost. Usually this amount is a certain percentage of the order. Some platforms charge a fixed price. In both cases, it may depend on the order size and location.
  3. The second way to make money in your delivery app is setting higher prices than in local stores or supermarkets to offset delivery expenses. And the smallest margin is going to contribute considerably to sales volume.
  4. You can try to get revenue from sponsors and advertising if you do not want to charge extra for delivery and have a fair price, but still need to make your business profitable. If a consumer doesn’t want to see adverts, offer him an option to purchase a membership.
During the pandemic, people try to leave their homes and appear in public places less and less. Grocery delivery is now one of the key decisions that people make every day. To reduce the number of cases, owners of delivery applications created new functionality.
For example, in 2020, some of the latest and very important innovations were:

Contactless Delivery

If a consumer wants to get the order without personal contact with a delivery driver, he may choose this option in the app and his products will be left at the front door.

Delivery Drones

The same contactless delivery, but imagine that your grocery bag arrives at your place with the drone. This is only the beginning of the era of robotic grocery delivery, but it’s also obvious that it will become a promising business very soon.


When the number of COVID-19 cases increases, the number of essential goods on the shelves of shops begins to decrease significantly. Therefore, now people need to plan the purchase of such goods in advance with the pre-order function in the application.

Priority for seniors

Due to the fact that senior people are at risk and most vulnerable to the virus, their grocery delivery order is given the highest priority.

TOP grocery delivery app features

Top grocery delivery app features
In order for customers to be happy with your delivery application and constantly return for online purchases, it must have the following functionality:

Must-have features

  • Quick Sign-up. A customer's first move is to sign-in and sign up, so you can make it easier adding an option to sign via Google, Facebook or other accounts. Your clients won’t waste time to make a new account for your delivery app, they’ll just do it in one click.
  • Advanced Search and Categorization. The improved search option gives the user a short list of items that are used in house and mostly searched. This feature doesn’t only save time, but also gives the consumers the idea of their shopping list and helps to make it better.
  • Push notifications. This feature helps notify the users about discounts, trends and festive offers. Push notifications remind the customer “Launch the app and make a purchase”.
  • Recommendation System. According to Google Marketing Research, 63% of app users are ready to buy products that the recommendation system offers them. You can examine acquisitions of similar users using AI and make more precise offers. Users will follow your advice and make a purchase in a moment, rather than wasting hours looking for a product.
  • Secure and quick payment. Having a quick and stable payment gateway is also an important feature for a grocery delivery mobile app. To provide this payment without problem you can add options like Apple Pay and other e-wallets, cards and different resources. Don’t forget to provide a check after that and make a “pay cash” function.

Original features

  • Share your shopping list. Your customers will be able to share their shopping list with their friends or family with just one click without missing something or spare copying.
  • GPS order tracking. It is impossible to predict when exactly the order will be delivered. You can let your customers go about their personal business with the in-app order tracking feature.
  • Ingredients for recipes. People choose a recipe and get a layout of the ingredients they can order using your grocery delivery app. You can also collaborate with recipe sites. This is very profitable from a marketing point of view because it will bring you new users.

Best examples of a grocery delivery app

We made the list of the most popular grocery delivery apps and highlighted their key features:


Provides same-day delivery 24/7.


We may compare it with Uber in the grocery delivery market. Your personal shoppers buy products for you and deliver them with their own cars. Instacart allows doing shopping by recipe.

Amazon Prime Now

In addition to food, you can order household items. In most cases, Amazon Prime Now delivers goods from Amazon, but sometimes you can choose local stores.


This online store is structured by "aisles". The majority of Peapod's inventory is stored in the company's own storage facilities, you can simply avoid some of the delivery costs if you pick up your own orders.

Fresh Direct

It’s a delivery platform that tends to focus on freshness. For many of its products, Fresh Direct provides descriptive information, so you can definitely know how your food reached you.

A technology stack for a grocery delivery app

The success of a mobile application largely depends on the choice of technologies for its development. They predetermine the viability and competitiveness of the app, its functionality, scalability and maintenance complexity.
Mobile platforms: iOS or Android
  • Frontend iOS Development – Objective-C, Swift, React Native + JavaScript / TypeScript
  • Frontend Android Development – Java or Kotlin, Ionic (Angular.js)
Database: SQLite, Realm DB, MongoDB,Firebase
Analytics: BigData, Hadoop, Cisco, Spark
Verification system (phone and sms): Twilio, Plivo, Sinch, Nexmo
Payment methods: E-wallets, PayPal, Apple Pay
Push notifications:
Here at Exceed Team we provide App development at affordable prices.
Contact us to learn more.

Cost to create a grocery delivery app

The cost of grocery delivery app varies depending on following factors:

Complexity of the App.

In other words, features you want to build in it.

Design and Testing.

For sure, you need to hire a UI/UX designer that creates a user-friendly interface for your clients to get the best customer experience and return over and over again.Testing helps to check such non-functional requirements as performance, security, automation, usability and integration. It's a very important part of launching an app.

Mobile Platforms.

Android, preceded by iOS, is the world's most commonly used smartphone OS. The cost of creating the software for Android or iOS platforms does not vary significantly, although there is a major difference in the screen size, resolution, and hardware capabilities in the Android. But if you want to have a big and diverse audience, you better start developing your grocery delivery app for both mobile platforms.Though, this would have a substantial effect on the budget.

Development Team Size and Region.

The development team's size is directly related to the quantity of work to be done. We can evaluate this by the numbers of hours needed to develop a feature. For example:
Development Step Hours
iOS development 650-850
Android development 600-800
Backend development 350+
Admin panel development 50-70
Testing & Quality Check 50-150
The cost of app development depends greatly on the development team's region. The cheapest price for a developer’s hour is in India and Pakistan: about $30. In Eastern Europe developers get $30 to $100 per hour. The highest price you can pay for app development in the US: $70 to $150.
So the overall average cost of a grocery delivery app will be about $20000+ with developers from India. Eastern Europe developers can offer you a price beginning with $40000+ depending on the complexity of your idea.
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