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Grocery App Development: Create On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart.

Revolutionizing the on-demand ecosystem is by no means an easy task. It takes a killer idea, hours upon hours of planning and research, and spot-on execution to leave a mark on the on-demand industry. With technological advancements flying in from all directions every day, the competition is burning through the roof at rates unimaginable. In such fierce conditions, building platforms to disrupt an entire industry, let alone two, is a mammoth task. Why two, you say? Because your grocery delivery app development project will look to affect not only the on-demand sector but also the groceries and agriculture services industry.

Grocery App Development: Create On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart.

The rise of On-Demand Grocery Delivery Apps like Instacart.

Gone are the days when people used to go full Michelangelo and use paper lists for shopping. Having a grocery shopping list through apps like instacart is important, as it reminds you to buy everything that you want, and saves you from buying stuff that you don’t need. Incorporating this into an on-demand grocery delivery app like instacart is one of the many features developers could look towards utilizing if they are trying to make the most of their grocery app development project.

The popularity of smartphones has led to these drastic changes occurring in the way people shop. Up until very recently (2012), most people used paper lists for their shopping purposes, there was no grocery store mobile apps back then. It was around that time that grocery apps boomed, and have been popular ever since. Instacart and Postmates are good examples of successful on-demand grocery delivery app platforms, well developed and stacked to the brim with features. Let’s try to understand the origin of on-demand grocery delivery apps and then we can look into the nitty-gritty of on-demand grocery app development.

The birth of the grocery app concept

Let us discuss the story of Paul.

Paul works with an awesome tech startup which just crossed a $10 million valuation. Unsurprisingly, he comes home late at night on working days, so he usually does his shopping on weekends. Since Paul is not as tech-savvy as you would expect people these days to be, he relies on his memory to remember what all he has to buy on a trip to the supermarket. One fine day, his girlfriend was coming over for dinner. He knew she loved wine, so he thought to himself, “I’ll get the finest bottle of wine when I go to the supermarket. Oh, and a lovely cheese to go with it! Sounds fantastic!”

It was Saturday. His girlfriend was about to arrive in an hour. He decided to go to the supermarket.

Guess what?

He forgot to bring the wine and cheese. Who came to his aid? Enter On-Demand grocery delivery apps like Instacart. The top-rated grocery delivery and shopping app on google play suggested to him by his best friend Max.

He got what he wanted in minutes, and he did not forget even a thing. Thus, the day was saved! This is why going ahead with an on-demand grocery app development project is a great idea.

This short story or incident serves as a reminder of the importance of grocery apps in our lives. They may be one of the most underrated on-demand app concepts that exist right now. The whole concept of the on-demand grocery app development revolves around delivering essential items such as fruit, vegetables, oils, spices, and other grocery items to people without having them to step out of their houses or make lists.

The hunt for convenience is what gave birth to the on-demand app sector, couple that with shopping, and you have a pretty intriguing on-demand grocery delivery app like Instacart in your hand. The impact that e-commerce had on the product industry can be viewed as similar to the impact on-demand apps have had on the services industry. Grocery deliveries are no different. With current top players such as Instacart and Postmates booming, it is safe to assume that the sector will continue to bloom into one of the most happening industries to date. Hope this story of Paul helped you realize the potential of on-demand grocery app development.


Grocery App Development: Create On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart.


A transformation in grocery shopping

The current generation wants to shop trouble-free, in the most convenient manner. This is what makes the idea of creating a grocery store and supermarkets app so popular. Gone are the days when people took long-haul trips to the supermarket and bought the whole month’s ration, all in one go with the on-demand grocery delivery app.

Millennials do not want to go to overcrowded grocery stores, nor do they want to waste their time in long checkout lines, and they most certainly do not want the hassle of carrying around heavyweights of grocery from the store to their homes. The bottom line is, the current generation called out for a revolution in the way they buy their groceries, and the world listened. Entrepreneurs and developers set out to transform the grocery shopping concept, by adding the on-demand factor to it. Two heads are better than one, aren’t they?

Enough jibber-jabber. Let us get into what really matters for those who want to pursue grocery app development as a business idea. How to create on-demand grocery shopping and delivery app? Read on to find out.


Key elements of on-demand grocery delivery apps.

In order to create an on-demand grocery, the app takes a lot of hard work and a deep understanding of what goes on behind the scene. To aid this, we have divided the structure of a typical on-demand grocery app development into three major parts. Let us look at them one by one.


The Customer App

This is the app for the end users; the one which will be hosted on the play store or app store for the world to see. Now, the development process for such an app must be up to the mark- the app must be stacked to the brim with excellent features, feel easy to use and must be easy on the eye. General features included in on-demand applications will be just fine, however, optimizations for the grocery concept need to be made. These are the very basic requirements for successful on-demand grocery app development.

After the simple-but-necessary login/registration process, users should be able to select their location and view all supermarkets or hypermarkets in their locality. Listing of items and categories should be done in such a way that the user intuitively figures out how to move around the different screens. Searching for a product in the store should return relevant results; the ‘add to cart/shopping list’ option must be in plain sight.

After the user checks out, he/she should be able to view the order status and track the order from your on-demand grocery delivery app like instacart, right up until it reaches his/her home. This is the most basic flow of actions that one can expect from a successful on-demand grocery app development.

Besides the aforementioned, order history, push notifications about offers and deals, discounts and other nifty little features, if incorporated into the grocery app development process, can really help your app become one of the best in the business.

Grocery App Development: Create On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart.

The web panel

In most cases, a standalone mobile customer app is enough to gain and hold a strong user base. However, it only makes sense to incorporate a web panel along with your mobile app, just to give your platform another selling point; another dimension.To understand the need of web panel in your on-demand grocery app development, consider major ecommerce giants such as Amazon started out with a website before moving on to mobile apps, why not start out with both so that when the time comes, you seamlessly transition into an ecommerce giant if needs be? Maybe that’s just wishful thinking, but what harm is it to be prepared for everything?

The next order of business in grocery app development would be the flow of data, which would have to be almost the same with the registration, location and market choosing, selection of items, shopping list and cart features, checkout and payment.

The only difference here for customers would be the visual aspect, and any other UI related changes. For developers, web development would be a whole new ballgame. If you as a mobile developer do not have adequate experience or knowledge of the web development domain, it would make sense to hire someone who does. These were the considerations for creating web panel for your on-demand grocery delivery platform.


The administrator side of things

Grocery App Development: Create On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart.

Administrator accounts require special privileges for the routine performance and maintenance of your on-demand grocery delivery app like Instacart. In a grocery store design app, the administrator is responsible for some major things, a few of which are listed below. Here’s a list of things you should remember in grocery app development.

      a.  Managing products, adding or removing listings, and handling inventory
       b. Handling payments of all forms, be it credit cards, net banking, or mobile wallets
       c. Managing notifications being sent out to users (proofreading, SMS/email settings)
       d. Managing orders received by forwarding correct orders to the respective vendors, receiving confirmations and relaying them to customers
        e. Managing customer details
        f. Routine performance analysis and maintenance

Also Read: Fitness App Development

Another important thing to remember in your on-demand grocery app development is that Help and support staff may also in some cases be handed out administrator privileges, in order to fix common grievances to customers, without the direct involvement of administrators.

This allows them to proceed with more important tasks such as keeping the system running and managing the data, while the help and support staff cater to requests and complaints from users. It is to be noted that administrator account credentials, thus, must not be shared with unknown or untrusted sources. Data Security is going to be a very crucial aspect of your on-demand grocery app development.

The Delivery App

This is the app which would be used by affiliated merchants and drivers. It needs to offer a whole different set of functionalities than the customer side of things, for obvious reasons. Login and registration features are perhaps the only common point between the two apps. All-in-All, creating the delivery app is the most important phase of your on-demand grocery app development project. The data flow to keep in mind during the on-demand grocery app development goes like this-

The driver logins into the app using his/her unique credentials. When an order arrives, he/she goes to the concerned store, updates his/her status as ‘reached the store’ and then receives the order. Using GPS or other tracking features, the driver can then find the fastest route to the customer’s place of delivery, with real-time location tracking making it easy for the user to know where the driver currently is. Different presets for the delivery status could make it easier for drivers to update their status every time they make a move. “Waiting”, “On the way”, and “Delivered” are a few of the presets that could be included with the driver affiliate app.

All the elements need to work in cohesion with each other. The servers you employ need to be equipped in order to handle multiple requests from all platforms, be it the customer panel, the admin accounts or the driver delivery app. Achieving synchronisation between all platforms is the next step after designing and development of these platforms individually. Now, this can be done in a number of other ways and combinations. All that matters is that it should be aligned with your grocery app development goals.

Once that is done, we could look at the essential features that a competitive grocery platform should look to incorporate. This is nothing but a summation of all the features that we’ve talked about in the aforementioned 4 categories, considering the platform as a single unit. Let’s get into it.

Also Read: Laundry App Development

Types and features of a competitive grocery app platform



On the basis of the functions they perform, you can choose one of the following business models when you choose to take on grocery app development –

  1. Marketplaces –  They have their own menus and delivery drivers to take orders from and deliver them to customers. This is probably the most suitable business model for you if you don’t happen to have any prior business related to grocery and just want to pursue grocery app development. 
  2. Aggregators – They list all nearby grocery stores or supermarkets and their menus on their platform, allowing the customer to order from whichever store he/she wants. Usually, they hire affiliate drivers to do their deliveries, but the responsibility of fulfilling the orderlies solely with the store itself.
  3. Grocery chains – The big players such as Target or Walmart have their own grocery app platform to take orders and deliver them to customers.
  4. Single store – Here, the store owner has his/her own grocery store app, and is in charge of everything, from taking orders, taking payments to get the stuff delivered to his/her customers.

Looking at the big picture, it emerges that a few categories of essential features can be formed as you continue with grocery app development, depending upon what purpose that particular set of features serves.

  1.      Individual identification and details

This set of features contains everything related to the customer using your platform. Sign in, registrations, data storage, profile edit features, phone and email verification, two-factor authentication, and social media connections are all features that come under this category. They are essential as they help in the identification of legitimate orders, and in contacting the concerned customer in case of any issue with orders.

  1.      Location features

Using GPS or other location detection tools, location features can be included in both the customer app and the delivery app. When working in cohesion, status updates on the driver app will be visible to the customer app, so that the users know where their order currently is. Location detection would also assist in adding saved addresses for customers so that they do not have to enter their location again and again while ordering.

  1.      Payment

Incorporating all types of payment methods is probably good practice. This will only help in the expansion of your user base since you will be able to cater to customers using a wide variety of payment options. Credit and debit cards, net banking, mobile wallets, PayPal and others are some essential payment options that are commonplace in today’s grocery apps.

[Payment Gateway Integration in Mobile Apps]

  1.      Reviewing and support

For any problems that users may have, rating and reviewing services along with the help and support staff must be competent enough to solve them. Sometimes it may even happen that the admin panel or the drivers face difficulties in using their app. Therefore, the help and support system must be extended to all the 4 platforms discussed prior to this section, and not only the customer side of things.

Grocery App Development: Create On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart.

What’s in it for customers?

We would like to think that we’ve sold grocery apps enough in this article to convince users to get rid of their pen-and-paper habits and adopt mobile solutions. If somehow, you are still not over the line, we have you covered. Summarising all the benefits that users can harness from a competitive mobile grocery app development-

  1.      Accessibility at its peak, with all products just a tap away
  2.      Instant notifications on deals and discounts
  3.      No need to step out of the house and use ancient shopping lists
  4.      The convenience of the highest order
  5.      All kinds of products right at your doorstep
  6.       Reviews and ratings to help you choose the best products

For developers, there is only one thing left to do before going ahead with on-demand grocery app development. Analyse and make sure that your app offers all the six benefits to customers listed above. This was the sole reason for stating these benefits so that developers learn to step into the shoes of their customers and emulate how they think. This would certainly help them gain a better understanding of what customers expect from an on-demand grocery store and delivery app like instacart, and thus aid developers in the whole process.


Design considerations

This is something for the UI/UX designers out there who are involved in on-demand grocery app development. While building the grocery app designs, keeping in mind some basic design considerations would help in putting a better end-product out there. Remember, users love to see stuff that is easy on the eye, and does what they want. Keeping it short and simple, these are the things you should have on your UI/UX checklist for on-demand grocery app development:

  •        Utilizing animations
  •        Clean transitions
  •        A clear flow of action on button presses
  •        Smooth swiping and scrolling
  •        Displaying only relevant information on one screen

These are a few main design considerations to remember while planning the layout of your app.

How Sodio can help?

Sodio has worked upon numerous on-demand app development in the part and our product managers, developers, and designers are able to craft amazing solutions for our clients. Our experience with building Android and iOS apps in other sectors too prove out to be amazingly helpful. If you are looking to pursue on-demand grocery app development, feel free to get in touch with us.

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