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

Updated 18 Apr 2024
Published 24 Nov 2023
Satyam Chaturvedi 1982 Views
Cost to Develop Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart

A online grocery delivery app called Instacart helps grocery stores and customers with online purchasing and delivery monitoring procedures for various goods, including drinks, office goods, seafood, and more.

With the Instacart app, customers can explore, shop, and order goods for delivery or collection from town, local, and national stores. After a consumer completes an order, the retail sector uses Instacart’s network of merchants to finish the order.

Why Build an App like Instacart?

A grocery purchase and delivery software called Instacart seeks to make it simple to stock your cupboard and freezer with your preferred groceries and essentials whenever you require them.

How does the grocery app Instacart work? Individual shoppers assess your order once you place it through the Instacart application, purchase it for you in-store, and then ship your items.

The main reasons for creating apps similar to Instacart for online grocery delivery services are as follows:

  • Improve your physical store’s capabilities.
  • Minimizing time and energy
  • Budget-friendly Instacart Business Model 
  • Growth in Customer Loyalty
  • Greater Customer Access

#1 Advantage over rivals

Utilizing a grocery delivery app puts your business at the forefront of technological advancement. It demonstrates your flexibility in adapting business procedures to changing consumer preferences and needs.

In today’s increasingly digital environment, buyers want simplicity and speed in their purchasing experiences.

You can, therefore, with the help of grocery apps like Instacart, set your grocery business apart from competitors who exclusively rely on conventional brick-and-mortar businesses by using a grocery delivery app.

#2 No operational mistakes

Internet programs cannot, whereas a human can make mistakes. Consequently, if a grocery business creates a grocery delivery app, there are no chances for errors. Thanks to the app’s easy navigation and descriptions of each item, customers can purchase products with a single click.

#3 Higher profits

It is an essential component of the grocery delivery app since any offline grocery store can use it to boost profits. It is identical to any other app in a grocery store setting.

A successful grocery delivery service can increase a company’s earnings. Businesses may boost their revenues by developing an app with unique features and designs that attract more users and increase sales.

#4 Market Research and Analysis

The data analytics team at Instacart is instrumental in delivering this terrific buying experience and thus increasing Instacart’s revenue model.

#5 Identifying Target Audience

Currently, the team creates models using transactional data to anticipate what items a user would repurchase, explore for the very first time, or add to their shopping cart after an entire session.

This could be a beneficial strategy for both the customers and the retailers. Customers of Instacart are frequently looking for an easy way to buy groceries and other household items from their neighborhood retailers without having to leave their houses.

Customers can pick up their items from the shop, pay to have them delivered, or sign up for Instacart to receive free deliveries above $35.

All types of people can fall into this category of Instacart users, including those who value their time highly or don’t have convenient access to a means of grocery transportation.

Instacart app for shoppers estimates shoppers spend about 60 hours a year buying in-store; many solutions add value by saving customers’ time.

#6 Studying Competitors and Benefit Shoppers

By offering employees flexible options to make additional or primary income, Instacart draws customers. Shoppers can work as independent contractors and receive payment for each batch finished, or they can choose to work for Instacart and receive hourly pay (up to 29 hours).

According to the research, customers of Instacart have earned more than $15 billion overall since the service’s start. Instacart seeks to stand out from rivals as a job alternative in the gig economy.

#7 Expose Brands

Instacart attracts brands by offering a fresh platform for exposure and promotion. By reaching out to new customers and promoting their goods, brands can raise their profile and boost their revenue.

You may also like: Online Grocery Delivery Business Challenges & Solutions.

Core Features and Functionality you should add to make an app like Instacart

How do I make an app like Instacart? The standard features that a grocery delivery app should have are:

  • Delivery Monitoring
  • Food and grocery dispatch and Delivery
  • Live Monitoring
  • Online purchasing
  • Order Control
  • Order Monitoring
  • Real-time surveillance
  • Status Monitoring

Features for Customers in Grocery App Similar to Instacart

Features for Customers in Grocery App

  • The customer registration portal allows consumers to register as users, save delivery addresses, and customize their profiles.
  • Items search option: Users can search for products, peruse categories, and filter products based on brand, price, or dietary restrictions.
  • Items listings: Display thorough product descriptions, photos, pricing, and availability data from nearby supermarkets in product listings.
  • Items cart: Users can add and remove things from their shopping carts, change the quantities, and check their orders before paying.
  • Live tracking: Offer immediate notification of their order’s progress, ETA, and reports at significant checkpoints.
  • Multi-Payment Gateways: Support various payment options, including cash on delivery, digital wallets, and credit and debit cards.
  • Schedule deliveries: Consumers may select times that work best for them, whether same-day or planned.

Features for Vendors in App like Instacart

Features for Vendors in Grocery App

  • Registration portal: Allow sellers to register for a profile and add their goods to the app through registration.
  • Product analysis: Assist vendors in adding, editing, and withdrawing commodities from their catalog by providing management of their products.
  • Purchase management: Easily notice and complete user orders.
  • Payment administration: Monitor their income and obtain payments online safely.
  • Customer reviews and feedback: Permit vendors to see the reviews and feedback provided by the customers and reply to them.
  • Language support: Support for several languages is necessary to cater to many users.

Designing the User Experience

What is the user experience?

An app designed primarily to help users organize their grocery shopping efficiently and customize the experience to meet their needs. They may make lists, change orders, communicate shopping information with other users, arrange delivery services to restock refrigerators, and more.

Everything revolves around creating the best possible user experience for grocery store owners and business partners who work with those businesses and make deliveries.

How to create UX design?

The application’s operation and functionality depend heavily on the user experience and interface design. UX professionals create a wireframe or mockup after researching numerous topics such as user personas and interested areas, product specs, and business goals through UX research tools.

Then, to better grasp the app’s functionality and flow, the developers design a prototype. After everything has been negotiated with the primary team, an ending UI is created by skilled UI designers so that the building cycle may continue.

Tips for the User Experience:

Adding an alternate selection option so customers can specify a potential fallback if an item is out of stock, since there will probably be a smaller percentage of orders that are only half fulfilled, will improve user satisfaction.

Development Process: How to Build a Grocery App Like Instacart?

When creating a grocery app, it’s crucial to pick a business model that aids in identifying the kind of app users should pay attention to.

The market, individual stores, aggregators, and supermarket chains are the main factors to consider when discussing a business model.

These factors may also identify the most popular app concepts for businesses:

  • The ones that employ a selection for the users are marketplaces.
  • Users or shoppers conduct their purchases following the menu.
  • Aggregators compile stores into a single database through apps like Shipt and Instacart to assist customers who cannot physically go shopping.
  • Apps for one store focus primarily on repeat customers and loyalty programs. It includes neighborhood convenience stores that provide services to customers.
  • Grocery chains compete with businesses that prioritize organic business growth.

When building a grocery software solution for offline grocery store, keep the following points in mind:

  • Integration with supermarkets and retailers: Working with well-known grocery app development companies can help you reach a wider audience and tap into your current client base.
  • User-friendly layout and intuitive structure: Even inexperienced smartphone users may be drawn in by a user-friendly interface and quick checkout process.
  • Utilize social media networks: Employ influencers to market your app and increase downloads with a strong distribution plan.
  • Provide additional features: Offer in-app decisions or special discounts as part of your approach to monetization to encourage customers to invest extra time and dollars in your application.
  • Analyze user data: Monitor the data continuously to make data-based choices to enhance your app and spur growth.

Considering these aspects and doing extensive market research, you may build a profitable grocery delivery service that competes in the market.

Step-1: Phase of discovery and planning

A thorough planning process is always required before you begin designing the app. First and foremost, you need to decide what kind of grocery-buying application you want to create and what functions would best serve the demands of your target market and your company’s goals.

You must do consumer and industry research at this phase to assess the market’s need for purchasing groceries online. Competitor analysis is essential for determining the gap that older apps have left.

Step-2: Write Down Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

What distinguishes your app from others? Better prices, more options for products, quicker delivery, or a hyperlocal delivery model? Establish your USP to draw clients.

Step-3: Select the Appropriate Development Team

It’s essential to work with a talented development team. Seek specialists in back-end technology, user interface and user experience design, and application building.

Step-4: Front-end Development Language

  • Kotlin and Java for Android
  • C and Swift for the iOS Platform
  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and WebAssembly: For Web App

Step-5: Back-end Development Language:

  • PHP, Java, and Python.

Step-6: Frameworks:

  • TypeScript, Xamarin, and React Native for Android
  • Flutter for iOS
  • Ruby on Rails, Angular, React, and Django for website

Step-7: Installation and testing

Unit testing is undoubtedly done before thorough testing, but complete testing is necessary for software development quality assurance. Therefore, many forms of testing must be carried out before deploying the app.

Quality analysts conduct various tests to find and fix issues, including operational, regression analysis, privacy, integration, and efficiency testing. The software can be released once all bugs have been selected to contend with other companies in the market.

How much does it cost to develop an app like Instacart?

Creating grocery shopping apps like Instacart is a little expensive since it takes time, specialized technical knowledge, and a team of highly qualified coders.

The price of developing a grocery app depends on various factors, including the complexity of the features employed, the target demographic, the number of platforms, and the location of the development business.

The Grocery app development cost also depends on several variables, including:

  • App difficulty
  • Number of upcoming features
  • The method of development technology
  • Size and qualifications of the team
  • Time requirements to construct the app

Different costs in different regions:

  • Developers of supermarket apps in Eastern Europe charge between $79 and $140 per hour.
  • Developers of supermarket apps in SA will charge between $50 and $240 per hour.
  • The approximate Instacart app cost for Indian grocery app developers is between $15 and $85 per hour.
  • A streaming grocery delivery app with relatively few functionalities is expensive to design.
  • Costs for technical documentation range from $1000 to $2500.
  • QA and testing will cost between $2500 and $4000.
  • UI/UX will cost between $1500 and $3700.

An Instacart-like grocery delivery application will cost between $15,000 and $300,000 to develop for Android or iOS users. The hourly rates of the grocery delivery app development company will also affect this fee.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Building a Grocery Delivery App like Instacart

The average cost of grocery delivery app development like Instacart also depends on the following:

#1. App Complexity: An app’s development time and cost increase as its feature set increases. Consider whether a mobile application has built-in user data analysis, back-end CMS integration, social network sharing capabilities, and a built-in marketplace.

#2. Integration Points: The app’s content source and whether it will be integrated with other apps from a third party.

These components determine whether the software will use hardware components found in smartphones and tablets, such as GPS navigation, NFC technology, motion coprocessors, and other capabilities.

#3. Technology Stack: Each company uses a different technology stack while developing an on-demand grocery app.

It depends on the skill set and the predetermined budget for developing mobile apps.

Learn more: Grocery Inventory Management Software Guide

Monetization Strategies

Like any other company, Instacart must make money to survive. The following are the sources of revenue for the business:

#1. Paying the Grocery Companion:

Fees charged to participating grocery and food businesses are how Instacart generates revenue. Instacart also adds fees on groceries to cover the revenue generated by sales.

For instance, the company contributes 3% of each grocery order. You can classify it as a processing or convenience fee for managing the complete purchase and delivery cycle.

#2. Advertisements or Commercials:

The revenue of grocery delivery services like Instacart also comes from promotions and advertising produced by merchants, store owners, and even retailers.

On the Instacart smartphone application for online shopping, companies and sellers can create and post their ads in various locations.

#3. Customer Value Proposition:

The advantage that Instacart offers to customers is freedom and earning possibilities. Customers are free to choose their hours and work around their schedules.

Customers may also leave them tips. Weekly payments from Instacart to customers are made by direct transfer and Stripe.

#4. Promotion Fees:

Due to the high traffic volume that Instacart receives, it supports the brand promotion efforts of its partner businesses or goods.

Every time a consumer purchases or interacts with the promoted item, a minimum amount is charged as a commission, which is how it makes money.

Benefits of Developing an Instacart-like App

The main benefit of a grocery application is that placing an order for your upcoming purchase is simple and user-friendly. This may include customer happiness that encourages repeat business and better grocery services.

The essential features, such as the payment processor, store picking, cart management, etc., are well developed and maintained here.

Ensuring the on-demand app realizes its maximum potential is a sensible way to grow your company in the marketplace.

The World Wide Web is another essential component of mobile programs that aids in drawing consumers and keeping them engaged with the apps.

Instacart is known for connecting people all over the region.

Another reason Instacart is well-known is its popularity, thanks to its promotions and user discounts.

The audience is captured and remains devoted to the app because of the advertisements and offers.

There should be compensation, including referring new users to the app offering supermarket specials, rebates, and offers.

Apps for grocery delivery have increased customer loyalty while also assisting companies in expanding their customer base and boosting sales.

Because of the simplicity and customized experience mobile apps provide users, shopping with a particular brand is now more enjoyable than it was in the past.

Customers using the app can efficiently finish grocery shopping and save time and effort. Customers are, therefore, more likely to frequent the shop again.

Grocery Software Solutions

Consider Arka Softwares as your Grocery Delivery App Development Partner

At Arka Softwares, we create cutting-edge mobile applications for on-demand grocery delivery that use advanced technologies to spur growth and customer engagement.

It is feasible at Arka Softwares, thanks to our creative and experienced team. We provide custom grocery software development solutions that can assist you in creating a profitable business.

An application that can tap into a distinctive experience and go beyond functionality. Connect with our expert to create an AI-based mobile application to forge your way through the growing on-demand grocery economy.


Instacart has always been offering customers dependable grocery delivery to support our store partners and give consumers flexible earning options.

Instacart has evolved from a little Silicon Valley software company to one of the most well-known delivery service apps in the nation.

The same-day delivery service from Instacart has attracted investors through several rounds of private equity financing, growing across the U.S. and Canada while forging alliances with thousands of shops and assembling a massive force of gig workers to pick up and deliver goods.

With all these advantages in mind, develop a grocery delivery app for your offline grocery business.

Satyam Chaturvedi

Satyam Chaturvedi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Arka Softwares, a leading app development company dealing in modern and futuristic solutions. He loves to spend his time studying the latest market insights.

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