On-demand grocery delivery apps are teeming in the online market like never before. With the COVID-19 global pandemic, most cities have donned empty streets. There is a fear of contracting coronavirus running high, and many residents don’t wish to step outside their homes.

With lockdowns imposed, buying food and other essentials is still a basic necessity. That’s why purchasing items online is slowly becoming a routine now. On-demand grocery delivery apps that can support the supply chains and serve an extended distribution network.

But, how can entrepreneurs and business owners leverage this trend and build a successful on-demand grocery delivery app?

The good news—the digital landscape is getting increasingly favorable. So, if you are planning to develop a mobile app for your grocery business, then this blog is just for you.

We will discuss all that you need to know about creating a grocery delivery app to ease the COVID-19 impact. In this blog, we will discuss different grocery app features, development costs, and more.

Let’s dive in!

Online Grocery Shopping—Critical Insights

Before we look at various facets of mobile app development, let’s look at some facts.

1) According to the online portal Statista, the U.S. online grocery market sales forecast would reach 59.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2023.

Online Grocery Shopping Sales in the United States

Online Grocery Shopping Sales in the United States (in billion U.S. dollars) (from 2018 to 2023)


Here is another exciting development in the changes to the general lifestyle due to the COVID-19. You can see how respondents prefer to step out less for shopping. You can also observe that shopping online has increased.


Changes to the General Lifestyle due to the Global Pandemic


2) According to the Forrester research — with more than $5.6 trillion in sales at stake in the grocery category, both offline and online retailers are fighting for their share of the biggest prize in retail.

Forrester Research expects the global online grocery market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.4% from 2018 to 2023, as consumers begin to embrace buying groceries online. Click To Tweet3) According to Statista, downloads of grocery delivery apps swelled in the United States in the first half of March.

Instacart saw downloads of its app grow by 218 percent from February to mid-March based on consumers’ apprehensions about visiting grocery stores during the coronavirus outbreak.

Grocery Delivery App Download Growth

Grocery Delivery App Download Growth due to the Global Pandemic in the US as of March 2020

Before the pandemic, only about 3% or 4% of grocery spending in the U.S. was online. However, that has surged to 10% to 15%, according to research by consulting firm Bain & Company.

While talking to MarketWatch, FreshDirect’s CEO & co-founder told that “activity is up 60% compared to a year ago, customers are stocking up and not hoarding.”

The time is ripe to plan to create an on-demand grocery app. Your innovative app could help to ease the COVID-19 impact, and that’s excellent news. However, before you look at the development facets, it would make sense to look at some of the pain points of the grocery businesses.

Reflecting on Pain Points in the Grocery Business

During the pandemic, one of the biggest complaints about buying groceries online has been customer service-related.

The grievances include not getting the desired delivery window or out-of-stock items. Here are some common pain points.

1. Stockouts

When customers face constant out-of-stock (OOS) scenarios, they lose their confidence. You may also lose the once-loyal shoppers.

During the pandemic, you may find more such situations. So, you may need to keep a tight check on your supply chain management. You may need to achieve EDI capability and automate the inventory operations.

2. Competition

The data highlights the favorability of the grocery business. What’s the catch? You may already find behemoths such as Amazon and Walmart offering full-spectrum solutions. The global giants already have the capital and resources to solve the pain points in their stores actively.

The good news—it is great to have competition. It would keep you innovating, and stretching that extra mile for your shoppers. You can leverage technology and work on your brand’s human touch, offering shoppers superior experience.

3. Reduce Checkout Time

Imagine the never-ending checkout line. You’re right; no one likes waiting! Amazon Go has pioneered in ending the checkout line.

The whole cart RFID checkout has been a viable solution since 2001. You’d want to make sure that you don’t keep your customers waiting and work towards reduced checkout time.

It is best to research some of the prevalent pain points in the grocery business. You may also wish to focus on buyers’ concerns during the pandemic. If you can create a mobile app for the grocery business that solves or reduces the pain points, then you will be offering higher value to your shoppers.

Why Grocery Businesses Should Offer An On-Demand Delivery App?

Let’s look at some of the top reasons why you should invest in grocery mobile app development.

Grocery shopping app

1. Convenient Search and Cataloging of Goods

Here’s a quick question, what’s the first thing you do when you want to buy a specific essential online? That’s right—Search.

Your app would be more valuable when users can conveniently search for goods. Most online consumers appreciate it when things are just a click away. When you plan to go for a custom app development for groceries, remember to work around convenient search and catalog management.

The grocery app that you’d develop should be a brilliant one-stop solution resolving listing and stocking concerns.

2. Rich Variety for Shopping

Picture this—you’ve planned a menu that requires goat cheese. Typically, you would get to the local grocery supermarket and buy from your local shop. With the current pandemic, wouldn’t it be bliss if you still could choose from a diverse and vibrant variety of essentials using an app?

Apoorva Mehta, the co-founder of Instacart says that there are about 30K grocery stores in the U.S. that carry the inventory that local communities want. Here’s when your grocery delivery applications can come to your rescue. Shoppers can benefit from choosing from a wide array of grocery options through your app.

3. Customizable Product Engagement Insights

Consumer psychology works wonders. How? Through product engagement insights, when shoppers typically use ideas on the most preferred product.

Take an example— if shoppers find someone buying a particular type of bread, then they may be influenced and may tend to buy that specific item more.

The insights can also help you spot the most used and preferred product from the whole online grocery store, and you can stock products accordingly. When developing an app for grocery shopping, you can include features, such as a product menu, wishlist, add to cart, and more.

4. Live-Order Tracking

Order tracking can benefit vendors and customers alike. As shoppers, such grocery tracking can help build trust and also gives a great sense of satisfaction. As an owner, it is easy to track and check out the working methodology of your staff.

When creating your app, remember to integrate administrative panel management that can help you with the full management of orders, right from order generation to delivery of the parcel.

5. Discounts and Personalized Offers

With your online grocery shopping app, you may choose to offer discounts and rewards to your customers. Such features tend to attract more customers to buy from your app. Grocery shopping apps like Shipt offer products at decent prices compared to competitors and also offer free shipping on select purchases.

You could analyze your buyers’ shopping patterns and offer them personalized offers. When shoppers get suggestions for similar products, it could help them enhance their shopping experience.

The benefits of creating an on-demand grocery delivery app are plenty. Now, let’s check the grocery app features that you must incorporate.

Important Features that Make a Successful Grocery App

So, when we talk about the on-demand grocery delivery app features, we need to consider three aspects:

  • Features for End-Users
  • The Admin Panel or Vendor Dashboard
  • The Delivery Management

Let’s take a look at all the features one-by-one.

Grocery Delivery App Features—The User Panel

Grocery shopping app features

1. User Profile and Registration

It may be quite cumbersome for customers to keep track of all their accounts on various sites and apps.

That’s why you need to keep the registration process user-friendly and straightforward. You may consider registration through social media login. Other options are through the use of email id and mobile number.

Take an example—you are looking for an organic product. You may find thousands of products, finding that specific organic products could get tiresome.

That is when having a smart search engine could help. You may prefer to incorporate quick search in your on-demand grocery delivery app that could benefit shoppers, reducing their time to shop.

3. Browse Products

Your shoppers may just wish to browse through all the categories of food and grocery products that are listed down.

It would help to incorporate this feature listing down grocery products and also provide a detailed description.

4. Real-time Order Tracking

The order tracking feature with real-time insights on the delivery details is a fascinating feature and a must-have. It can keep the customers aware of the location and the status of the order, which assures peace of mind.

5. Schedule Delivery

With this feature, users can schedule their delivery in advance as per their convenience. Shoppers can select a delivery date for their order during checkout. Your app can also include the delivery estimated time to notify the customers.

6. Order Management

The feature is an extraordinary facet for repeating orders. Users can conveniently glance at their order history and place the same orders when required.

7. Multiple Payment Options

You can incorporate payment options such as COD, debit or credit card, and more. It is empowering that users can choose payment options for their convenience.

Customers can also choose to pay for their goods before or after the delivery digitally, and you can incorporate myriad payment options in the app.

8. Offer Zone

With this feature, users can quickly look at all the available offers and discount details and enjoy the latest deals and offers.

9. Feedback and Settings

Users may want to drop in a word of appreciation or even complain about something. The customer service feature helps with giving feedback about the shopping experience in your online store.

The inputs are also a ready reckoner for other shoppers who may get influenced by the ratings. You may also want to integrate a ChatBot for automated replies to your customers.

The feature can help to resolve the typical frequently asked questions promptly.

Grocery Delivery App Features—The Admin Panel

Grocery shopping app admin panel

1. Dashboard

You may have a plethora of customer orders, and tracking and managing could get time-consuming. The dashboard could come in handy as a one-stop solution to track and manage all the orders. The feature can leverage in making the grocery business operations seamless and reliable.

2. Allocation of Orders

The feature involves the allocation of new grocery orders to multiple grocery stores. You can also keep a check on the smooth functioning of the order execution.

3. Manage Payments

Managing payments in a transparent way—is a best practice. With this feature, you can manage all the different payment models effectively.

4. Inventory Management

It is also critical that you manage the entire pantry inventory with convenience and ease. With this feature, you can easily handle and manage customer orders in an apt way.

5. Assign Managers

As a store owner, you are responsible for the smooth operation and execution of orders. With this grocery delivery app feature, you can easily involve store managers who can take care of the store operations.

6. Manage Customers

You would need to coordinate with your users. It would help to incorporate this feature into your app so that you can manage your users and organize them efficiently.

7. Manage Stores

If you are handling chains of multiple stores, then this feature can come in handy. You would be able to manage all the orders, and customer counts from one single interface.

Grocery Delivery App Features—The Delivery Panel

Grocery app on-demand delivery features

1. Geo-Location Services

The delivery boy would need to know the exact customer location to complete the delivery. Google Maps with GPS can come in handy to help with tracking. You can think of incorporating this feature into your on-demand grocery delivery app.

2. Delivery Request Notifications

Whenever a user places or requests an order, it would help to notify the store manager, who could then efficiently look at the orders. With the use of this feature, the app can inform store managers quickly.

3. Accept or Reject Delivery Requests

It would help to have the option of accepting or rejecting an order request based on the customer's location or time. With this feature, you can easily take or reject the order request.

4. Get Delivery Confirmation

The store manager can quickly get notified whenever a user places or requests an order with the use of this feature.

5. In-App Calling and Chat

The feature can help to communicate or discuss facets such as changing the route or time of order delivery, and more.

The list of features is not exhaustive. The best way would be to brainstorm with your mobile app development team and come up with features that can bring value to your users.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, then you can always reach out to a mobile expert developer such as Imaginovation, who can help you with creating a brilliant app.

Technology Stack for your Grocery Delivery App

Your development team would be working on some of the following technologies to develop and implement the on-demand grocery delivery app.

  • Real-time Analytics: IBM, Cisco, Hadoop, Apache Flink, Spark, BigData
  • Push Notifications: Push.io, Twilio
  • Database: Hbase, MailChimp Integration, MongoDB, Cassandra, Postgres
  • Payment Methods: EWallets, Stripe, Braintree, and PayPal
  • Cloud Environment: Azure, Google, AWS
  • SMS, Phone Verification, and Voice: Nexmo, Twilio

Grocery Delivery App Development Team Structure

A brilliant app needs synchronized development team efforts. You would need a development team of QA experts, skilled UI and UX designers, app developers, and more.

Your team could involve:

  • App Developers: Android app developers, iOS app developers, back-end developers, etc.
  • Project Manager(s): You would need to have someone with excellent managerial skills to work out viable app solutions.
  • App Designers: UI/UX designers with expertise in designing grocery delivery apps, graphic designers, and more.
  • QA and Testing team: The team involves QA experts with relevant skills, including testing and bug tracking.

You may choose to hire skilled freelance experts or have an in-house development team depending on the value they bring to your app development.

Next, an important question that may be running through your mind—how much does it cost to develop a grocery delivery app?

Let’s check out.

How Much Does A Grocery App Cost?

*Note: The prices mentioned here are minimum estimations, the actual costs may vary depending on the complexity of the project.

The cost facet does not have a simple answer. Why? The estimation of the grocery app development cost depends on several factors. The complexity of the app, the platforms you want to launch it on, your target audience, and more.

Here’s a quick preview of costs based on the development team's location.

Table 1. Tentative Costs for Developing an On-Demand Grocery App based on Location

\\*\\*Location of App Developers\\*\\*\\*\\*Approximate Cost(s)\\*\\*
U.S. based developers$50-$250 per hour
Eastern Europe based developers$30-$150 per hour
India based developers$10-$80 per hour

What if you chose to develop an on-demand grocery app with limited features, then what would be the cost?

Let’s check out.

Table 2. Tentative Cost to Develop an On-Demand Grocery App with limited features

\\*\\*Development Phase\\*\\*\\*\\*Approximate Cost(s)\\\*\\**
Front-end and Back-end development costs$30,000 – $60,000
UI/UX designing costs$4000 – $8000
QA and testing costs$5000 – $15,000
Technical documentation costs$3000 – $6000

When you look at the various factors, the cost to create an on-demand grocery delivery app, on average, for a single platform such as iOS or Android could cost around $50,000* to $150,000*.

Mobile App Cost Calculator

If you choose to create a cross-platform app with additional features, then you may find costs going more than $100,000*. It is best to make an exhaustive list and plot down the estimates. The estimates would help you with a ballpark figure that you can work around.

In conclusion, a holistic grocery delivery app can help to ease the impact of COVID-19. The success of your grocery delivery app hinges on offering an enriching experience to your shoppers.

So, put your thinking hats and be innovative and unique, and create an app that can bring in immense value to your customers.

Create a Brilliant On-Demand Grocery Delivery App with Imaginovation

If you want to build an enriching on-demand grocery delivery app that can help to ease the COVID-19 impact and bring value to your users, then get in touch with us.

We are an award-winning web and mobile app development company with vast experience of crafting outstanding digital success stories for diverse companies. Let’s talk.


Michael Georgiou

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Pain Points in the Grocery Business?
Why Grocery Businesses Need An On-Demand Delivery App?
What are the Features that Make a Successful Grocery App from User's Perspective?
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