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How to Create App Like Instacart [Features + Development + Clone]

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We have seen a mixed reaction for internet-based businesses in the past. Some of them are complete disasters but some of them managed to disrupt the internet. In today’s cut-throat competition there is a hidden business that is booming with the help of the internet ever since the covid-19 pandemic hit the world. That underrated business idea is an online grocery application. Before the pandemic, the trend was merely visible but today, the trend has shifted to the next stage. 

Online grocery applications are witnessing huge demands. Revenues of On-demand grocery applications have increased significantly in 2020 and are still increasing. Customers who have never imagined ordering groceries online are now a master in ordering almost any grocery item. Online grocery shopping is more than a trend that is completely dominating the internet. “Grocery IoS App” has been searched more on the Apple app store than Facebook and Instagram in 2020. 

Multiple reports stated that in 2021, mobile e-commerce sales are expected to reach 54% of total online sales. With such a huge demand for online grocery apps, there is no doubt that one third will be procured by online grocery sales. Customers are more than happy to purchase groceries without even going out of their comfort. Growing demand for online grocery sales is resulting in massive revenues for applications. One such application is Instacart. It is an online grocery app that experienced a 140% increase in downloads in just one week. Such massive demand creates a perfect environment for those who want to build an app like Instacart. 

Popularity and Market Analysis 

Online grocery shopping is something that customers are happy to make a part of their routine. According to Statista, before the covid-19 pandemic, 20.3% of people in South Korea bought groceries online, followed by the UK with 7.6%, the USA stood with 6% and India with 5.8%. However, these percentages are heavily changed once the covid-19 pandemic hit the world. Now, as per the same report, 1 out of 5 people in European Union countries buy groceries online. Which is a significant rise in the numbers. The USA now tops the list with a whopping 61% population order groceries online.

Instacart Statics 2021

Also, research conducted by Apptopia states that grocery applications are experiencing the highest demand for any application in the history of the internet. Instacart had experienced a 218% rise in downloads, just behind Instacart is Walmart, a Similar App like Grocery delivery app Instacart with a 160% rise in downloads. Instacart also gained more than $4 million in revenue with a market valuation touching 13.2 billion in 2020. Thus, with these numbers, it is true to say that the online grocery business has one of the largest shares in the application industry. The popularity is not only proven by statistics but also by the number of giant companies and investors that have invested in the On-Demand Grocery App.

Why is the Online Grocery Store a Perfect Business Idea Today?

Even when the market is filled with giants like Instacart and Amazon prime, there is still huge demand in the room. Thanks to the covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdowns, a large number of the population has shifted to online grocery delivery applications. Even before the pandemic, the demand for online grocery applications was increasing at a rapid speed and covid-19 has just multiplied the demand by 100. In the times of covid, lockdowns and social distancing have made clear that people should avoid going out for shopping, instead buy it online with grocery service providers. 

Now, even after the situation is under control, customers have discovered the convenience and tasted the new habit. And according to the reviews, they seem very happy with that. Ultimately, when there is a demand, there is a supply. But, even with such a huge demand, online grocery applications are constantly failing to serve everyone. Therefore, it is the perfect time to Develop an on-demand app like Instacart and avail the benefit of this new trend. Another factor that makes it a perfect idea is that people now buy more groceries. In the fear of lockdowns, customers make sure to fill the stocks for emergency times. Also, in fear of covid-19 waves, customers are insecure about ready-made foods and prefer to cook at home. We all have witnessed the rise of grocery products in a matter of days. In short, this situation encourages us to start an Instacart like app Development. But, before we get into “How to make an app like Instacart”, we first must understand how the Instacart app works?

What is Instacart and How the Instacart App Works?

As the name suggests, Instacart is an online grocery app which lets customers order the grocery item and get delivered to their doorsteps. The service idea is not new as giant companies such as Amazon have been delivering products for the past two decades, but it is always better to have a business based on a particular category. Instacart is completely based on grocery items, which makes it more organized and connected than other online applications. There are not many applications based on grocery items but let’s not forget the unmatchable demand for online grocery applications. With Instacart, a customer does not need to call grocery stores, wait for days to get the product in stock. Simple, open the applications, search the product, add to cart, make payment and get it delivered at their doorstep. However, you must be wondering how Instacart works in the background?

Instacart App Flow

Well, here’s how the Instacart app works

  1. A customer makes the order via the Instacart application and does all the procedure such as providing the delivery address, phone number and payment.
  2. Then, the application with its AI algorithms transfers the order and details to a shopper.
  3. A shopper is an employee working for Instacart who shops the products on behalf of the customer.
  4. The shopper then proceeds to deliver the order to the customer.

How to Build an App Like Instacart?

Being clear at the initial stage regarding the features and performance of the app is one of the important steps toward building an effective app. That is why here we present some of the aspects that need to be paid attention to in the planning stage of the app –

Full Guide to Create InstaCart

1. Customisation as per the Audience

Taking inspiration from the business model of Instacart is a great idea but at the same time, there must be some original elements. Most importantly, if the app is planned to serve an audience that is different from that of Instacart then customisation becomes necessary. This can be done through surveying among potential customers and incorporating the most popular needs in the form of features.

2. Matching the Technology and Scale of Business

It is crucial that the technology used behind the app is adequate to handle traffic as planned by the business. This makes sure that the app can work at an optimum level despite the size of the public accessing it at the same time. When it comes to developing an app for the Android platform, technologies like Java and Kotlin work best. But if you are eyeing the iOS platform then Swift and C can be the best option.

While at the backend side, the most popular cloud storage platforms are Amazon S3 and Azure Server by Microsoft. Similarly, there is a range of options for other components of the app, hence it is best to consult an experienced app development company to get better insights.

3. Coordinating Various Stakeholders

From the customer side, it may look like that the business just requires one app, however in reality it requires more than one to serve different parties. These are –

  • Customer Side
Instacart Features for User Panel
  • Delivery Side
Instacart Delivery panel Features
  • Admin Side
Instacart Features for Admin Panel

4. Must-have Features for the Grocery Shopping App

Every successful application is known for its innovative features. Similarly, to Build the Instacart app, you need to offer some essential as well as innovative features to stand out from the rest. It is crucial to make a list of essential features you want in your application before proceeding with Grocery App Development. Here are some of the vital features that every grocery app should have.

* User Registration

The first thing a user is going to notice is how good the on-boarding is. At the starting of an app, a customer should be prompted to create an account. Also, a customer would love to have multiple signs up options such as Google, Facebook, Email and Phone number. A single click sign up process is more than enough for a good welcome. Asking too much information in the starting will only annoy the user and can lead to bad reviews. Instead, ask for the necessary information from time to time like a home address and phone number at the time of processing the order.

* Search

Advanced search option is by far the most crucial feature of any online grocery application. Not only does it do advanced searches, filters, search suggestions that add favourability to the user experience but also makes it easy for the user to find any grocery item they need. With the help of the advanced search option, a user can find exactly what is needed, filter searches for thousands of products and eventually save a lot of time. This quick search function is what makes the online Grocery Mobile App experience better than the in-store experience. 

Without physically going in-store, a user can find thousands of relevant products from the comfort of their home. However, the developers need to be careful in case the search option returns irrelevant results, the customer will surely find the application useless. Therefore, it is recommended to avail Mobile app development services to create an app like Instacart.

* Shopping Cart

Sometimes the user wants to save a product to order later, in that case, a shopping cart can only make the user experience more efficient. With the shopping cart feature, users can double-check about their product as well as save and later purchase directly from the cart-in-progress without hassle. An app like Instacart must have a shopping cart feature to cope up with the competition. But, it is equally important to make the UI simple and place effective call-to-action. So, that the user won’t find it troublesome. Seamless and uncomplicated navigation between the store and cart is what the user wants.

* Payment

Everyone is insured when it comes to money. An online Grocery Android App should have secure and diverse payment options. More than one payment option can retain more users and build trust among them. A user has to be able to pay cash on delivery, with credit or debit cards, Paypal and even Payoneer. Always provide the invoice after the payment to ensure customers about their product. To interact with the user more, a developer can integrate the tip option for the delivery driver or various coupon code options. 

* Users’ Localization and Address Search

In these fast-paced lifestyles, everyone wants to be quick. Therefore, they search for an app that is easy and quick to use. Integrating an automatic user location detector feature can save the customers time as well as furnish them with a quick user-friendly environment. Not only that but the user location feature has more benefits such as the customer can order products from the most nearby store and see more location-based content.

* Notifications

To keep bringing the users to the app, regularly, push notifications are important. Especially for an Instacart clone app push notifications are essential to inform users about their cart items, price drops, order status updates, discounts and more. Advanced Artificial intelligence-powered notification can remind users about the products they often purchase such as price drop on milk product or butter. A developer just needs to make sure all the notifications are relevant to the customer’s interest or the customer will be fed up with notifications and eventually uninstall the app.

* Order Management

Order Management includes various features such as delivery schedules, order cancellation and real-time product tracking. This feature is important not only for customers but admin also. Order management is a great feature to let users constantly get in touch with the application. Also, a user can cancel orders with this feature. This way customers can get the confidence if anything goes wrong the application is on their side. In a nutshell, real-time tracking is the main highlight of this feature, users can schedule their work according to the time the delivery boy takes to deliver the order.

* Feedback

Who can forget about feedback in the case of the Instacart like app. Online grocery apps stand on a pillar called “quality of service”. And, good reviews will only raise the quality. Not only that but with the help of a feedback option, the admin can know about the delivery boy’s status like if he fails to deliver an order, mix up an order etc or if there’s a problem with product quality. Admin can then accordingly make changes and improve the brand value. Also, positive reviews are the key to bring new users and build trust in the brand. 

* Price and Product Comparison

Only with Grocery App like Instacart, a customer can see effective price comparison. A customer not only can see comparison but can compare between products of his choice. While in-store, customers have to gather all the products to see a product and do a price comparison. But while using the application, users can do the same within a fraction of some seconds. Thus, online grocery applications provide a better value and user experience. In order to build an app like Instacart, a developer must include price and product comparison features into the application. 

* Voice Recognition

As we mentioned earlier, users want to be quick in these fast-paced lifestyles and AI-based features fill up that space. Alexa and Siri have already changed the way users operate their mobile phones. Therefore, there is no harm in integrating a voice recognition feature into the application. Customers will only appreciate the application for furnishing with next-gen features like voice recognition. It will make the ordering process much easier for users and you will end up getting more user base. However, voice recognition features are not easy to integrate, therefore, you must avail yourself services from a reputed Mobile App Development Company.

* Creating a Budget

Maintaining the financial viability of the project is necessary before starting any work. The estimated cost for building an app like Instacart can come anywhere between $50000 to $80000. Although these are rough estimates and the real cost can be affected by various factors. The most important factor among this is the location of the app development service provider. Getting your services from countries having low wage due to the conversion rate variance like India can be a great option. 

How Much Does it Cost to Build an App like Instacart?

Ok, now you have a clear understanding of How to build an app like Instacart. Moving forward, let’s have a look at the App development cost for an app like Instacart.

There are two ways to develop an online grocery app, first is to hire a team of app developers, which is costly and more time consuming as you need to find each developer by yourself. The second is to hire an Instacart App Development Company. Let’s discuss it more-

The cost of developing an online grocery app like Instacart depends on various factors. One such factor is the number of features you want in your application. The more the number of features, the more the cost of mobile app development will be. For example, an online grocery app with the basic features listed above will cost around $30,000 to $1,00,000. Similarly, the size of the development team also has a huge impact on cost. In order to get the application ready in less time with more features, you will need more developers than regular. Which will impact the cost of app development. 

Another major factor is the location. Yes, you heard it right, the amount charged by developers depends on the location they are operating from. For example, countries like the USA or UK charge a very high rate compared to countries like India for the same level of development. Luckily, Indian developers don’t charge high and provide the same level of quality.

Reading Recommendation- Factors to Consider While Hiring Android App Developers


The trend for ordering groceries online will never go away from now. This change is long-lasting. Moreover, the growing demand is only encouraging businesses to step into the business and deliver the best services. The massive demand is just a sign for you to start an online grocery app and be the owner of another global startup. Observing and analyzing the current trend, you need to approach a mobile app development company as soon as possible. Therefore, stop searching How to create an app like Instacart and start putting efforts into your next multi-million project.

Luckily, you are in the right place and we can save you time. Maven Cluster is your one-stop solution for your next project. Maven Cluster is glorified as the best Mobile app Development Company in India. If you have an online grocery application idea, let’s discuss it. We know how difficult it is to start a business. So from our side, we are ready to furnish you with the best in quality service. It’s now the perfect time to make a difference. 

Hire Grocery App Developer

Faheem Hasan

15 Years Technical Expertise | IT Consultant
Faheem Hasan carries technical expertise that is matchless. He has a vision to cater the world towards innovative solutions with his exciting team of dedicated developers.

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