How to Create a Grocery Delivery App

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October 6, 2023

As competition in the supermarket industry continues to rise, businesses must do everything they can to stay ahead of the curve. Learning how to create a grocery delivery app will allow supermarkets to take their business to the next level. Grocery delivery apps offer a flexible and adaptable shopping method that customers love.

The online grocery industry has been booming in recent years, with market leaders experiencing a surge in customers over the COVID pandemic. In fact, according to data by JPMorgan, around one in three consumers orders groceries online. This habit is only increasing, with online grocery shopping representing a $100B opportunity by 2025.

In order to compete in this environment, grocery stores need to provide an accessible method of engaging with their online shopping opportunities. Out of these channels, mobile apps are the preferred method of interaction by customers. In this article, we’ll explore exactly how to create a grocery delivery app, outlining the main benefits of grocery apps.

Steps to create a grocery delivery application

In order to create a grocery delivery app, there are two typical pathways that a business can follow. The first and more complex, involves a series of steps that may push companies out of their comfort zones if they haven’t developed a mobile application before.

In order to create a grocery delivery app, businesses need to:

  • Plan and outline the application.
  • Insert branding elements into the design.
  • Hire a team of developers to create the app.
  • Meticulously test and refine your app offering.
  • Integrate with your product management software.
  • Continually manage, update, and refine your mobile app over time.

Although the benefits that we’ve discussed make the process worth it, that doesn’t diminish the huge amount of work ahead for many businesses. Alternatively, businesses can partner with platforms that streamline the process immensely.

Through ecommerce grocery platform partners, supermarkets are able to rapidly create a mobile application. When working with these secondary companies, be sure to look for solid tech practices, effective UX and UI design, and automatic updates. By working with providers that specialize in grocery applications, supermarket businesses can start their journey with digital applications in a matter of days.

Tips to create a grocery delivery app

If you want to create a grocery delivery app that’s as effective as possible, there are a number of core aspects that you should emphasize during development.

The following features distinguish serviceable grocery delivery apps from those which will enthuse users:

  • Focus on delivering a high-quality shopping experience with great UX and UI.
  • Ensure that your app is well-optimized in terms of speed, stability, and responsiveness.
  • Incorporate loyalty schemes directly into the app, providing additional motives for digital shopping.
  • Integrate multiple payment options to boost user accessibility.
  • Understand data protection policies in order to scale without breaching user privacy agreements.
  • Include grocery-specific functionalities such as personalized product preferences. Offer options for selecting cutting preferences or the ability to make customs requests (i.e. ripe tomatoes).
  • Offer efficient replacement options for possibly out-of-stock ordered products, suggesting suitable alternatives that meet the user's requirements.
  • Implement robust timeslot management features that accommodate flexible delivery timings.

Explaining how to create a grocery delivery app will, of course, vary depending on the business itself. However, the fundamentals of the process are deeply enriched when incorporating the above tips, strategies, and elements.

How much does it cost to develop a grocery app?

There are a number of factors that impact how much it costs to create a grocery delivery app. First of all, the team you use to develop the app will have a major impact on how much it costs. If you’re developing the app in-house, then you’ll have a cheaper production cycle, but might experience a worse final product if your team doesn’t have experience creating effective grocery delivery apps.

However, hiring an external agency to develop an app for you can be an extremely costly endeavor. Be sure to research the agency’s current pricing and get a detailed quote before considering working with a general app development company. A simple application could cost upwards of $60,000, especially if you’re working with a team that’s unfamiliar with the grocery industry – which will cause their development cycles to elongate and accrue more costs.

Finally, another option which can reduce the cost of creating a grocery delivery app is working directly with a designated service. While hiring an external team is normally a more expensive option, that isn’t always the case. If you’re working with a third-party service that specialize in grocery delivery apps, then they’ll have workflows in place to get your app off the ground as soon as possible.

Long development cycles are the single biggest contributor to high costs of developing an app. By working with a grocery app partner, you’ll be able to develop and publish an app in less time, leading to reduced costs and a richer pool of features.

Depending on your company, its goals, and your budget, the best option of the aforementioned pathways will vary. Always request a detailed quote, both in terms of time and cost, before proceeding.

What are the benefits of creating a grocery delivery app?

The world of grocery ecommerce is a delicate industry, with the moving elements of product expiration, consumer habits, and purchase trends deeply impacting the field. Yet, by integrating technological solutions, grocery businesses are able to access an impressive and diverse range of advantages.

When creating a grocery delivery app for your business, there are a number of potential benefits:

  • Accessibility for Customers - The leading reason that customers shop online instead of in-store is accessibility. The ability to shop 24/7, save time, and avoid checkout lines all facilitate a streamlined customer experience. Grocery stores that offer this option will help to increase customer satisfaction while boosting customer sentiment around their brand.
  • Enhanced Personalization - We live in the age of personalization. Everything from communications materials to marketing campaigns is based on demographic and psychographic profiles. Digital grocery applications allow businesses to personalize the customer experience to a greater extent. Businesses can promote products that customers are likely to buy, offer up-sells based on previous behaviors, and tailor options to the customers’ profile. Over time, this can help to increase customer lifetime value and increase overall sales.
  • Competitive Advantage - Online grocery applications provide an option to engage with customers that not all supermarkets currently have. Some supermarkets are slow to change. Instead of falling behind, creating a grocery delivery app provides a competitive advantage. Beyond just accessing customers, digital technology can price products according to user trends and market data, helping grocers to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Increased Customer Reach - Heady Digital Innovation research demonstrates that 57% of consumers now prefer shopping on mobile apps via other channels. When you create a grocery delivery app, you offer customers in your community another way of interacting with your brand. Not only does this facilitate more frequent shopping from customers, but it also allows you to capture new customers on this digital medium.

The need to digitalize the grocery industry is only growing, with each consecutive year holding a higher portion of ecommerce sales. Looking at data from KPMG, ecommerce sales are growing every single year. By offering customers a grocery app, supermarket businesses are able to stay ahead of this trend, boosting customer satisfaction while driving additional sales.

Final thoughts

The process of creating a grocery delivery app doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Although building an app from the ground up can be a grueling endeavor, there are plenty of solutions out there that simplify the process.

For example, your business can partner with companies like Wave Grocery that empower your business by helping you to rapidly and efficiently create a powerful grocery application. Instead of having to build from the ground up, a web storefront and mobile application builder service will offer an extensive and bespoke alternative that makes the process as easy as possible.

Using a grocery partner simplifies the process of creating a grocery delivery app, covering the entire process from ordering to delivery. These intermediary partners specialize in turning physical stores into online businesses, providing a crafted service that helps you to scale into the digital world. By creating a holistic experience for grocery brands, you’re able to move into online selling and delivery without having to go through the same extensive ground-up process.

Creating a grocery app doesn't have to be hard work. Making use of the integrations, platforms, and partners that are already in this sector will help to streamline the process. Reach out to our team today to discover how we can bring your storefront into the digital age.

October 6, 2023
Last updated
July 18, 2024
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