20 Best Grocery Delivery Apps in 2021 (Globally)
20 Best Grocery Delivery Apps in 2021 (Globally)
Laurie Anderson once said that Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories. In today’s advanced age, everything revolves around technology. It would be impossible to think of a life without technology and all the gifts it has given us. We live a life of privilege where almost anything can be achieved with the help of the internet. You don’t need to go out for your shopping, drive yourself everywhere or especially go out to eat from restaurants anymore. You don’t need to go from place to place just to buy things or satisfy your needs, you can simply just get them delivered at your doorstep. This is the power of the internet.
One trend that has been evolving in the last decade or so is the onset of on-demand needs. Apps like Uber, Amazon, Postmates, Instacart, etc. have made it possible to get all your needs fulfilled without having to move from your comfy bed. You can just use these apps on your phones and get almost anything delivered to your doorstep. On-demand allows you to live a life of convenience where things reach you not on the basis of their availability but on the basis of your requirement.
One industry that is being slowly but steadily infected by this disease is the grocery industry. Grocery forms a part of basic day-to-day needs for humans, hence people tend to spend hours on their grocery shopping runs. Weekly grocery shopping has been a common practice for decades. People generally spend hours going to a grocery shop, picking the best grocery from the options available, and contemplating their choices. Although this seemed like a crucial thing to be done, the arrival of on-demand apps has shown people that it is not always necessary to waste hours on grocery shopping. These apps provide various benefits for all parties involved; they allow customers the convenience to shop from home, sellers the option to sell their groceries before they go bad, and give part-time employees an added source of income.
List of the 20 Best On-Demand Grocery Delivery Apps
Grocery businesses have now realized the importance of digitization, and instead of resisting change, they are starting to understand the growth that on-demand can bring for them. Many grocery businesses have become on-demand while many other aggregators have also come up to give a platform to the ones that don’t have the necessary resources to go online. As a result, there are many on-demand grocery apps that are flourishing in the market. Some of these players are discussed below. 1 to 6 are some of my favorite picks.
Instacart is one of the leaders in the online grocery market when it comes to North America. It covers almost 85% of the US and almost 65% of Canada. Instacart has tie-ups with grocery giants like WholeFoods, Costco, Safeway, etc. and via them delivers more than 300,000 items. Instacart has partnered with more than 25,000 stores and raised 6 rounds of funding. The company was valued at $8 billion by the end of 2019.
Why does Instacart’s business model work?
Once you join Instacart, you get your first delivery free. This is a great incentive to join the app. The company has tie-ups with almost all Us grocery giants. It allows consumers to buy groceries from multiple stores at the same time, this is one of the best features of the app. It allows customers to compare prices from multiple stores and buy products at the best prices.
Additionally, the app offers multiple discounts and offers continuously, so it’s always beneficial to buy groceries from the app. The app also provides membership that reduces the delivery tax. All these features do wonders for customer retention on the app. Here’s the Intacart business model in details
Postmates is an on-demand app that took its inception in May 2011. The app is kind of a tech-driven courier service but for your daily needs. The app makes use of mobile devices and GPS to match your requirements with nearby products and deliver them to you. The company has partnered with McDonald’s, Walgreens, Starbucks, Chipotle, etc. and can process more than 8 million monthly orders. The company has around 250,000 merchants that serve 3500+ cities. The company is valued at US$1.85 billion.
Why does Postmates’ business model work?
Unlike most grocery delivery services, Postmates delivers more than just groceries. It allows people to order anything within the city and delivers the same to them within an hour. It is also a common app when getting food delivered from popular restaurants and cafes. The company charges a nominal delivery fee which depends based on the distance covered by the person delivering your order. The best part about Postmates is that their delivery service is available 24 hours a day. Check out Postmates business model in detail.
This is another grocery-delivery business that operates throughout the US. It has more than 50,000 shoppers and an estimated annual revenue of $120 million. The company has partnered with retailers like Target, Whole Foods, Publix, Costco, etc. It has an employee base of 604+ people who work hard to deliver all grocery related needs of their customers.
Why does Shipt’s business model work?
Shipt is a great app because it offers multiple features that no other app offers. Its unique business model allows users to check out what’s on sale and allows them to request for items that may not be listed on the stores on the app. It ‘buy again’ feature’ also allows customers to purchase items that they had previously purchased. This allows them to do their weekly grocery shopping without selecting the items, again and again, each time. The app can be accessed with a monthly fee of $ 15 or a yearly membership fee of $99.
4. Big Basket
Big Basket is one of the leading grocery service providers in India. They work better than their rivals Grofers, Nature’s Basket, Reliance Fresh, etc. because of their popularity. They sell more than 18,000 products and have 1000 plus brands selling fruits, vegetables, rice, pulses, beverages, spices, meats, personal care products and multiple other items. They have excellent customer service which makes them popular throughout the country.
Why does Big Basket’s business model work?
In a chaotic country like India, Big Basket continues to maintain its commitment towards fast and safe delivery. They have a responsive chat that solves all customer queries in no time. On top of this, Big Basket accepts accountability for any delays, if your order comes in late they make sure to return a certain part of your amount back into your wallet. They also have a hassle-free return policy.
This on-demand app is a great online farmers app that allows its customers to order dairy products, snacks, meats, etc. The main aim of this app is to provide its customers with fresh produce and get items directly from farmers at a rate and quality better than the supermarket. The company receives revenue of almost US$ 3.5 million every year.
Why does Farmigo’s business model work?
The app has a functional user interface that is simple and nice to use. You will be able to order items without any hassle. The app also has a community section where you can check up on people like you who use the app.
Peapod is a Chicago based grocery delivery business. It offers groceries in more than 24 US markets including Washington, Boston, New York, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois and Chicago. The app allows its customers to make grocery lists
Why does Peapod’s business model work?
The company allows customers to make repeat purchases and offers many features that make this possible. Their feature “Order Genius” tracks frequent purchases of its customers and offers them suggestions on what to buy depending on their consumption pattern. The app has a great algorithm that understands the consumers and offers them filtered results depending on their needs. Another great feature of the app is its meal kits that allow consumers to buy all the items required to make particular dishes. Peapod intends to make cooking easier for people and does just that with its unique features.
Let’s discuss about more of the top apps
As the name suggests, FreshDirect focuses on providing the freshest products to its customers. The main target audience for FreshDirect are the people who are concerned about what they consume, want to know where it comes from and are willing to pay extra for freshness.
The company was founded by David McInerney in the year 1999 and since then it has provided daily grocery to multiple cities in the North-east US including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Delaware, Connecticut, etc.
Most of FreshDirect’s farm-fresh products come with information pertaining to information about the product and where it came from. When it comes to pricing, the delivery fee for a FreshDirect order varies depending on the location of the customer. The general delivery fee varies from $6 to $30. Because the company provides farm-fresh products it does not promise immediate delivery but their delivery time is still pretty fast.
Unlike most grocery delivery businesses, Instashop started as a company that focuses on a particular niche and tries to fulfill all their needs. They focus on young professionals for their business. The company is based in Dubai and was founded in the year 2015. The company that started as just an on-demand grocery delivery business has now expanded and also consists of products related to pharmacy, butcher, pet shop and maids services. It currently has more than 50 supermarket partners, 150 employees and more than 350,000+ active consumer base.
The company offers products in Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain and UAE. It has been nominated as one of the most promising startups of the region by Forbes Middle East. The company also offers to fulfill product deliveries in under an hour.
9. Walmart Grocery Delivery
Walmart grocery delivery app is an extension of the Walmart store. Walmart has been a common name in the US for a long time so people were extremely surprised when they launched their own delivery service. Under this, people can find most of the products they get in the store. This is a great way to get groceries delivered to your doorstep directly from your favourite store. With Walmart delivery, you can easily select the time slot for the delivery. You get the products with an additional fee that ranges between $8-10. You can also take a subscription that costs $13 for a month or $100 per year and get deliveries for free.
AmazonFresh is a new service by Amazon. This delivery service is offered as an extension to the Amazon Prime membership. If you are already a Prime member, you can easily get products from AmazonFresh. Currently, AmazonFresh is only offering grocery deliveries to its old and new prime members. Although it is known for its grocery delivery, AmazonFresh more than that, you can get products like fruits, vegetables, canned goods, packaged snacks, raw meat but you can also get household supplies like batteries, paper, cleaning products, grooming products etc.
The service is available in many cities including Brooklyn, Indianapolis, Nashville, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Antonio etc. If you are a prime member and your order is above $35, you can get free delivery with AmazonFresh. For orders less than $35, you are charged an additional delivery fee of $10. In some cities like New York; the minimum delivery amount eligible for free delivery is more than $35
Safeway is a known name in the US, it has been a leading grocery chain in North America for many years now. Like most grocery chains, Safeway also started its own grocery delivery app in order to expand its business to new customers. The company has a broad product portfolio which is one of the things that makes this chain so popular. Safeway has an extensive network of manufacturers, distributors and facilities. It has more than 1678 stores in the US and Canada.
12. Google Express
Google express is like a virtual mall offering products from multiple online as well as offline stores. This service is focused on delivering dry grocery items like canned food, cereal, coffee etc. The delivery system is working in most of the cities in the U.S. including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Costco, Kohl’s, Walgreens etc.
As far as pricing is concerned, most orders above $15 are delivered at zero delivery fee. This delivery fee is also dependent on the retailer. When it comes to delivery time Google Express offers same-day delivery and delivery within a week for some products. The same-day delivery and overnight delivery option is available at most stores.
Grofers is an Indian online grocery delivery business that was founded in the year 2013 by Saurabh Kumar and Albinder Dhindsa. It is currently operational in more than 17 Indian cities including Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata etc. The app connects customers to local merchants and offers groceries, vegetables, fruits and essential goods. With Grofers, you can either pay in cash or via any other online options. Many discount features are not available if a consumer orders products in cash.
14. Reliance Fresh
Reliance Fresh is another Indian grocery-delivery business. It has its own physical stores and also offers online deliveries in some parts of the country. The company was founded in the year 2006 by Mukesh Ambani and V. Subramaniam. You can find grocery, fruits, vegetables and get most of your basic needs fulfilled from just one store.
With headquarters in Berlin, HelloFresh is an online retailer that delivers products you would need for various recipes. Unlike other grocery delivery apps where you buy fruits and vegetables aimlessly, HelloFresh allows you to buy only the grocery items you need. HelloFresh works on a subscription model where you can pay $50-100 per week for receiving all three meals for the day. They also have separate family plans and veggie plans. Their business model is to simply provide the ingredients necessary for preparing a meal. They provide the products only as per the amount required which makes sure you are not wasting any grocery.
16. Blue Apron
Like HelloFresh, Blue Apron is also an ingredient and recipe meal kit service. It was founded in the year 2012 by Matthew B. Salzberg, Ilia Papas and Matt Wadiak. The delivery service provides ingredients that have been sorted as per the required measurements. On top of that, you also receive the recipe for the meal that you have ordered in order to make sure you cook it correctly. Apps like Blue Apron make sure that you are not wasting any ingredients. It makes sure that you use everything up before it goes bad.
Kroger is one of the largest supermarket groups in the US. When they saw how big the delivery business had become, they decided to partake in it themselves, that is how Kroger delivery was born. The company operates in 35 states with more than 2800 stores and 24 regional chains.
Ocado is a British online supermarket that was founded in the year 2000. It was founded by three Goldman Sachs bankers and has been delivering groceries in the UK since the last two decades. The company has multiple centralised warehouses all over England, from there it stores goods and dispatches them to the customer. By the year 2019, Ocado had almost 14% share in the online grocery market in the UK and generated almost $1.87 billion in sales. Currently, the company has more than 800,000 active customers and has partnerships with giants like Waitrose and Marks and Spencer.
Buymie is a Dublin based on-demand grocery retailer that connects customers to their local stores and provides them with grocery via personal shoppers. The company focuses on delivering their groceries in under an hour. It is a mobile first company where you can decide when to receive your order. You can get your deliveries the same day or in the next seven days depending on your requirement. Although the company started with just Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow, it has now expanded to the UK and will start to provide services to more than 200,000 households in Bristol and its surrounding suburbs.
Gabor Krasznai, Devan Hughes and Artavazd Sokhikyan are the founders of Buymie
Weezy is a London based startup that was recently started in the year 2019. The startup is trying to redefine the term fast delivery as it wants to make 15 minute delivery a thing. The founders Kristof Van Beveren and Alec Dent think that the delivery time of 1-2 hours can be reduced even further. They have built a systematic chain of warehouses and have tied up with a fleet of electric moped and bicycle couriers to make the extremely short delivery time possible. The company provides goods from wholesalers as well as dependent bakers, butchers etc.
You can avail the services offered by the company between 10 am and 10 pm by paying a delivery fee of £2.95.
Some other examples of great on-demand grocery apps include Doordash and Grubhub. While most of these companies work on varying business models, they all are based on the same premise i.e. offering maximum convenience to your customers and identifying their needs to satisfy them with your app. There are different ways for these apps to earn their money and most of these apps follow the same methods. On-demand grocery apps can earn their revenue either through commissions that they charge from the store to give them coverage, subscription fees that they charge from their consumers or promotion fees that they charge from sellers to promote their store or some product they may have launched. These apps also show banner ads or sponsored blog posts for multiple stakeholders and charge money in return.
Bonus Tips and Information:
(For people looking to start an online grocery delivery business)
On-Demand Grocery Industry Right Now
Almost all on-demand industries have seen a surge in the last few years. Although this surge was rather slow for groceries, but people are slowly getting accustomed to the habit of buying necessary items before actually inspecting it beforehand. As far as grocery stores are concerned, a huge concern for them was selling their perishable items before they go bad.
The arrival of on-demand grocery delivery has allowed them the option of same-day delivery, so they don’t have to worry about their perishable items. This is possible because on-demand grocery businesses work on the principle of convenience and immediate delivery. On top of this, the aftermath of COVID-19 has confined people to their homes. This created panic which led to finding alternative sources of obtaining groceries. Because going to grocery stores is rendered pointless now because of panic buying and store aisles being empty, the only other option people have is to get groceries delivered online. The result is a sudden surge in the industry which has changed the entire scenario of the industry and how people respond to it. Although home-confined buying has become a common thing during the lockdown, people are suspecting that this trend is here to stay. The habit that people build during this lockdown will go on and pave the way to a changed mindset towards grocery shopping. Hence, the grocery industry is supposed to adopt a more tech-enabled approach in the future. The current practice of contactless delivery, safety measures will also become an important part of the industry.
Many grocery businesses like Instacart, Kroger, Amazon, Shipt, Big Basket have become popular due to the increasing demand. Most of these have been functioning for long and many had to alter their platform owing to the changing times. Because of this immense surge, there are also many new on-demand grocery businesses coming up. If you are looking to invest into a flourishing business, this is the right time to be a part of the grocery industry.
On-Demand Grocery Industry Forecast And Trends
Recent events have pushed the grocery industry into the spotlight, people are starting to panic and hoard groceries. Because these items are necessary for survival, so obviously people are starting to buy groceries in excess. So much so that most grocery aisles have nothing left on them. This is because of a mixture of restrictions on movement, the need to avoid public places, and the fear of catching the disease. In 2020, grocery stores have seen their highest revenue for a particular day, which is 87.4% more than the year-over-year. Some apps that have seen the highest surge in the US include Instacart and Walmart grocery, these apps showed an increase in their daily download rate by 218% and 160% respectively.
The online grocery industry is expected to reach approx US$85 billion by 2024 and become one of the fastest-growing sectors. The sudden outbreak of cov nineteen is the major reason behind this surge, and the longer this lasts the easier it will be for online grocery to become a habit that may stick even after the situation gets over.
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How Does On-Demand Grocery Business Work
The main reason behind the success of an on-demand grocery business is the platform it offers. Like most on-demand businesses, the on-demand grocery business has no products/stocks of its own, it just offers a platform to the sellers a place where they can sell their products and reach a wider audience than they ever physically could.
An on-demand grocery business requires three elements: the sellers, the buyers, and part-time workers. All these elements work together in an ecosystem where the platform is the intermediary between them. The main features required in this business include reliability, convenience, ease of use, and time-saving ability. People need to be able to buy stuff from the comfort of their homes. The option of buying online helps them save time, the time they would otherwise have to waste on grocery shopping can now be used somewhere else for a better output. These apps also allow customers to shop from multiple stores, thus allowing them the ability to shop at the best prices. The best part about these apps is the ability to browse through these efficient apps, adding items to your cart, and purchasing stuff using online money without having to actually worry about the hard parts of shopping.
To actually buy groceries, a customer goes through the following steps on a grocery app:
- The on-demand grocery app has tie-ups with various grocery stores near you, these stores will be listed on the app depending on your location.
- Once you open the app, you see the stores that deliver around your location. Here, it is up to you to select the store from where you want to buy products.
- Once you select the store, you will be able to see the items available under them. You choose the items you want and add them to your cart.
- Once you have added all the products to your cart, you proceed to pay the amount on checkout and place the order. From here, an employee or part-time worker with the app picks up your order and delivers the same to your doorstep.
- The result, you get your groceries delivered to your doorstep without having to go out of your house. This transaction leads to a sale for the seller and provides income to the worker.
Various Business Models Under On-Demand Grocery
There are different ways in which an on-demand grocery business can work, these can be identified as their business models. Some models followed by the industry are stated below:
- Aggregator Model- Under this model, the app acts as an intermediary. It holds no stocks of its own, it has no hired employees, it just has a platform where other sellers can come and sell their products. This kind of app allows users to buy from multiple stores while keeping the merchandising costs and warehousing costs to a minimum.
- Single Store Model- Under this model, the app showcases the various sections available under a single store. These apps only have one store attached to them and all the products available in that store can be purchased at one place. This type of app is generally used by grocery store owners who plan to go online.
- Store-Pick Model- These types of apps allow customers to pick stuff online and then collect these items in the store. The benefit of this model is that the customers can check in advance whether everything they need is available or not, select these items then collect them in-store without having to browse at the store for hours or wait in line. This is a less intimidating model for grocery sellers who have just entered the on-demand market. Tesco, a UK based grocery retailer is a great example of this model. These stores have pick-up points where customers can just come, tell their order numbers, and collect their items.
- Hybrid Model- A grocery business can also have a hybrid model that can be a combination of any of these. One common hybrid model is a combination of the aggregator model and the store-pick model. Here, you can get the items delivered to your doorstep or you can make the order in advance and take the order from the store depending on your convenience.
Key Features For An On-Demand Grocery Business Model
We already know that the platform that the online grocery business works on forms the backbone of the company. And without its features, the app will become difficult to use and lead to people bouncing off it. Therefore, the app must be customized according to the needs of the present, it should be able to reach a wider audience, and it must be efficient enough to make it scalable for the future. Your grocery app should be ready for any changes that can occur in the future and it should be able to adapt to them. The features on your app make it ready for these circumstances. Hence, certain features have become necessary for a grocery app, these include:
- Access to multiple stores- Consumers like choice, hence it has become necessary to include multiple stores in your app.
- Payment options- The current cov nineteen outbreak and other circumstances have made people more open to opting for online payment options. Hence it is also necessary for apps to adapt to these changing needs.
- Filter and search- It can be irritating to have to go through the entire list of products to search for what you need, hence it is important to have search options and well as filters to improve search.
- Real-time tracking- This is necessary for consumers as it helps them in keeping track of their orders in real-time and be aware of any delays.
- Fast delivery- There are many apps that offer 2-hour delivery, hence it is necessary to offer fast delivery so you can be ahead of your competition.
- Repeat purchases- As grocery shopping can be of repeat nature, it is important to allow your customers to save their previously ordered items and order the same things again.
- In-App chat/call- This is important to be in touch with the delivery person and know the exact time for the arrival of your delivery. It can also be helpful if any items you ordered are not in stock.
There should also be some features that are added for the sellers or the delivery personnel; these features include availability toggle where both of them can alter their availability as and when they wish to function, you can also allow this delivery personnel to accept orders before it is assigned to them, etc.
These features make sure that your stakeholders are satisfied with your services. Any additional features you offer will improve your relationships and the opinion your stakeholders have about your app.
When it comes to an on-demand app, you don’t hold any real products or have many full-time employees. The only thing you have is your app and its functionality, that is the only tangible thing for your business. Everything else can be controlled and managed, but if you have an app that doesn’t satisfy the needs correctly your company is bound to fail. It is necessary to understand the grocery market, realize what your customer needs, understand the current scenario, and then develop an app that fits perfectly in this ecosystem.
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