How much Does it Cost to Build an App Like Instacart

build app like Instacart
On-Demand Delivery Apps

How much Does it Cost to Build an App Like Instacart

Last Updated on November 17, 2023

Whether it is ordering food, grocery, or a helicopter! On-demand apps have become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Apart from the ease of making an order, customer priorities, affordability, and customization options to deliver a more pleasing experience, their success is also dependent on the rapid technological advancement done in the past decade that has made it possible to have products delivered at the doorstep. One such company that has radically altered the grocery delivery business is Instacart.

See Also:

instacart grocery app

What is Instacart?

Founded by Apoorva Mehta and Max Mullen in 2012, Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery platform that provides doorstep deliveries of groceries and other home essentials in the U.S. and Canada. Headquartered in SanFrancisco, California, the company, powered by a technology-driven business model, aims to deliver groceries to customers in as little as 1 hour.

Some interesting stats about Instacart:

  • More than 200,000 shoppers
  • Instacart reaches 30,000 stores
  • The number of products listed on Instacart is more than 500 million.
  • Instacart serves 5,500 North American cities.
  • Instacart is available to 85% of all U.S. households.
  • Instacart’s share of U.S. online consumer goods sales stood at 8% by the end of July 2020.

In June 2020, Instacart raised $225 million in a funding round led by DST Global and General Catalyst., propelling Instacart’s valuation to $13.7 billion, up from $8 billion when it last raised money in 2018. The runaway success of Instacart has prompted a lot of budding entrepreneurs to delve into the instant grocery delivery space. Below we have shared details to give you an estimate of the time and cost to build a similar mobile application.


    With Customized On-Demand Solutions by OyeLabs
    How to develop an app like InstaCart

    How to Develop an App Like Instacart

    The estimated cost to develop a mobile application like Instacart is dependent on several factors, including:

    Technical Documentation – This document provides detail of the mobile application’s overall architecture framework, the scope of the project, requirements, underlying processes, and features to be carried in the app, and techniques required to be used to develop the app like Instacart.

    Platforms – Which Platform is the app going to be built on. Whether it will be created for Android or iOS or both.

    Testing and Deployment: Testing is an essential component that helps identify the flaws in the app’s performance before it is deployed to the broader audience. Testing an application helps identify the app’s risk and maintain and manage its smooth functioning. Generally, testing is conducted after the completion of each module. It includes the following sections of testing:

    • Performance Testing
    • Security Testing
    • Automation Testing
    • Mobile Application Testing
    • Embedded Testing
    • Usability Testing
    • Integration Testing
    • Acceptance Testing

    UI/UX Design: The UI/UX design of the appj is defined based on usability, user- interaction, desirability, and user experience expected with the app.


    Important Features list for apps like InstaCart

    Features to Be Carried on the App

    Developing an app like Instacart is similar to building an on-demand services app. Building an app identical to Instacart involves 4 applications, an app for customers, a vendor app, an app for the driver for making a delivery, and an app for Admin.

    Customer App:

    A highly-interactive interface with user-friendly UI/UX for the customer.       

    • Sign up: Users can register using their phone number or email id. Nowadays, social media integration is also widely used, making the process seamless.
    • Choose Supermarket: The customer can view a list of supermarkets and select products which are available based on his location to order
    • Search & Filter: Users can easily search products from various categories, including price, brand, size, and also provide an option to compare different products based on pre-determined filters.
    • Shopping Cart: View all the selected products, view prices, and move to check out.
    • Payment: Pay through available payment options for the order they have placed and click on submit to pay for a particular purchase.
    • Wallet: View the balance available and recharge wallet options.
    • Return & Cancel: Return or cancel the placed order if not satisfied with the product.
    • Schedule Delivery: The scheduled delivery allows selecting a particular time for receiving the orders and deliveries as per convenience.
    • Track Order Delivery: Real-time monitoring keeps the customer updated about their product delivery status and view the progress status for the current order.
    • Delivery Order History: View all the previous delivery orders with the date-wise order summary and details.
    • Rate & Review: Provide feedback on the product delivered.
    • Wishlist: View a list of all the products added to the wish list for future reference.
    • Push Notifications: Receive updates related to orders, promotional offers, and deals.
    • Offers & Coupons: This feature allows the user to view and apply money-saving coupons at the time of payment

    Grocery App Admin Panel

    A fully-integrated & secured admin panel to manage the back-end operation, starting from the users and product information to changing the application’s design.

    • Order management: This feature allows the Admin to view the list of orders and notify the relevant store. The Admin can monitor the order status, total amount earned per order, and make appropriate business decisions.
    • Manage Inventory: To monitor all the products available in the store and manage inventory details. – This feature ensures that the Admin has timely information related to product stock and assist business owners in making the right business decision.
    • Plan Discounts & Promotions: This app feature allows Admin to add or run promotional offers or discounts on the app. 
    • Reporting and Analytics – Admin can obtain actionable insights to plan strategies to boost sales and user experience. Admin can monitor what discounts are gaining traction, what products are moving quickly, and optimize their offerings accordingly. 

    Delivery Boy App:

    A GPS integrated delivery boy app to track the geo-location of the delivery boy.

    • Sign up/Sign in: Delivery Drivers can register using email or phone, and they can be directly onboarded to start taking delivery orders.
    • Dashboard: View a list of all the completed as well as ongoing deliveries.
    • Status: Turn the delivery status on or off.
    • Order request: Receive a grocery delivery request to view it along with the scheduled delivery time and accept/reject the request.
    • Geo-Map Services: Map Integration assists the delivery person to pursue the buyers’ location efficiently. 
    • Route Optimization – The app recommends the shortest and fastest routes to the delivery person based on the customer’s location to help in on-time delivery 
    • Chat/Message: Receive messages from the user regarding any query related to their orders after drivers accept the order.
    • Payment: Receive payment for the completed delivery through the platform and view the summary of the payment.
    • Wallet: View the amount in the wallet received for the completed delivery
    • Order history: View the summary for the past completed deliveries, total trips undertaken, distance traveled items delivered.
    • Push Notification: Receive push notifications regarding the order status or other order changes. 
    • Ratings & Reviews: Drivers are allowed an option to rate and review their delivery.
    • Help & Customer Care:  The driver should be able to contact the helpdesk if they face any challenges while order delivery quickly

    Vendor Panel:

    A real-time dashboard to manage products, orders, discounts, etc. and includes the below features:

    • Items Management – Store owners can add/update their product listings, prices, minimum order quantity, and amount, and make the products available for ordering.
    • Order Management- Store owners can check the order status (completed or under process), the total amount collected on each order.
    • Order Alerts – Store owners get real-time notifications for new orders.
    • Track Payments – Store owners can add account details, view successful and pending payment settlements in one place.
    • Customer Support – The store manager can efficiently address order or store related issues.
    • Add Products – The store manager can push new items to the store via this feature in the app
    • Reject Order – If a product is out of stock or delivery is not possible for specific reasons, the store manager can reject it.

    Other Factors that Impact the Cost of App Development

    The cost of developing a mobile application such as Instacart is also dependent on:

    App Complexity – Higher the number of features in the app, the greater the time is taken, and the higher the development cost. For example, if it has a back-end server support or not, whether an app has built-in user analytics, back-end CMS support or not, if it has a built-in shopping cart or social media sharing features, etc.

    Integration points – Will the app be integrated with third-party apps and the source of its content. Use of smartphone hardware features – Whether the app will be using such smartphone features as GPS navigation, NFC technology, motion co-processor, and other technologies packed into smartphones or tablet computers.

    Technology Stack – The technology stack used to create an on-demand grocery app varies from business to business. It depends on the skill-set and the budget fixed for the cost of mobile app development.

    • Push notifications – Twilio,
    • Database – Mailchimp Integration., MongoDB, HBase, Cassandra, Postgress
    • Cloud environment – AWS, Google, Azure
    • Payment methods – eWallets, PayPal, Stripe, Braintree
    • Real-time Analytics – IBM, Apache Flink, BigData, Cisco, Hadoop, Spark
    • Phone verification, Voice, SMS – Nexmo, Twilio

    Stepwise Time Breakdown in Developing the App

    Development Stage Hours
    Discovery 80+
    Idea validation 40+
    Visual prototyping 60
    Design for Android & iOS platforms 130–190
    Customer Mobile App (iOS & Android Application) 800 – 1200
    Back-end development 300+
    Super Admin Panel (PHP Backend Panel) 80
    Testing & Quality Check 80+
    Total 2000-2400

    The cost of app development is heavily dependent on the location of the development team.  Because of a different economic state, the hourly rate for mobile app development varies in different parts of the world. India has the lowest rate, while the U.S. has the highest per hour charge.

    Country App development charges
    India $10 to $40 per hour
    Eastern Europe $30 to $100 per hour
    US $70 to $150 per hour

    Additional Costs (Hidden Charges)

    Licenses: If a mobile app design incorporates one or more technologies that the developer should pay a charge for, it may significantly increase an overall app development cost.

    Maintenance Cost:  Similar to any software, mobile apps cost has a maintenance component. The app requires periodic updates with innovative features to keep customers engaged as well as draw new customers. The industry average app maintenance cost comes to approximately roughly 15-20% of the original development cost. Maintenance costs can be broken down into the cost of hosting, monitoring, engagement, updates.  

    With an average development cost of $30 per hour, the price for building an app like Instacart may start at $50,000 and go higher, depending on the features and technologies used. When businesses estimate the development cost, they need to factor in a development team location and an app complexity.


    Want to create an online grocery delivery mobile app? Here Grocery delivery app development.

    Frequently Asked Questions for building an app like InstaCart (FAQs)

    Que. What are some apps similar to instacart?

    Ans. There are many apps for grocery delivery in the market and few of them which are similar to instacart are FreshDirect, PeaPod, DoorDash, Grofers and more.

    Que. Does OyeLabs offer a grocery delivery app like InstaCart?

    Ans. Oyelabs offers both a custom-build as well as a readymade grocery delivery app solutions. Our product GoodGrocers is a solution for online grocery services.

    Que. How does InstaCart generate revenue?

    Ans. Instacart earns money by charging a fee on delivery, Instacart Express Membership. Commissions from partner sellers and markup prices are other sources of revenue for the grocery delivery app.

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