Create a 10-minute Grocery Delivery App like Zepto

Guide To Build An App Like Zepto
App Development Guides / On-Demand Delivery Apps

Create a 10-minute Grocery Delivery App like Zepto

Last Updated on January 25, 2024

Food and grocery aggregators are thrilled by speed. Groceries are being delivered faster than ever, making speed and efficiency the most critical components of users’ buying experience. They have empowered customers who make a purchase through mobile apps and don’t have time to go to the grocery store or want to avoid the hassle of dealing with traffic and parking, order anything from anywhere, and get it delivered on time at their doorsteps.

The supply chain disruptions triggered by the pandemic led to the development of a new online delivery sub-vertical called Quick Commerce, or q-commerce, with a unique selling proposition of deliveries within 10-30 minutes of ordering. This model moves away from the traditional formula of well-stocked large-format warehouses located on the outskirts of cities and focuses on setting up micro-warehouses closer to the point of delivery and restricting SKUs under 2,000 high-demand items, then using algorithms to send drivers on the fastest routes through the crowded street of Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and other cities.

Interesting in launching your own online-delivery platform like Zepto? Get all insights

The Opportunity in the Indian Q-Commerce Market

India is fast emerging as a global leader in Q-commerce. Investors have poured billions of dollars into delivery startups that promise to bring that next order of fresh coriander, Lays potato chips, vim bar, and lux soap within minutes rather than hours or days. While e-groceries account for just 2% of all retail grocery sales in India, they’re one of the fastest-growing segments of commerce, and startups are wagering that they can change consumer habits and grab a share of the $1 trillion market.

According to Sanford C. Bernstein analysts, India’s online grocery retail market is expected to be worth $21 billion by 2025 and reach 3-5% of the overall retail market share from less than 1% today. This is expected to be driven by rising income and affluence, evolving customer habits, higher e-commerce penetration, and a tech-savvy generation who prefers to make online purchases.   As their standard of living rises & their daily schedules become more stringent, consumers are flocking to convenient, personalized internet platforms to shop for groceries instead of walking to local stores.

From Zomato-owned Blinkit to Google-backed Dunzo and Softbank-powered Swiggy, many swear by the 10-minute delivery model. Let’s take a closer look at Zepto, which has disrupted India’s highly competitive online grocery delivery market and has become one of India’s leading providers of quick delivery services.

What is the Zepto app?

Zepto is a quick-service on-demand delivery app that promises to deliver your groceries in as little as 10 minutes. The firm is eponymous with the term Zepto second, which denotes “a factor of 10⁻²¹, reflecting the smallest unit of measurable time. Customers can choose from thousands of products, including farm-fresh vegetables and fruits, groceries, dairy products, personal care products, beauty and wellness, home essentials, baby care, etc.

Zepto Grocery App Success Story

Zepto’s success lies in its ability to routinely inventory and deliver over 3,000 products in less than ten minutes. Launched in April 2021, it has expanded delivery services in 13 cities with over 100 dark stores in less than a year. Zepto is forecasting to generate revenue of $1 billion by March 2023. The startup recently posted 800% quarter-over-quarter growth with a net promoter score of 88. The app is adding 100,000 new customers every week, with 60% of them women.

Zepto – The Origins of on-demand Delivery

Zepto was founded by two 19-year-old entrepreneurs, Aadit Palicha, CEO, and Kaivalya Vohra, CTO. Both were pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stanford University and had returned to India for a break just before the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the country.

The two founders were bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and had partnered on several projects. However, while the pandemic was raging, the biggest problem the two bachelors were facing was getting groceries and essentials delivered to their area. Although grocery deliveries were categorized as essential by the government, high demand for these items resulted in prolonged delays. The founders felt that the Indian e-grocery delivery space was grappling with gross execution errors and needed to have a grocery delivery service that was fast, convenient, and reliable.

How does Zepto Deliver So Fast

Zepto’s ultra-fast delivery service operates under the q-commerce model underpinned by dark store distribution outlets. These facilities allow the company to fulfil its ten-minute promise on up to 90% of orders. The company claims to provide a frictionless delivery experience and boasts a median delivery time of 8 mins 47 seconds. The startup works with contractors or gig worker partners for its delivery fleet, who are always on standby, ready to deliver groceries as soon as possible.

Zepto Business Model – Dark Stores

Zepto’s fast delivery business model is supported by a network of dark stores or retail distribution centres that service customers within a 3-kilometre radius. These Dark stores possess the following characteristics:

  • Not open to the public.
  • Located in high-demand neighborhoods.
  • Stock a lower variety of products in exchange for sub-hour delivery times.
  • Ergonomically designed to enable packers to move swiftly and efficiently.
  • Keep inventory stock track and product assortment with the help of AI-powered tools.

The magic of Zepto’s dark store model is that from the time a customer checks out of the app till their groceries are packed and dispatched — the entire process takes 60 seconds or less. While the last mile delivery is similar to any other delivery model.

Zepto employs the PPB Formula for the success of the dark store model:

1) Picking- Zepto’s packers are equipped with tablets to know where each item is stored and get an optimal route to pick them up.

2) Packing – All the items are collected and packed quickly.

3) Bagging – As soon as the delivery agent receives the order, the agent must exit the warehouse.

Dark stores are not a novel concept; such centres are common in the USA, Russia, and other larger economies. However, managing their operations in India’s chaotic traffic and congested streets was a different ball game. This made planning and location of the ‘Dark Stores’ a significant factor.

Zepto employs a state-of-the-art AI tool called Locus that leverages the Google API to track the customer’s geostatistical data, traffic dynamics, and how long it will take for the last mile delivery. It presents all relevant information on the Zepto dashboard. Zepto also optimizes factors such as topography, road patterns, weather, real estate values, population, last-mile supply availability, and traffic dynamics to ensure a quick delivery.

How Does Zepto Make Money?

Zepto generates revenue from various channels:

1. Commission: Zepto charges a certain percentage of commission from the merchants on these orders. The percentage of commission differs on the value of the order.

2. Surcharge on the Dark Stores: The dark stores pay a certain amount to register themselves with the application.

3. Delivery Charges: Currently, the company does not take a delivery charge, while several of its competitors have basic delivery charges on orders that do not meet minimal shopping limits, such as Rs. 250.

4. Sponsor Ads: Zepto accepts sponsored advertisements from companies and products

Zepto’s Funding

Zepto raised $200 million at a valuation of $900 million in its Series D funding led by Y Combinator Continuity with Kaser Permanente along with other existing investors such as Nexus Venture Partners, Glade Brook Capital and Lachy Room. Zepto plans to use its latest round of investment funding to expand, recruit, and develop its recently established ‘Zepto Cafe’ service that serves snackable goods such as Tea, pastries, samosas, and coffee.

Steps To Build A Grocery Delivery App Like Zepto

How can I start a 10-minute grocery delivery business like Zepto from scratch?

You’re probably wondering how you can build an on-demand app like Zepto that could deliver groceries in under 10 minutes. Well, it’s not that difficult – all you need is a great team, good planning, and of course, the right technology.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started:

Find a niche market: The first step to starting any business is finding a niche market. This will help you determine what features to include in your app and how to position your app in the market.

Research the competition: Look at what other companies are doing in this space and how you can differentiate yourself.

Create a business plan: It’s important to have a solid business plan before starting any business. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and plans to achieve them, including your target market, pricing, and marketing strategy. This is critical for a grocery delivery service, as there are many moving parts to consider, including logistics, marketing, and finances.

Hire staff: Human resource is one of the most critical elements of any business. Hence you need to hire passionate people who have experience in the grocery industry. This team should be composed of individuals with different skill sets and experience levels to complement each other.

Raise capital: Creating on-demand online-delivery business from scratch is cash-heavy and needs serious investment to get your business off the ground. You can raise this capital through personal savings, friends or family loans, crowdfunding or pitching to investors.

Create an app: The most important element of starting a Zepto-like business is creating an app. This is what your customers will use to place their orders and track their delivery status. There are many different ways to develop an app, so it’s important to find one that’s easy to use and has all the features your customers need.

Choose the right platform: Zepto is available on iOS and Android, so you’ll need to decide which platform you want to launch your app. If you’re unsure which platform to choose, consider surveying your target market to see which platform they prefer.

Developing the right features: You must carefully consider which features to include in your app and how to make them work well together. You need to between adding too many features, which can make the app confusing to use, and not including enough features, which can make the app seem incomplete.

Features of 10-Minute App Delivery You Cannot Miss to Include

Any functional on-demand grocery delivery app has at least three components, and each plays a different but important role:

  • Customer Panel
  • Admin Panel
  • Delivery Agent Panel

Customer Panel

Easy Onboarding: Users should be able to register with their social media profiles and log in using phone numbers or email IDs and OTP.

Home Page: The app’s home page provides customers with a range of products and categories available in their closest facility. It should also allow users to check the previous order and repeat the previous order as it is without much trouble.

Creating a user-friendly interface: Zepto has a neat and clean interface. Your app’s interface needs to be intuitive, easy to use, and visually appealing and our experts ensure your on-demand grocery app has a similar experience.

Clear Navigation: Clear navigation helps users easily find the items they are looking for under well-defined categories, saving time and effort.

Personalized offers: In a diverse country such as India, buyer choices are affected by different cultural, regional, social, and other factors. The app can leverage them to understand consumer preferences and provide personalized offers by tracking users’ browsed products and previous purchasing history.

Push Notifications: This help keeps users updated with new offers, flash sales, continuing deals, and discounts on the app. This helps boost client engagement and encourages higher app usage.

Order Cart: Customers can check the cart to review the added products and the billing details

Simple Checkout: Users should be able to place an order in just a few simple steps, enhancing conversion rates.

Track deliveries in real-time: Customers should be able to track their order in real-time, so they can follow if their order has been accepted, packed, being transported, and how long it would take to reach their doorstep.  

Delivery Address: The app tracks the customer’s address and finds the nearest store for delivery

Accurate Location: The app needs to pick a precise location of the customer without too many details being fed manually.

Multiple Payment Methods: Include several payment methods in your grocery app. Options like cash on delivery, credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and net banking make it easier for customers to make payments.

Schedule Delivery: Scheduling delivery timings makes it easier for users to plan their shopping.

Improved Product Search: The on-demand grocery app should integrate an intelligent search feature to enable customers to easily identify requisite products using accurate keywords

Wishlist: Customers can add groceries to their wishlist and then purchase them later.

Sharing a Cart: Customers can use the cart sharing tool to share their shopping carts with friends and family.

Recommended products: The app displays a recommended product list based on the customer’s past search preferences. Delivering targeted product recommendations could significantly increase your average order value.

Comparing Prices: Enabling price comparison between different products to help users make informed purchase decisions

Multilingual Capability: Include multilingual ordering facility in your grocery shopping app to reach a wider audience

Voice search: This can help users search for products and products using voice commands and significantly improve user experience

Rewards & Coupon Codes: Customers love discounts and special offers. You can combine discount coupon codes with loyalty reward schemes to increase customer engagement and motivate them to make additional purchases.

Reviews and Ratings: Customers can share their shopping and browsing experiences through review and rating systems.

Customer service: There should be a way for customers to contact customer service in case of any problems with their order.

Delivery Partner Panel

The delivery partner panel makes it easier for delivery partners and ensures on-time deliveries. Consider the following functionalities of a grocery delivery app:

Delivery Partner Dashboard: The dashboard helps drivers keep track of the delivery made and the scheduled ones in an organized way. It also displays their earnings by the end of the day and reports in case of issues.

No-hassle registration: Easy registration for delivery partners by providing basic information such as their name, email address, and phone number.

Management of Profiles: This tool will aid delivery boys in effectively managing their profiles, including adding personal information, profile picture, and bank details.

Instant Update: As the dark store accepts the order, the delivery agent is also intimated by the delivery schedule.

In-App Wallet: With an in-app wallet, the driver can easily see their tips and the amount added to their account. They can also check the incentives and rewards they might earn during the course and manage withdrawal requests.

History of Delivery: The delivery boy can view his order delivery history and how many orders he has delivered in a day, and the total amount of order requests received to date.

Pick-up Proof: Drivers will have to scan a unique QR code on the order bags as proof for pick-up of the order

Delivery Tracking: The app sends real-time updates to the customers as the driver arrives to pick up the order

Delivery Proof: The driver needs to enter the customer’s signature or snapshot of the order as proof of delivery

Delivery Reattempt: If the drivers are not able to deliver for any reason, they should be allowed to reattempt delivery

Admin Panel

Admin Panel: The Admin panel of the on-demand grocery delivery app help owners and the staff manage their business efficiently and track your delivery agents, their time, and their profits.

Delivery Agents: The app tracks the performance and availability of delivery agents and also tracks areas that need more delivery agents or adapt the operations.

Bird’s View: Track the active and completed orders’ status and get an overall view of available and unavailable drivers for the store location

Picking Stages: Admin can update the stages of the order from “Not Picked” to “Picked”, “In Review”, or “Removed.”

Assign Picker: After accepting the order, the app automatically assigns a picker to collect the items requested by the customer

Assign Drivers: Drivers will receive notifications of new orders to pick up, which they can accept or reject

Order Label: Generate and print the label for each order bag for the drivers to scan

Order Pick-up: The customer is immediately informed once the order is ready for pick-up by the driver

Promo Code: Promo codes can be set up and made available directly to customers or by distribution through affiliates.

Inventory Management: Inventory specific to each dark store and SKUs can be managed by the admin to manage the stores better.

App Updates: Manage app update settings and enable users to install the latest version of your customized on-demand Zepto clone delivery app

SEO: Make the suggested optimizations to ensure your app is SEO friendly and mobile responsive

Account Management: Manage the earnings of each dark store and delivery person from the admin panel

Track Analytics: Track the order analytics of each dark store from the admin panel and use it to improve the store performance

How can you Market your 10-minute Delivery App to ensure that it is successful?

  • Promote your app: app through marketing and advertising.
  • Make sure potential customers know about your app and what it can do for them.
  • Use a strong branding strategy with consistent messaging and visuals across your marketing materials
  • Advertising can be a great way to reach potential users who might not otherwise be aware of your app.
  • Social media can be a great way to connect with potential users and promote your app.

How much does it Cost to create a 10-minute Grocery Delivery App like Zepto?

As we have seen, the primary difference between a grocery delivery app and a q-commerce on-demand grocery delivery app is the business model, with the app being the centerpiece. The cost of developing a grocery delivery app like Zepto depends on various factors such as the features you want to include, the platform you want to launch your app on, the geographical location of your target market, etc. However, you can expect to spend anywhere between $15,000 and $50,000 to develop a basic version of your app. You can expect to spend more if you want to include additional features or launch your app in multiple locations.

Why Choose Oyelabs to create the quick delivery app?

If you are looking forward to entering the burgeoning q-commerce with an on-demand grocery app like Zepto, then look no further and collaborate with Oyelabs. We are a leading on-demand mobile app development company with experienced developers well versed in the latest technologies and trends.

We also offer a wide range of services, including on-demand app development, app designing, and app marketing.

Benefits of Building your ON-DEMAND GROCERY APP with OyeLabs

Benefits of Building your on-demand Grocery App with OyeLabs

Advanced Technological Structure: A q-commerce app needs to have a technically advanced infrastructure that’s scalable and able to handle a large number of orders. We ensure CSV and geo-intelligence to ensure that your grocery delivery application is the fastest in the market. Our on-demand grocery delivery clone of Zepto can be customized for a variety of dark store applications. Whatever your unique delivery business idea is, we can tailor-made our app to suit that.

Your Brand Imagery: We can create a Zepto-like software and integrate your brand colors, keeping them consistent throughout.

Server Setup: We host the Zepto clone dark store software on the client’s server, making it a hassle-free transition process.

Payment Gateway: Our on-demand grocery delivery apps are integrated with leading payment gateway, including Stripe, Razorpay, and Kushki, to ensure hassle-free transactions.

Scalable & Clean Design: Our Zepto clone software uses state-of-the-art container technology, clean coding practices, microservice architecture while simultaneously integrating safety and security features

Security: Our on-demand grocery delivery app is robust, scalable, and extremely secure. We use SSL-powered APIs, Keychain, JWT, reverse proxy setup, etc., to ensure that the security extends from the app to each API.

IP Rights Registered: We provide the IP rights of the customized instant delivery software to your business. The product will solely belong to your business; therefore, any modification or usability of the mobile app will be limited to your discretion.

Contact us today to get your Zepto-like clone on the market now!


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