How to Build an App Like Instacart?

Build an App Like Instacart

It has become imperative for every retail outlet to launch its app or be a part of a marketplace. Having an online presence has become a competitive necessity. The online option is a massive opportunity for every entrepreneur to jump into the field and launch a marketplace. You will be able to empanel multiple restaurants having multiple cuisines and begin making money. How do you build an app?

It has become simple to procure an existing grocery app clone in the market. There are many players on the field. It has become easy also to launch the app within a few days and get into business. You will have to analyze the market and decide the app you would like to adopt. Let us, in this blog, talk about Instacart.

On-Demand Grocery App Development- Instacart Clone

Instacart is an online grocery app that allows customers to order grocery items online. The groceries get delivered to the homes of the customers. The process of ordering goes like this.

  • Customer signs up or logs in
  • Selects the groceries
  • Books the order
  • Schedules the delivery time
  • Makes the payment
  • Gets the groceries delivered

Launching of an app in the marketplace. 

Let us now talk about how to build an app like instacart. The decision to create an app like Instacart depends on understanding the market from a 3C analysis. The 3C analysis will include Customers, Competitors, and companies. Customer and Competitive analysis would consist of analyzing the demand that exists for the online grocery apps. Multiple players also need to be analyzed to find the gaps they have left behind in the market. The gap analysis will help you decide the essential functionalities you would need to build in the app. You can then design the UI, choose the backend, implement the app features, and launch the app in the app store. 

On-Demand Grocery Delivery App Business Models

There are multiple business models in a delivery app. You can choose the one that is effective and the one convenient to you. The potential business models are

Inventory Model

In this model, the platform stores the products from multiple brands. The platform collects orders from various customers. The platform takes up the responsibility of delivering those orders either through an internal or through an external network—the platform brands all the deliveries. The advantage of this model is because of the consistency in branding and delivery. The platform makes better margins. However, the disadvantage of the model is that it requires the platform to stock the products. The platform cost goes up because of the stocks, warehouse, people, and delivery. The platform needs to take care of the returns.

Shopping model

In this model, the platform allows the customers to decide the products and the price. The platform does not allow the consumers to select the shop. The platform takes responsibility for its network and distribution. The platform decides the shops based on proximity, profitability, time of delivery, and past success. 

Multi-Vendor Marketplace model

In this model, the platform allows the consumer to place the orders and schedule the time. The platform, however, does not stock the product. The order is passed on to the respective store. An external agency handles the transportation. The agency picks up the stock and delivers them to the customers. The advantage of this model is not maintaining the stocks and the fluctuations in demand. The disadvantage in the model is the minimalistic margins the platform can make

The hyper-local market

In this model, the platform is a hyper-local marketplace. The term hyper-local means the term refers to a small geographical area. The delivery is done within a specific geography or a specific pin code. This model is trendy in the grocery, medicine, and household items that the grocery shop sells. The advantage of this model is that the platform can deliver the products very fast to their customers within an hour or so. The disadvantage of this model is that the network of the shops and handling the intense shops within multiple zip codes could be a logistical nightmare. 

Success Story: Instacart

Instacart was founded in 2012. The startup grew to around 200 employees in 2015. Instacart began focusing on hyper-local on-demand grocery delivery business models. Instacart’s most significant advantage was it did not own any grocery store but serves as a marketplace for connecting grocery stores with their customers. Customers can choose their preferred grocery stores, select the products, pay the money, and schedule a time to deliver. 

The delivery was a big differentiator because the delivery can happen within a few hours. No other marketplace was able to deliver the groceries this fast because of their operational model.

Consumers can also pick their groceries from national retailers such as Costco, CVS, Kroger, to name a few. The company now partners with over 300 retailers in 40000 locations across North America. The large stores are in addition to the small mom-and-pop stores that are local to their customers. 

The platform later diversified and allowed their customers to order meals and increased their scope of offerings to their customers. The company raised its recent round of $200 Mn by 2020. The company has around 8600 employees and has about 500,000 customers spread across the US and Canada.

How to build your grocery app like BigBasket?

Developing a grocery app like Big Basket can be done in two ways. Building a team and the app from scratch or procuring a clone. The essential features of BigBasket are as follows:

  • The app should have a search bar. Customers can search the products by name, product. The customers should also be able to scan using a barcode
  • The customers should be able to use the coupon codes
  • The customers should be able to save the products to the cart
  • The customers should be able to schedule the delivery or also use the excess delivery at an additional cost
  • The customers should be able to use multiple options to pay
  • The customers should also be able to track the delivery of the order using GPS.


You can build an app from scratch by hiring your team or outsourcing this to a third-party software development company. However, the time it takes to develop will be a few months, and the cost will also be high. The essential features that are needed in an app today may become irrelevant in a few months. Hence, it is apparent that you choose a mobile clone app that is ready to launch on the web and mobile phones. You can select popular platforms such as Instacart and BigBasket based on your market research. You can then quickly launch within a few days. You can then customize the app to suit your unique differentiators while you continue to make money. 


Giandeep Singh

I am a writer and marketing specialist who loves to explore new digital strategies to boost business growth online.