How Much Does It Cost to Build a Grocery Delivery App Like Instacart?


In today’s age where digitalization has taken everything by a storm, grocery shopping, which was once done physically, has undergone a revolution where customers have transitioned from brick and mortar stores to online channels. Furthermore, the emergence of mobile apps like Instacart have made customers more demanding for convenience and speed with same-day doorstep delivery at the click of a button. This presents an opportunity that is waiting to be reaped for entrepreneurs who are looking to build an app like Instacart. 

Brief Overview of Instacart

Founded in 2012 by Max Mullen, Apoorva Mehta and Brandon Leonardo, Instacart is an American grocery delivery company that offers its services in America and Canada. It is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Using its application or platform, you can shop for groceries, medicines, office supplies, pet food and more. 

Furthermore, Instacart has tie ups with various stores in grocery space and beyond unlike other grocery delivery service providers who stock up groceries in a warehouse. The shopping is done by a “personal shopper” who then delivers the order to your doorstep on the same day. It also offers express delivery (as fast as 30 minutes).

Features of A Grocery Delivery Platform and App Like Instacart

Features are the backbone of a grocery delivery platform and application. Therefore, in this section, we take a look at the features of a grocery delivery platform and app like Instacart.

Buyers App 

  • Easy Signup and Login 
  • Location Based Search
  • Store Filters
  • Virtual Shopping Cart 
  • Multiple Payment Gateways 
  • Order Tracking 
  • Order History 
  • Return and Refund Management
  • Ratings and Reviews 
  • Support Panel

Shopper/Delivery App 

  • Easy Signup and Login 
  • Order Details 
  • Order Notification 
  • Geo-Navigation
  • Delivery History Tracking 
  • Earning Dashboard
  • Support Panel

Admin Panel 

  • Product Catalog Management 
  • Shopper Management 
  • Store Management
  • Commission Management
  • Coupons and Discount Management
  • Ratings and Review Management
  • Reports and Analytics 

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Factors Influencing the Cost of Building an Online Grocery Delivery Platform and App Like Instacart

Building an online grocery delivery platform and an app like Instacart requires careful planning and consideration of several factors as they can significantly influence the overall development cost. Understanding them will help in realistic business planning that will aid in venturing into the online grocery space with optimal budget. Discussed below are a few of them.

  • Implementing User Friendly UI/UX
  • Features and Functionality
  • Server Requirements
  • Security Costs
  • Choosing the Right Tech Stack
  • Integration of Third Party APIs
  • Size and Location of the Development Team
  • Setting Project Development Timeline

Implementing User Friendly UI/UX

The design of the platform or the application is the first thing the potential consumers will see. A well-designed UX/UI determines the user satisfaction and engagement rate, crucial to improve revenue and brand loyalty. But the complexity or the finesse of UX/UI designs will significantly affect the cost of development. Please refer to the table below for an overview of how UX/UI designs will affect the hours of development and ultimately the cost.

Development Team Design Tasks Average Development Time
UX Design Rough Sketches Simple-10-14 hours
Low Fidelity Wireframes Medium-50-60 hours
High Fidelity Wireframes Complex-150+ hours
UI Design Mood Boards Simple-10-20 hours
UI Mockup Sample Medium-80-90 hours
Final UI Morkup Complex-100+ hours

Features and Functionality

The cost of the platform or the application will ultimately depend on the type of features and functionality you would like to incorporate. The cost will increase according to the number of features and functionality. Complexity of functionality is another factor that will greatly affect the cost of development.

Server Requirements

While building a grocery delivery platform or application, calculating the server cost is one of the most important factors as it will directly affect the cost of development. To determine the same, it is necessary to know how much data you will be serving to users. If the data is larger, more server space will be required and this will reciprocate to a higher cost.

Security Costs  

When creating a grocery delivery platform or app, security is a crucial aspect since it will store information like customer details, payment details, transaction records, and more. So having security in place is critical and it will incur additional costs.

Choosing the Right Tech Stack 

Technologies are a deciding factor in the way the final product will work. This includes performance, scalability, and more. That said, there are a plethora of technologies to choose from, some are open source and free, but some can be expensive. Hence, it is pivotal to choose the right tech stack depending on your requirements as this will affect the development cost.

Integration of Third Party APIs

Third party APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) assist in communication between two applications without any human interface. Hence, if you need to get the benefit of other services, for example, payment gateways, you can integrate with third-party APIs. The cost will be on a per-integration basis.

Size and Location of the Development Team

This is a very important factor as the location, experience level and the size of the development team will greatly affect the cost of the grocery delivery platform and app. For example, hiring experienced developers from countries with high cost of living like the US will typically result in higher costs.

Setting Project Development Timeline

The project development timeline is another aspect that can affect the development cost immensely. For instance, if a project needs to be completed quickly, it will require more resources. This will proportionally increase the cost of development too.

Cost Analysis of Custom Grocery eCommerce Platform and App Development

As discussed, the cost of a custom grocery eCommerce platform and app development varies significantly based on several factors. Still, here is the cost analysis (region and time wise) of custom grocery eCommerce platform and app development.

Region Wise Development Cost 

  • Asia: $15-$25 per hour
  • Europe: $30-$100 per hour
  • U.S.A: $70-$150 per hour

Development Time Required

  • Planning and Research (2-4 weeks)
  • UI/UX Design (4-6 weeks)
  • Development (12-20 weeks)
  • Testing and Quality Assurance (4-6 weeks)
  • Deployment (2-4 weeks)

Therefore, developing a grocery delivery app like Instacart from scratch will incur significant time commitment and huge cost varying from $20000 in Asia to $200,000 in the United States. Hence, it is better to opt for a pre-built grocery eCommerce solution that offers grocery delivery apps as it is both time and cost-effective. Let’s discuss this in detail.

Readymade Solution – The Best Fit to Launch a Grocery eCommerce Platform and App like Instacart 

A pre-built or off-the-shelf solution is a practical alternative to custom development as it is designed to be deployed quickly in comparison to the extensive timeframe custom development requires. Discussed below are the benefits of a readymade grocery eCommerce solution.

Benefits of A Readymade Grocery eCommerce Solution 

  • Eliminates Hassles of Hiring A Development Team 

A readymade solution eliminates the hassles of hiring a development team, which is one of the biggest cost driving factors for custom development. As it is a pre-built solution, so development is not needed (if customization is required, that is also fairly quick).

  • Greater Ease of Customization and Scalability

A ready to launch solution can be customized with features and functionality to meet specific requirements. It also provides the provision for scalability to fit the future grocery eCommerce business needs.

  • Affordable and Quick to Launch 

As mentioned above, a turnkey grocery eCommerce solution lets you save a considerable amount of money as you do not need to hire a big team of developers which is the case in custom development. Furthermore, the time-to-market is fast.

  • Built-In Features 

A readymade grocery eCommerce solution comes with all the essential features that are industry specific and time tested. These include multiple payment gateway options, social media login, inventory management features and more.

  • Free Demos 

A lot of readymade grocery eCommerce solutions offer free demos that aid in better understanding of the platform’s capabilities, which ultimately leads to better decision making. This is not the case in custom development. 

Now that we have understood the benefits, let’s take a look at a few important considerations while choosing a readymade solution.

Important Considerations while Choosing a Readymade Grocery eCommerce Solution 

In a technology-driven word, choosing the right readymade solution to launch a grocery delivery platform and app is essential for business success. As there are numerous off-the-shelf solutions available, choosing the one that fits your business needs perfectly might not always be easy. 

Here, we discuss the most important factors to consider when choosing the right readymade solution for an online grocery delivery business like Instacart.

  • Market Reputation- Research the market reputation of the readymade grocery eCommerce solution. This should include ratings and reviews.
  • Functionality-  Assess the features and functionality of the software to make sure that it meets the needs of your business.
  • User-Friendliness- Ease of use is pivotal, so opt for a readymade grocery eCommerce software that is intuitive and user friendly.
  • Integration- Compatibility is important, so check if the software seamlessly integrates with other APIs or tools you are planning to use.
  • Scalability- The software should be scalable to accommodate the growth over the years in terms of users, features, data and more.
  • Customization- A flexible solution that allows customization will be able to adapt to your tailored business needs.
  • Security- As security is critical, prioritize choosing a readymade solution that has robust security features so that the data remains protected.
  • Cost- Consider the cost of the grocery eCommerce software, whether it fits your budget or not. Additionally, consider the ongoing costs such as upgrades, maintenance, licensing fees and so on.
  • Support and Training- Adequate support aids with timely resolution of issues, while efficient training facilitates effective use of the solution. Hence, look for the level of support and training provided by the software vendor.
  • Updates and Maintenance- For the software to remain up to date, regular updates and maintenance are essential. So, check with the software vendor for the same.

Deliver Value Through Off-the-Shelf Solution in Grocery Delivery Industry

How Can FATbit’s Growcer Help You to Launch A Grocery Delivery Platform and App Like Instacart?

FATbit Technologies is a software development company that started its journey in 2004. With 19+ years of experience, the team of FATbit comprises multidisciplinary experts, who by practicing agile methodologies continue to blaze new trails in the software development industry. 

Growcer, a readymade grocery eCommerce software was designed and developed by the team of FATbit after gauging market trends and evolving consumer needs in the grocery retail industry. It is the best-in-class software which encapsulates a rich suite of features. Furthermore, it is fully customizable, scalable and comes equipped with readymade apps for grocery delivery staff and buyers (iOS and Android both).

Key Highlights of Growcer

  • Fully Customizable and Scalable 
  • Self-Hosted 
  • One Time Payment, Lifetime License
  • Apps for Buyers and Delivery Staff (Android and iOS)
  • 12 Months Free Technical Support 
  • No-Cost Installment
  • Powerful Dashboards
  • GDPR and PCI Compliant

Launch a Grocery Delivery Platform & App Like Instacart with Growcer


Apps like Instacart are a phenomenal driving force that reinvigorates eCommerce. Hence, building a similar app like Instacart is the way to business profitability as they meet the expectations of convenience, flexibility and speed of delivery to consumer’s doorstep. For more information on the cost associated with launching a grocery delivery platform and app like Instacart, you can get in touch with us.

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