Essentials of Developing a Grocery Delivery App Like Shipt

Some things prove to be an everyday physical investment. And grocery shopping surely tops this list. This happens to be one of the tasks that you can never put off. Since this is an essential everyday need, a helping hand can certainly prove to be a blessing in disguise. You would be astonished to learn that 25% of consumers in the US order groceries online. And the online grocery market is predicted to reach a whopping 133.8 billion USD by 2022. With this sudden rise in trend, there has been a pool of investments in Shipt clone app development.

On-demand services have become the go-to thing to avail of instant services. Anything you want food, groceries, medicines, a massage, you can have it delivered at your doorsteps. Though many industries offer on-demand services today, this read is about one of the best grocery delivery apps in the market, Shipt. 

Let’s discuss the Shipt business model in detail.

What is Shipt?

If you’re already using on-demand solutions to get your groceries delivered there is a high chance that you have heard about Shipt. Shipt has introduced innovation and tech to grocery shopping and has made it convenient and accessible to millions.

The platform was founded in 2014 by Bill Smith and has its headquarters in Alabama. Target Corporation acquired Shipt for 550 million USD in December 2017. The platform is experiencing exponential growth and hit the 1 billion USD valuation mark in 2018. It offers a mobile application for both Android and iOS users. 

The success of this on-demand grocery delivery platform has prompted many entrepreneurs to develop an app like Shipt. Shipt is now available in 5000 cities across the US, with its 50,000 shoppers delivering groceries at your request. Apart from Shipt, there are many other apps such as Weezy and Instacart that have made it big in this business.

To develop a grocery delivery app, one must first understand the different business models that they can choose from to approach this business. 

Grocery Delivery App: Business Model

There are 3 basic types of grocery delivery business models that you can choose from. These models are designed to suit your business needs and budget. Click to know about instacart business model.

Develop a Grocery Delivery App for your Grocery Store

This is an easy fix if you already own a grocery store. You can easily develop a Shipt clone app and your consumers would be able to order at their convenience within a few taps. Yet you would need a good consumer base to think about investing in this domain. 

Marketplace: Create your Platform like Shipt

This is another business model where you can offer a common platform to many grocery vendors. Consumers can order as per their store preference. Building this huge platform with advanced features and functionalities can prove to be a costly affair. Therefore you should either have a high budget or you should start by developing an MVP first. 

Grocery Store Chains: Delivery App

You can develop a grocery delivery app that manages the home delivery of all the retail products for your users. This can be an addition to your existing business, where you can manage processes from a centralized dashboard. 

Commissions & Ads

If you’re partnering with retailers, earning through revenue-sharing is the traditional way. Here your platform will receive a certain percentage of commission on each order. 

Ads are another tried and tested method of earning money. They can come in the way of your user experience. But they will surely earn you some bucks.

Convenience Charge

A user is getting their groceries delivered at their doorstep while ordering from their cozy sofa. Your platform can surely charge some convenience fee for the same. 


How Does Shipt Work?

Shipt has designed an efficient algorithm that makes sure they offer the best grocery shopping experience to their users. There are many things that you should keep in mind to create your on-demand grocery platform.

However, there’s a step-wise process that a user needs to follow to avail groceries at their doorsteps. The following pointers would explain how Shipt works. So, let’s get to it.

Features: User Application

Download the Application

The foremost step with any application is to set up your account. You can easily do the same by downloading the Shipt application from the play store. You can use the website if you wish to operate the platform from a PC or a laptop. By offering your credentials such as name, email, and selecting a strong password, your account will be up and running. Your account will be free of cost. 

Set your Location & Choose your Store

The next step would be to feed the location where you want your groceries to be delivered. The platform would also ask you to type the location manually to learn the exact flat or house number where the delivery has to be made. 

Once you do this, you will observe a dashboard that will present a list of stores affiliated with Shipt. You can choose your store as per your preference and also avail membership or reward points if you have them. 

Add Items to your Shopping Cart

After selecting the store of your choice, you can browse through the items listed in that particular store. There will be a menu by your side that will give you quick access to different categories of products. 

Additional information like sale items, buy 1 get 1 free offer, and more will be mentioned below a particular item. If you’ve ordered before from a particular store it will show you a list of your preferred products at the top. You can observe all your selected products in your cart. Once you are through, you will have to adhere to the check-out process and your order will be delivered at your doorsteps within the estimated time. 

Select a Membership Plan

If you wish to access the added benefits of the platform such as free delivery, discounts, offers, deals, and more, you should buy a valid membership. As for Shipt, a monthly membership will cost you 14 USD while yearly membership costs 99 USD. If you are highly dependent on online ordering, you must select an annual plan as it can save you a significant sum at the end of the year while saving you from the hassle of the monthly payments.

Select your Order Delivery Time

After you select a membership plan the only thing left to do is to pay for your order and wait for delivery. You can make use of the numerous payment options available on the platform. Generally, you can receive your groceries on the same day but at times due to your location or due to the time when you’ve placed your order there will be next-day delivery. One can also schedule a delivery in the 3 days following the time you’ve placed your order.

Push Notifications

Push notifications play a significant role in keeping the user engaged with the platform. It can be used to send delivery notifications, discounts, offers, and other essential information. 


Features: Admin App


This is the center point of this app. Using the same one can seek access to all the other screens of the app. It’s using this dashboard that a user can access ongoing activities, payments, account settings, discounts and offers, and more. 

Manage Payments

A grocery delivery app receives payments from various fintech apps and banks. Therefore this section requires security and discretion. An admin can view, edit, and manage all the payment-related activities using this feature.

Allocate Managers & Personnel

There are a lot of operational activities that need in-person attention with a grocery delivery app. This feature offers a list of all the essential managers or personnel that have been allocated managerial positions. One can use this feature to ensure a smooth operational side of a grocery delivery app. 

Inventory Management

This can perhaps be the most crucial and complex feature of your grocery delivery app. This feature should hold all the information of the inventory you hold. Depending on the orders you receive you can decide how you need to keep a stock of your items. Any mismanagement in this area can result in a loss of revenue or reputation with your consumers.

Features: Driver Panel

Geo-Location Services

One of the primary necessities of your delivery partner would be your consumer’s location. One can integrate Google Maps with GPS to offer this service. 

Delivery Request:

A delivery driver has the right to accept or reject a delivery order. If they reject an order there will, any other driver in the vicinity would receive the delivery request.

Account & Payment

This feature would contain all the necessary information that the delivery executive has shared with the platform. It will also offer all the payment and related details about the driver’s transactions with the app. 


Cost to Develop App like Shipt

If you’re not into programming you would have to seek assistance via mobile app development services to develop apps like Shipt. You must remember that app development is a cumbersome process and hence requires an expert development team for the same. 

Your best bet would be to hire an experienced on-demand app development company to get desired results with your application. To make your app available to most users you would have to try a mobile-first approach. You can develop an Android or iOS app or both depending on the budget you have.

Here’s how the costing structure of app development can be divided. 

  • UI/UX Design: 1,500$ – 4,000$
  • Development: 5,000$ – 20,000$
  • QA/Testing: 2,000$ – 4,000$

You can get a fair idea of how much your total cost can be. There can also be a difference in the price depending on which tech stack you use. Also depending on the app development region you choose can make a difference due to the different hourly rates. 


We hope that our blog shared some of the most essential information about Shipt’s revenue models, features, development cost, and more. If you have more questions regarding the same, you can get in touch with our team by signing up for a free consultation on our website.


Mr. Sanjay Singh Rajpurohit, An early-aged entrepreneur who always leads his team from the front and achieved success. As the founder & CEO of Technource, a top mobile app & Web development company, he made a global presence in a short time by offering custom software development, premium mobile apps, and website development services to global clients. In his free time, he loves writing. He is featured on Hackernoon, Dzone, Enlear Academy, Articlesfactory, and much more websites.

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