The number of online grocery shoppers surged during and after the pandemic. The fact that it helped buy groceries and stock up on the essentials safely during that time is one of the reasons why people chose online grocery services and, since then, have been opting for other benefits they offer. Instacart is a popular grocery delivery platform that helps people get food from local grocers. The success of Instacart has ignited the spark in many to build an app like Instacart. So, if you want to leverage the success of the Instacart business model and have the question, ‘How to build an app like Instacart?’, this blog is for you. 

Here, we explore how Instacart works and makes money and how to build an app like Instacart. 

Why Invest in an App Like Instacart?

The demand for grocery delivery skyrocketed when lockdowns were imposed. Convenience, budget-friendly, time and energy savings are other reasons online grocery services are opted for these days. About 138 million people are online grocery shoppers in the United States. This number will grow further in the upcoming years. Worldwide, this count will reach a staggering 2466 million by 2029. 

The global online grocery market size was US$ 419.63 billion in 2021. By 2030, it will reach US$ 2160.7 billion. Instacart generated a revenue of $3 billion in 2023. If we look closely, the number of shoppers using Instacart has gone from 3.3 million in 2017 to 14 million in 2023. If we are to deduce something from these facts, it is that more and more people are opting for online grocery shopping services. 

Considering the increasing inclination towards online grocery delivery platforms, it is safe to say that the demand will only keep increasing. Therefore, now will be the right time to build an app like Instacart and enter the online grocery delivery market. 

Before we get into how to build an app like Instacart, let us see how Instacart works and the Instacart business and revenue models. 

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The Instacart Business Model

Instacart’s Customer Segments

The Instacart business model’s customer segments include:


Customers can create accounts and browse for products. They can add the items to their carts and pay for them using the payment method of their choice. They can shop from various retailers that partner with the platform. The user-friendly interface of the Intscart app provides a seamless shopping experience for the users. 


Shoppers play an integral role in fulfilling the demand generated by customers. They receive notifications when a customer places an order. They get details of the order and are generally closer to stores so that they can pick up the items from the store on time. There are two types of shoppers. Full-service shoppers deliver the items to the customer at their doorstep. In-store shoppers remain in the store and get orders ready for pick up. 


Stores can boost their sales and grow their customer base by partnering with Instacart. They offer a wide range of items for customers. When a customer places an order, the stores receive the corresponding details. Instacart’s delivery partners and, in some cases, the store employees shop for items.  

How Does Instacart Work?

Understanding how the Instacart business model works gives the necessary insights that will help you when you want to build an app like Instacart. Let us see the series of steps involved, from ordering to delivering. 

  • Customers can log into the Instacart app to go through an extensive list of items. 
  • The advanced search option lets them find what they are looking for. They can choose the groceries and place orders. 
  • After confirming their orders, buyers can pay through the payment mode of their choice. Instacart has multiple payment integrations. 
  • Customers can track their order status on the app.
  • They can have their orders delivered to their home or pick them up directly from the stores.

Value Propositions

Instacart’s value propositions include:

  • Customers can shop from multiple stores on one platform.
  • Instacart provides access to an extensive range of products and ensures quick and reliable delivery.
  • Shoppers can work at the hours of their convenience while making additional income.
  • Stores can reach more customers and get an increase in sales. 

How Does an App Like Instacart Make Money?

The Instacart revenue model brings in income in multiple revenue streams. 

Delivery Fees

Instacart charges its customers delivery fees for the delivery services it provides. Many factors, like the customer’s location, the order size, and the time the user wants the order delivered to them, decide the delivery fees. The delivery fee starts at $3.99 for orders above $35. 

Commission Fees

Stores partnering with Instacart pay a certain amount as commission fees. It is one of the primary sources of revenue for an on-demand grocery delivery platform like Instacart. It charges a certain percentage of the total order value for every order placed through the platform. 

Instacart Express Membership

Instacart offers a subscription service called Instacart Express. Users can purchase it for a monthly or annual fee. Customers can enjoy various benefits like unlimited free deliveries on orders over $35 and lower service fees. 

Surge Pricing

It is another revenue stream of Instacart. Instacart implements surge pricing when the demand is high. Grocery delivery apps like Instacart can follow this approach to maximize revenue. 


Brands partner with Instacart to place advertisements within the app. Instacart charges brands to achieve increased visibility. 

We will now go over how to build an app like Instacart. 

How to Build an App Like Instacart?

Building a grocery delivery app like Instacart can be lucrative, considering the current shopping trends of people. However, it can be challenging and involves careful planning for your online grocery delivery business to reap maximum benefits. Here, we have provided a step-by-step guide on how to build an app like Instacart. 

1. Market Research

Researching the market and the current shopping trends is primarily the first step in building an app like Instacart. Identifying your target audience and understanding their preferences will give valuable insights in helping you design the app accordingly. Also, by studying your competitors’ offerings, you can include the necessary functionalities they do not offer for a competitive edge. 

2. Choose the Grocery Delivery App Type

The purpose of a grocery delivery app is to enable customers to order groceries and streamline the delivery. There are two prominent types of grocery delivery apps, and you can launch the one that suits your business objectives. 


The grocery delivery app of this type lists the nearby grocery stores and their menus for customers. Users can choose groceries, add to the cart, and make payments. They receive real-time updates on the status of their orders. The grocery delivery app’s or store’s delivery team works to deliver the order. 

This model functions on the partnership between the store and grocery delivery business that works to facilitate the whole delivery process. 


This grocery delivery model serves as a platform connecting buyers and sellers where grocery store owners list their groceries on the app while customers can go through them and order. The grocery delivery app of this type has features to enable effective communication between customers and grocery stores. 

Single Stores

Grocery stores wanting to operate online can launch their grocery delivery apps and offer a convenient shopping experience for their customers. Here, the store streamlines the ordering and delivery operations. 

3. Define App Features & Functionalities

After researching the market, analyzing your target audience’s behaviors, and understanding their pain points, you can start defining your grocery delivery app’s features and functionalities. 

Here are some of the critical features to include in your grocery delivery software:

Customer AppDelivery Agent AppAdmin PanelStore Manager App
Registration & LoginRegistrationDashboardRegistration
Search & filterOrder managementUser managementProduct management
Add to cartReal-time navigationProduct managementOrder management
CheckoutIn-app messagingOrder managementOffers/ Coupon code management
Multiple payment optionsDelivery historyDelivery agent managementOrder alerts
Real-time order trackingEarnings & reportsPayment managementCustomer feedback
WishlistRatings & reviewsCustomer support
Order historyAnalytics
Ratings & Reviews

4. Design and Development

The next step in building an app like Instacart is designing the user interface and the app architecture. It includes creating wireframes and prototypes to understand how the app looks and functions. After confirming the app design, you can partner with an Instacart clone app development company that aligns with your values to build an app like Instacart. 

5. Testing and Quality Assurance

Testing helps ensure the app functions as expected and provides a smooth experience to the users. Identifying and fixing bugs is one of the critical steps to enhance the app’s performance across all platforms. Comprehensive testing to assess how the app meets customer requirements is vital to ensure user satisfaction. 

6. Launch and Marketing

After testing, your grocery delivery app is ready to be launched in the market. However, it does not stop with that. The success of your platform depends on the marketing as well. Effective strategizing can bring more users to your app. Social media marketing, content marketing, partnerships with other brands, and app store optimization are some methods you can incorporate to promote your app. 

How Much Does it Cost to Build an App Like Instacart?

The cost to build an app like Instacart depends on various factors, like features, platform, app complexity, development team size, and location. The cost of an app like Instacart ranges between $30,000 to $90,000. You can build your grocery delivery app like Instacart from scratch or opt for clone app solutions. 

Custom app development requires a longer development time and higher costs to develop. Clone solutions are cost-effective and built in a short time. However, clone solutions do not offer limitless customization options. 

Launch an App Like Instacart with Our Advanced Grocery Delivery Software

With robust grocery delivery software and a skilled development team by your side, you can cater to the needs of your users effectively and attain success. Our grocery delivery software streamlines the operations of your grocery delivery business efficiently with its advanced features and cutting-edge technology. 

Have queries? Want a demo? You can connect with us at:

Email ID: [email protected]

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