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How to develop a retail and grocery app like Walmart?

Mobile apps have become the ultimate shopping destinations. From buying essentials to entertainment units, we turn to our smartphones for everything. The roaring success of eCommerce and mCommerce stores like Walmart is testament to the same.

If you desire to create a retail and grocery shopping app like Walmart, you have landed at the right place. Today, we will give you a complete walk-through and introduce you to the various aspects of grocery app development.

We have covered everything from grocery delivery app development methods and costs to important features. So, stay tuned with us and learn to develop your own grocery app without any coding. Enter the mCommerce industry with a powerful app and take your business to the next level.

In this blog

Facts and statistics about online grocery shopping

Let us first start with discovering some interesting facts and statistics related to Walmart and the online retail & grocery industry at large. The on-demand grocery industry is growing at a rapid pace and there is so much to explore and take inspiration from.

Go through the statistics and facts mentioned below and learn about the online grocery shopping industry in detail:

  • The global online grocery market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25.3% from 2022 to 2030 to reach USD 2,158.53 billion by 2030.
  • By 2023, online grocery sales will make up 11.2% of total US grocery sales. More than half (51.3%) of the US population is expected to become digital grocery buyer this year.
  • Some key players operating in the online grocery market include Walmart,,, Instacart, and Rakuten.
  • As per Statista, Walmart was the biggest retailer in the year 2021. Their revenue crossed 538 billion US dollars which was way more than Amazon’s 330 billion US dollars.
  • At the end of the last fiscal year (January 31, 2022) Walmart’s worldwide revenue amounted to 573 billion US dollars.
  • Walmart operates in 24 countries under different names and it is the largest private-sector employer in the US with over 2 million employees.
  • Forecasts assert that Walmart International will generate around 31.4 billion US dollars on e-commerce net sales by 2025, amounting to a 40% increase in four years.
  • The market value of online grocery across India was 396 billion Indian rupees in 2022.
  • As per JP Morgan more than 65% of online shoppers say that they find online grocery shopping easy because they don’t need to carry heavy packages.
  • Ability to shop remotely, compare prices, convenience, easy shipping & checkout, are some of the biggest reasons why people shop online.
  • The number of online grocery shoppers is increasing across the globe. The numbers spiked during Covid. However, many will continue to shop online even after the pandemic.
Grocery delivery app development statistics


Suggested Read: 10 statistics that show why you should create an app for your business

Why build a grocery store app?

The facts and statistics listed above clearly show why creating an app for your grocery business is viable and profitable. Let us throw some more light on this topic and give you some more reasons for grocery app development.

Mobile apps have become the ultimate marketplace for any business and creating feature-rich apps for your grocery business can ensure the following advantages:

1. Leverage the benefits of localization

There are several grocery delivery apps available in the app marketplace. However, it is a well-known fact that customers prefer buying from their local stores as it benefits both the buyers and the sellers. Having an app for your own grocery store can help you target such customers that want the convenience of online grocery shopping but want to shop from their local stores.

2. Scale the mCommerce industry freely

Mobile commerce is quickly taking over eCommerce and hence it is the best time to get an app and join the industry. This will power you to reach mobile-friendly customers and break-free from the monopoly of third-party apps at the same time. You can operate at your own conditions and bring your own unique idea to life through the app.

3. Manage everything under one roof 

An online grocery delivery business has many nuances. From managing inventory, orders, customers, partner stores, delivery partners, and more, a lot is involved. By creating an app, it will become easy for you to streamline your operations and bring them all under one roof. This will help you save resources and get more time for marketing, promotions, business expansion, etc.

4. Offer ease and convenience to users

More and more customers are turning tech-savvy and becoming online shoppers each day. They want to shop at the convenience of their homes and turn to their smartphones for every big or small need. By offering an app for your store, you can ensure a smooth shopping experience for your customers and earn their loyalty.

5. Get access to powerful user data

Native mobile apps are more capable of utilizing the resources of the device that the app has been installed on. Therefore, apps can also give you access to more data related to user demography, behavioural details, app usage frequency, etc. This data can be used to optimize business decisions and make viable changes to the app for better performance, engagement, and revenue.

Suggested Read: All you need to know about mobile app analytics & user data collection

Key features of a successful grocery shopping app

The features of an app must favour the sellers as well as the staff and customers. While some features remain unique to most shopping apps, some can be exclusive for grocery delivery apps. In this section, we will discuss the same.

The key features that should be included in a grocery app are as follows:

Easy registration, sign up & login

This is the first step that a user needs to perform after installing or launching the app. You must make sure that the onboarding process remains simple and easy for the users. Ensure multichannel sign up and allow users to register using their Email, Facebook, Google, or Apple accounts. You can also allow guest browsing to earn your user’s trust first.

Customer profile creation & management

It is important that your customer’s profiles get set up in the right manner. It gives more authenticity to each customer helps you in understanding your customer’s better. This will enable you to get access to a range of data like name, address, email, contact, and more, and power you to create the right deals, offers, marketing messages, etc., for those customers.

Intuitive search, filter & navigation

The app should be designed in such a manner that it guides users through their shopping journey. Use attractive images, descriptive product details, inspiring CTA (Call to Action) buttons, and more to design a smooth app interface. Make navigation super easy with smart search and filter and power users to find whatever they need.

Effortless ordering and delivery tracking

It all boils down to order placement and delivery in the case of on-demand shopping apps. This is one of the most important features and must be treated accordingly. Your users should be able to place orders and track it without much effort. Make sure that all your sellers, delivery partners and customers remain in sync and the orders get smoothly delivered.

Multiple payment & shipping options

There are various methods of online payment available nowadays and different customers may have different preferences. Therefore, incorporate multiple payment methods and gateways in your app. Make payment and checkout easy for your customers and also give them the option to optimize their order shipping and delivery.

Review and rating collection

It is important to know what your customers think of you and how their experience with your business has been. Therefore, your app must have a rating and review feature in place. Customers should be able to rate the app experience as a whole as well as drop ratings and reviews for any product or offering. It will help you identify your shortcomings and rectify all the flaws to make the experience better.

Multilingual & localization support

Glocalization is the buzz word of the decade. While it is important to aim to scale your business on a global level, localizing it and making it more likeable for domestic audiences is also really important. Localization is especially significant for grocery store owners that remain clustered to a specific location. You can also create a multilingual app and connect with your non-English speaking audiences on a more personalized level.

Loyalty & rewards program

Discount campaigns, gift coupons, loyalty rewards, etc., are critical to any online shopping business. Your grocery shopping app must have support for such marketing and customer reward programs. Running such campaigns at regular intervals will make your customers feel welcomed and inspire them to scroll more and buy more.

Social media integration

One need not be a digital marketing expert to understand the importance of social media in today’s world. Having your social media channels added to your app can help you with your marketing and promotional activities. You can invite your app users to follow you on various social media channels and vice versa.

Push notification scheduling

From sending pending cart reminders to sending messages about expiring deals, discounts, offers, and more, push notifications can help you with everything. This is the best communication and marketing medium to stay in touch with your customers and keep them engaged. No matter what app development method you choose, just make sure that this feature is included.

In-app chat support

In-app chat has become one of the most preferred methods of support for customers as well as brands. It ensures less turn-around-time, quick response, frictionless communication, and more. Adding this feature to your grocery app will help you connect directly with your buyers and address their concerns, queries, complaints, doubts, etc., in a fast-track manner.

Ad & monetization support

There are several methods of app monetization but earning through ads is one of the easiest of them. You can stream ads in your app from popular mobile app networks like Google AdMob and earn additional revenue. This may not sound like a mandatory feature but it can certainly increase your revenue and help you utilize your app in a profitable manner.

App usage data analytics

Which brands or products your customers prefer more? Do you have more Android users or iOS users? Which are the most popular categories on your app? These are some of the many questions that can help you understand your audience and power you to take better decisions for your app. This is where app usage data monitoring and analytics comes into play. Ensure this must-have feature in your app and make data-backed decisions for your business.

How to make a shopping & grocery app like Walmart?

Now that all the other aspects have been covered, let us get to the point and learn how you can create a shopping & grocery delivery app like Walmart or Instacart. We have explained elaborately, and you can learn to develop your own grocery app with our stepwise guide. You can pick the method that best suits your business goals and budget and launch your app accordingly.

So, let’s begin:

Step 1: Conduct proper research

Spend ample time on proper market research. This will help you in optimizing the process and making efforts in the right direction. Having a handy knowledge of the market, customers, competition, etc., will also help you avoid wastage of precious resources. The key focus areas should be as follows:

Know your competitors:

Start with exploring everything about your competitors. How many grocery delivery apps are active in your targeted market? Which ones are your direct competitors? What are their USPs? How will your app solve a problem that has not been addressed by them yet? How will your app be unique? These are some of the questions that you must find answer to, and competitor research will help you with the same. You can learn from your customers strengths and weaknesses and use it to reduce your potential risks and failures.

Identify target audience

You must know your business and competition very well. However, understanding your customers is equally important. So, identify your customers and develop user personas to study the behaviour of your targeted customers and convey the same to your other stakeholders. This will help you in reaching out to the right people when you start marketing your app and also prepare you to offer better experiences to your users.  

Learn about the latest trends

Every industry is unique and keeps evolving on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, it is important to know and understand what the latest trends of the given industry are. Identify the ongoing and popular trends of the grocery delivery industry and align your business with the same. Address the latest demand of the market with your app and give your competitors a run for their money.

Step 2: Identify your business and delivery model

Once you are done with the research, fixate on figuring out your business and delivery model. How you want to run your online grocery store will determine your business model and it should be based on factors like logistics, business goals, market demands, etc. Some popular grocery business models are as follows:

1. The inventory model

Here, the platform stores the inventory from different stores or providers. The order is collected from customers and supplied through an internal or external delivery network. Orders are delivered with the branding of the platform, irrespective of the seller or vendor.

2. Online-selling model

This is the most popular model followed online. Here, the platform usually only works like an aggregator and the revenue can come through commission from vendors and delivery partners, subscriptions and membership charges, advertisements & promotions, or even from selling one’s own merchandize.

3. Hyper-local model

As the name suggests, the hyper-local marketplace is based on the practice of selling within a small region. Here, the actual competition is local stores and the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) generally is fresh & local produce and fast delivery. This can be an amazing way to start small and then scale to greater heights.

4. The multi-vendor marketplace model:

This is similar to the inventory model except the stock is not handled by the platform. The app just connects customers to local stores and transports the orders to customers through an internal network. This is the model followed by Amazon.

5. Shopping model

This model is similar to multi-vendor, but the consumers do not get to pick the store they want to buy from. The purchase is modelled around products and not the stores. The vendors can also be responsible for transporting the goods and delivering the orders. This model is followed by Instacart.

Different types of grocery delivery model


Step 3: Develop your app with your preferred method

App development is all about choosing the right method and technique. It is important to spend wisely and look for hidden charges, development conditions, possible delays in delivery, etc., as all these factors will either expedite or delay your growth depending upon your choice.

You can choose from any of the below mentioned app development techniques and build your grocery delivery app accordingly:

Create your app with AppMySite’s code-free app builder

Technology is evolving rapidly, and the world is now embracing no-code app builders over traditional methods of app development. AppMySite, for instance, has disrupted the app development industry and is now powering citizen development like no other platform.

This code-free app builder is more affordable, super-quick and extremely easy to use. Anyone can create premium Android and iOS apps with AppMySite and that too without writing a single line of code or without breaking the bank. You can also create your grocery app with our no-code app builder and save time, efforts, and resources.

Learn basic programming and build with low-code app builders

Low-code app builders, as the name suggests, require some amount of coding expertise, and take longer than no-code app builders. However, they are faster than traditional methods of app development.

You can look up for one such low-code app development platform and learn their programming language and techniques to create your grocery delivery app. Make sure that you have ample time in your hand as you will have to learn about the platform and spend a few weeks or months building your app.

Outsource development to agencies or freelancers

This is the method of app development that has been prevalent since ages. This method has its challenges as it is less transparent, takes longer to complete, relies on third parties, takes away control, and also costs heftily.

However, if you are one of those people who still prefer custom app development, then you can go with this option as well. You can either hire in-house experts or freelancers or outsources development to an agency. Remember, this will cost you more and it will also take longer to get your app launched on the app stores.

Suggested Read: How to create an app in 10 simple steps? Make an app without coding

Step 4: Market your grocery app

Once the app is up and running, you can start promoting it to earn more downloads and get the initial kick. You must implement App Store Optimization strategies to get better rankings and visibility for your app. Next, start promoting it amidst your email subscribers, existing customers, website pages, social media handles & channels, and more.

Suggested Read: Popular mobile app marketing techniques – The complete guide to success

In conclusion

The online grocery delivery industry remained afloat even during the pandemic when the rest of the world was in lockdown. More and more people want to shop at the convenience of their home as this option is safer and effortless.

You can also create your own on-demand grocery shopping app with our app-making platform and offer ease of shopping to your customers. It has the best-in-class technology stack, and anyone can create a premium yet affordable grocery app with AppMySite without any coding.

Save time, efforts, resources, and lot more. Turn your WooCommerce website into an app and import all your data to the app with a click. It is as simple as that! If you have any queries regarding the development process, feel free to let us know in the comment section.

Frequently asked questions

Is grocery delivery business profitable?

Yes. There is enough statistical data to show that the trend of online grocery shopping is increasing day by day. More and more people have started purchasing essentials online. Besides global enterprises and heavy magnets like Walmart, localized online grocery stores are also gaining momentum and popularity. In fact, online grocery delivery was one of the most profitable businesses even during the pandemic. You can also create a personalized app for your store and leverage the benefits of the online grocery delivery business.

How do I develop a grocery delivery app?

We recommend starting with a website first. By doing so, you will already have an exposure on search engines. You can then use the website as a bedrock to create your grocery delivery app. Start with proper planning and research and then get into development. You can create your app with a code-free, affordable, and easy DIY grocery app builder like AppMySite. Subscribe to our platform for free and start building your app instantly.

How much does it cost to build a shopping & grocery app like Instacart?

Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart are some of the popular players in grocery shopping and delivery service. All of them have amazing apps and their mCommerce is growing on a colossal scale. However, creating an app like Instacart or Walmart can get pricey. Traditional methods of development can cost you somewhere around 80 to 150 US dollars per hour. A minimum viable product or a basic app can cost you around 50,000 US dollars for one platform (Android or iOS). However, you can create an app on an optimal budget with AppMySite. You can checkout our platform to know more about affordable and code-free Android and iOS app development.

What are the must-have features of a grocery delivery app?

When you develop a retail app​, it must have all the features of an advanced eCommerce and shopping app. Some must-have features of a grocery shopping app are:

  • Attractive design (UI & UX) & content
  • User profile creation and management
  • Admin dashboard & content management
  • Multi-channel signup & login (Email, Apple, Google)
  • Easy search and filtering
  • Elaborate product details & images
  • Smart cart management & checkout
  • Multiple payment gateways
  • Order history & delivery tracking
  • Customer feedback and rating
  • Push notifications
  • Multilingual support
  • Monetization support
  • Blog & CMS support
  • Loyalty & rewards program
  • In-app chat support
  • Usage data collection & analytics
These are some of the most important features for any on-demand grocery delivery app. Depending upon the goals and targeted audience, you can optimize the feature-list for your app.

How do retail and grocery delivery apps generate revenue?

Besides the revenue through direct sales, retail and grocery delivery apps can have multiple sources of income and revenue. It depends on your business and delivery model and the features incorporated in your app. In general, grocery delivery apps can generate revenue through the following methods:

  1. Commission on transactions: If you have created a multi-vendor or aggregator app, then you can charge commission from different sellers for every sale made through your app.
  2. Listing fees and charges: You can also charge vendors to list them and give them access to your app. This can depend on the range of benefits they enjoy as your store partner.
  3. Delivery & other fees: Earn by collecting payments like delivery fees, service fee, minimum order fee, peak day surcharges, subscription fee for premium features, and more.
  4. Advertisements: One can also look for secondary sources of income and monetization like running in-app ads, running on-site promotions for affiliate partners, publishing sponsored blog content, etc.
The method of monetization can be unique for each app. However, you must ensure that your users’ experience remains unaffected, and your monetization practices do not cause any friction in their journey.

How much time will it take to develop a grocery app?

The time required to develop an app is governed by a range of factors. While traditional app development takes around six to eight months, proper research and planning will help you streamline your efforts and optimize time utilization. We also recommend creating a website before an app as it will become a bedrock for all your endeavours, and you will have ample data for creating your app. Moreover, you can build your grocery store app with AppMySite’s instant code-free app builder. You can go from web to app in minutes and fast-track development like no other platform.

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