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How to develop On-Demand Delivery App For Your Business?

On Demand Delivery App

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, we’ve been told to stay at home and reduce human contact. Governments of majorly impacted countries have imposed social distancing to be followed strictly. The quarantine period has changed the way we perform our day-to-day operations. Whether it is education or work, everything has changed drastically.

As the vendors have shut down their offices and shops for a while, the market is shifting online. During the lockdown period, it has been witnessed massive demand and popularity for specific apps. Because of a sudden increase in demand for daily utilities and essentials, on-demand delivery apps have seen significant growth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many renowned food delivery chains like Zomato and Uber Eats has started grocery delivery since the delivery of essentials is the need of the hour.

Many retail businesses are moving online and adopting the on-demand delivery business model by understanding people’s requirements.

In this article, we are highlighting:

Before diving deep into the on-demand app delivery model, let’s discuss the methods a business can use to introduce it:

  • Collaboration with the third-party delivery provider
    If you don’t want to invest in developing an app, you can club with any existing on-demand delivery app service provider to bring your products to the market. But remember that people who will buy your services or product will be the other company’s user base. Also, the cost of collaboration with the third-party delivery provider will vary from company to company. Therefore, it is essential to weigh your decisions smartly before jumping into them.
  • Developing a Dedicated App
    If you want to build your presence in the market without collaborating with delivery providers, you can think about creating a dedicated app for your products or services. With a dedicated app, you will be able to have control over all the operations. These types of apps can be the right fit for businesses that are in continual demand.

What are the types of On-Demand Delivery Apps?

Depending on what kind of users are engaged in providing the service, on-demand applications can be categorized into the following three types:

  • Enterprise to Person (E2P)/Business to Consumer (B2C)
    Business to Consumer Applications allow transactions of services or products between providers and customers. Companies that can deliver products from their stores or offices to the consumers can utilize this model—for example, Starbucks, McDelivery, Dominos and more.
  • Enterprise to Enterprise (E2E)/Business to Business (B2B)
    Enterprise to enterprise on-demand apps is developed to connect businesses with businesses. In this model, service providers and takers are not the end-users of the service or product.B2B apps can either serve a single industry sector or multiple industry sectors.
  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C)/Person to Person
    Person to Person On-Demand Apps connect end-users with end-users. In the C2C app model, users create offers for other users’ products or services to use or buy – for example, eBay, Etsy and BlaBla Car.

Let’s discuss some use cases and examples of On-Demand Delivery Applications.

What are the use cases and examples of On-Demand Delivery Apps?

Numerous industries have witnessed the expansion of their businesses in the on-demand delivery app model.

Following are some of the areas and sectors where the development of on-demand delivery apps can take place and industries where it has been adopted widely:

  • Delivery of Food and Grocery
    Having groceries and essentials delivered anytime and anywhere is the need of the world these days. As people cannot go out and are forced to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they order food and groceries from on-demand food and grocery delivery apps. Examples of on-demand food and grocery delivery apps are Uber Eats, Big Basket and Instacart.
  • Healthcare
    On-demand doctor and medical apps are also in huge demand as it saves time for both doctors and patients. These applications allow users to connect with doctors one-on-one on mobile devices anytime and anywhere. Like a physical consultation, a doctor can examine patients during an online consultation and provide a prescription. The best part about on-demand medical apps is their 24/7 service accessibility.
  • Taxi Services
    On-demand taxi service applications have witnessed massive growth as it allows users to find and book a nearby taxi using GPS and Map Navigation. Also, customers can communicate with drivers in real-time using chat or phone calls to get the taxi arrival status. It can also have a feedback system so that both clients and drivers can give reviews and ratings. Examples of on-demand taxi service apps are Uber, Juno and Lyft.
  • Home Services
    On-demand home services are being used by people worldwide to get help with beauty, wellness, cleaning, plumbing, movers and packers, etc. Examples of on-demand house service delivery apps include Homejoy, TaskRabbit and Handy.
  • Gifts and Flowers
    Flower and gift shops can also shift their businesses online by developing a dedicated app for on-demand gift and flower delivery. Using on-demand gift delivery apps, users can surprise their loved ones with flowers and gifts in no time. They can schedule a preferred delivery time slot and get gifts at the doorstep.
  • Logistics and Transportation
    On-demand delivery apps are built for transportation and logistics service providers to deliver packages from one place to another. Such applications allow customers to transfer parcels anytime and anywhere. Examples of on-demand parcel delivery are Uber Freight and Uber Deliver.

Moving businesses online and building an on-demand delivery app can seem more manageable, but you need to consider several factors before doing that. You will have to think about your current customers and prepare a strategy to retain and gain new users.

Therefore, we have explained key performance indicators (KPIs) that every business should consider to successfully launch the on-demand delivery app.

What are the KPIs you should consider before building an On-Demand Delivery App?

While developing an on-demand delivery app, you need to consider the following factors:

  1. User Acquisition
    Once you decide to trade your services via an application, you need to grow your business presence in the marketplace. Some of the techniques that can help you build enough user base for your on-demand delivery app model are as follows:


    • Promote your service
      Before an app is launched in the market, companies need to advertise their services or product. You should advertise your app idea on different social media platforms and implement practices like public relations. Referral programs are also used to acquire more users. You can offer free deliveries or specific discounts to your customers if they invite more users to your product. Track the advertising campaigns’ performance to see if it helps acquire customers or not and continuously optimize your ads to bring maximum users.
    • Search local partners
      It can be difficult for a business to grow its presence without local partners’ assistance. Finding local partners can help the company to expand its reach to untapped markets. You can also collaborate with retailers working at international or national levels to increase your company’s user base.
    • Start business smartly
      Every startup may not have considerable funds to execute campaigns and marketing strategies. If you don’t have enough funds to run marketing techniques before launching an app, you should start with smaller investments. Start from the ground level and instill a good amount initially. You can test your idea in your local geographical area that has a dense population. It will give you an overview of the performance of your vision and help you raise more funding.
  2. User Retention
    Acquiring customers is not enough; you also need to consider retaining your customers. It has been witnessed that delivery companies have more loyal customers as compared to any other business. Therefore, you need to make sure that customers remain with your company always. It can only be possible with impeccable customer service, intuitive app design, loyalty programs and referral programs. Here are some of the factors that can help you retain customers:


    • Customer Support
      The customer may not always be satisfied with the services provided by your company. Therefore, you should have a robust customer support service where the customer can interact easily and raise their concerns. Adding the customer support section to the app may help you retain customers as it builds trust between customers and the company.
    • Offering discounts
      Since there is a massive demand for on-demand delivery apps in the market, you might need to be on the competitive edge. Therefore, to stand out from your services among other competitors, your app should offer special discounts and deals to seek maximum attention. You can also run referral and loyalty programs on your app to attract and retain users.
    • Customer Feedback
      If the company wants to expand its user base, allow your customers to rate the app’s services. It will help companies understand their reputation in the market. Based on the feedback of customers, the company can improve its services continuously.
    • Flexible Work Schedule
      On-demand services usually attract customers because of flexible work schedules. Customers want to schedule services or products flexibly whenever they want. Therefore, providing them that flexibility would help you keep customers engaged for a long time.
  3. Transportation and Delivery Expenses
    Based on the successful delivery apps, we have recommended a few steps that businesses need to take to cut down transportation expenses:


    • Synchronized Routes
      One of the on-demand delivery companies, Roadie, has implemented a model to save money by using drivers who are already on the way to the destination. You should enable technology to find nearby drivers to the destination that will help you save transportation costs.
    • Energy-efficient transportation
      To save on the cost of delivery, you should consider energy-efficient transportation. For example, Post-mates, the American Food Delivery Company, hires bike couriers to deliver small packages. Delivery via bikes cuts down costs because the bike’s maintenance is relatively cheaper than car maintenance.
    • Optimized Routes
      Using emerging technologies like IoT and AI, you can improve logistics operations and optimize the delivery route, reducing time to pick up and deliver goods to end-users.

Now that we have discussed the KPIs to consider before building an app. Let’s look at the fundamental features that on-demand delivery apps should have.

How To Develop an On-Demand Delivery App?

1. Requirement Gathering
The first step to build any mobile or web app is to gather requirements. In this stage, you need to collect all that you want in your app. You will need to think about the answers to the following questions:

    1. Is your concept unique?
    2. Do you have any competitors in the market?
    3. Who will be the users of the app?
    4. What features can make your app stand out among competitors?
    5. What is the targeted market for your app?
    6. What security protocols do you want to embed in the app?
    7. What is your budget?

Having answers to the above questions, you will be able to create an SRS (Software Requirement Specification) document that you can share with your in-house development team or a third-party development firm.

2. Visual and Technical Designs
 After understanding the requirements, the next step is to create high-fidelity and low-fidelity screens for your on-demand delivery app. Create wireframes for your app and a working prototype. Conduct a meeting with your stakeholders and team to get feedback on the design and its development. It is good to hire a third-party full-stack development company that understands how to develop an app from ideation to MVP and final production.

3. MVP Creation
Before launching the app’s final release in the market, you should consider creating an MVP first. MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a product with minimum features designed for early testing and further product improvement.

You can share the MVP for your product with your stakeholders and request feedback to enhance the product. It helps reduce errors in the final release of the software and launch a successful product.

4. Development
Once the MVP is approved, the next step is to develop the actual software. Implement the agile development technique to build several iterations of the product and ensure that the final version is enhanced and high quality.

After it is developed and tested thoroughly, deploy it to App Store/Play Store to bring it to the market.

Hiring an in-house development team can be expensive. Also, it may distract you from your core competencies. Therefore, you can hire a third-party development company that can build your project at fixed costs.

As the development process is obvious, the next step is to identify the features you may need to add to your on-demand delivery app.

Which key features need to be added to the On-Demand Delivery Apps?

An On-Demand Delivery App can have the following user personas:

  • End-User
    An individual who uses the app to buy or order product or services
  • Courier Provider
    An individual or group of individuals who are responsible for the delivery of goods or services
  • Admin
    An individual or group of individuals who take care of the functioning of the app

Features of the Users’ App:

  • Sign Up
    Users download the app and sign up to access products and services on the app.
  • Order placing
    Users select the product or service they want to buy and check their prices and availability. Once selected, the user can add items to their cart and place an order with information, including the name, delivery address, nearby landmark, alternate number and preferred delivery time slot.
  • Search Option
    User apps should have the search element to find products or services they are looking for quickly.
  • Schedule delivery
    Since it is an on-demand delivery app, the app should have the feature “Schedule Delivery.” It should allow users to select their preferred delivery slots.
  • Real-time tracking
    Users should be able to track the status of their orders in real-time.
  • Push Notifications
    Push notification is an essential element of the app that provides users with information on the time remaining on delivery, courier locations, discounts and offers and payment status.
  • Review and Rating
    The app should have a review and rating system that allows customers to rate the order delivery. It will help you understand your services and improve them to retain your users.
  • In-App Chat
    With built-in chat features, customers can interact with couriers and get the status of orders.
  • Order history
    Users should be able to track the history of deliveries made using the app and they should be able to repeat the order if they want.
  • Payment
    The app should have a payment feature that allows users to choose among the multiple payment options, for example, digital wallets, credit cards, debit cards and Cash on Delivery.
  • Geo-location
    The geolocation feature allows users to find services or products based on their location. For example, using geo-location, users can find nearby package delivery providers, restaurants and stores.
  • Contactless Delivery
    As COVID-19 is hitting majorly many countries, companies have started providing contactless delivery. The app should have the Contactless Delivery option so that users could place orders fearlessly and stay safe.

Features of the Courier Delivery App:

  • Register
    Delivery personnel signs up for the mobile app. But the profile needs to be approved by the admin to receive delivery orders.
  • Order Management
    The courier providers can manage their orders from beginning to end. They can view and accept delivery orders.
  • GPS Support
    When delivering lots of packages every day, ensure that orders should not get lost. Therefore, the delivery app should have GPS support that makes it easier for delivery boys to find the destination quickly.
  • In-App Chat
    In-App Chat Feature allows delivery personnel to communicate with customers if they cannot get to the GPS location. 
  • Order History
    The app should have an order history feature that allows courier providers to track each order’s history and status.
  • Contactless Delivery
    The app should have a Contactless Delivery using which drivers would capture the parcel’s image dropped at the door and send it to the admin and customers for delivery confirmation. When the driver sends the picture, the customer receives the notification and picks up the item with zero contact.

Features of the Admin App:

  • Content Management
    With the Content Management feature, the admin can add the product or service to be offered. They can update the price, delivery slots and contact info.
  • Order Management
    Admins can access all orders made, delivered, or canceled and customers’ feedback along with payment reports. It can help them make informed decisions to increase the revenue of the business.
  • Customer support module
    Admin’s mobile or web app should have a customer support module to manage customers’ issues and communicate with them.
  • Real-time tracking
    Admins can track the delivery of orders in real-time and monitor the driver’s behavior, for example, the time they take to deliver an order and reasons for order cancelations.
  • Analytics of App Usage
    On-demand delivery apps can have a dedicated dashboard for analytics of app usage. Using this dashboard, admins can examine the increase/fall in user base, successful orders’ status and much more.

What is the execution flow of the app?

  1. Request
    The user requests to get the product or service and checks its availability. Regardless of the industry, the request method remains the same.
  2. Approve
    The provider receives a request and confirms the order by checking the availability of a product or service.
  3. Track
    The confirmation notification is sent to the end-users and they can track its movement on a map within the app.
  4. Product/Service Delivery
    The user receives the product or services they ordered. It could be a grocery item or a maid for house cleaning.
  5. Rate
    The customer rates the services or products and writes feedback on the app.

How to minimize the Cost of Development of On-Demand Delivery Apps?

You don’t need to build your app from scratch if you don’t have huge funds to spend on app development. Instead, reinvent the wheel and develop your product using third-party integration tools and APIs.

We have categorized on-demand delivery apps based on the type of development:

  • A Simple Web App with Google Form
    Create a simple web app and use Google Forms for Order Placement of Items. Integrate it with Zapier so that the courier service provider gets a notification whenever the user fills a Google Form. You can either integrate a third-party payment gateway into the app for payment or send a digital wallet’s payment link in SMS to the user via Zapier when they request a product or service. Once the payment is made, delivery personnel gets a notification and an item is delivered to the end-user. Delivery providers can maintain the users’ data in Google Sheets to record and send them enticing offers from time to time.

    The cost of this app could range between $10,000-$15000.

  • Progressive Web Apps for Users and Drivers
    If you don’t have a budget to build a native app, you can opt to build a progressive web app for your on-demand delivery service business. It’s a development methodology that combines the benefits of both mobile and web apps. It’s a website that appears as a mobile app. Though it is comparatively cheaper than native apps, it takes less time to load, works on any device and enhances progressively. It can even work in low connectivity, or a loaded page looks visible even if you are offline. With third-party APIs or SDKs like Amazon SNS for Notifications, Auth0 for Authentication, you can build a progressive web app. The cost of a progressive web app could range between $15,000-$40,000
  • Long-term scalable native apps
    If you want to develop long-term scalable native apps for on-demand delivery services, it can be pretty expensive compared to the above applications. However, we recommend using third-party integrations to avoid building from scratch and save costs. With pay-as-you-go cloud hosting models, push notification APIs, authentication APIs, payment gateway APIs, you can quickly launch your app with lower development costs. The cost of developing the native app could range from $80,000-$100,000.

Developing on-demand applications require a combination of skills and experience; therefore, you need to find your development team wisely.

On-demand delivery services have witnessed a spike in business due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Deliveroo and Grab, Food Delivery Chains, have revealed that they have seen a 20 percent increase in food orders because of the pandemic.

On-Demand Delivery Apps are in huge demand nowadays but don’t expect them to be a short-term trend. Though creators of renowned on-demand delivery apps earn significant benefits, local economies can also leverage these apps to bring value to their business.

If you are thinking about developing an on-demand app for your business, there won’t be a better time than this. We have a team of technology experts who can help you convert your idea into reality. Contact us and take your business to the next level. 

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Author’s Bio

Akash Takyar
Akash Takyar
CEO LeewayHertz
Akash Takyar is the founder and CEO of LeewayHertz. With a proven track record of conceptualizing and architecting 100+ user-centric and scalable solutions for startups and enterprises, he brings a deep understanding of both technical and user experience aspects.
Akash's ability to build enterprise-grade technology solutions has garnered the trust of over 30 Fortune 500 companies, including Siemens, 3M, P&G, and Hershey's. Akash is an early adopter of new technology, a passionate technology enthusiast, and an investor in AI and IoT startups.

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