Ihor
Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant

Deliver, Eat, Repeat. How to Create a Delivery App and Succeed

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Today, creating a delivery app may be a very profitable investment, because there are several lucrative market niches.

According to data from Statista, revenue in the online food delivery segment will amount to nearly US$123 million in 2020. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 7.5%, resulting in a market volume of more than US$164 million by 2024.

revenue in the online food delivery 122,739m$

In this article, we’ll discuss the main types of delivery apps and their features. We’ll also explain the best way to create a delivery app.

delivery app development steps

Main Types of Delivery Apps

Let’s take a look at delivery applications from various perspectives.

Delivery apps can fill different market niches:

Local food and grocery delivery apps

While apps like Postmates and Instacart mostly focus on grocery delivery (they make agreements with suppliers and sellers to deliver goods to consumers), apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash focus on fast-food and dinner delivery.

Delivery apps for retailers

Given that many consumers make purchases using mobile phones, software for delivery of consumer goods makes sense.

Apps such as Deliv and Amazon Prime Now allow users to order goods from local suppliers and receive deliveries as soon as possible.

Package delivery apps

Some applications of this type allow users to track packages in real time, while others help locate carriers and drivers for packages.

Apps like Roadie and GoCanvas are great examples of software of this type.

Wine/alcohol delivery apps

Today in many places you can order not only food but also alcohol online. For example, you want to sip some wine, but you’re quarantined and can’t go out for a drink — apps like Drizly serve that need.

Delivery apps operate on various business models:

Person to Person (P2P)

This type of application allows users to exchange goods and help each other with delivery.

Business to Consumer (B2C)

This type of software allows businesses to serve consumers; for example, using a delivery app, a restaurant can deliver its food to people nearby.

Business to Business (B2B)

These applications help companies work with other companies.

For example, a company has ordered goods from another company and wants to track the shipment in real time. Specialized software may be useful in this situation.

deliver apps operate on various business models: p2p, b2c, b2b

Main Features of Delivery Apps

To better understand how delivery apps work, we’ll list the main features of such software.

While delivery software may vary in specifics, the main features are as follows:

Delivery Request

With this feature, the user selects a product and requests an order.

Tracking

This allows for real-time tracking of the package; the user can know exactly where the courier is.

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Payments & Proof of Delivery (POD)

The user should be able to conveniently pay for the order, as well as receive confirmation that the order has been delivered.

Ratings & Feedback

This feature is needed to help users select the best suppliers and sellers.

Main app features vary depending on who’s using it

Each side of the transaction uses the application in their own way. Each of the actors is interested in a different set of features:

From the customer’s perspective

For a simple consumer, the main features are clear: the ability to place an order, track it, pay for the order, and complain if something went wrong.

From the delivery agent’s perspective

Each agent should be able to conveniently and easily register in the application, as well as view the history of orders and the status of orders.

From the app vendor’s perspective

From the point of view of the vendor, it is very important that there is a convenient online portal at hand that allow an administrator to monitor orders.

How to Create a Delivery App and Validate the Idea

To develop the delivery app you’ll need to take several major steps:

1.   Verify the needs of the target audience

Before you begin development, you should do preparatory research. Of course, you may not have the necessary skills or experience, in which case your future contractor will be able to help.

To begin with, you should understand if it’s worth creating a new app.

delivery app design and development

Conduct a study of the target audience to find out if people are ready to use your application and whether they would be willing to pay for its use. You could use online polls or various forums to learn more about the opinions of consumers.

Also, you should create a portrait of the buyer persona so you know exactly who is your ideal user.

If your idea has passed the test and you have proof that the product may be interesting to the world, continue the project.

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2.   Analyze your competition

This step is necessary to better understand the overall situation in the app market to make sure that you’re not reinventing the wheel.

You can check app stores to learn more about potential competitors, what products they offer, and the weaknesses and strengths of these products. All this information will be useful to you in the future.

3.   Find a contractor

Once you decide that you need software and you want to create a delivery app, you need to find a contractor who knows how to create this type of app. This step is very important because it may determine the success or failure of your project.

To begin with, you should check directories to select a pool of trusted companies. The main thing to think about at this stage is trustworthiness.

So, go to the directories and select only those teams that have a high rating and good reviews. For example, Relevant, a software development company, has seventeen 5-star reviews on Clutch.

Pay close attention to customer reviews.

After you have selected several potential teams, sort them with regard to those who have the most relevant experience and the necessary skills for your project.

To compliment video, please see how we developed a 24onoff employee tracking software.

To do this, you’ll need to visit company websites, read general information about teams, and look through their portfolios and case studies.

Find out if a chosen company has worked on projects similar to yours. If so, this can be a huge plus.

When viewing a portfolio, pay particular attention to certain factors.

Consider who the client was and why the company started working on the project.

Read about how the development went and what features were implemented in the product.

Also, read about the result of the cooperation.

This will be helpful in gleaning more detailed information about the potential contractor and the work of its team.

After you have selected several teams with pertinent experience, contact them and ask a series of questions.

For example, you might ask:

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  • How long will you be working on my project?
  • How expensive will the development be?
  • Will I be able to make edits during the development process?
  • Who will own the intellectual property?
  • Can I get recommendations from your past customers? 

Pay attention to how forthcoming the developer is in answering your questions. Do they seem open and transparent? Are they polite?

If you are satisfied with the communication, you may be ready to hire your team and proceed.

Read also about best countries to outsource software development and IT outsourcing to Ukraine.

4.   Develop an MVP app

Is it worth the time and money to implement dozens of features, or is it better to start small?

We recommend not spending time and money developing a complete solution. It is  better to create a Minimum Viable Product first.

After you develop an MVP, you can test it on a target audience to understand whether you are moving in the right direction.

This means developing a minimal set of features to begin with.

So, if you are developing software for ordering food from restaurants, for example, you would want to ensure that the user can place an order, pay, and track the delivery. Other features could come later.

Wrapup

Delivery apps have been proven very lucrative, leading to a strong interest in developing such systems.

There are many types of delivery software:

  • Local food and grocery delivery apps
  • Delivery apps for retailers
  • Package delivery apps
  • Wine/alcohol delivery apps
  • And so on…

 While the specifics differ, delivery apps have a similar set of basic features:

  • Delivery Request
  • Tracking
  • Payments and proof of delivery (POD)
  • Ratings and feedback

Creating a delivery app requires several main steps:

  1. Check and verify the needs of the target audience
  2. Analyze competitors
  3. Find a relevant software developer
  4. Develop a Minimum Viable Product

If you have more questions on how to create a delivery app or want to hire professional developers, feel free to contact us.

Written by
Ihor Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant
I make sure our clients get the highest code quality and the best tech talent on the market. I am also a Software Engineering Advisor for startups. Let's connect.

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