Leading Apps Like Instacart: Best Instacart Alternatives in 2024

iTechnolabs-Leading Apps Like Instacart Best Instacart Alternatives

As the world continues to shift towards digitalization, online grocery shopping has become increasingly popular. With busy schedules and limited time to visit physical stores, consumers are turning to online platforms for their daily essentials. The convenience of having groceries delivered straight to their doorstep, often within a few hours, is a significant draw. This trend is not just about convenience; it’s also about efficiency and better time management, which are crucial in today’s fast-paced lifestyle.

Additionally, many online grocery services offer a wide range of products, from fresh produce to household items, catering to diverse needs. These platforms often provide access to specialty items that might not be available in local stores, enhancing the shopping experience. In this article, we will explore the best alternatives to apps like Instacart in 2024 – leading apps that offer similar services and convenience. We will delve into their unique features, delivery options, pricing structures, and customer service, helping you make an informed choice for your grocery shopping needs.

Furthermore, we will discuss how these platforms manage inventory and ensure product quality, as well as their efforts in sustainability and reducing food waste. We’ll also look at customer reviews and ratings to give you a comprehensive overview of what to expect. Whether you’re looking for the best deals, the freshest produce, or the quickest delivery times, this guide will help you navigate the world of online grocery shopping with confidence.

What is Instacart?

Instacart is an American company that offers grocery delivery and pickup services to customers across the United States and Canada. Founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen, and Brandon Leonardo, Instacart has gained significant popularity for its convenience, speed, and variety of products available from different retailers. The platform connects customers with personal shoppers who pick, pack, and deliver groceries from local stores to the customer’s doorstep within hours. This service has been particularly beneficial for busy individuals, families, and those who prefer to avoid crowded stores.

Instacart’s user-friendly app and website allow customers to choose from a wide selection of items from their favorite local stores, including major chains like Costco, Safeway, and Kroger, as well as specialty stores. The company also offers features like real-time order tracking, the ability to communicate with personal shoppers, and various delivery windows to suit different schedules.

However, with the rise of online grocery shopping, there are now many alternatives to Instacart that offer similar services. These platforms, such as Amazon Fresh, Shipt, and Walmart Grocery, may differ in terms of pricing structures, delivery options, product selection, and customer service. As a customer, it’s essential to consider these factors when choosing the best option for your needs. Additionally, some alternatives may offer subscription models or membership benefits, which could be more cost-effective for frequent users. Comparing features, user reviews, and overall experiences can help determine the most suitable grocery delivery service for individual preferences and requirements.

How Does Instacart Work?

Instacart works by connecting customers with personal shoppers who handpick and deliver their groceries from local stores. The process starts with customers creating an account on the Instacart app or website, where they can browse products and place orders. Once an order is placed, a personal shopper receives the request and begins fulfilling it.

The personal shopper selects items from the chosen store and may communicate with the customer through the app to confirm any substitutions or special requests. After completing the shopping, the shopper delivers the order directly to the customer’s doorstep within a designated delivery window.

Customers can track their order in real-time, receive updates on any changes or delays, and even tip their shopper if desired. Instacart also offers various payment options, including credit card, debit card, and Apple Pay.

Overall, Instacart’s streamlined process allows for convenient and efficient grocery shopping without leaving the comfort of home.

Also Read: How to Make a Shopping App: A Brief Shopping App Development Guide

Instacart Business Model: How Does Instacart Make Money?

Instacart primarily earns revenue through delivery and service fees charged to customers. These fees may vary depending on the size of the order, delivery time, and other factors.

Additionally, Instacart partners with retailers and brands for marketing opportunities such as in-app promotions or sponsored product placements. They also offer a subscription service called “Instacart Express” that provides unlimited free deliveries for a monthly or yearly fee.

Increased Costs and Growth Opportunities

As with any business model, there are associated costs and potential growth opportunities for Instacart. Delivery costs include paying personal shoppers, maintaining the app and website, and offering customer support.

On the other hand, some potential growth opportunities for Instacart include expanding into new markets, partnering with more retailers and brands, and developing new services or features to enhance the user experience.

Delivery Charge Breakdown

The delivery fee for Instacart varies depending on the size of the order and delivery time. Customers can choose between a “standard” and “rush” delivery option, with the latter being more expensive but guaranteeing a shorter delivery window.

Additionally, customers may have to pay a small service fee, which goes towards covering operational costs such as insurance for personal shoppers and customer support.

Membership Charge Breakdown

Instacart Express offers customers unlimited free deliveries for a monthly or yearly fee. The membership cost may vary by location, but it is typically around $9.99 per month or $99 per year.

Some of the benefits of Instacart Express include no delivery fees on orders over $35, reduced service fees, and access to exclusive promotions and deals.

Service Charge Vs. Tip

It is important to understand the difference between a service charge and a tip when using Instacart. The service charge goes towards operational costs as mentioned earlier, while the tip goes directly to the personal shopper who picked and delivered your order.

Customers have the option to adjust both the service charge and tip amount before completing their order. It is recommended to consider tipping based on factors such as order size, delivery distance, and overall satisfaction with the service provided.

Pickup Fee

For customers who prefer to pick up their orders at the store, Instacart charges a small pickup fee. This fee covers operational costs and is typically lower than the standard delivery fee.

Partner Disbursements

Instacart partners with various retailers and grocery stores to fulfill orders. The partner disbursement fee is a percentage of the total order cost that goes to the retailer.

This fee helps cover costs for the store, such as employee wages, product handling, and maintenance of the online ordering system.

Top Grocery Apps like Instacart to Make Money

1. Amazon Fresh


Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service offered by the e-commerce giant, Amazon. It operates in select cities and offers a wide range of products including fresh produce, meat, dairy, and household essentials.

As an Amazon Flex driver, you can sign up to deliver for Amazon Fresh and earn money while shopping for others. The app also offers various promotions and bonuses for drivers.

2. Whole Foods


Whole Foods is a grocery chain owned by Amazon. Similar to Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods offers delivery and pickup services for its customers.

You can sign up as a shopper with the Whole Foods app and earn money by picking and packing orders for delivery or pickup. The app also allows you to schedule your own shifts for added flexibility.

3. GoPuff


GoPuff offers on-demand delivery of convenience store items such as snacks, drinks, and household essentials, making it easy for customers to get what they need without leaving their homes. As a driver for GoPuff, you can earn money by delivering these orders to customers in your area, providing a flexible job opportunity that can fit around your schedule. The app also features a tipping system where customers can leave tips for drivers based on their satisfaction with the service, offering an additional incentive for providing excellent customer service. Drivers can enjoy the benefits of working independently while contributing to a service that simplifies shopping for many people.

4. Shipt


Shipt is a delivery service that partners with local stores to offer same-day delivery of groceries, household essentials, and more. With a wide network of retail partners, Shipt ensures that customers have access to a variety of products from their favorite stores, delivered right to their doorstep. As a Shipt shopper, you can earn money by shopping for and delivering orders to customers in your area, giving you the opportunity to make extra income on a flexible schedule. The app allows shoppers to set their own schedule, so whether you want to work mornings, afternoons, or evenings, the choice is yours. Additionally, Shipt offers bonuses for completing a certain number of deliveries within a given time frame, incentivizing efficient and reliable service. To help shoppers succeed, Shipt provides comprehensive support and training resources, ensuring that every shopper can provide top-notch service to customers. Whether you are looking to supplement your income or seeking a new way to engage with your community, Shipt offers a rewarding and flexible opportunity.

5. Getir


Getir is a delivery service that offers customers fast and convenient access to groceries, household items, and more from local convenience stores. With the Getir app, customers can browse thousands of products and have them delivered to their doorstep in as little as 10 minutes. As a Getir rider, you can earn money by picking up and delivering orders to customers in your area. The app allows riders to choose their own schedule, making it easy to fit work around other commitments. Plus, with a straightforward payment system that includes tips from satisfied customers, you can enjoy the benefits of working independently while contributing to a service that simplifies daily errands for many people. In addition, Getir offers bonuses for completing a certain number of deliveries within a given time frame, motivating riders to provide efficient and excellent service. With its user-friendly app and commitment to providing a reliable and efficient delivery service, Getir offers a great opportunity for individuals looking for flexible work options.

6. Kroger


Founded in 1883, Kroger is one of the largest grocery retailers in the United States. With over 2,700 stores and a wide range of products, including groceries, household essentials, and pharmacy items, Kroger is a go-to destination for many customers. In addition to its brick-and-mortar stores, Kroger also offers online shopping and delivery services through its partnership with Instacart. This creates opportunities for individuals to become personal shoppers through Instacart as well as potential employment opportunities at their local Kroger store.

As an Instacart shopper for Kroger, you have the flexibility to set your own schedule and choose which orders you want to fulfill. You can work as much or as little as you want, making it a great option for those looking for part-time or supplementary income. Additionally, the pay is competitive and you can earn tips from satisfied customers on top of your base pay.

7. Thrive Market

thrive market

Thrive Market is an online grocery store that focuses on healthy and sustainable products, making it a popular choice for those who prioritize their health and the environment. As an independent contractor for Thrive Market, you can become a shopper or driver, depending on your preference and location.

As a shopper, you will be responsible for fulfilling online orders by selecting items from the warehouse and preparing them for delivery. This role requires attention to detail and efficient time management skills. On the other hand, drivers are responsible for delivering the orders to customers’ doorsteps using their own vehicles. This role requires good navigation skills and customer service abilities.

8. Peapod


Peapod is an online grocery delivery service owned by Ahold Delhaize, a multinational retail company. Peapod offers both part-time and full-time positions for personal shoppers and drivers across various locations in the United States.

Personal shoppers for Peapod are responsible for selecting and packing groceries based on customer orders. They also have opportunities to interact with customers during the pickup or delivery process. Drivers, on the other hand, are responsible for delivering the orders to customers’ homes using their own vehicles. Both roles require good communication skills and a positive attitude.

9. Giant Eagle

giant eagle

Giant Eagle is a supermarket chain that offers online grocery delivery through their partnership with Instacart. As an Instacart shopper for Giant Eagle, you can choose your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want.

The role of an Instacart shopper at Giant Eagle involves shopping for and delivering groceries to customers’ homes. This includes selecting items based on customer preferences and ensuring timely and accurate delivery. With the flexibility of choosing your own schedule, this role can be great for those looking for part-time or freelance opportunities.

10. Walmart Grocery


Walmart Grocery is another popular online grocery delivery service that offers both part-time and full-time positions for shoppers and drivers. As a personal shopper, you will be responsible for handpicking items from the store shelves based on customer orders. You will also have the opportunity to interact with customers during pickup or delivery.

Drivers at Walmart Grocery are responsible for delivering orders to customers’ homes using company-owned vehicles. This role requires good navigation skills and a friendly attitude towards customers. With competitive pay rates and opportunities for advancement, working at Walmart Grocery can be a great option for those looking for stable employment in the grocery delivery industry.

Read More: How Does Instacart Work to Make Money?

What is the App Development Cost to Build Apps like Instacart?

The cost to develop an app like Instacart can vary significantly based on various factors, including the complexity of features, the technology stack used, and the region where the development team is located. On average, the app development cost can range from $30,000 to $150,000 for a basic version with essential features like user registration, product listings, and a simple cart and checkout system.

For a more feature-rich application with advanced functionalities such as real-time tracking, multiple payment gateways, AI-powered recommendations, and an admin dashboard, the cost might fall between $200,000 to $400,000 or more. Additionally, ongoing maintenance, updates, and scalability considerations can add to the overall expenditure. It’s essential to consult with a professional development team to get a precise estimate tailored to your specific needs and objectives.

1. Initial Planning and Research

  • Cost Estimate: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Description: This phase involves defining the scope, objectives, and target audience for the app. Market research, competitor analysis, and feasibility studies are conducted to ensure a solid foundation for the app development project.

2. Design and Prototyping

  • Cost Estimate: $10,000 – $20,000
  • Description: During this stage, UI/UX designers create wireframes and prototypes to visualize the app’s interface and user experience. This step also includes creating initial design mockups and refining them based on stakeholder feedback.

3. Basic Feature Development

  • Cost Estimate: $30,000 – $80,000
  • Description: Basic features such as user registration, product listings, search functionality, cart management, and a simple checkout system are developed. A robust and scalable backend is also set up during this phase.

4. Advanced Features and Functionality

  • Cost Estimate: $100,000 – $200,000
  • Description: Incorporating advanced features like real-time tracking, multiple payment gateways, AI-powered recommendations, push notifications, in-app messaging, and an admin dashboard. This phase may also include integration with third-party services and APIs.

5. Testing and Quality Assurance

  • Cost Estimate: $10,000 – $30,000
  • Description: Comprehensive testing is performed to identify and fix bugs, ensuring the app is stable, and secure, and provides a seamless user experience. This step includes manual and automated testing across various devices and platforms.

6. Deployment and Launch

  • Cost Estimate: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Description: This phase involves preparing the app for launch in app stores, configuring servers, and setting up necessary analytics tools. It also includes promoting the app to the target audience through marketing campaigns.

7. Ongoing Maintenance and Updates

  • Cost Estimate: $20,000 – $50,000 per year
  • Description: After the launch, ongoing maintenance is required to keep the app updated with the latest features, security patches, and performance improvements. This step ensures the app remains competitive and continues to meet user expectations.

Suggested: How Much Does it Cost to Create An App

How can iTechnolabs help you to build an app like Instacart?

iTechnolabs is a reputed mobile app development company with expertise in building custom mobile applications. With a team of experienced developers and a track record of successful projects, we specialize in creating innovative and user-friendly apps tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients. Our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction sets us apart in the industry. Our experienced team of developers and designers can help you build an app like Instacart by providing the following services:

  • Requirement Analysis: Our team will work closely with you to understand your business needs, target audience, and overall goals for the app.
  • Design and User Experience: We will create intuitive and visually appealing designs that enhance the user experience and make it easy for customers to navigate through the app.
  • Development: Using the latest technologies, our developers will build a robust and scalable backend system as well as develop the front end of the app for both iOS and Android platforms.
  • Integration: We have expertise in integrating third-party services such as payment gateways, push notifications, and analytics tools to enhance the functionality of your app.
  • Quality Assurance: Our dedicated QA team will thoroughly test the app for any bugs or issues to ensure a seamless user experience.
  • Deployment: We will assist you in deploying the app on app stores and make sure it meets all necessary guidelines and requirements.
  • Ongoing Support: Our team will provide ongoing maintenance and support services to keep your app updated with new features and ensure its smooth functioning.

Are you planning to build an app like Instacart?

iTechnolabs-Are you planning to build an app like Instacart

Choosing iTechnolabs to develop an app like Instacart comes with numerous benefits. Firstly, our experienced team excels in creating custom solutions, ensuring your app is tailored precisely to your business needs and user preferences. This customization leads to a more engaging and user-friendly app, which can significantly boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Moreover, our team utilizes cutting-edge technologies and industry best practices, ensuring that your app is not only functional but also future-proof and scalable. This means your app can efficiently handle increasing user loads and adapt to evolving market demands. Additionally, integrating third-party services like payment gateways and analytics tools enhances the app’s functionality, providing users with a seamless and robust experience.

  • Customization: We provide tailored solutions that match your specific business requirements and user preferences, ensuring a unique and engaging app experience.
  • Expertise: Our experienced team excels in developing apps similar to Instacart, leveraging industry best practices and cutting-edge technologies.
  • Scalability: Our solutions are designed to be scalable, allowing your app to handle increasing user loads smoothly as your business grows.
  • Integration: We enhance app functionality by seamlessly integrating third-party services such as payment gateways, push notifications, and analytics tools.
  • Quality Assurance: With a dedicated QA team, we ensure thorough testing of your app to deliver a bug-free and reliable user experience.
  • Deployment Support: We assist you in deploying your app on various app stores, ensuring that it complies with all necessary guidelines and requirements.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: Our team provides continuous maintenance and support, ensuring your app remains updated with new features and operates seamlessly over time.
  • User Satisfaction: Our focused efforts on creating user-friendly and feature-rich apps significantly boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, driving business success.

Important: How Much Does It Cost To Develop An Urban Like App?


In conclusion, developing an app like Instacart requires a comprehensive and well-planned approach. By leveraging our expertise, scalability, customization, integration capabilities, quality assurance processes, deployment support, and ongoing maintenance services, we can help you create a successful and highly functional app that will satisfy your users’ demands and contribute to the growth of your business.

Top FAQs

What is Instacart?

Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service that connects customers with personal shoppers who pick and deliver groceries from local stores. By using the Instacart app or website, users can browse a wide selection of products, compare prices, and place orders from their favorite local retailers. Personal shoppers then meticulously select the items, ensuring quality and freshness, and deliver them right to the customer’s doorstep, often within just a few hours. This convenient service saves time and effort, making grocery shopping easier and more efficient.

What are the best grocery delivery apps like Instacart?

Some of the best grocery delivery apps like Instacart include Shipt, Peapod, FreshDirect, and Amazon Fresh. These apps offer similar features and services, such as on-demand delivery from local stores, a wide selection of products to choose from, and personalized shopping experiences. However, each app may have its unique offerings and strengths that cater to different user preferences. It is essential to research and compare multiple options before choosing the best grocery delivery app for your needs.  Overall, these apps aim to provide convenience and efficiency in grocery shopping for their users.

How do apps like Instacart make money?

Apps like Instacart primarily generate revenue through delivery and service fees. Customers pay a delivery fee on each order, which can vary depending on factors such as the distance, demand, and time of day. In addition to that, apps may charge a small markup on products’ prices to cover operational costs and earn profits. Some apps also offer subscriptions or membership plans that provide additional benefits for loyal customers. Lastly, partnerships with retailers often include commission-based models, where a percentage of sales goes back to the app.

What is the time required to build an app like Instacart?

The time required to develop an app like Instacart can vary significantly depending on various factors, such as the complexity of features, team size, and development approach. On average, it can take anywhere from 4 to 9 months to build a fully functional grocery delivery app. However, this timeline may change if customizations or integrations are involved. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of your app’s requirements and objectives before starting the development process to ensure an efficient and timely delivery.

Looking for Free Software Consultation?
Fill out our form and a software expert will contact you within 24hrs
Need Help With Development?
Need Help with Software Development?
Need Help With Development?

We trust that you find this information valuable!

Schedule a call with our skilled professionals in software or app development