how to develop a delivery app

Building a delivery app can be profitable because of its high demand in many lucrative market niches.

You can benefit from this opportunity by offering a common digital platform for customers, courier partners, and store owners and knowing how to develop a delivery app. 

As per the report, the market size of delivery apps was valued at $5.78 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $20.36 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 21.1%.

The above data indicates the business opportunity for making an extreme profit with shipment apps. Also, many businesses rely on third-party partners to ship their products to their customers’ addresses. 

In detail, let’s understand the delivery app, its types, business model, essential features, and building process for your shipment business.

Let’s start by knowing its business model.

Major business models of delivery apps

The business models are as follows:

1. Person-to-Person (P2P)

This business model provides a platform where users can exchange or purchase goods with others without an intermediary or third person. On such apps, customers can request pick and drop off groceries, medicines, and other goods from others.

2. Business to Consumer (B2C)

In B2C, businesses deliver their products to their consumer address. Many businesses are working on this model. For example, a restaurant delivers food to customers’ addresses after receiving orders from the app. 

3. Business to Business (B2B)

In this business model, products are purchased in larger quantities. Companies provide their digital platform where businesses can purchase products from other businesses. 

For example, wholesale to retail businesses, where small retailers buy products in huge quantities from industries and wholesalers.

Check out the best app types you can invest in for offering your services.

Main types of delivery apps

There are four main types of apps:

1. Local food and grocery apps

These apps offer a platform where users can order food and groceries online from different businesses. You can take the example of multiple apps, such as DoorDash and Uber Eats, that are popular for their fast food services.

2. Apps for retailers

These apps provide a platform where users can purchase different items from local suppliers, such as mobile phones, electronics, and other goods. Many apps offer services, such as Amazon Prime and Deliv.

3. Package shipment apps

These applications allow users to track their packages in real time. Many companies use such apps to help their users to know the status of their online orders with many features such as route optimization, arranging bookings, and much more.

4. Wine/alcohol shipment apps

The apps are not limited to food. Delivering alcohol online is now possible with mobile apps. However, these businesses require extra consideration of legalization to operate this business online smoothly.

There are multiple ways you can make money with your app. Check-in detail.

How do delivery apps make money?

You can go through the following options to make money with your app.

1. Commissions

You can take a commission on each sale from the business allowed to sell their products on your app. One of the easiest and most widely used monetization techniques apps have implemented in their business. 

2. Ad placement

Instead of taking commission, you can show the advertisement of your partnered brands on your app. You can charge them based on CPC and CPM models. 

Also, you can integrate popular ad networks such as Google Adwords, Media.Net, and others to make money through advertisement. 

3. Featured listing 

Another best way to make money with your app is to charging from brands for showcasing their items as featured products on your platform. 

You can charge them a specific amount for highlighting their product on your app, which will eventually help them increase their sales.  

Apps that offer shipment services have some essential features you must know.

Main features of the delivery app

These are the top 9 features that must be on the shipment app: 

1. Push notifications

Offer your users real-time updates about their deliveries through push notifications. You can provide the latest updates regarding deliveries via SMS, e-mail, or in-app pop-ups. 

2. Multiple payment options

Offering multiple payment options is essential for any shipment app. You can add popular payment integration such as Debit cards, Credit cards, Internet banking, Paypal, Cash on Delivery (CoD), and others to offer your users more options to make payments based on their preferences.   

3. Reward and loyalty programs

Businesses can drive engagement on their platform through loyalty programs. These programs offer deals, special offers, and discounts to their most active and engaged users. Loyalty app development helps businesses to attract new customers to their platform. 

4. Shipment request

This feature will enable users to select products from your platform and put them on request for shipment. Once after making the payment, your partner will ship that product to the customer’s address.

5. Real-time GPS tracking

Help your users and business partners to track their orders with real-time tracking functionality. You can integrate Google Maps or Waze’s navigation to provide real-time location updates and find the optimal route for your transportation partners.  

6. Voice integration 

Make your app smart by integrating voice-based functionality into your app. This feature will ease the buying process, as your users can easily operate your app with their voice commands by performing actions such as order tracking,  searching products, etc.

7. Search filters

Help users find their favorite products on your platform. With search filters, you can enable your users to quickly narrow down their search results to get the exact product they are looking for.

You can offer multiple search filters based on your target industry, such as price range, top-selling products, etc.

8. Social media integration

This feature will let your app users quickly sign up on your platform once they allow your app to access their social media details.

Also, with this feature, customers can share the offers and deals of your platform with their online friends to help you attract more audience and drive engagement. 

9. Feedback and reviews

Knowing the customer experience with your business are essential.

The feature will let your customers provide feedback regarding their experience with your business. You can use this feature to take feedback and suggestions from your customer to improve your business.

Courier app features based on the user’s perspective

The development team will provide separate apps for your different app users that will be part of your shipment business.

I. For customers

The app will come with all the features to help customers, from finding their favorite products to placing orders on your app. The developers will provide the following features:

  • Browse products
  • Quick search and filters
  • Wishlist
  • My cart
  • Order Status
  • Order history and repeat option
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Schedule shipment
  • Contact partner and store
  • Multiple payment options
  • Referrals and invites

II. For shipment partners

Partners will help you take your customers’ orders and deliver them to their addresses. Help them easily deliver your products with these app features:

  • Easy registration and login
  • Availability toggle
  • Accept or reject orders
  • GPS and in-app navigation system
  • Contact Customer
  • Instant notifications
  • Download reports

III. For store managers

Businesses that are offering their products and services on your app will access the following features: 

  • Inventory management
  • Accept & decline orders
  • Contact partners and customers
  • Reports management
  • Product management

IV. For administrator

You, as an owner, can manage your business and get total control over your platform with the help of the given features:

  • Track orders
  • Administer Stores
  • Monitor shipment partners
  • Run ads and promotions
  • Discounts and exciting offers
  • Manage notifications
  • Feedback analysis

So what is the process of creating your app? Let’s check.

How to develop a delivery app?

The process of making a delivery app is given below:

1. Verify the needs of the target audience

Perform extensive research on your audience to understand the market needs. There will be a need for strong analytical skills to have perfect research on your audience. 

Even better, you can hire an app development agency that can help you with doing strong research on your audience. 

The team can help you create a buyer persona to portray the personality of your ideal users. Knowing your ideal users will help you understand what features and functionality you should add to your app.

2. Analyze your competition

Instead of reinventing the wheel, it is better to analyze your competition to understand what works well for them, so you can implement the same in your business.

You can check the reviews of their potential customers on app distribution platforms and other websites to find the weakness and strengths of their products. 

Based on their strength, you can make changes to your app to get a more competitive advantage after launching it.

3. Select the tech stack 

We recommend you the following tech stack to create your delivery app:

AndroidJava, Kotlin, Android Studio, Jetpack Compose, Android UI (template) 
iOSObjective-C, Swift, XCode, AppCode, UIKit, SwiftUI 
Cross-platformReact Native(JS), Flutter(Dart), Xamarin(C#)
ServerAmazon EC2, Amazon EKS / AWS Lambda
StorageAmazon S3
Database providersAmazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB
Messaging queuesAmazon SQS
Push notificationsFirebase notifications
API serverNode.JS

4. Find and hire an app development agency 

Once you identify your target audience and competitors, you will have to start working on creating your app.

However, you will need a team of app developers to help you build your app. We suggest outsourcing your project to an app development company is the best option. 

App development agencies offer apps for multiple businesses that are of high quality and user-friendly. A good way to find and hire a trustworthy contractor is to check their reviews on popular websites such as Clutch. 

Also, you should visit their official website to learn about the past projects they have worked on. Their portfolio and case studies will help you understand their skills and expertise in app development across various industries.

You can take interviews with selected app development agencies and can ask them the following questions to choose the best one for your project. 

  • 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? 

Once after hiring app developers, the team will analyze your business needs, suggest all the required features, and create an app development strategy to help you fulfill your business goals with mobile apps. 

5. Build MVP of your app

It is suggested to create an MVP for your app. MVP is a minimum viable product, where the app only contains the required features to make it ready to use. 

Creating MVP will help you minimize your app development budget and the required time for project completion. 

Once you decide to create an app’s MVP, the app developers you have hired will create the MVP of your app. Once built, they will test it multiple times to ensure it is free from all the technical glitches and drawbacks.

You can add the selected features to the MVP of your app, such as placing orders, paying, tracking orders, and other required features that enable your customers to buy products and place orders.


The demand for delivery apps across many industries has made it one of the most lucrative businesses to invest in. 

There are many types of delivery software, such as local food and grocery delivery apps, delivery apps for retailers, wine & alcohol delivery apps, cannabis delivery apps, and package delivery apps, etc.

Moreover, almost all delivery apps have standard features such as delivery requests, payment & proof of delivery(POD), ratings & feedback, and much more.

However, to build your app, you may need help from app developers, as they have high expertise in programming and software development. 

We suggest you work with an app development company to get the best app developers for your project. 

How can Idea Usher help?

Get the best on your shipment app with Idea Usher’s custom app development solution. Our team of experts works by analyzing your business needs and will build apps exclusively for your business.  

Our team has expertise in creating courier apps across multiple industries, including eCommerce, groceries, food & restaurants, weed & cannabis, and more.

Schedule a free consultation call with our app developers to discuss your project and learn how we can help your business grow.

Contact Idea Usher 

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Q. What should a delivery app have?

The app should consist of the following features:

  • Notification 
  • Reward and loyalty program 
  • Multiple payment options 
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Shipment requests 
  • Search Filters 
  • Social media integration
  • Feedback and review 

Q. How to develop a delivery app?

You can develop your app by following the given process:

  • Verify the needs of the target audience
  • Analyze your competition
  • Hire app developers
  • Build the MVP of your app

Q. What are the characteristics of a good delivery service?

A good service should have the following characteristics:

  • Offering shipment to a wide range of products
  • Faster shipment
  • Affordable pricing 
  • Handling goods with care
  • Offering better customer service
  • Vast coverage of service area
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