Grocery Delivery Business - featured image

How to Start an Online Grocery Delivery Business

The online grocery delivery business is booming across the globe. That’s because ever-increasing numbers of people are opting for purchasing their groceries online. So running an online grocery store is a significant business idea.

In fact, online grocery shopping is catching on rapidly with customers in developed countries like the US, UK, Japan, France, and elsewhere. One-fourth of online shoppers are already doing their grocery shopping on the Internet. What’s more, more than half of online shoppers in developed countries say they wish to do the same soon.

For this reason, the numbers of online grocers increases by three times year over year. Moreover, grocery delivery services accounted for significant growth in the food and beverage industries in last few years.

The food retail industry is a high-volume, low-margin business with cutthroat competition. However, starting a grocery delivery service business could be just the business venture for you. This is especially the case if you’re an entrepreneur with tech smarts who is good with details.

This guide will provide you with a brief idea about how to start an online grocery delivery business. It will also help you decide whether the business is a good match for your skills.

In this post, you will learn about developing an online grocery delivery business plan. You’ll also read about the costs to set up your online grocery delivery store and much more.

Steps to Starting Your Own Grocery Delivery Business

1. Plan Your Grocery Delivery Business

The first thing you need to do is develop your online grocery delivery service business plan. It can make a difference in your overall success to find a niche that’s right for your store. Also, get to know your customer base before you begin your grocery delivery business.

To this end, identify your target customers and get acquainted with their needs. Additionally, plan your delivery periphery well. Ensure that items with shorter shelf lives will reach customers in a timely fashion. For example, be sure you can deliver fruits, vegetables, milk, and other perishable items while they’re still fresh.

Also, pinpoint the eating habits and buying patterns of your target customer. This will help you to sell your products faster and minimize wastage.

There is a lot to keep track of when it comes to grocery delivery. For instance, you’ll need to continuously coordinate with customers and maintain their ordering records. Therefore, you’ll need a clear plan.

Naturally, you’ll also need to consider your initial costs. Also, estimate how long it will take you to reach a break-even point.

When you’re planning your grocery delivery business, one of the key things to consider is where you will fulfil orders from. A fulfilment warehouse can provide a number of benefits for your business, including:

  • Reduced shipping costs: If your fulfilment warehouse is located close to your customers, you’ll be able to reduce your shipping costs. This can potentially give you a competitive advantage over businesses that are located further away from their customers.
  • Increased efficiency: A good fulfilment warehouse will have systems in place to help ensure that orders are fulfilled quickly and efficiently. This can help to improve customer satisfaction levels and reduce the chance of Orders being delayed or lost in transit.
  • Flexibility: A fulfilment warehouse can provide you with the flexibility to scale your business up or down as needed. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re just starting out and are not sure how much demand there will be for your service.
  • If you’re planning to start a grocery delivery business, then a fulfilment warehouse could be a great option for you. With the benefits it can provide, it’s definitely worth considering as part of your overall business strategy.

2. Use a Business Model Like Those Used by E-Commerce

The business model for an online grocery delivery store is based on a marketplace model that’s used by nearly all e-commerce stores. Many of the leading players like Instacart, Amazon Prime, Peapod, and others set up their online grocery store this way. Follow their lead by taking these steps:

  1. Connect with local grocers, wholesalers, and distributors.
  2. Build a strong grocery delivery network to ensure timely delivery to your customers.
Online grocery business model

Image Source

3. Monetize Your Grocery Delivery Business

Within the marketplace for grocery delivery businesses, there are business owners, vendors, wholesalers, customers, and delivery partners.

Therefore, you’ll have both primary and secondary revenue-generation streams for monetizing your online grocery delivery business.

Primary Revenue Stream

There are multiple models in the primary business stream. For example:

Commission Model

This model is used to accelerate business growth and has the potential for maximizing profit. That is, you can set different commission rates for different products. You can also change the commission rate for different sellers and monetize those through your online platform.

Subscription Model

This model relies on discounts, additional charges, and so on to provide customers with better service. Under this model, customers sign up for monthly or yearly subscriptions. In return, you give them certain additional benefits such as exclusive offers and discounts.

For example, Thrive Market offers 25-50% discounts to its customers who sign up for an annual subscription.

Hybrid Model

The hybrid model, as the name suggests, is a combination of the other two models. In other words, your business model is a blend of the commission and the subscription models. Operating in this way could allow you to make higher profits.

For example, Amazon Prime uses the commission model with its sellers. However, it uses a subscription model with its customers, to whom Amazon provides value-added services.

Secondary Revenue Stream

Your secondary revenue stream can come from:

  • Featured promotions for merchants on your website
  • Hosting banner ads
  • Charging an additional amount for faster grocery delivery
  • Selling user data to market research companies

4. Establish a Web Presence for Your Grocery Delivery Business

To ensure the success of your online grocery delivery service, you’ll need to establish an online presence. This involves developing and starting a website. Your website will be the face of your business.

Having an efficient and functional website is critical. This is the case even if you plan to stick with a limited niche with your grocery delivery idea.

Finally, it’s imperative that you create an impressive and descriptive domain name for your brand.


Get Software Solutions

Your website needs to have every possible feature that an online grocery delivery store could have. Therefore, look for a technology-enabled solution. For one thing, your online grocery delivery business will need a multifaceted approach. Consider the following software solutions:

Develop from Scratch

If you have a strong online grocery delivery business plan and want to start from scratch, gather all your requirements. Then hire a team of software developers. However, this approach is a time-consuming process that requires a huge investment.

Besides, starting an online grocery delivery business requires a good deal more groundwork than other online businesses as it is.

Purchase a Turnkey Solution

If you want a speedier and more cost-effective software solution, a turn-key approach will better suit you.

There are many ready-made solutions available online. Many of these are open source, customizable, and self-hosted. This means you can personalize the features according to your requirements. You can buy the Instacart clone script, for instance, or the Amazon clone script for your online grocery delivery business.

Instacart clone scripts come with multiple ready-made features. This will shorten the time you’ll need for set-up. And you won’t need to go to the trouble of developing from scratch. You can purchase these scripts enabled for both iOS and Android apps.

5. Build the Brand for Your Grocery Delivery Service

Big players like Amazon and Instacart have already established their brand names on multiple fronts. So you also need to develop marketing strategies on your own for your business.

Therefore, be proactive about marketing your goods and services. To this end, center your marketing strategies on reliability, fast grocery delivery, and great customer service.

Your Online Grocery Delivery Service Can Become Your Customers’ Best Friend

The primary thing for entrepreneurs in the online grocery delivery industry is to know the challenges from the beginning. They also need to have some idea about leveraging the required technology. If you are aware of the strategies and trends, you can become a valuable online presence. Soon you’ll be serving your target customer with an online grocery business.