The average price to create an app delivery like Postmates can vary from $75,000 to $143,000 and more. The final price will depend on two major factors: time and software developers’ rates.
In this post, I will discuss how to build a Postmates-like app and reveal every variable that affects the price. You’ll also learn how to monetize your food delivery service.
What is Postmates
Before going deeper into Postmates-like app development cost, let’s gain insights into what the Postmates app stands for. In short, it’s a delivery service.
The founders of Postmates decided to drive the digital transformation of the on-demand delivery sphere combining advanced technologies and unique business approaches.
What does “unique business approaches” means? The peculiarity of the service is that every person can be a courier (this approach resemble Uber’s model, where the company and drivers cooperate)
All that is required is to fill in a form. In the case of Postmates, the couriers don’t need to be car owners to work for. The company has various options: from bicycle couriers to car drivers. The ordering process is simple. After you make an order and pay for it, the courier accepts it and proceeds to completion.
Things to Know Before Starting Development
Before creating an on-demand app, it’s essential to analyze the idea’s viability. If you do it correctly, you will build a top-notch food delivery app. Take a look at the steps you should follow to eliminate the mistakes.
Do Market Research
Firstly, you need to analyze your main competitors (UberEats, Postmates) and find their solid and fragile points. Define their specific features, see how they promote the app. The obtained information will help you figure out how to develop a food delivery app. Besides, it’s better to study the statistics of these apps, available metrics, and so on.
Try a Business Model Canvas
Canvas lets you visualize your business model and look at it from various angles. It’s composed of several segments, each responsible for business goals.
Before getting Postmates-like app development, consider how your app will interact with shops and restaurants. Some of them may have their own delivery service, so look for those that don’t have one. Provide the benefits of your proposal and show the statistics (the profit they can get by collaborating with you).
The next step you need to think of is how the courier will pay for the products. The best decision is to make an inner payment system with your companions. The cost for the goods will be taken from your business account, and the restaurants will get their money fast.
Your workers can purchase goods via credit cards. Thus you don’t need to spend a lot of money on payment system development. But you have to consider the security issues to prevent unauthorized payments. Ensure your couriers pay only for those products that the client ordered and in a specified restaurant or shop.
Introduce Value Proposition
There is no sense in building a good copy. Try to create an exclusive app that stands out from the competitors. Add unique features or bonuses that nobody had before. To achieve it, do research and determine what your target audience is expected to get.
Exclusive value proposition ensures your customers select exactly your app, putting aside another.
Keep Up With Trends
Consider the following trends to make a unique and competitive delivery app:
- Adopt new technologies. Advanced technologies like AI-chatbots, voice and speech recognition will inspire your users to use the app. But implementing such innovations, be ready to face additional expenses.
- Create a tailor-made app both for clients and partners. In this way, you’ll be able to offer a unique user experience and increase your chances of success.
- Augmented reality. AR is a great choice to grab users’ attention. You can let them visualize the food or provide navigation through a smartphone’s camera for couriers.
MVP Features for Food Delivery App
The success of any software depends on the features it provides. Below you’ll find the must-have elements of the food delivery app.
Registration is vital for almost all apps, mainly for those that have in-app purchases. Users can sign up using login and password or register via email, social media, or phone numbers.
For instance, Postmates allows their users to sign in using Facebook accounts. It’s a brilliant step since 58 % of Americans have an account. So, it’s essential to provide your users with all possible opportunities.
Track the Food
Navigation is an essential part of every delivery app. You have to consider the features that will let your customers take and monitor orders easily. So work with geolocation is needed.
For instance, Postmates’s users can continue tracking their orders after the payment is made. To be clear, they can monitor the couriers’ movements even before they take the food from the shop or restaurants. Besides, the app shows how much time the courier needs to get to the destination.
This option requires GPS chip integration to track down the couriers through satellite data and hold calculating until the courier gets to the client’s place. It should be noted that each platform uses its own set of tools for geolocation features. iOS utilizes MapKit, Android — Google Maps. Hence, the development hours can vary depending on the platforms.
The payment integration is a must-have when we talk about any on-demand service. It’s essential to provide customers with an easy and fast way to pay for their orders.
However, to handle users’ banking data, you need to keep up with security standards and be compliant with PCI DSS requirements. If you plan to sell physical products, it’s better to utilize the ready-to-use gateway services (PayPal, Stripe) over developing your own. There are two main reasons: guaranteeing data security and reducing the development cost.
Postmates offers users the following payment methods:
- Credit card
- Apple Pay
- Android Pay
One more thing to remember. If you make a food delivery app, you need to consider delivery fees and how they’ll be calculated. Commonly, the commissions depend on distance. Besides, the payment for goods and fees should be made in one transaction.
Discounts, gift cards, bonuses are a great marketing trick to enhance customers. Usually, in delivery apps, people can share promo codes with their friends. Hence, they can get free delivery or other benefits.
Methods to Monetize a Food Delivery Service
When you plan to build an app, you want it to bring money. Below you’ll find some ways on how your Postmates-like delivery app can be monetized:
- Delivery fee. You can take some commission from each order delivery. The price may depend on distance or payment for the order.
- It’s a commonly used monetization method in various mobile and web applications. You can sell advertising space and generate revenue from your app. But ensure the advertising is connected with your target audience.
- You can promote restaurants and cafes within your app and get paid for it. For instance, you can get a fee when a user looks for a specific cafe in your app and makes an order from there.
- Break down your app into free and paid. The paid version can offer premium options and be ad-free. Hence, the users will pay for additional functionality (a fixed price or subscription plan).
The Cost of Postmates-like App Development
Software development is a complex process and consist of the following elements:
- UI/UX design
- Mobile development
- Admin panel development
Let’s consider the price of each component. Bear in mind that the estimate is based on $50 per hour. It’s an average rate in Eastern Europe.
The cost of food delivery app design varies depending on its complexity and required platforms. For example, if you want to add animations or visual effects, the team may need up to 250 extra hours. Let’s look at the cost of design depending on platforms:
- The average app design price for iOS will be $4,500 per 90 hours.
- The average Postmates-like app design price for Android will be $5,500 per 110 hours.
Keep in mind that if you want to develop an individual app for couriers, it requires a design too.
The estimation is based on MVP features we’ve considered above, plus business logic and UI elements needed to build a comprehensive customer experience. Let’s appeal to food delivery development costs:
- iOS development. The team needs 816 hours to develop an app for iOS. It’ll cost you $40,800.
- Android development. It will take 820 hours to build an app for Android. The price starts from $41,000.
- Back-end development. The developers need 456 hours to build a back end of the app. The price will be $22,800.
- Basic admin panel development. It’ll take 581 hours to make a basic admin panel of the app. It’ll cost you $29,050.
- Total for one platform (iOS/Android). It’ll take 1857 hours to build an app for one platform totally. The price starts from $92,850.
- Total for two platforms (iOS+Android). It’ll take 2673 hours to create an app for two platforms totally. It’ll cost you $133,650.
Remember that the back-end side of the app is one for two platforms.
Here is the list of frameworks and libraries that developers need to build a delivery app similar to Postmates. Get back, the list of technologies will depend on the project’s requirements and required features.
- Amazon EC2
- Amazon S3
- Facebook SDK
- Google Maps
- Google Places
- Elastic email
- Fire Cloud Messaging
As you can see, Postmates-like app development requires many steps to go through. The final cost will also depend on developers’ rates (e.g., US-based developers charge $150/h, in Western Europe — $100/h) and the size of the software development agency.
Kate Orekhova is a tech writer at Cleveroad. A writer by day and a reader at night, she’s keen on technology and innovations. Her passion is to tell people about the latest tech trends in the world of IT.