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What is Zepto? Is it a Rapid Delivery App Killer?

895 Views | 2 min | Published On: April 19, 2023 Last Updated: April 17, 2024
what is zepto

Would you believe me if I say that your groceries could be delivered at your doorstep in under 10 minutes?

Sounds too good to be true? Well, believe it or not, this is a reality, and all thanks to the rise of quick commerce and innovative apps like Zepto.

For customers who prefer the utter convenience of ordering groceries with just a tap rather than battling traffic and parking, these services prove to be a game changer, offering a seamless solution to their daily itineraries. Unlike traditional warehouses, q-commerce depends on micro-warehouses strategically located near delivery points, stocking a curated array of high-demand items.

So, whether you are a startup or a big name in the grocery business, it’s high time to shed the onus of doing things the old way and test the waters and develop a grocery delivery app like Zepto.

Having second thoughts or unsure about stepping into the world of Q-commerce? Don’t worry, let’s explore the boundless opportunities awaiting in the Indian market.

The Boundless Opportunities in Indian Q-Commerce Market

The Indian qcommerce market is one of the biggest in the world. And why does that matter? Because, as per Statista, the Indian eCommerce market will be having 1,090 million users by 2027 against the global count of 5,290 million.

Moreover, the Indian quick commerce market is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2025. Although there are many players in the market right now racing to make the most out of the market demand for fastest deliveries of groceries and other necessities, the quartet that is leading the grocery wars in India include:

  • Zomato-backed Blinkit (Part of Zomato)
  • Swiggy-owned Instamart ($800 million)
  • Reliance-backed Dunzo ($800 million)
  • Soonicorn Zepto ($900 million+)

We have already covered how to build an app like Blinkit. In this blog post, we will put Zepto under the lens.

Owing to the massive popularity enjoyed by the instant delivery service in a short time period, businesses are looking forward to developing apps like Zepto to capitalise on the need for instant grocery delivery in different regions around the world.

Zepto is gaining ground quickly, giving tough competition to rival instant delivery services like Blinkit and Instamart, especially when it comes to delivery time. So the million-dollar question is, “Will it turn out to be a Blinkit and Instamart killer?” Only time will tell.

But why is Zepto becoming so popular in the gigantic Indian market? Well, to understand that we have to start with the basics. So, let’s start with answering the popular question; What is Zepto?

What is Zepto?

Zepto is an online instant grocery delivery service that guarantees to deliver products within 10 minutes. Yes, we know, it’s something that every grocery delivery service wants you to believe, but this is actually happening in the case of Zepto. Although, in certain locations, the delivery time can be as much as 25 minutes, which is still faster than what its competitors offer.

Consequently, businesses – not just in India but elsewhere – are interested to know how the service offered by Zepto is possible and what kind of business model it has. We’ll discuss the same later in the article.

Zepto basics

Zepto was conceived by two young and ambitious Stanford students – Kaivalya Vohra and Aadit Palicha – in 2021 to meet the increasing demand for fast contactless delivery of grocery items during the COVID pandemic.

The quick commerce business has its own digital wallet, aptly called Zepto Cash, which makes it easy and quick to make payments for orders placed on the platform.

Furthermore, Zepto features a referral scheme where both the referrer and the referral get a 25% discount. It also offers a galore of coupons and deals to entice new and returning customers.

What’s the 10 minute Online Delivery Concept?

Today’s undeniable truth is – “The on-demand business model is the magic wand for Small-Medium size Businesses”. And, when this fad blends with the 10-minute delivery idea, businesses like yours develop a successful quick commerce app revolutionizing the industry.

Unsurprisingly, this concept is gaining momentum as it caters to customer’s evolving needs and expectations effectively. The core objective is to deliver fresh groceries to customer’s doorsteps within 10 minutes, leveraging efficient last-mile delivery methods.

Regardless of the challenges like weather and traffic, grocery delivery businesses are committed to fulfilling their promise. Though this approach is a reality in tier-1 cities, emerging wings to metros come with challenges like logistics, safety, and quality. Fortunately, apps like Zepto are taking the lead and simultaneously laying the groundwork for startups to take the baby step and succeed.


Why is it Getting So Popular?

Compared to established brands like Dunzo and Blinkit, Zepto is getting increasingly popular. There are several factors that contribute to this fact. Some of the most important factors that contribute to the popularity enjoyed by Zepto are:

  • Giving a run for money to competitors in terms of products offering and customer service
  • Ability to deliver products faster and ensure quality
  • Backing from Y Combinator
  • Gaining an advantage by being the new kid in the town
  • Being an idea incepted by two young entrepreneurs
  • Excellent customer support
  • Maturity of the global quick commerce market

Well, Zepto is enjoying a great deal of popularity not only in its home market but also around the world as businesses are trying to capitalise on the popularity of its business model.

Surprisingly, the Zepto app, founded in April 2021 expanded its functioning in 13 cities with 86 dark stores with two rounds of funding and is looking ahead to expand their operations in two and three tier cities.


Thus, it would be right to say the Zepto app has leveled up the quotient of quick commerce with the next round of funding and is ready to compete with the big mammoths who for now rule the market.

Although Zepto is – as of April 2023 – available in 10 cities across the country, it has ambitious plans to extend its offerings to more locations in India and elsewhere.

Does this story sound straight from some motivational movie? Well, you can also change your destiny with the right mindset and approach to build an instant grocery delivery platform. All you need is a dynamic team of experts in 10-minute grocery delivery app development to pour life into your vision.

Zepto Business Model

The business model of Zepto is varied and efficient. It relies primarily on dark stores, which are similar to traditional supermarkets but aren’t available to the public.

Instead, these are acquired by businesses – like Zepto – to make product delivery faster and easier. In the early days, Zepto had dark stores in Bandra and Andheri East. Later, it expanded to include Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Gurugram, and Chennai.

At present, Zepto operates 40 dark stores. The business developed an efficient AI-powered system to assist with choosing, packing, and delivering products. Moreover, it generates revenue from a number of sources, which are:

zepto revenue streams

1.Commission Fee

Zepto earns revenue by charging commission fees to both customers and grocery stores. It takes a small delivery commission fee from the consumers and 15 to 20% of the value of the order as a commission fee to grocery stores.

2.Subscription and Membership Plans

Another important way to generate revenue is by offering subscription and membership plans to its clientele.

Monthly and yearly plans make it convenient for customers to leverage the q-commerce, aka Quick Commerce, platform while increasing their savings on orders.

3.Advertisements for Grocery Stores

For advertising brands in the form of banners on its website and app, Zepto levy charges on grocery stores. They can purchase one or many advertisement spots on the Zepto platform in exchange for a fee.

What are the Major Points to Setup a 10-minute Grocery Delivery App?

To cement footprints in the grocery delivery business, understanding the three inevitables is crucial.

  1. Customer
  2. Delivery Partner
  3. Admin

Let’s take a quick look at the feature set that define each of these segments of users in the application.

Customer Side Feature

Users always want an app that is easy-to-use and seamlessly offers solutions in minimal clicks. To create a rapid delivery app like Zepto, we’ve handpicked features that your users will love.


  • Hassle-free Onboarding: Establishing easy onboarding solutions, you ensure your users don’t face any challenges and gush their time and efforts in filling up their details and other credentials. So, it’s vital to offer an easy sign-up process through social accounts or email ID, and fill up the rest of the information when placing the order.


  • Aesthetic Feel and Vibe: Keeping the interface clean, simple and minimal is the key to behold the user’s attention. Ensure to offer users an eye-pleasing and easy to navigate experience that would bring them back craving for more.


  • Push Notifications: When considering features for a successful rapid delivery app, push notifications are unskippable. It’s important to keep users updated with new offers, discounts, sprees and other updates, motivating them to make purchases.


  • Easy to Navigate: Keeping the navigation simple, ensures your users can easily explore the app helping you generate huge profits. Besides, the users can easily search the items needed under well-defined segmentation saving you effort and time.


  • In-app Payment Gateways: Integrating in-app payments allow customers to make hassle-free payments and also check the transaction history. Furthermore, including e-wallet app integration act as an added feather in the hat, providing users with convenience of choosing their own method and making payment.


  • Real-time Location: This is like a boon in the on-demand delivery app. Real-time location integration offers sheer convenience as user’s don’t need to put the complete address, making it a lot easier for customers and delivery partners alike.


  • Real-time Tracking: Once the order is out for delivery, users have the access to keep track of the order in real-time. This way, users can easily plan their next set of actions.



  • Ratings and Reviews: This feature allows customers to share reviews about the product and services used. This will help peers to make a more informed decision and place their orders, and in some scenarios of bad ratings and reviews helps admin to look into the matter.



  • Order History: Including the feature of order history helps users to repeat the order once placed without searching and finding the items. This will act as a USP of your app.



  • Scheduled Delivery: Offering users with the flexibility to choose the delivery timings is what 9-to-5 professionals crave for. Thus, it’s important that users have the convenience to choose their preferred time slot, making things a lot easier for them.

Delivery Partner Features

  • Quick Update: As soon as the order is accepted by the nearest dark store the delivery agent is notified through the delivery schedule. This ensures the time is saved on both the ends and the process stays seamless.


  • In-app Wallet: Including an in-app wallet, the delivery person can see their tips and the amount added to their respective accounts. Moreover, they can check on the incentives and other rewards they have earned throughout their course.


  • Shortest Route: Navigating through the shortest route helps delivery people to deliver the order within 10 minutes. Also, this makes it a lot easier for the delivery agent to deliver on promise keeping up with the brand ethics.


  • Delivery Partner Dashboard: With the delivery agent dashboards, they have easy and quick access to see the deliveries they have made and the number of deliveries to be made. Plus, they can easily see how much they have earned and report in case of any issues.

Admin Side Features

In this, you often take care of the administrative functioning and back-end operations of the application. Here’s how integrating these features will make things easy for you.


  • Delivery Partners: You can always check the status of your delivery agents and timely deliveries made. Besides, you can check the areas that require more delivery agents or need any changes in the operations.


  • Checking Stores Inventory: You stay updated with the warehouse inventory and the products available region wise. The dashboards envelopes all the dark stores and the order list, eliminating the thinnest probability of sleeping through the cracks.


  • Review Revenue: Herein, you can easily track the profit margins and the amount invested. It portrays a clean reflection of the screen engagements simultaneously helping you perform better and earn higher.

These were a handful of must-have features that startups like you should adhere to when planning to develop a quick commerce app similar to Zepto. Simultaneously, another aspect that’ll make your app successful is the business model.

Here’s a quick rundown of what lays the foundation of a 10-minute delivery app.

With the popularity surge, the online grocery delivery business is attracting more investors and investments by brands to advertise on their platform, further increasing their earnings.

Zepto Business Model Canvas

zepto business model canvas

Zepto vs The Rest

In this section, we will compare Zepto with its main competitors – Blinkit, Dunzo, and Instamart – on the basis of various factors that include delivery time, customer service satisfaction, and so on.

1.Delivery Time

This is the most important factor that determines the acceptance of an instant delivery service. Instamart takes the most time by delivering products within a time frame of 30 to 45 minutes. Dunzo requires about 19 to 30 minutes to make deliveries.

Both Blinkit and Zepto promise to deliver products within 10 minutes, which they do, but not always as there are several factors included, such as the distance between the store and the location of the user and unfavorable weather conditions.

Winner – Zepto and Blinkit

2.Customer Service Satisfaction

Customer service is an important make-or-break factor for any business, may it be online grocery delivery or something else. The better customer service a business offers, the more love it receives from its customers.

In addition to customer support, the delivery partner’s conduct also plays an important factor in the popularity of an online grocery delivery service.

Thankfully, Zepto has the best customer service among its group whereas Blinkit lags in customer service and Instamart gets the lowest spot for its worst delivery partner’s conduct.

Winner – Zepto

3.Variety of Products and Offerings

Another important factor that determines the acceptance of any online marketplace is the availability of products. Instamart has a huge diversity of more than 7k products.

With 5k+ products, Blinkit, Dunzo and Zepto also give a bottleneck competition to the trailblazers of online grocery marketplaces for shoppers.

Winner – Instamart

4.Deals and Offers

Dunzo is on the top when it comes to providing the best discounts and deals. Zepto comes next with a good range of deals and offers on various products.

Zomato-backed Instamart also provides a multitude of offers but it is less than that offered by Zepto. In terms of the availability of great deals and offers, Blinkit gains the last spot on the list.

Winner – Dunzo


Both Blinkit and Instamart cover much more area than Dunzo and Zepto because of being backed by the Indian online food delivery giants, Zomato and Swiggy.

Dunzo is available only in 7 cities while Zepto offers delivery in multiple locations across 10 cities. Blinkit facilitates grocery delivery in 23 cities across the country. Instamart leads the pack with a total serviceable city count of 29.

Winner – Instamart


Zepto has become a breakout brand in the quick commerce segment. In mere 2 years – as of 2023 – of its existence, the quick commerce business has emerged as a disruptive business idea that is ready to lead the market.

At present, businesses and experts around the world are busy dissecting the Zepto business model for two major reasons. The first is to understand what makes it tick and the second is to gain the details of developing a highly profitable quick online grocery delivery platform.

Apptunix is an experienced development company providing online grocery delivery solutions to clients across the globe. Our team of professionals are adept and flexible in working with varying user requirements and technologies.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q 1.What does Zepto do?

Zepto is an Indian startup headquartered in Mumbai. It guarantees to deliver groceries in 10 minutes. It was founded by Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra.

Q 2.How is Zepto different from Blinkit?

Zepto is an independent rapid delivery provider that assures delivery partner safety and is free for orders above 95INR. Blinkit is owned by Zomato and has an extensive coverage area.

Q 3.Why is Zepto so fast?

To facilitate fast delivery, Zepto leverages dark storefronts and mini-warehouses. It also has an indigenous AI solution to pick, pack, and deliver orders.

Q 4.What is the standard cost to build a grocery app?

The development cost of an app like Zepto depends on the complexity level and feature sets. Often, the cost varies in between the bracket $5,000 to $7,000.

Q 5.What are the main features to consider when developing a 10-minutes on-demand delivery app?


  • Easy registration
  • Order history
  • Voice search
  • Real-time delivery tracking
  • Warehouse inventory management

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