The Ultimate Marketplace Development Guide: tech stack, features, and costs

We no longer associate the word “marketplace” with grocery shopping early Sunday morning. Now, thanks to Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, marketplaces are strongly associated with digital shopping websites, where you can buy any product you can imagine. But why are such trading websites so popular?  

Two-sided platforms offer small businesses an effective selling channel. In such a way, marketplaces eliminate the need to spend money and time maintaining their own online shopping store. 

For such a service, site owners change commissions and earn money without actually selling anything. 

If you can’t wait to launch your own marketplace business, you are in the right place. This article is about developing a marketplace start-up in six steps and turning it into a profitable business. 

But first, let’s define the ultimate meaning of a digital trading platform. 

What is the digital marketplace?

A marketplace is a platform that gathers retailers who offer their products and numerous buyers who buy from them. In a nutshell, the website performs as an intermediary between buyers and sellers. Such a website could be in the form of a website or mobile app, targeted to different users. 

Types of marketplaces

You need to select the type of marketplace and define end-users. There are B2C (business to clients), B2B (business to business), and P2P (peer to peer) marketplaces. 

Let’s look at each marketplace type in more detail.  

  • Business to clients

b2c marketplace example

B2C marketplaces serve small businesses and individuals. While some marketplaces, like Amazon, offer products, others, such as TaskRabbit, offer services.

  • Business to business

b2b marketplace example

There are also B2B marketplaces, which means sellers and buyers sell and buy wholesale products. The list of B2B marketplaces includes websites like RapNet that sell diamonds and Alibaba B2B.  

  • Peer to peer

p2p marketplace example

Don’t forget about P2P marketplaces, where both buyers and sellers are individuals. One example is Airbnb that offers apartments and houses for rent. 

However, the market of trading platforms is even more granular, and each project varies with the products and services it includes. 

There is a marketplace for selling used products such as Decluttr and Ubup. 

There are also job marketplaces, like UpWork and Fever, where you can find freelancers for various tasks. 

Let’s concentrate on developing true online marketplaces where vendors can sell physical products to consumers.

But how does such a marketplace differ from a regular e-commerce website? 

Online marketplace vs. online store

You need to be aware of six differences between the marketplace and an e-commerce website:  

  • The number of sellers. As an online store owner, you perform as a single seller at your e-commerce website. As a marketplace business owner, you do not need to sell anything to receive profit, since many sellers offer their goods, through whom you can earn money. 
  • Product variety. Typical online stores offer up to 10 product categories, but marketplaces include products from different industries. For example, Amazon, the biggest online marketplace, counts 36 categories and over 12 million products, including books, media, wine, etc. 
  • Features. The online store consists of two parts – an admin panel to manage users and products, and a customer profile to add products to a shopping cart and complete the checkout. The two-sided platform includes features for three types of users. They are an admin panel to manage users; a seller profile to list products, manage orders, receive payments; and a buyer profile, which has the same functionality as one in an online store. 
  • Traffic load. Even popular online stores hardly count over 10,000 users per month. Online marketplaces should be powerful enough to handle substantial traffic loads. For example, Amazon counts 5.7 billion shoppers each month. 
  • Tech stack. To build an e-commerce website, you can leverage e-commerce platforms. But to build a vast marketplace, those platform capacities wouldn’t be enough. Thus, consider using such popular marketplace builders as Zielcommerce, 3Dcart, Arcadier, or Yo!Kart. If their features are still not enough for you, you can hire developers to build a project from the ground up. 
  • Monetization. When you are managing an online store, direct purchases are your primary source of income. However, owning a marketplace opens new streams of earning money, including service commissions, promotions, etc. We will look at them later. 

In a nutshell, an online marketplace is like an e-commerce website on steroids. Such platforms include more products provided by multiple sellers and substantial monthly traffic loads. 

Now, let’s see how to develop a marketplace start-up from scratch or using existing platforms? 

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Building an online marketplace website: SaaS vs. from scratch 

When building a marketplace you can leverage an existing e-commerce platform with pre-build features. Such platforms are known as SaaS solutions, which means the software as a service. You also can hire a development team to build an online marketplace from scratch. 

In both cases, you end up with your own two-sided platform. But, there are essential differences between these approaches to pay attention to. Before deciding in favor of a platform-built or custom-built marketplace, consider the following: 

  • Customization

By customization, we mean adding features and changing the design to meet your business needs. In the case where you need a UI/UX design tailored to your brand and a bunch of sophisticated features, consider building a project from scratch. If, however, you want to create a simple project with essential features and template design, you can use a pre-coded platform. 

  • Traffic load

A high traffic load negatively impacts marketplaces that are not ready for it. Thus, they can crash and cause inconvenience to users. If you expect your platform to handle around 10 000 users per month, a platform-built site will perfectly meet your needs. 

However, if you are going to develop a marketplace like Amazon with a high traffic load, you need custom marketplace development. In this way, developers will create the infrastructure on cloud servers that automatically expand operating capacities. So, the project architecture can work without downtimes, even with 1,000,000 website visitors per second. 

  • Timeframes 

In case you expect to launch your platform in 1 or 2 months, rely on existing marketplace builders. Thus, you need to make very few changes to the SaaS marketplace to launch it within a short period. 

When timeframes are not your main priority, build such a project from scratch. 

  • Addons 

Take at least some time to research the additional features you can add after launching your trading platform, since, as your business grows, you will need something more than just a shopping cart and checkout for buyers, and a product catalog for sellers. 

Investigate whether your platform’s store has add-ons for email marketing and advanced product recommendation tools, as you will need them sooner as you think. 

In the case of needing more add-ons,  developing a custom online marketplace will work the best. 

Once you find room for new features, your development team can code and add it to your custom project within several weeks. Thus, you receive total control over marketplace website functionality. 

  • Tech complexity

If you have at least a basic knowledge of coding, know how to buy a domain name, and set up a server, choose SaaS. 

If you have to google what  “server” means, then hiring web developers is your option of choice. Even if you are not going to create a unique marketplace and the primary SaaS platform meets your needs, we suggest you team up with a development team to set up your marketplace. 

Now let’s see what it takes to launch such a project. 

How to start an online marketplace in 6 steps  

Creating a marketplace includes numerous activities. You need to define your business model, make a feature list, and hire developers. Let’s find out what it takes to develop such a project. 

Step 1. Choose your revenue models 

The first thing you need to do is decide on how the website will bring you money. You need to select your monetization plan among the following options: 

Commission model. You charge a commission on any purchase made via your website, added to the product cost. Thus, when a buyer purchases a product, one also pays your commission during the checkout. Marketplaces that successfully use commission models are AirBnB, eBay, and Amazon. 

Listing model. You offer retailers to place a limited amount of products for free. If they want to extend their product catalog with more goods, they must pay you for such an option. For example, eBay allows vendors to place 50 products for free each month. In order to add more products, the platform charges retailers 5 and 30 cents depending on the product category. 

Paid promotions. Vendors pay you a promotion fee so their products appear first in the search results. Promotion fees work great for marketplaces with numerous products within the same category and are currently applied by Etsy, a platform with DIY products.  

If you don’t know which strategy will work for your marketplace, ask your development team for additional business analysis

Step 2. Gather core features 

Below we have listed must-have features for all types of users – buyers, sellers, and administrators. 

Features for a customer app 

The customer application should include all the functionality to find products, add them to the shopping cart, and checkout. Thus, the main features of a customer’s app are: 

  • Buyer profile with personal information, shipping address, and bank details
  • Search bar to find products 
  • Shopping cart to gather products one wants to buy 
  • The payment gateway for buying products during the checkout 
  • Review and rating to share one’s experience with a particular vendor or  product 
  • Push notifications to track the order and delivery status 

Features for a seller app 

To list and sell products, the seller app requires the following functionality: 

  • Seller profile with detailed information about the seller, one’s location, and bank account details
  • Product catalog to add, edit, and delete products
  • Product page to upload product images, set the price, and add product description 
  • Order page to manage upcoming orders 

Features for an admin panel 

The admin panel is aimed at managing communication between both sellers and buyers. Thus, your admin panel should include the following functionality 

  • Dashboard with information about new and completed orders 
  • User management to add, edit, and delete users 
  • Product management for changing the information on the product page 
  • User analytics to show the number of buyers and sellers, buyer purchase patterns, etc. 

Now that you have a business plan and feature list at hand, it is time to hire your development team.  

Step 3. Hire a development team 

We advise partnering with a development team for both custom marketplace development and setting up a SaaS website. If you are looking for tips on finding a reliable tech partner, check out the article about hiring web developers with handy tips. 

Once you select developers with relevant cases in their portfolio, you need to contact them and explain what type of project you want to receive. You can also send your idea about monetization models and features you want for your project. 

At the APP Solutions, we can estimate your project based on your feature list and monetization models. 

Our customers receive a more detailed project estimation at the end of the Discovery phase. It is a 2-3 week period during which we conduct an in-depth technical and business analysis of your project, create project documentation, suggest architecture components and technologies that apply. 

discovery phase goals

After we send you the final project estimate, we arrange a kickoff meeting with you and our development team members. During the meeting, we will define the high-level project goals and agree on the communication plan. 

We schedule demonstration sessions to show you our progress in the communication plan. Next, we start creating designs for your website or searching for the most suitable design template. 

Step 4. Create UI/UX design 

The design defines how your marketplace is convenient for users. Besides this, the design should also reflect your unique brand and be recognizable. Thus, even template designs from SaaS platforms require personalization, such as changes in color scheme, adding your logo, and others. 

If you decide to develop a project from the ground up, designers create the look of your website that meets your business needs within the following steps:

  • Wireframes. We create the layout of all elements, define how product categories will look, and design elements for the home page. 
  • Clickable prototype. We gather all the elements and emulate the customer journey and several project scenarios in a clickable prototype. To create such prototypes we leverage Figma, a professional online tool for mobile and web designers. 
clickable prototype

[The APP Solutions clickable prototype]

  • Polishing the result. Apart from critical scenarios, we also create other screens for your platform, such as the vendor cabinet, checkout, admin panel, and its features. 

Once the design is ready, we start the coding process. 

Step 5. Coding the MVP 

The MVP means the minimum viable product, the first project version. It includes core features enough for sellers and buyers to use the platform and rate it. 

We define the functionality for the project’s MVP during the discovery place. In such a way we reduce the time for the development and the project costs. 

Thus, you can receive a ready-made website within 2-3 months, whereas the development of such a project with bells and whistles requiring 6-8 months can cost you a fortune. 

  • Our solution architect defines the core project elements and considers technologies for the project infrastructure. 
  • Developers set up the architecture on the cloud or on-premise servers. 
  • Developers begin to add features from the technical documentation. 
  • Once the new functionality is built, quality assurance managers test the code and fix errors. 
qa processes the theappsolutions
  • Developers deploy the tested functionality to the life environment for the rest of the project.
  • Developers integrate third-party services via API, such as payment gateways and shipping tracking tools. 

After we ensure the project works without bugs, we run a demo session with you. We show you how the seller,  buyer, and admin panels work during such a demo. If needed, we can also create instructions on how to manage your project.  

Step 6. Launch the marketplace 

We make your two-sided platform available for users and give you total access to the project’s code, infrastructure, and third-party services. 

We also provide technical support during the first month after the project launch to fix any errors. If you want us to monitor the site performance for a longer time, we can sign a support agreement for two or six months and even a year. 

Now you have a marketplace with all the necessary features and a development team to maintain it. So, the last thing remaining is to attract buyers and sellers. 

As you can see,  marketplace development requires both time and resources. But only partnering with a reliable development team ensures a decent result. Thus, finding good web developers with relevant tech expertise is the only way to successfully launch a project. We can provide you with full-cycle web development services – from project documentation to technical support after the marketplace launch. Our team is here to discuss your business idea and suggest top-notch solutions to bring it to life. 

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What our clients say 

Related readings: 

Calmerry Telemedicine Platform Case Study 

Nioxin Consultation App for Coty-owned Brand Case Study 

A Guide on Starting a Food Meal Kit Delivery Service

I like cooking. I don’t cook often, but when I do, I want to make something special. And meal kit food delivery companies are the best choice for people like me. Meal kit services, especially subscription-based, are quite popular. 17% of adults between 25 and 44 currently receive meal kit delivery services in the U.S. 

If you want to see the bigger picture of the growing fresh-food meal kits in the United States, here are some figures. 

The global meal kit delivery services market size was valued at USD 15.21 billion in 2021 and is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.4% from 2022 to 2030? according to Market Analysis Report


The online segment dominated the market for meal kit delivery services and accounted for the largest revenue share of 63.2% in 2021. The offline platform is expected to register a CAGR of 17.8% in the market for meal kit delivery services from 2022 to 2030.


But wait, why is it so popular?  

The answer is because people want to eat healthy homemade food but have no time to go to grocery stores or supermarkets. For such people, it is more convenient to pay a company that will deliver fresh ingredients and recipes.

Below, you will find a ready-to-market strategy for starting a meal kit business in your neighborhood. By following the steps described below, you can create your own meal-kit business, find unique sales propositions, and even develop a website or mobile app. 


What is a meal kit subscription service?

The idea behind a meal kit delivery business is simple yet smart. Such companies deliver pre-packed, and sometimes partially-prepared food ingredients with a book of recipes right to your doorstep. Meal kits already include all the ingredients to cook a dish. You can use ingredients and recipe cards to cook a meal within 30-40 minutes. So, you no longer stress that you forgot to buy milk or sugar, preventing you from cooking. 

What solutions can we offer?

Meal kit delivery business: history and numbers

Now, let’s make a quick overview of the meal kit industry, key figures, and issues meal kit business owners face. 

  • Origins

The concept of meal kit delivery appeared in Sweden in the late 2000-s. This business model became popular and quickly spread to other Northern European countries. In 2012, meal kit delivery companies from Europe, such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh, entered the U.S. market and became popular among Americans. 

  • Perspectives

In 2017, there were over 150 meal businesses in the U.S., and the meal kit business industry was estimated to reach $2.2 billion globally. Experts predict that in 2020, the meal kit business will make up 1.3% of food and beverage sales. 

Such growth of meal kit popularity concerned supermarket owners, who started to lose customers and income. In response, supermarkets began to make their own meal kits and sell them at their physical stores. 

  • Main problems

Despite a rapid increase in customers, most meal kit business owners faced a low customer retention rate.

  • New customers tried free meal kits from companies and never used this service again. 
  • Most customers used the meal kit service for just 5-8 weeks. 
  • Around 6-12% of customers continued using their subscription after 3 months. 

Thus, you need to concentrate your marketing activities on retaining your customers. 

Now, let’s find out how the meal kit delivery business makes money. 


How meal kit delivery business model works

Most meal kit delivery businesses operate on a subscription basis. This means you pay a weekly, monthly, or annual service fee, and then, receive pre-packed meal kits and recipe cards. For example, let’s look at the HelloFresh business model. 

This most popular meal kit delivery service charges $7.49 in shipping fees. Five recipes per week for two persons will cost you $89.90. 

To attract new customers, the service offers discounts. So, if you visit the HelloFresh website for the first time, you will receive -$22.01 discount, and five recipes per week for two persons will cost you $67.89, while you save -$22.01 on deliveries. 

hellofresh meal kit dervice

HelloFresh offers four types of weekly menu:

  • Meal and Veggies
  • Veggies
  • Family and friends
  • Low calories menus

The company changes the menu for each meal category every week in order to increase the customer retention rate. As a customer, you will receive new meals each week, thus never get bored eating the same food. 

hello fresh menu

If you want to skip one week, you can unsubscribe weekly delivery without paying any penalties. 

Now, let’s see what you need to do to start your meal-kit business. 


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The APP Solutions Experience: Success Story

Alfred Ibiza is an on-demand delivery mobile app that connects restaurants, stores, couriers, and customers in Ibiza. The app allows customers to order from restaurants, pharmacies, and supermarkets, listed on the platform.

geolocation app ibiza

Our main goal for the Alfred Ibiza project was to build a platform that would simplify ordering and delivering products on Ibiza island and help party goers to receive their orders on time. We wanted the platform to be equally useful for business owners, couriers, and customers.


We managed to develop the Alfred Ibiza platform within just three months, at a total project cost of $70,000, 50-60% cheaper than the average development cost of a food delivery app.

The platform includes an app for customers, couriers, an admin panel for restaurants with only necessary functions. Besides this, we also developed a marketing landing page to promote the Alfred Ibiza platform.

You can find more fascinating stories in our portfolio.


Launching meal kit delivery in 5 steps 

You can launch an ingredient and recipe meal kit service even without significant investment. However, starting a meal kit delivery startup still requires some operations as listed below. 

Step 1. Get Legal Licenses

The first thing to do when launching a meal kit delivery service is to get all the licenses and prepare other legal documents from your government. 

Below, we list essential legal documents for U.S. citizens. 

  • Business License

To open and operate your business in the United States, you need a business license that legitimizes your company as a legal entity. Each state has its regulations for issuing business licensing and related fees that could be a flat rate or a percentage of your total sales. 

To get a business license, search for your state + business license on Google search. Then, follow the application procedure on your state government’s site. 

You’ll need to pay approximately $50 for the registration and $25 to $7,000 for the license. The total cost will depend on your business type and expected profit. 

Don’t forget to renew your license each year and pay for it on time. 

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

EIN, a tax ID number, is the document you need to get from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can apply for an EIN through the IRS website. You can also apply by fax, phone, and even mail.  But don’t expect immediate results. The IRS only issues one EIN per day. The good thing about EIN is that it is free. 

  • Food Service License

You can receive a food service license from the city or county health department. The health department will inspect the place where you are going to make meal kits to check out whether your business complies with all restaurant food safety regulations or not.

To receive this license, you need to apply to your local health department via the internet or in-person. During the application process, you need to give the name of your food service, an address for a permanent kitchen facility, and the owner’s personal information. 

A food service license cost varies from $100 to $1000 depending on your location and number of employees. 

Now, it is time to analyze your competitors. 

Step 2. Analyze competitors

By knowing your competitors, you can make a bullet-proof business plan. 

Let’s analyze the biggest food kit services in the U.S., such as HelloFresh and Blue Apron, with half of the whole U.S. meal kit market share


hello fresh meal kit delivery home page

HelloFresh was launched in 2011 in Berlin. Now the company has 850,000 customers and operates in nine countries across three continents. Its 2,000 employees work to deliver 9 million meals a month. 

The reason for such success lies in HelloFresh’s business model. The company delivers groceries right from farmers, cutting out all the middlemen, such as supermarkets and grocery stores. 

In such a way, using HelloFresh meal kit delivery is 75% cheaper than shopping for ingredients at grocery stores.

In 2017, HelloFresh, together with other meal kit services, was criticized for using wasteful packaging and viewed as environmentally unfriendly. 

Since 2018, the company has tried to reduce food waste by keeping and preparing ingredients in the appropriate proportions. 

Blue Apron Inc. 

blue apron meal kit service

Blue Apron has operated in the United States since 2012. The most successful year of Blue Apron was in 2017 when the company received $881,19 million. But, with time, the company’s income has decreased. 

In 2019, the company generated $455 million global net revenue, down from $668 million in 2018. Currently, the company receives 2,482 orders per month, with a $258 average revenue per customer. 

In 2017, the company also received extensive criticism for wasteful packaging. In response, the company has tried to limit environmental impact by using recyclable ice packs and packaging. Besides this, BlueApron has a portion control that calculates the portion of ingredients to reduce food waste. 

Step 3. Build your brand

Since you are serious about opening a recipe kit delivery service, you need a unique sales proposition (UCP). In plain words, you need the answer to the question, how you differentiate from other meal kit companies.

Below we gathered several ideas on how you can differentiate from your competitors. 

  • Eco-friendly meals 

Since your competitors were criticized for being not eco-friendly, you can turn this into your advantage. Moreover, the continually growing number of eco-friendly and environmentally aware people only proves that this is a win-win idea. 

You can implement this UCP by selling veggies from local eco-farms, packaging meal kits in eco-packages from recycled cardboard, and delivering your meal kits in an eco-friendly way – exclusively on bicycles. 

  • Recipes for any occasion 

Your menu can include meal kits for special occasions, such as birthday parties or outdoor activities with friends. 

In a B’ day meal kit, you can include only recipes that take about one hour to cook. This is a great idea because most of us believe that you need to spend at least 3 hours to cook something for your guests. 

As for outdoor menus, you can deliver meal kits to individual’s homes and nearby locations where people make barbecues. Thus, your meal kits can include mushrooms, sausages, corn, cabbages and steaks for the best outdoor party. 

  • Special diet meal kits 

You can turn preferences in food and cultural differences into your unique sales proposition. For example, your menu could include gluten-free ingredients. Another option is to sell kosher, vegetarian, or halal meal kits to locals. 


Step 4. Gather meal kit recipes and find suppliers

Once you know the core mission of your meal kit business, it is time to gather recipes that will reflect it. 

You can rate recipes with stars by the level of their complexity. For example, meals that are easy to cook will have one star, and the most complex – five stars. Don’t forget that you need to gather as many recipes as possible, so you can change the weekly menu and always surprise your customers. 

During this step, you also need to think about where you will get ingredients. Thus, you need to find grocery and meat suppliers among local farmers and vegetable warehouses.

Step 5. Develop a meal kit app or a website

For selling and delivering meal kits, you will need a mobile app or website that will charge your customers’ subscription fees and send you their details. We already have an article on how to hire the development team, so check it out. 

Once you select the development team, ask them for a quote. If you will develop your project with us, the software development process will look like this:


You fill in the contact form, and our business development managers get in touch with you to clarify your requirements for the project and send NDA (a non-disclosure agreement). Next, a business analyst analyzes your requirements, breaks your project down into modules and features, and sends it to a developer for an approximate estimation of your project. 

After you agree on this estimate, we will start the Discovery phase

Discovery phase

We need around 1-3 weeks to create a technical specification for your project. We also suggest the app’s or website’s architecture, mockups, and even clickable prototypes of the main project screens during the Inspection phase. 

Project initiation

Once you have a project specification at hand, we will develop more detailed project development costs. After we agree on the project costs and essential features to implement first, we will send you an agreement to sign. Then, we will arrange a small video call to introduce you to our team. The typical team composition includes developers, project managers, quality assurance specialists, and designers. 

Project development 

Next, the team will break-down all project features into iterations to schedule the project development process. One iteration length is 1-2 weeks. 

Once the new functionality is implemented, QA specialists test it, find bugs, report to the project managers so that the developer can fix the bug. 

Then, the developer deploys the code to the project’s prominence, with the rest of the projects developed parts. 

During the project development process, we send you reports every two weeks. In such reports, we explain how much work was done, and what features the team is going to implement next. 

After the team implements all features, we will run the final demonstration session for you, and give all accesses to your project so that you can manage it without external help. 


How much will my meal kit delivery project cost?

Launching an online meal kit delivery business: the final word 

The meal kit delivery services industry is a very prospective niche for investment since it is expected to grow in the next few years. At the same time, to start a food and recipe delivery business, you do not need significant investment. 

There are only two main objects of expenditure – receiving necessary licenses and web or mobile app development. At the same time, you can create unique sales propositions, write a business plan, gather recipes, and find suppliers without hiring extra specialists. 

What our clients say 

Balancing the supply and demand with an on-demand grocery delivery app

Today, as the Coronavirus outbreak comes to an end, economic activities are starting to normalize. More and more grocers are taking their first steps toward re-opening and customers start shopping offline with less fear. However, not all shoppers are ready to leave their homes to buy fresh groceries. The main reason is that crowded grocery stores remain potential places to be infected. Besides this, many shoppers have tried shopping for groceries via on-demand apps and liked it. 

Thus, you may wonder, “Should I start an app for ordering groceries after COVID-19? Would an online grocery delivery business bring profit once the pandemic is over?” The answer is Yes. And we have some figures to prove it. 

According to Bain & Company’s research, before the pandemic, only 3%-4% of customers used online grocery apps. During the pandemic, this number surged to 10-15%. As a result, established grocery delivery businesses such as Instacart had to hire additional workers to meet the demand. The Instacart app, in particular, received 300% more orders during the first week of March, compared to February’s figures. 

food delivery app development

Besides this, 50% of grocery shoppers who currently use on-demand grocery delivery apps claim to continue using these services after the end of the pandemic. Since consumer demand is higher than ever before, it is time to reconsider your grocery infrastructure and adopt a new way of serving customers with an on-demand grocery delivery app.  

We’ve already written about on-demand service apps and apps like UberEats. Now, let’s concentrate on the development of grocery delivery applications similar to Instacart. Below, we’ll talk about types of grocery delivery apps, how they work, and features to consider for on-demand grocery delivery app development. Moreover, we’ll share tips to ensure safe grocery delivery amid COVID-19. 


How on-demand grocery delivery apps work

Online grocery shopping apps connect buyers with local grocery stores to shop, then send a “personal shopper” to fill and deliver the order. 

Such platforms include three types of users- buyers, shoppers, and admins. Each type of use requires a mobile or web app with different functionality. Let’s look at the mechanisms of a grocery shopping app in more detail. 

  • Buyer. As a buyer, you can log in to the app, create your profile, and fill in the delivery address. Now, you add groceries from the product catalog to the shopping cart. Next, you choose the delivery window and pay for your order via a credit card. Once the shoppers gather your order, you receive a notification with the delivery status and can track the delivery process via GPS in real-time. 
  • Personal shopper. In the shopper app, you see deliveries ordered as well as lists of products to buy. Then, you start collecting products from the buyer’s list and pay the cashier with the buyer’s money. If the buyer’s list includes out of stock items, you can contact the buyer via the phone or built-in messenger to suggest similar products or return money to the buyer’s account. After you’ve bought all the groceries from the list, you change the order status from “Picking” to “Delivery” and deliver on-demand groceries to the buyer’s address.   
  • Admin. From the Admin panel, you can manage both types of users (shoppers and buyers), product categories, new and processing orders. You can also do a money refund to the buyers and help users with any issue which arises. 

With this in mind, let’s look at different business models and choose the one that will best suit you.

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Business models for a grocery delivery service app

You may wonder, “Why do you think about the business model before the app is developed?” The answer is that your business model will influence the number of features to add to your grocery shopping delivery app, the project’s complexity, and the monetization strategy to apply.

Below, we have gathered the most popular business models for an on-demand grocery delivery app, currently applied. 


Aggregator model

The aggregator is your business model of choice if you don’t own a warehouse with groceries. Instead, you bridge the gap between grocery stores and buyers. Apart from order gathering, you will provide a delivery service from local grocery stores to the user’s doorstep. 

Instacart, an on-demand grocery delivery app leverages this business model. The app has a team of local shoppers who deliver orders from different stores and markets nearby. The app’s users can shop at major grocery chains, such as Mariano’s and Whole Foods. Besides this, Instacart users can shop by recipe, order on-demand delivery, or schedule their deliveries in advance. 

on demand grocery delivery app Instacart

Store-pick model

With this business model, your users do not need to wait in long queues because your shoppers will buy everything from their list. The main difference between store-pick and aggregator business models is that store-pick does not provide delivery services. Thus, your customers can pick-up the order near your store. Peapod, an online grocery supermarket, applies this business model. Peapod has its inventory. Therefore, it works much like a standard grocery store but provides customers with more convenient shopping. 

how to develop grocery delivery app guide

[Peapod product categories]

Warehouse model

In the case of having your own warehouse or grocery store, you want to set up an online presence, this is your business model of choice. With this business model, your team of shoppers will pack orders from your inventory and deliver them. Walmart, one of the most popular grocery retailers, applies this business model for its Walmart Grocery mobile app. The app provides both an order pick-up option at the nearest shop and free order delivered within several hours. 

wallmart grocery delivery app

Now, let’s see how you can monetize your on-demand grocery delivery services.

Free E-Book on Food Delivery App Development

How on-demand delivery apps make money 

To make your online grocery delivery app profitable, you can leverage one of the following monetization options:

Paid membership

Paid membership or subscriptions are popular among grocery delivery companies and businesses like Netflix and Youtube. The main benefit is that you can predict your revenue, thus, gradually invest in technologies for your grocery delivery app. The company that uses paid subscriptions is Shipt. To start using this app, you buy an annual subscription for $100 or a monthly subscription which costs $14. Then, you receive free grocery delivery on orders that exceed $35. If the order is less than $35, you pay a $7 flat-rate delivery fee. 

grocery delivery app development

Delivery and service fees

This monetization strategy is valid for warehouse business models. It means you charge users fees for your shopping services and order delivery based on the order total and delivery distance. For example, the online grocery delivery app FreshDirect charges delivery fees depending on the buyer’s location. Delivery fees start from $6 on a minimum order sum that is $30.

grocery on demand app development

Hybrid approach 

You can apply both monetization models for your on-demand grocery delivery business. For example, users who bought your membership pay fewer delivery fees than users who don’t. To get a better picture of such an approach, let’s look at Instacart. 

This grocery delivery app offers two types of membership priced at $99 annually or $9.99 a month. A paid subscription helps you to avoid extra fees that non-membership users are subject to. For example, customers receive free one-hour delivery, which is a paid service for non-membership users. Another example is busy pricing. This type of fee occurs when Instacart shoppers increase demand from customers. 

grocery delivery on demand app

You can also shop at Instacart without a membership fee. But, you’ll pay higher service and delivery fees. The app calculates prices based on one’s subtotal, the delivery urgency, and the number of orders currently in operation. 

The next step after choosing your business model and monetization strategy is to gather features for your app. 


Essential features for on-demand grocery app development

Since the app includes several types of users, you need to carefully select features that would be useful for buyers, shoppers, and admin applications. Below we offer feature lists for each app to meet the needs of each part. 

Features for buyers 

The buyer app should allow users to find necessary items, add them to a shopping cart, check out, and pay for the order via the app. Thus, consider empowering the buyer’s app with the following functionality: 

  • Registration via email or social media (Google or Facebook)
  • User profile 
  • Product catalog
  • Product search 
  • Product categories
  • Items list 
  • Completed and ongoing orders 
  • Shopping cart
  • Payment gateway 
  • GPS tracking 
  • Notifications on the order status 
on demand grocery app development guide

[Shipt buyer app screens]


Features for shoppers

In a shopper’s app, the user should see a list of current orders, required products, contact details of the buyers, and delivery address. If you have a reliable group of shoppers, they can register in your grocery delivery app without additional validation. If you don’t, you should give access to shoppers to download your application only after additional validation. For this, shoppers should provide you with their details via a contact form on your website. In this way, you can build a database of your shoppers to avoid fraud from unreliable shoppers who will take the buyer’s money and disappear.     

  • Registration via a website 
  • User profile
  • List of current and fulfilled orders 
  • Order description 
  • Barcode scanning
  • Change order status 
  • Built-in messenger or calling feature to contact the buyer via an app
  • Built-in map to show directions 
develop on demand grocery app

[Instacart shopper app with barcode scanning]

Features for admin panel 

The administration will manage both buyers and shoppers via a web application and new queries from users who want to join your platform as shoppers. You also need an admin panel to manage finances, upcoming and fulfilling orders. It would also be handy to help users via an online chat. Thus, we suggest adding the following features to your admin panel: 

  • Administrator login 
  • List of users 
  • Review user profile 
  • Manage users 
  • List of shoppers 
  • List of buyers 
  • Manage category list 
  • List of orders
  • Payment and transactions 


Grocery app development cost 

Since the platform consists of three main components (buyer, shopper, and admin apps), we recommend starting such projects small. This means that for the app’s first version you should integrate only essential features. In software development, such a project version is called an MVP, or minimum viable product. With such an approach, you can validate your business idea without spending too much on grocery delivery app development. Besides this, an MVP ensures a faster time to market.

Below, we share an estimate in hours for an MVP we did for one of our previous clients who hired us for grocery delivery app development. The given app’s cost includes only the Android platform. 


Design in hours

BackEnd in hours

Android in hours




Buyer application 

Splash screen, tutorial



Login signup, password recovery




User profile and settings
















List of items




Item page




Shopping cart








Text pages




Email integration




Shopper application 

Login signup, pass recovery




Shopper profile and settings








Fulfillment order




Web-based administrative panel 

Administrator login


Users list


List of buyers


List of shoppers






Payment and transaction


When estimating the costs for grocery delivery apps, don’t forget about project management, quality assurance, bug fixing, and technical documentation. Technical documentation is the core of your project that includes technical specifications, project installation, deployment instructions, grocery mobile app development documentation, and even a clickable prototype. We write such documentation during the Discovery phase of the project. This phase may take from one to four months, depending on the project’s complexity. 

Related reading

Uber truck service development 

We can build your grocery app in 8 to 10 months, and approximate project costs vary from $60,000 to $80,000. To receive a more detailed estimate, use our project cost calculator

Handy strategies for grocery ordering app owners amid COVID-19 

The coronavirus pandemic is almost in the past. However, people are still afraid of being infected and continue to keep social distancing. To help your customers remain calm about their health, whilst also caring about other shoppers, we suggest using the following strategies. 

Provide personal protection measures

The safety of your couriers and customers is your top priority. To keep people safe, you should provide access for all your shoppers to personal protective equipment, including masks, respirators, gloves, and hand sanitizer. Also, workers should wash their hands when required and clean frequently used equipment once an hour.

Adopt contactless deliveries

Zero contact delivery allows your customers to choose where shoppers will leave their orders: near the doorstep, in front of their home, etc. In this way, you will limit any interactions between both parties, while ensuring safer delivery.

Increase partner network

Due to the pandemic, retail sales have gone down to 30% in the U.S., and many offline grocery stores do not have enough resources to take their business online. Thus, to support local grocery businesses, you can join hands with them, which is a win-win situation for both your grocery ordering app and the local grocery stores.

Provide high-quality services

Apart from protecting shoppers and buyers, you should also consider providing excellent delivery services. Such services might include late delivery, working 24/7, a wide range of delivery windows, and fresh groceries in every order. High-quality delivery services will matter, especially after safety will no longer be an issue. Thus, try to do your best to balance the demand and satisfy every customer. In this way, loyal customers will choose to shop at your grocery store delivery app even after COVID-related restrictions have ceased. 


Success Story: The APP Solutions

Alfred Ibiza Case Study: How We Developed a Food Ordering Platform

Our main goal for the Alfred Ibiza project was to build a platform that would simplify ordering and delivering products on Ibiza island and help party goers to receive their orders on time. We wanted the platform to be equally useful for business owners, couriers, and customers.


We managed to develop the Alfred Ibiza platform within just three months, at a total project cost of $70,000, 50-60% cheaper than the average development cost of a food delivery app.

The platform includes an app for customers, couriers, an admin panel for restaurants with only necessary functions. Besides this, we also developed a marketing landing page to promote the Alfred Ibiza platform.


Check out our portfolio for more.

What solutions can we offer?

The Ultimate Guide to Development e-Learning Web Apps

COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, and communicate, such as changes to educational institutions that are seeking for more practical and convenient ways to educate students. Luckily, to provide online education services, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, since E-learning already has proven solutions to offer. Such an e-learning platform allows you to run online courses and earn money for your knowledge. 

In this article, we tell you how to start an online learning platform, their types, and business models you can apply. We also highlight typical features of such a platform and share tips on how to develop an e-learning platform from scratch. 

Types of E-learning Platforms

There are three major types of online education platforms. To start your e-learning business, you need to choose among the following options:

  • Open-source online e-learning platforms

Such platforms are ready-made solutions for online learning that have both free and paid tiers. As a rule, SaaS learning platforms have monthly or annual subscriptions. Online e-learning platforms, such as Moodle, Litmos, and BrainCert, are already equipped with many useful features, including interactive exercises, file uploading, books, support forums, online chat with students, and so on. 

e learning app development examples

With such a platform you can create your teacher profile, upload learning materials, and receive payments from students to your credit card or bank account via an online payment gateway. 

The main disadvantages of open-source learning platforms are lack of customization, online support only for premium members, and a limited number of modules with additional functionality. 

  • Online course marketplaces

E-learning marketplaces, such as Udacity, Coursera, and EdX, include numerous courses from different universities and educational institutions. Online learning marketplaces provide both teachers and students with a variety of advanced built-in tools. 

udemy online course app examples

You can upload your video course, create quizzes, grade students, and even give them certificates once they finish your course. 

However, on such a platform, you will have numerous competitors. Thus, to stay competitive and earn money, you should provide a unique course no one else has. 

  • Custom E-learning content management systems

You, with your development team, can create an e-learning platform from scratch and empower it with all the functions your educational business needs. In this way, you have total control over your project. Moreover, you can add necessary functionality using third-party plug-ins and APIs at any time. 

design and develop a simple website for online education system

[eLearning platform’s architecture outline by The APP Solutions]

This option has more earning potential, compared to previous e-learning software types. Apart from your educational material, you can integrate online courses from partner universities, charge students fees directly without intermediaries, run ads, and grow your platform over time. 

To sum up, all of the e-learning platform types described above are legit for online learning providers. Make your choice depending on your needs, such as customization, features, and future business perspectives.  

E-learning platform business models 

If you are serious about developing your custom e-learning platform, you can apply one of the business models described below.

  • Freemium. You can provide students with a limited amount of courses and lessons for free. However, if your students want to receive full access to classes or get a certificate from your educational organization, they must buy a premium account. 
  • Subscription. You charge a monthly fee from your students for a monthly or annual subscription. In exchange, you provide students with unlimited access to all courses, learning materials, forums, etc. 
  • Advertising. You can run a cost-per-click or cost-per-view advertising campaign and show ads from your partners. However, we recommend running education-related ads, like e-books, workbooks, or textbooks, or at least ads from stationery businesses in order to not compromise your reputation. 
  • Sponsored courses. You can charge other educational organizations for promoting their classes at the top of search results. 

Now, let’s see what features you should add to your custom-built e-learning platform. 

Common features of an online learning platform

While e-learning software varies in its type and business models, there are some core features that every online learning platform should include. Below, we list features of the e-learning system’s MVP, i.e., the first version of your project. 


Registration is the first thing both students and teachers will do on your e-learning platform. The ‘old-school’ way of registering on any website is a combination of email and password. However, most e-learning platforms also provide user authentication via social networks such as Facebook, which is a more streamlined option. Check out how Coursera’s login page looks. 

how to start online education website essential features


Once the user is registered on your e-learning platform, one needs to fill in a profile. Here, the user needs to give such details as full name, photo, work experience, education, career goals, birthday, gender, and so on. 

Consider that the more the platform knows about your users, the more relevant course recommendations your platform will provide. Thus, you can add as many fields to the user profile as you need. 

build an online learning platform guide log in

Online payments

In this section, your students give information about their payment methods. You can choose among such popular solutions as:

  • Debit/credit cards. With this option, the platform will charge fees directly from students’ bank accounts. 
  • PayPal. To receive money using this online payment system, both you, your students, and teachers need to have a PayPal account with a virtual visa. Note that PayPal is not available in some countries.  
  • Stripe. This payment gateway allows paying via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Alipay, and even Apple pay. Your developers will integrate it using API, which requires several hours. This payment gateway has a pay-as-you-go pricing policy (from 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction). 
  • Braintree. This online payment provider allows accepting PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, and most credit and debit cards. Braintree pricing starts from 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. 
how to make online education website with payment gateway

[The payment gateway in Masterclass e-learning platform]

Home page

Here, users will see a list of course categories, the section with the most popular online courses, recently launched courses, and classes they are currently enrolled in. You can also add a section with Top Free Courses, as well as recommended courses based on the student’s preferences and interests. 

create your own e learning platform with homepage

Search, filters, and categories

To make the searching process more convenient for platform users, you can integrate filtering features. In this way, users can filter search results by course level, duration, language, skills, and other parameters. 

Check out how searching filters work for the Coursera website. 

e learning web development with search filters

You can also divide courses by categories, which will help students in their search. 

steps in developing educational website with categories

Course page 

After the student has selected the course, they are taken to the Course landing page. 

create your own e learning platform course page

This page will contain learning materials, a library of pre-recorded videos, a related materials section, grades, and a timeline with the student’s progress. 

e learning web development course page

To make this page information for your students, consider adding course description and skills it improves, instructor’s picture with a small bio, length of the course and number of students enrolled. 

steps in developing educational website course info

It’s also handy to add a FAQ section at the end of a Course page where your students will receive answers on the most popular questions, and/or browse related articles. 

web application online course faq section


Notifications will keep students engaged. You can send notifications right to the students’ browsers, or to their emails. If you consider developing a mobile app version of your platform, you can also send push notifications to their mobile devices. 

Your goal here is to provide essential updates but not to become annoying. For example, the platform can notify students about the beginning of the course, upcoming payments, new courses on topics relevant to students, and so on. 


By using the quiz section, students can check their knowledge after each video lesson. This section could look like a simple test with Yes or No answers, open questions, or even a programming field if you have a developer-oriented e-learning platform. 

You can even integrate a tool with Artificial Intelligence, such as Gradescope, that will check your students’ work and automatically grade them. You can learn more about the use cases of AI in education from our previous articles. 

[Gradescope user interface]

Review and rating 

In this section, users that graduate courses on your e-learning platform can leave reviews about their experience and share how they liked the course. They can also rate the course and its instructor from one to five stars. Students’ ratings, and the number of reviews, will further impact the course position in the search. 

how to make e learning interesting review section

Teacher dashboard 

This section is essential if you allow other teachers and educational organizations to add their courses to your e-learning platform. Here, teachers can manage video courses, add descriptions, check the number of students enrolled, see students’ work, and grade them. 

The teacher dashboard should include a section to upload additional resources, such as PDFs, videos, and audio files.   

Admin panel

Even if you are not going to engage with other educational institutions, you still need an Admin panel to manage your platform. Here, you will control students’ payments, all information about courses, add new classes, maintain information about existing lessons, and so on. 

Now, let’s see how to start your online education website. 

Steps in developing an educational website 

Here we describe all the steps you need to go through for creating web-based training courses and launch a successful e-learning platform. 

Step 1. Create content 

You and your educational organization should create an educational plan for every online learning course, and break it down into lessons. 

Next, you need to start creating online learning content and record video lessons. Consider that such lessons should be both informative and short enough not to bore your students. 

Then, you need to create quizzes or tests for each lesson from your course. Also, think about additional materials and resources so students can receive in-depth knowledge of the topic.  

Step 2. Hire developers 

Finding a great web development team is always challenging. There are thousands of IT teams that claim to be the best in software development. At the same time, having a reliable and qualified tech partner is essential for your e-learning platform’s success. 

In the article about outsourcing web developers, you will find handy tips on how to research, select, and start working with developers that suit your project needs the best. 

For your search, you can use websites with client reviews, such as Clutch and Goodfirms. Don’t forget to check out the team’s portfolio and developers’ tech stack on the team’s Linkedin profile. 

Step 3. Develop an e-learning platform  

After signing an NDA, your development team gathers your requirements for the project and launches the Discovery phase.

During this phase, business analysts, project managers, and project architects will create technical project documentation. Such a document includes a detailed description and business goal of your project, its architecture, tech stack to be applied, and the project milestones and deliverables. 

Another deliverable of the Discovery phase is a clickable prototype of your project with essential elements. 

Once you agree on technical documentation, the e-learning web development team will start developing a project MVP version with only core features. 

To ensure timely feedback from you, and report about the work done, most IT development teams run demo sessions. 

Step 4. Launch eLearning website 

After a final demo, your development team will deploy your eLearning platform’s MVP to the live environment and make it available for your students. Your main goal at this stage is to get as many users’ feedback as you can. In this way, both students and teachers can share their experience with the platform, its usability, and even suggest other features to implement. 

You can gather users’ reviews by sending newsletters to emails, running quizzes in social media like Facebook, or using an integrated Feedback section on your platform.

Step 5. Increase partners network 

To make your e-learning platform successful, you need to partner with other educational organizations. There might be high schools, colleges, universities, other educational institutions, and so on. 

Thanks to such an approach, you will enrich your e-learning platform with unique content on various topics and bring new audiences. 

Now, let’s find out the costs to build an online learning platform. 

Cost of e-learning development

There is no single answer to this question because the cost of an e-learning platform depends on which features you want to integrate, the hourly rates of your software developers, and project timeframes.
For example, if you’re going to launch the platform within 3-4 months, which is half the normal duration of such projects, your team needs to engage two types more developers, which doubles the project’s cost. 

In our experience, the cost of e-learning development varies from $60,000 to $120,000, depending on its complexity.

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The need for online educational software, for all educational organizations, has emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are several options for providing education online, only custom-built e-learning platforms have the most significant earning potential. Applying one of the aforementioned monetization strategies, you can turn your platform for online learning into a profitable business.  

From a developer’s point of view, online education platforms are sophisticated projects. Thus, we recommend launching such projects as MVP, which significantly reduces the time to market and development costs. Such an approach will also help you receive feedback from users and add only those features they need, thus avoiding unnecessary costs.

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Uber for Trucks App Development: Essential features and Costs

Thanks to the on-demand economy, you can order delicious pizza via UberEats and watch your favorite series on Netflix any time you want. You can apply this business model to your logistics business and create an Uber for trucking. 

By providing on-demand transportation services, you can reduce the number of empty miles, thus, increase your business profitability. 

The considerable success of on-demand transportation services shows us that such apps bring benefits for both shippers and drivers. Shippers send their freight anytime, while logistics companies earn extra revenue. 

 If you’re considering building an Uber for trucks app, let’s find out how it works. You will also need to learn about your competitors and the reasons for their success. In this article, we will also highlight the list of essential features and costs of building such an app. 

How does the Uber for trucks app work?

An on-demand truck sharing app works as a digital broker. It matches shippers, who need to deliver cargo, with carriers who drive to the same destination. 

Such a platform consists of two separate mobile applications (app for shippers and app for drivers). It also includes a web portal for the admin to manage both types of users. Let’s see how it works in more detail. 

  • The shipper creates an order via a Shipper app. Here, one adds information about the type of cargo, its size, and height, pick up and drop off location, and the delivery date. 
  • The driver sees a list of orders in the Driver app. Depending on their location and load, one accepts or rejects the order placed. After the order is accepted and picked up by the driver, the platform charges the delivery fee to the shipper. The driver receives money only after the cargo is delivered.
  • The platform calculates the delivery price depending on the cargo size, weight, and distance of delivery. 

How to monetize a logistics delivery app

There are several ways you can monetize your Uber for trucking apps. 

If you have your own fleet, you receive money directly from shippers. At the end of the month, you give your drivers a bonus earned through on-demand delivery. 

If you don’t, you can offer premium app features for both types of users. They could include real-time vehicle tracking, packaging, insurance, ERP integration, and so on. You can also charge 10-20% service fees calculated from each order placed via a platform. 

Now, let’s take a look at the existing on-demand logistics industry leaders. 

Prominent players of the on-demand trucking industry

Trucking is a huge business. In the U.S. only, it generated $260 billion in revenue, 20% of a global total of $1.2 trillion, according to  McKinsey & Co. Trucks deliver two-thirds of all products shipped each year. Inefficiency attracts technology. So, entrepreneurs and investors have stepped into the market with technology-driven solutions.

Related reading:

To be successful in an on-demand trucking business, you need to be aware of your competitors. And, to be ahead of them, you need to give more value to your customers. Here are the leading players of the U.S. on-demand delivery market and the services they provide. 

Uber Freight 

uber for trucking app examples uber freight

Uber Freight was launched in 2017. Since then, Uber Freight has attracted over 400,000 drivers and carriers, and over 1,000 shippers. Uber for trucks also partners with big players, such as AB Inbev, Niagara Bottling, and Land O’Lakes. Currently, UberFreight is in the top 15 U.S. freight brokers with a $1bn annualized revenue level. 

The platform has standard logic for an on-demand trucking platform: 

  • Truck drivers receive requests from shippers. Such requests include load type, size, and weight. Then, depending on the truckloads, drivers book loads and receive delivery pricing upfront. 
  • Shippers can order cargo delivery beforehand via an app or web app. They see different carriers in the Matching section, read reviews, and have their shipment delivered on time. 


on demand trucking app convoy


Convoy is another digital freight network, available for mobile and web platforms. The Convoy logistics app was founded in 2015 in Seattle. Now the platform has 500 employees, has earned $265 million, and reached a value of more than $1 billion. Convoy’s main investors are CapitalG, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and venture capital firm Greylock Partners. 

Like  Uber Freight, Convoy matches shippers and companies with trucks using drivers’ locations. 

  • To start receiving requests, drivers need to register in the app and give details about their truck. Carriers also add the pickup and drop off locations on their routes and available updates. 
  • Then, the driver sees a shippers’ requests in the Bids section. It includes detailed information about the cargo, the money they will receive for the delivery, and haul length.
  • Once the driver has delivered the order, Convoy suggested other shipments nearby in the Reloads section. 

To reduce the amount of paperwork, Convoy has a digital Shipping documents section. Here, shippers can upload all cargo-deleted documents via the web or mobile application. 


Doft is a small yet prospective on-demand truck sharing platform. It allows freight shippers to book trucks from independent commercial truck drivers via a mobile app. 

App for shippers includes the following functionality: 

  • Book regular or prepaid on-demand loads
  • Estimate freight rates
  • Ask and answer questions via a built-in chat
  • See active shipment in real-time and get notifications on the delivery status 

The app also allows shippers to track their cargo in real-time and rate the driver after the delivery.

For drivers, the app offers a bunch of handy features, such as 

  • AI-powered Freight market rate forecast
  • Rate check – free freight rate calculator & average market rate forecast
  • Fuel surcharge calculator
  • Calling brokers and shippers right from the app
  • Upfront pricing for prepaid loads 
  • Loads search based on driver’s favorite lanes, city, state, zip code, or GPS data

Now, let’s look at your app for truck delivery, its essential features, and development costs. 

Essential features for an on-demand trucking app 

As we said earlier, Uber for commercial trucking consists of three main parts. They are the driver app, the shipper’s app, and the web-based admin dashboard. 

As mobile app developers, we recommend starting your app small. This means you need to focus on the most critical functions that will be the core of your app’s first version (MVP). You can then add other features later. We apply this proven project development approach for all sophisticated projects. 

Below, we list essential features for each part of your project and give a list of “nice to have” functions you can add after the project launch. 

Driver app for finding loads 

[Convoy driver app, source]

The main goal of a driver’s truck logistics app is to show new shipping orders and their information (size, weight, description), and allow them to accept or decline orders. 

The app also must include a map with the pickup, drop off location, and allow the driver to receive payments for each order delivered. Thus, essential functionality for a driver’s application is the following:

  • Driver registration 
  • Vehicle information 
  • Current orders list 
  • Accept or decline orders functionality 
  • Order search section with filtering option
  • Order details with shipper contact information
  • Build-in payment gateway to receive payments 
  • GPS-based map with routes, fuel stations, and motels 
  • Digital documentation section to upload the bill of lading 
  • Real-time notifications for upcoming job and payment

Shipper app for posting freight 

convoy shipper app screens

[Convoy shipper app, source]

An app for the shipper could be web or mobile-based. As a shipper, you need to place a shipping order and provide information about it. Then, select the carrier with the best rates, track your delivery, and pay for it. It would also be great to receive notifications at the end of delivery. Thus, the shipper app should include:

  • Shipper registration 
  • Order placing section with cargo weight, size, destination, pickup and drop-off location, date of delivery, etc. 
  • Online documentation section to upload delivery-related documents 
  • List of offers from carriers with estimated delivery time, rates, rating, contact details 
  • Payment gateway to pay for the delivery 
  • Real-time order tracking on the map 
  • Delivery confirmation via uploaded photos 

Admin panel for managing platform 

uber freight admin panel

[Uber Freight fleet management dashboard, source

The admin panel is a web-based app to manage the interaction between shippers and carriers. Here, managers will supervise current and finished deliveries, payment transactions, and delivery rates. Admins can also gather and maintain information about users. For these tasks, the admin panel should consist of:

  • Two-factor authentication to prevent data breaches and unauthorized access 
  • Dashboard with the list of upcoming orders, current orders located on the map, as well as completed deliveries 
  • Carrier queries with a list of new drivers who want to register on your platform
  • Matching algorithm to match shippers and carriers based on location, freight details, etc
  • Billing and invoicing service to approve invoices and billing generated by drivers and shippers. 
  • Trip Log Reports to record the duration of every trip booked via your platform. It should include start and end dates and time, miles covered, and orders fulfilled. 

Advanced functions for Uber for trucking applications

Apart from the essential features listed above, you can also integrate some advanced functionality to stand out from your competitors. We suggest such functionality, as 

  • Built-in messaging to connect shippers and drivers in real-time
  • Real-time traffic analytics and route optimization algorithm to suggest the driver the best route 
  • Weather updates to show more realistic delivery time 
  • Fuel prices map to offer driver stations with the lowest fuel costs 
  • Built-in calendar to allow shippers to schedule the delivery beforehand 
  • Suggested shippings to offer carriers new orders on the basis of their current location

For more ideas on how to improve your project, read our article about A.I. in the logistics and transportation industries

Considering Developing a Logistics Software?

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How much on-demand logistics app development costs  

Several factors impact the cost of a shipping app like Uber. Here are some of them: 

  • Number of features 

The more features you want to install, the higher the cost you will pay to your development team. That is why we suggest implementing essential functions first. In this way, you can prove your business idea and check whether such an app would be demanding among your audience.  

Besides this, some features vary in the cost of implementation. For instance, functionality, like calendars, payment gateways, and maps can be implemented via API, which costs about $2,000. On the other hand, sophisticated custom A.I. algorithms need a considerable amount of work and may cost from $10,000 per feature. 

  • Number of platforms 

Since the platform includes driver and shipper mobile apps, you need to decide whether to build these apps for iOS or Android. You can also develop apps for both platforms, which will double your expenses. 

To make an informed decision, read our previous article iOS VS Android, where we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of both platforms. In a nutshell, your choice will depend on your audience, the region you launch your transport delivery app, and the essential features of your app. 

To dig deeper into other price-forming factors, check out our article on how to estimate mobile project costs. 

  • Location of your development team 

While developers from Eastern Europe and the U.S. have similar skill sets, the prices of their services differ. For example, Ukrainian mobile developers charge $30-45 per hour, while developers from the United States will cost you from $90 per hour. 

To receive handy tips on how to select the best development team, read our previous post

How much will your Uber for trucking cost?

Estimate project costs


Examples of Uber for trucking, Convoy, and Doft, show that the on-demand trucking platform is an excellent way of investing for a startup. Besides this, such a platform can reduce the number of empty miles for an existing logistics business. Thus, you can make your own pickup truck app like Uber and earn money on every mile driven.

To develop a logistics delivery app, you can use the feature list described in this article, or create your feature list to meet your business needs.

What our clients say 

Choosing Telemedicine Software During COVID-19: A Complete Guide

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought numerous challenges to the healthcare system across the globe, including a lack of medical equipment, beds, and personnel to provide adequate care to patients. At the same time, the global transport lock-down and the threat of being infected in crowded places, such as waiting rooms in hospitals, has made offline consultations with medical specialists almost impossible. 

The bright side is that crises bring great opportunities for innovations, making telemedicine software no longer just something nice-to-have, but instead, a must-have for private clinics and healthcare organizations.

There are two ways you can implement a telehealth solution to your medical practice. In our previous article on how to develop a telemedicine app, we talked about developing such software from scratch. But, if you have a lack of time and resources for developing telehealth apps, do not despair, you still have an opportunity to leverage a ready-made telemedicine app and provide medical consultations via video, while paying affordable subscription fees.

In this article, we will share handy tips on how to narrow down your needs and wants on a platform and select the most suitable telemedicine app for doctors from the number of solutions on the market. We also review five telemedicine platforms in terms of security, features, and pricing. 

What solutions can we offer?

Find Out More

Essential telehealth features to pay attention to 

The choice of the right telehealth platform will significantly influence not only the quality of video connection, but also the loyalty of your patients, the time you save on manual data input, and the security of your patients’ sensitive data. Below we’ve listed features we believe are most important to telehealth technology selection. 

Regulation compliance on data security 

Different countries have different data security policies for storing patient-sensitive data. There are HIPAA, PHI, and HITECH regulations for the United States, GDPR, and The Data Protection Law Enforcement Directive in the European countries, The Data Protection Act (DPA) in the United Kingdom, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act in Canada. All of these regulations concern saving patient data on mobile devices that could be lost or stolen. Thus, to avoid million-dollar penalties for patient data breaches, pay extra attention to data encryption and regulation compliance for your telehealth vendor. 


Business association agreement 

A Business Association Agreement is an integral part of adopting telehealth software to your practice. The BAA ensures that the platform does not record your sessions with patients. Also, the agreement includes specified conditions of how your telemedicine provider will store and care for your patient information on their servers. Thus, you need to find a telehealth platform that will sign a BAA with you without hesitation. 

Video calls 

Video appointments are an essential feature of most telemedicine software. Be aware that the platform should have secured video streaming of high quality. We also think that screen sharing features, and secure group calls with other medical professionals or patient relatives will be handy for complicated cross-disciplinary cases and bring more value to your patients’ treatment plans. 


Instant messaging

The platform should include instant messaging and file-sharing features to enable communication with patients before or after a video appointment. If your practice requires a connection with medical specialists from other departments, consider telehealth software that includes a group chat feature that follows all regulations on data security in your region. 

Virtual waiting room

Often, medical consultations may take longer than expected or a patient may be late. Your telehealth solutions should include a virtual waiting room to avoid mismatching on electronic lines. This looks like a landing page where patients can wait for their digital appointment to begin. Such a virtual waiting room shows your patients their place in line, and the estimated time for when their video consultation will begin. You can customize such a waiting room by adding information relevant to your practice, such as notes for patients, educational articles, videos, or infographics. From your side, you can see the number of patients waiting in queues sorted by the time they entered the waiting room. Thus, you can easily estimate your time and effort and provide high-quality consultation to each patient. 


Technical support

The telehealth software provider should understand that you trust them with your business, and any technical errors or downtimes impact your practice and income. Thus, the telemedicine vendor should provide you with technical support during your working hours and be able to solve any issue via online-chat, video calls, or at least via email.  

Onboarding and demos 

Adopting new software is always a challenge, especially for non-tech people such as medical specialists. That is why video demonstrations, staff training, and learning materials by telehealth platforms are essential. The sooner you and your medical staff learn how to use the software, the faster your medical organization will start providing video consultations to patients. 


Telehealth cost 

Depending on your healthcare organization’s size, you need to find a platform with the most suitable pricing. Thus, when selecting your telemedicine platform, consider that some providers charge different fees. Some of them charge a monthly-based subscription fee (from $30.00 to over $900.00), while others apply a per-consultation pricing policy. Also, the telehealth platform’s subscription fee may depend on the number of medical specialists in your organization. On average, the costs vary from $75.00 to over $150.00 per organization. Thus, to avoid paying extra fees, select the platform with the most comfortable pricing policy for telemedicine services. 

Integration into the existing ecosystem 

If you use EHR, EMR, or another system to keep track of your patients’ records, ask a platform’s salesperson whether their telemedicine solution could be integrated into your existing ecosystem. At this stage, also consider that such an integration is a job for professional web developers because not all platforms provide a dedicated development team to integrate telemedicine into your working environment. Another vital feature to ask about is an online payment gateway and electronic billing to send invoices to your patients and enable them to pay with their credit cards. 


Now that you know about the essential features of your telemedicine software, let’s find out more about solutions currently presented on the market. 

Related reading: 

Calmerry Telemedicine Platform Case Study 

Nioxin Consultation App for Coty-owned Brand Case Study 

5 Best telemedicine software solutions overview

Our clients often ask us to integrate telemedicine software into their existing environments. While some clients have several solutions in mind, others ask us to do market research and find the best possible option. Below we have gathered reliable telemedicine software companies our clients chose for their practice. is a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine software, available for web, iOS, and Android platforms for running video appointments with patients. Thus, to use, you don’t need to download it to your device or desktop, and the platform does not store any information about your patients. The platform has a point-to-point NIST-approved AES 128 bit encryption along with SHA256 used for all video & audio communication and encryption and 256-bit AES encryption used on all data stored at rest with secure backups. has a full-set of telemedicine features, including video calls, text messages, voice calls, and waiting rooms, secured over TLS (HTTPS). 

doxy me delemedicine app


The platform has a separate section for Business Association Agreement, where you can add information about your organization, its members, and upload a signed agreement. has numerous learning materials on its Youtube channel, but person-to-person training sessions are also available. has a free version and two paid tiers. With the free version, you receive a full set of telemedicine software features, including 

  • Personalized room URL
  • Unlimited number of sessions and minutes 
  • Video calls 
  • Text chat 
  • Meeting history 
  • Patients queue 
  • Waiting room
  • Online help pages and email support

Free version is your perfect choice if you want to try the platform before paying a monthly subscription. 


As for paid plans, has two options. 

  • For individual providers $35/month 
  • Clinic providers from $50/month

Paid versions offer more advanced features, such as 

  • Room passcode 
  • Edit waiting room 
  • Text & email notifications
  • Payments 
  • Group calling 
  • Screenshare
  • On-demand chat with a technical support team

And others. You can see the full paid feature list at the official website


сomjoodoc is an on-premise platform, which means you can run it on your physical hosting server. It includes a set of communication tools to integrate depending on your needs. Mainly, the platform serves the German region. Thus, it meets all the regulations of European data security, including GDPR. But soon, сomjoodoc will also be HIPAA-compliant. The platform’s security package includes anonymous personal data, end-to-end encrypted real-time communication, and encrypted data storage. 

comjoodoc telemedicine app


сomjoodoc offers a set of tools not only for video appointments with patients, but also for creating a networked collaboration with other medical specialists. 

  • Meet for secured video appointments with patients or group video conferences with other medical specialists via a web application
  • Call for voice calls via telephone systems, smartphones, tablets, or laptops. 
  • Chat with a secured message exchange among your patients or medical specialists network, appointment confirmations, and so on. 
  • Community for topic-specific group chats with other medical specialists
  • Data for secured file exchange only with authorized users. 
  • Easy patient mobile app for video consultations and text chat, the transmission of appointments, vital signs, well-being, medication plans or laboratory results, digital prescriptions, or disability certificates
conjoodoc app for patients


In case of the platform’s downtimes, you can receive technical support via online chat during working hours. 

Since comjoodoc’s feature set is tailored to your specific needs, the price of such a solution is calculated individually by the platform’s representatives. 

Spruce Health

Spruce is a HIPAA-compliant platform for video and messaging communication between you and your patients. This telemedicine software also ensures secured notes, VoIP phone communication, and voicemail transcription. 

telemedicine software for video calls dashboard


You can choose among free and paid Spruce versions. 

The Basic Spruce plan includes a trial period for 60 days per user, per month, then the platform will charge $24. This tier includes essential features for successful telemedicine consultations

  • Video Calling
  • Spruce Visits 
  • Secure Team Messaging 
  • Spruce Phone Number 
  • E-Fax 
  • Business Associate Agreement (BAA)

Communicator plan will cost you $49 per user, per month. In includes the same features as the Basic plan, and several advanced functions

  • Custom Inbox Configuration 
  • Phone Trees 
  • Practice Hours 
  • Workflows 
  • Mobile Payments

Spruce provides all users with free learning materials and supports integration with your existing EMR system. Also, Spruce includes resource management capabilities for workflow automation, which is handy for medium to big clinic owners. Spruce also includes a built-in payment gateway for billing patients after video consultations. 

Mend (Mendfamily)

Mend, also known as MendFamily, is a secured telehealth platform that meets HIPAA, HITECH Act, E-Sign Act, COPPA, ADA WCAG 2.0, CAN-SPAM, TCPA, & 42 CFR Part 2 regulations. The platform will sign a Business Associates Agreement (BAA) with your organization before you start providing video consultations with your patients. To keep information about your patients and appointments secure, the platform leverages API, HL7 (Health Level 7 for transfer of clinical and administrative data), and SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol). 

mendfamily telemedicine app


If you own a medium or large healthcare organization, Mend is your platform of choice. 

The platform includes all functions for effective health services and convenient communication with patients: 

  • Patient access to video appointment via the link
  • Communication via audio, video, and instant messaging 
  • Screen sharing feature 
  • Electronic paperwork
  • Integrated payments
  • Electronic queue
  • Appointment scheduling and reminder
  • Profile customization for your clinic identity

The platform’s support team has an average response time of 23 seconds, so in case you or your patients face some technical issues, you will immediately receive support. 

Before you decide that this is the best telehealth solution for your practice, you can run demonstration sessions with Mend’s representatives. 

The platform offers three pricing options, different in length and features provided: 

  • A monthly subscription of $59, includes a 7-days free trial and a full package for telemedicine software features. 
  • Annual Subscription is 17% cheaper than the previous option, so you pay only $49 per month. 
  • Mend Pro Telehealth includes EHR/PMS integration and is calculated on demand. 

OnCall Health

OnCall Health is compliant with both HIPAA and PIPEDA regulations. The platform encrypts all video consultations with a 256-bit encryption protocol and does not record or store them. Before you start using the platform, you must sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). 

on call telemedicine platform


The platform provides visitors with a full-stack feature set for telehealth:

  • 1-on-1 or group video appointments and group video calls up to 25 participants
  • Encounter-based instant messaging
  • File sharing 
  • Provider-led or patient-led appointment booking
  • Digital custom intake forms
  • Automatic billing and appointment reminders
  • Payment processing 
  • Custom, branded receipts

OnCall Health offers three payment options for clinical practices of all sizes. All plans include one on one training and full-time technical support.

  • Basic plan (from $49.00/month) includes a primary feature set for telehealth appointments.
  • Premium tier has more advanced features, including a roster to manage patient records, charting, and session notes, including templates, custom digital intake, and assessment forms. Prices are provided by request. 
  • In the Enterprise plan, you will find EMR integration, analytics dashboard, patient-provider matching, configurable workflow, and multilingual interface, available in English and French. Prices are provided by request.

Premium tier also includes a white label feature, which means you can customize your account on OnCall Health with a custom domain and change the design to meet your clinic’s identity. 

Considering Developing a Healthcare Mobile App?

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Telemedicine software platforms comparison 

To help you select the most suitable telemedicine platform, we gathered their essential features and pricing policies in the comparison table below. 



Spruce Health

Mend (Mendfamily)

OnCall Health

Practice size

For small, medium, and big

For medium and big

For small, medium, and big

For medium and big

For medium and big


The U.S. 


The U.S. 

The U.S. 

The U. S. and Canada

Security and BAA

HIPAA compliant, with Business Associate Agreement 

European data security compliant, GDPR, will be HIPAA-compliant soon 

HIPAA compliant, with Business Associate Agreement 

HIPAA compliant, with Business Associate Agreement

HIPAA and PIPEDA-compliant, with ith Business Associate Agreement

Telemedicine software features

  • Video calls 
  • Text chat 
  • Meeting history 
  • Patient queue 
  • Waiting room
  • Personal training sessions
  • Payment gateway
  •  EMR integration
  • Video conference 
  • Document sharing 
  • Instant messaging 
  • Voice calls 
  • EMR integration
  • Video Calling
  • Spruce Visits 
  • Team Messaging 
  • Secured phone number
  • Payment gateway 
  • EMR integration 
  • Audio consultations  
  • Video consultations 
  • Instant messaging 
  • Screen sharing feature 
  • Electronic paperwork
  • Integrated payments
  • Video appointments 
  • Instant messaging 
  • Document sharing 
  • Session notes
  • Branded receipts
  • Appointment booking
  • Appointment reminder

Technical support 

  • Online help pages 
  • Email support
  • Online chat
  • Online chat during working hours
  • Phone calls during working hours
  • Email support
  • During 23 second via online chat 
  • Full time technical support


  • Free version available 
  • Basic from $35 per month 
  • Clinic providers from $50 per month
  • By request
  • 60-days free trial 
  • Basic from $24 per month
  • Communicator $49 per user per month 
  • 7-days free trial 
  • Monthly subscription from $59 
  • Annual subscription from 49$ per month
  • Mend Pro Telehealth- by request 
  • Basic plan from $49.00 per month
  • Premium – by request 
  • Enterprise – by request 

Ready to build your telemedicine platform from scratch?  

Receive a free project estimation

Adopting a telemedicine software system during COVID-19

With the number of telemedicine solution providers on the market, you can easily find a solution that will meet your practice’s needs, suit your budget, and offer the most relevant feature set. You can select from the ready-made solutions we have listed above, or start your telemedicine software development project, perfectly tailored to your clinic.

Related reading: 

Case Study: Video Streaming App Proof of Concept

What our clients say 

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How to Make a Virtual Assistant like Siri and Google Assistant

Could you have imagined 15 years ago that you would be able to talk to a phone and it would perform tasks by itself with only voice commands and no actions on your part? Supposedly not. Maybe it would have sounded crazy at that time, but now it’s real and available for everyone – Artificial Intelligence has no limits if talking about solution integration in the tech world.

Voice assistants are not fantasies of our imaginations any longer. While people are busy with their lives, and usually lack time for searching and basic phone and life management, virtual assistants save people time and accomplish these tasks for them. Moreover, virtual assistants are not just smart software for users, but a friend whom they can ask for help. 


Siri, Aleksa, Cortana, and Google Assistant have become some of peoples’ best friends today and the fact that they are not real people doesn’t make them less important to us. Life gets easier with voice assistants, as they are here for us any time we wish to use them. All we have to do is to say ‘Hey, …” and they will immediately do what we want or search for what we need. 

development of voice assistant

[Source: xChip]

Voice Assistants: What Are They and Why Are They So Popular?

Voice assistants are software agents that can perform tasks based on audio commands, which makes them irreplaceable in life today.

Voice assistants can help a person with the following tasks:

  • To call, send a message, open and read messages sent to you
  • Find news, weather forecasts, currency, definitions
  • Create reminders, notes
  • Add events to a calendar, schedule meetings
  • Perform general screen actions (i.e., set an alarm, increase the brightness of a screen, turn on/off Wi-Fi connection, play music)
  • Navigation searches: to show the road from point A to point B
  • Entertainment: interesting events in the city, what film to watch, where to go on the weekends


Let’s discover together what brings voice assistants such popularity among users, and why they’re the right tool for your business development:

  • Simple to find and use: screen usage is no longer required to do something on your phone. Your voice is the key instrument.
  • Fast: in the traditional format, you have to unlock your phone, find Google, type what you want to find, wait for a search, read several titles to choose what link is the most suitable for you, and then search for a specific part of a text. With a virtual assistant, it takes requires only the time for you to say what you want and immediately get a result
  • Effective: users are more likely to find the right answer to a request with the help of a voice assistant rather than by themselves. The system built inside a voice assistant allows to define the most suitable answer and provide this to users while being checked and confirmed.

One more important reason to mention here is that voice assistants can help people fulfill their need to feel important. Voice assistants can serve as personal secretaries, so people can imagine themselves as business people who are always busy and have much to do. Furthermore, searching for how to cook a grilled chicken, for example, makes them feel that they are doing something more important than just making dinner.

What solutions can we offer?

The Guide on How to Build Your Own AI Assistant

Nowadays, the inclusion of virtual assistants in an app’s functions is a good advantage for an app, but in a couple of years, it will become an essential demand to keep an app competitive on the market and worth the users’ attention. This is why you should start planning your mobile app development immediately with an included virtual assistant.

We have prepared a step by step guide in order to help you create an AI voice assistant:

Step 1 Plan your voice assistant app strategy

Your voice assistant app should be created with a specific goal while focusing on your target audience. Some voice assistants are working mostly with work tasks like Cortana, and others with daily routine activities like Google Assistant. Your task at this stage of voice assistant app development is to define what will be the unique service you will offer to your users, and based on this, we will talk about what features to include.

You can go through the most time-consuming tasks people are performing every single day and discover how your voice assistant can automate these tasks.

reasons to develop a voice assistant

[Source: Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report]

Keep in mind that the purpose of creating an AI voice assistant should lie not only in helping your business but in helping your users who will later use your app if it’s helpful to them. That’s why it’s important to include the users’ preferences in app development. The kind of tasks a voice assistant can help with, the tone of voice, manner of speaking,  duration of pauses – all of these matters. 

The idea here is not to become another feature-packed technology but to achieve a user-friendly experience so users can feel like talking to their friends via phone, not just to phone. What makes people return to an app is a personality they like and are comfortable with 24/7.

Step 2 Integrate a voice assistant to your app with custom APIs and AI tools. 

Adding and integrating an existing voice assistant like Siri and Google is now recommended by MindMeld research, as they are among the leaders according to user opinion. So let’s take a look at these 2.


Since 2016 it is possible for third-party apps to incorporate Siri, as it launched a special tool – Apple SiriSDK which provides 2 types of extensions for Siri integration: Intents which is responsible for doing tasks such as calling and messaging, and Intents UI which visually controls brand and custom content on the user’s interface.

These Intents extensions are possible tasks a user can request. The system processes them as classes with certain properties. For example, a user wants to know the weather forecast for the next week in a specific city. Having received a voice task to perform, the system defines the properties for it – here we have properties such as specific dates and the indicated location – which then transfers them to the app extension that gives us an appropriate result.

how does voice assistant work

[Source: Quora]

However, Apple has some restrictions for design, so it can be a problem for developers if creative solutions need to be added.



Google works almost the same as Siri but it is much easier as it doesn’t concern developers with design limitations or set boundaries regarding their imagination.  Basically, it offers 2 ways of how to make your own AI assistant within it – Google Now and Voice Actions.

Google Now is a highly technological voice assistant that can understand, process, analyze, and complete requests from users. However, only selected apps such as eBay and Airbnb can be granted the possibility to use Google Now and create their own Now Cards while using special APIs.

In any case, you still can register and use Voice Actions API to create the possibility to use voice commands both on phones and computers for your users. This is simpler than Google Now but can only perform requests through voice recognition. However, there is a specific requirement in order to use Voice Actions – you have to register an app on Play Market and have it approved. In fact, the approval process in Google is shorter than in Siri’s case. Follow the guide on how to start using this platform.

Build Your Own Dedicated Team

Step 3 Add essential features

Here is a list of requirements needed for the creation of an AI voice assistant from scratch:

Voice/speech to text (STT)

Voice assistants as software agents can process only digital messages. So, they convert voice tasks given by users into the text to be able to analyze them and perform them. This process can be implemented by a software called CMU Phoenix.

TTS process

The TTS process works the same as the STT process but in the opposite way. With TTS, text data, such as information on weather, can be translated and provided in human speech. CMU Phoenix program is a tool to be used.

Decision Making

This process defines your voice assistant app’s effectiveness at this stage, the AI technology analyzes a user’s request, interprets it and gives the answer. The response is made through tagging elements that can be relevant for the user.  For example, if a user wants to find a film to watch in a cinema, a voice assistant gathers all possible options that may be interesting for the user based on his/her previous requests. The smarter a voice assistant is, the more it is aware of the user’s preferences, so the more relevant answer it can provide. 

Noise elimination

People use their phones on the streets, in a cafe, in general, in crowded and noisy places. This feature defines how clearly your AI assistant will hear a user despite all the noise in the background. Noise control minimizes or absolutely eliminates sounds that are not related to the user’s voice or the request itself. 

Voice recognition

If you don’t add voice recognition technology to your voice assistant, your users will likely be misunderstood by assistants and given the wrong answer as a result. This also helps you to prevent such comic situations where a voice assistant responds to voices from TV shows, animal sounds, etc. 

Compress the speech

This feature is responsible for the fast delivery of an answer to the user. The server on which the communication with the user is recorded should be reliable and safe. It’s recommended to use the G.711 standard to avoid losing data.

UI/UX experience

The Voice interface is what a user receives in response to a request: a screen, voice,  manner of speaking, etc. All of this creates the user’s experience as the user doesn’t want just to have an answer, but also, high-level service. So, think about the visual and audio representation a user will receive as feedback from your app.

You can find plenty of platforms to build your own AI assistant on, but you have to be sure that this group of people can provide a set of features you’re planning to include in your app. Contact us to, not only build a voice assistant but to ensure its efficiency for your business.



Voice assistants tend to be a good addition to mobile app development, which leaves us with no doubt that voice assistants must be considered while building a mobile app.

Your task as a business owner is to take care of your target audiences’ needs and help them in organizing their lives. This will make your app the first thing users turn to for information and help. Let’s leave simple tasks to voice assistants – they already know what the answer is, just ask them.

Chatbots for Real Estate: How to Choose the Right Solutions for Your Business

Real estate is one of those industries where communication plays an essential role. However, not all people who contact real estate agencies are qualified leads that will buy a flat. Thus, many real estate brokers waste their time answering the same questions from people who would never return to sign a contract. 

This is where chatbots come in handy. By using real estate chatbots, agencies can not only qualify leads and send follow-ups, but also improve engagement and increase sales.

In this article, we will tell you about chatbots for the real estate segment and how you can build one that will perfectly suit your business strategy.  

But first, let’s find out what benefits chatbots bring to real estate businesses. 

Benefits of chatbots for Real estate 

When selling real estate, agencies, and real estate agents receive many queries from prospective customers who want to know more about the development. In a perfect world, a real estate agent gets in touch with potential buyers and handles the one-on-one conversation which results in buying a house or a flat. But in the real world, the selling process appears not as simple as it seems. Often people, who received detailed information from a real estate broker, disappear, or the real estate agent could not physically handle all queries from potential clients. To get deeper insights into the Real Estate segment, we asked Nadiia Pavlik, a Real Estate broker from Keller Williams Chicago – Lincoln Park, to share her experience in communicating with clients. 

chatbot development real estate

Chatbots might bring the following benefits to real estate businesses: 

  • Immediate responses. A chatbot can answer the client’s queries immediately via a website, messenger, or social media, like Facebook. While Chatbots save up to 30% in customer support costs, clients do not have to wait for answers from a human agent about their interest in a property. 
how to develop a real estate chatbot
  • Availability 24/7. Unlike real estate agents, who might not be available throughout the day, chatbots provide your customers with information outside of working hours. Besides, chatbots can help you to save on customer service costs by speeding up response times and answering up to 80% of routine questions.
  • Personalized offers. All customers are looking for different types of apartments and property types. Chatbots provide customers with a series of questions to come up with more relevant offers, which is more effective than collecting information via physical copies or forms.
  • Improved leads qualifying. Chatbots can qualify your potential leads by comparing their behavior with the behavior of the previous clients and assigning them scores of lead maternity. In this way, your real estate brokers can communicate with only highly-qualified leads.
  • Automated scheduling. When the chatbot qualifies the lead as a potential buyer, one can schedule a home tour via chatbot. Besides, bots can introduce the client to a real estate agent for more detailed communication.  
  • Effective follow-ups. You can enable your chatbot to send automated follow-ups to potential customers via the medium they choose, including email, social media, messengers, or even SMS.
real estate chatbot development

Now that you are aware of chatbot benefits for real estate, let’s find out what type of chatbot will meet your business goals. 

Types of chatbots for real estate

Chatbots vary depending on use cases and complexity. Currently, there are three types of chatbots: 

Scripted bots

Scripted, or rule-based is the simplest type of chatbot. They have strict logic to search commands in the input text. Such bots are programmed to answer simple questions or perform simple actions. You can use them as online assistants for answering the FAQ section or collecting customers’ personal information. 

You can create this type of bot without help from bot developers using the following DIY bot-builder platforms:

By using these platforms you can develop a simple bot for your website, messengers, or social media such as Facebook. At the same time, consider that bot-building platforms do not provide a lot of room for customization of a chatbot interface. 

scripted chat bot for real estate

But if you are looking for a solution to optimize business processes, you can choose between the next two types of chatbots. 

Platform-based AI chatbots

This type of bot uses more sophisticated data processing technologies, such as Natural Language processing to process user input and provide relevant not-prescripted answers. You can build such a bot for providing users with relevant results from your real estate catalog and lead qualification. 

You can build an AI-chatbot using a ready-made platform, such as:

  • IBM Watson Assistant 
  • Semantic Machine

Or even machine learning bots with cognitive abilities using: 

  • Microsoft Azure 
  • Chatbot Platform
  • Dialog Flow platform

Most of these platforms support integration with websites and most popular messengers such as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram. 

If you want to develop such a bot, you may need help from chatbot developers for initial bot settings and training. 

AI chatbot for real estate industry

Platform-based AI-chatbots are the best option if you have a small business and do not need custom functionality. But if you do, consider the next type of chatbots.  

Custom NLP and AI chatbots

Such chatbots are custom applications created by developers. You can apply AI bots for solving particular complicated business issues, such as providing customers with personalized flat recommendations, scheduling an appointment with a real estate agent, saving communication with a customer in ERP for relevant recommendations, and so on.

The most popular programming languages for developing custom chatbots are: 

  • C++ 
  • Java
  • Python 

 Developing custom chatbots is the most time and money consuming option. Still, it is quite popular among big companies and enterprises, since custom code gives you the possibility to empower the chatbot with any feature, type of customization and integration to meet your business needs. 

Real estate ML chatbots

Once you have decided on the type and complexity of your chatbot, you can start developing one using the step-by-step guide below. 

How to develop a real estate chatbot 

To integrate a chatbot to your real estate business you need to go through the following steps:

Step 1. Define your Business Needs

During this step, you should find out the issues you want to solve with the help of a chatbot, what exact features your chatbot should perform, and how complex it should be. For instance:

  • Receive more qualified leads 
  • Improve customer engagement 
  • Automate lead generation and validation
  • Or all at once. 

Step 2. Evaluate Budget 

Now, consider how much you want to invest in your chatbot. You may have a considerable or limited budget or no budget at all. Let’s see what solution may suit your budget. 

Tight budget

With a tight budget, you cannot build a custom solution with numerous integrations. Instead, you can create a script-based one-task online assistant. Thus, you can choose among bot builders previously discussed in this article. Such DIY chatbot platforms are user-friendly, have a drag-and-drop menu, and have low charges for publishing a bot. 

DIY chatbot platform fees


  • Free – Up to 1000 Subscribers
  • From $15 /mo – price adjusts according to the number of subscribers
  • From $199 /mo – a fixed fee add-on to Pro plan

Flow XO

  • Free – up to 500 interactions / up to 5 bots or active flows
  • Standard Plan-up is $19/mo for 5,000 interactions / up to 15 bots or active flows


  • Free plan
  • Advanced plans from $48/year 


  • Free 
  • Pro plan – 500 subscribers at $10/mo and it can scale up to $145/mo for 25000 subscribers

Budget for a full-scale project

If you have enough budget to build a feature-rich bot with third-party integrations, consider developing a platform-based or custom AI chatbot. In both cases you will need help from a chatbot development team, since complex platforms, and custom code in particular, requires specialists with considerable expertise. Hiring chatbot developers for your real estate agency has numerous advantages. The team would be responsible for initial chatbot setting and training, testing and further technical maintenance. 

AI-chatbot building platforms fees

IBM Watson Assistant 

  • Free – 10,000 messages/month
  • Plus, Premium, IBM Cloud Private – on request

Semantic Machine

On request

Machine learning bot-building platforms fees

Microsoft Azure 

On request 


Dialog Flow 

  • Standard Edition – Free
  • Enterprise Edition Essentials – $0.002 per request
  • Enterprise Edition Plus – $0.004 per request

Step 3. Consider integrations

Now, you should decide how many integrations your bot will have. In most cases, developers perform all the chatbot’s integrations. For example, for a simple Facebook Messenger bot, you will need a developer who will integrate it with your Content Management System (CMS). You can also connect your chatbot with your  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and other third-party software, as email marketing tools, databases, and others. Below, we have gathered a list of the most popular and useful integrations for a real estate messenger bot: 

SharePoint & Office 365

Suitable for handling document search and event management.

Open Authorization for SharePoint

Suitable for document storage, management, authentication, and many other administrative tasks.

CRM Applications

For providing better customer support, you can integrate your bot with Salesforce CRM, Zendesk or LivePerson.

Enterprise Content Management

This integration is handy to allow your real estate agents, customers, and managers to find relevant documents quickly

ERP Systems

With a chatbot, you can add more functionality to you 

ERP systems for overall management without the need of a backend database or dashboards.

Step 4. Develop MVP 

While you can build an MVP with DIY platforms within a few hours, developing a sophisticated bot requires more time and effort from both you and bot developers. 

We recommend launching complicated chatbot projects as MVP. This approach allows testing a chatbot without spending a considerable amount of money.

For developing an MVP of the Facebook Messenger chatbot, consider the features in the table below. To give you an idea of how much time the development stage will take, we have also added estimation in hours.


Functions required



12+ hours

Customization for agents

  • Logo
  • Agent Name

60+ hours

Connection to Data Server API

16+ hours

Switching between a chatbot and human agent

  • Switch between Human Real estate Agent and Chatbot
  • Return, Forward functions for user

32+ hours

Gathering of data from user

  • Type of house
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Cost

32+ hours

API integration

  • Data transfering to API Receive results

16+ hours


  • Show search results

8+ hours

Show more variants

16+ hours

Admin Login

8+ hours

Chatbot Management

  • Define questions, and answers

40+ hours


From 240 hours

So, how much does a real estate messenger bot cost? The cost to develop a Messenger chatbot MVP for a real estate business varies from $4,000 to $8,000 and depends on the project’s complexity and the number of integrations. 

Step 5. Launch MVP

After the release of a real estate chatbot MVP, ask your real customers to test it and pay attention to the following elements:

  • User Experience (UX)
  • Bots Flow
  • Speed of Response 
  • Answers’ Accuracy
  • Fallbacks 
  • Engagement

After conducting the beta testing of your chatbot and gathering feedback, you will have a clear idea about what you can improve in your chatbot and what features to add. 

Step 6. Second development stage

At this stage, you and your development team need to enrich the chatbot with additional features and fix the bot’s trouble areas. You should also continue analyzing the bot’s interactions with real users and track how well your bot is working by connecting it with analytics.  

However, you should not forget about the maintenance and technical support of your bot. For this task, we recommend hiring chatbot developers who will monitor the bot’s performance, at least during the initial post-launch period, and fix bugs on the fly. 

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In a nutshell 

Real estate is one of those industries that’s evolving thanks to chatbots. You should consider developing messenger bots for your real estate business if you want to reduce customer support costs, receive more qualified leads and, as a result, increase your income. 

The complexity of your bot should be based on your business needs. 

  • Consider developing a scripted bot if your business needs a bot that will be available 24/7 to answer simple user questions. 
  • Choose between platform-based or custom AI chatbots if you want your bot to perform more complex tasks, such as lead validation, follow-ups, and personalized recommendations.

Related articles: 




Chatbot for travel industry: benefits, use cases, and a development guide

What does a perfect vacation overseas consist of? Before taking a sunbath on the beach, you need to spend time to find accommodation within your budget, book a flight, and spend at least two hours to check-in — that’s how this was before chatbots in the travel industry appeared. Now, using a chatbot and your smartphone, you can book and pay for hotels, flights, and even check-in online without a hassle. 

If you want to develop a chatbot for your travel agency, this article is right for you. Below, we share the most successful usage of travel chatbots and a step-by-step guide on how to develop one. 

But first, let’s find out what the advantages of using a chatbot for your travel business are. 

Why you need a travel chatbot for business: top 5 benefits

Online travel companies are simplifying the way we organize our vacation. When planning a trip, around 84% of travelers use online travel booking agencies, such as Kayak, Expedia, or TripAdvisor. Still, the market of travel booking is flooded with irrelevant options, and to find the best one, travelers visit 38 sites on average, and for 62% of travelers, it is hard to find the right deal. At the same time, Huxley’s survey said 87% of travelers want to interact with a travel chatbot to find the best accommodation while saving time for the indecisive search. Moreover, 79% of them expect a travel chatbot to perform as an online travel concierge

And now, let’s look at chatbots from a business perspective.

Consider integrating a chatbot to your travel business, since it will bring the following benefits: 

  • Increase engagement. As we have said, travelers are looking through various travel websites to find the best trip. At the same time, if your online travel chatbot can provide users with relevant offers, your agency will become more valuable for your clients and increase the engagement rate. 
  • Reduce workload and operation costs. When a traveler is interested in a particular tour or hotel, one is more likely to ask a question to receive more information. The bad news is that your customer support team spends at least two hours a day answering repetitive questions. FAQ chatbot can provide travelers with answers to basic questions, thus reducing both the workload on your employees and customer support costs up to 30%.
  • Increase sales. Travelers want to book a hotel, rent a car or pay for their ticket as quickly as possible and find long forms an unpleasant and irritating experience. Thanks to the integrated payment gateway, a Messenger travel chatbot could seamlessly get your customers through the sales funnel and close a deal with fewer interactions. To achieve this, travelers need to enter their credit card information into Facebook Messenger, and the platform will save it for next friction-free payments. 
  • Built community. Apart from business logic, like built-in payment and booking, a chatbot could be a handy tool for building a community around your travel agency by sharing their travel experience and inspiration. To achieve this, you can cooperate with influencers and travel bloggers, post their articles or videos in your blog, and suggest this content to travelers via a chatbot. 
  • Attract new customers. Customer acquisition cost is an essential metric, not only in travel but also in other industries. Proactive travel chatbots decrease CAC and attract new customers most effectively by starting a conversation. You can empower a bot to send a welcome message to anyone who makes a booking on your website or place a comment on your Facebook page. Besides, your chatbot can send relevant information based on keywords used by your customers. 

In a nutshell, chatbots can improve the booking experience of your customers by providing them with more relevant recommendations, while enhancing your business metrics and saving operation costs.  

The most successful use cases of travel agency chatbots

And now, let’s find out about famous travel chatbot use cases and what results they receive from such an integration. 

  • Reservation agent

By using this type of chatbot, travelers can book airline tickets, make hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises, and even vacation packages via their website or Facebook page. To get relevant offers, travelers need to provide the bot with their requirements such as destination, date, type of accommodation, price range, and so on. 

The chatbot by travel agency works on this scenario. After the user receives relevant hotel search results, one is redirected to Expedia’s website to make a direct booking. Then, the chatbot sends a user a link with itinerary in Messenger. Apart from Facebook Messenger, travelers can use this bot on Amazon Alexa virtual assistant and ask for booking updates via voice commands. 

  • Personalized digital travel assistant

With natural language processing (NLP), travel chatbots recognize particular user queries such as “exotic Japanese weekends” and provide one, not only with hotel recommendations and transportation but also with local places to visit. Travelers receive immediate and relevant recommendations without conducting long surveys. Moreover, such chatbots help travelers to find the nearest rental car service and give local weather forecasts while keeping in mind the traveler’s budget and even dietary requests. In this way, personalized travel assistants help travelers at each stage of their travel and keep all their documents and tickets in one place.  

One example is the Mezi AI chatbot, recently acquired by American Express. The company motto is “everyone traveling for work deserves a first-class experience.” This chatbot allows travelers to book hotels, flights, and even a table at restaurants.  

  • Customer care manager 

This use case of travel chatbot provides travelers with check-in notification, flight status updates, boarding pass, and even booking confirmation via the chosen channel, and simplifies the customer service. 

This exact type of chatbot is used by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, built on the DigitalGenius platform. The company’s AI chatbot, trained with over 60,000 questions and answers, can provide travelers with non-pre scripted answers about information and updates on their flight via Facebook Messenger. After the bot launch, the KLM Facebook page received 40% more messages. Currently, KLM chatbot speaks 13 languages and responds to 15,000 queries in Messenger weekly. Since its release date, KLM chatbot answered 1.7 million messages sent by over 500,000 people.

Apart from social media networks, KLM also developed a chatbot for Google Assistant. The bot answers frequently asked questions, provides information about airline requirements via voice, and can even give tips on how to pack bags for a flight based on destination.

  • Two-sided chat agent 

If you own a two-sided travel marketplace, this bot travel use case will be useful for your business. This type of chatbot connects travelers and hotels to check hotel availability, look up necessary information such as check-in times, or parking reservations. The two-sided nature of this chatbot allows hotels to send notifications in response to user queries. 

This type of travel chat app was developed by, a travel marketplace. Right now, the chatbot can respond to 30% of customers’ hotel-related questions in under 5 minutes, according to

  • Local insider

Many travelers are going to another country searching for an authentic experience. They want to eat, entertain, and live as the locals do. If you’re going to provide travelers with local recommendations on restaurants with local cuisine, festivals, and other activities, a local insider chatbot will be the best choice. In this way, your customers will receive relevant information without spending hours searching for the most recommended places on social networks. 

An excellent example of such a tourism chatbot is Bebot, launched on the threshold of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The main goal of this bot is to illuminate cultural and language barriers for an increasing number of foreign tourists. This bot help users to receive personalized recommendations on sights, local food and helps navigate around the country. 

Bebot travel recommendation chatbot

[Source: Medium]

How to develop a chatbot for a travel agency in 6 steps 

Below, we have gathered the main steps you need to complete to create the best chatbot for your travel agency. 

Step 1. Decide the chatbot’s functionality

At this step, you need to define the purpose of your chatbot, set up goals and objectives. To determine the proper chatbot objectives, you need to answer the following questions: 

  • What is your business size? 
  • Do you need a chatbot to handle customer queries or to entertain people? 
  • What business process you want to automate with your chatbot? 
  • How many people will use your chatbot? 
  • Do you need an integration of your chatbot with databases, CRM, or CMS? 

After answering these questions will help you have a clear idea about your chatbot project, and you can enter the next step. 

Step 2. Choose the chatbot type

Once you know the objectives of your project, it will be easier for you to choose the right chatbot type from  among the following: 

Rule-Based or Scripted Chatbots are the simplest type because they use a decision tree to communicate with users. When communicating with users, scripted bots recognize keywords and channel them down the correct path to achieve their goals, like information about current best deals, and so on. Such chatbots have a very limited skill set. Still, you can use them for simple tasks such as:  

  • Customer support agents that provide customers with automated responses 
  • Engagement bots that inform customers about special offers 

Rule-based chatbot

AI-Powered Chatbots are more complex chatbots, often empowered with Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms. Unlike rule-based chatbots, AI-powered bots can answer a user with non-pre defined responses, and ML helps them to learn from each integration with the user and remember one’s preferences.

Choose this type of chatbot if you want to develop: 

  • Booking agents that help users to buy or book something 
  • Recommendation agents that gather requirements from the customer and then show relevant results 
  • Personal travel concierge that will help users find, not only hotels but also book flights and provide the user with local insights  
  • Comparison chatbot that will compare hotel rooms and flight ticket prices 
  • Automated check-in chatbot that allows the user to check-in to the flight or hotel 

AI powered chatbots

ML chatbot for travel agency

Step 3. Evaluate chatbot channels 

Now, you should consider where you can use your chatbot. The most popular channels for chatbots are: 

  • Embedded chat on your travel website, 
  • Your mobile travel application;
  • Mobile carrier channels (SMS, USSD)
  • Messaging app (Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Kik, Line, Viber)
  • If you want to use a chatbot in both your website, Facebook Messenger and Telegram, you can create an omnichannel chatbot, 

Then you need to make sure whether or not the chosen channels offer an open API, so your travel chatbot developers can integrate it easily. In this case, the most effective strategy is to select the most popular channel among your users and integrate a chatbot to other channels with time. 

Step 4. Choose the best platform 

Depending on your chatbot type and communication channel, you will select the platform to build your future chatbot. 

To build a scripted-based chatbot with if/then logic, you can use one of the following platforms: 

  • Hubspot conversations
  • Chatfuel
  • Facebook Messenger

Since these platforms have an intuitive drag-and-drop menu, you can create a chatbot without hiring chatbot developers. 

However, if you want to create a more sophisticated AI and ML bot that solves complex business tasks, consider that you’ll need to hire chatbot developers for initial bot settings and training. As for a technological solution, consider the following platforms for building AI chatbots: 

  • AWS
  • IBM Watson Assistant
  • Microsoft Bot

If you need to create a custom chatbot, you will need to hire chatbot developers to work on the following custom chatbot components:

  • The script of the custom chatbot will include the whole dialogue from a greetings message, which gathers the user’s requirements, to the “goodbye” message. Also, consider those scenarios where the bot will not understand the user’s input and cases when the bot will need to switch the communication with the traveler to a human agent. 
  • NLP, also known as Natural Language Processing, helps a chatbot to extract the user intent, i.e., understand what your users want by defining particular entities in the message.
  • The backend of a custom chatbot should process messages with Natural Language Processing. The custom chatbot backend should also comprise business logic and include third-party integrations, like payment gateways. 

Step 5. Develop a chatbot MVP

Now you need to hire chatbot developers that will help you to prioritize the chatbot’s business tasks and implement the most important features in the travel chatbot MVP.

An MVP means a minimum viable product. This approach is used in software development when a client wants to test a hypothesis without spending a considerable amount. 

To give you an idea of the travel chatbot’s main features, as well as the project scope, we made a travel chatbot MVP estimated in hours. 


Functions required



12 hours

Customization for agents

  • Logo
  • Agent Name

60 hours

Connection to Data Server API

16 hours

Switching between a chatbot and human agent

  • Switch between Human Travel Agents and Chatbot
  • Return, Forward functions for user

32 hours

Gathering of data from a user (Search for hotel, tour, full package flow)

  • Dates
  • Number of adults
  • Number of Infants
  • Meal
  • Hotel stars

32 hours

Data transferring to API, receive results

16 hours

Tour Proposals (Search Results)

  • Show search results

8 hours

Show more variants

16 hours

Admin Login

8 hours

Chatbot Management

  • Define questions, and answers

40 hours


From 240 hours

Step 6. Enrich chatbots for the travel sector with additional features

At this step, your development team launches the chatbot MVP. But this is not the end of your chatbot development process. Why? Because at this step you need to thoroughly analyze how your chatbot interacts with your customers. To achieve this, ask your customers to test your chatbot and give feedback. You may also ask them what features you need to implement to your chatbot during the second development stage. Consider that chatbot creation is an iterative process that includes gathering the data, reviewing and applying changes to the chatbot. 

Now that you are aware of the main steps of chatbot development, it is time to find out about chatbot development costs. 

How much does it cost to develop a chatbot: rule-based vs ai vs custom 

As we have said, you can create a simple rule-based chatbot with DIY platforms, so you save money on chatbot developers. Most chatbot platforms are free to use, but also have paid premium plans: 


Pricing plans 

Hubspot conversations

Free of charge 


  • Basic plan- free, up to 1000 Subscribers
  • Pro plan – from $15 /month gives more advanced features 
  • Premium – from $199/month gives advanced tools and expert guidance.

Facebook chatbot

Free of charge 

To develop AI-based chatbots you will need to hire a chatbot development team for bot training, third-party integrations and other settings. Consider that the hourly rate of chatbot developers varies from country to country and level of experience.

Front end developer hourly rates across countries:  

  • The U.S. from $90/hour 
  • Western Europe from $60/ hour 
  • Eastern Europe from $40/hour 

Back-end developer hourly rates 

  • The U.S. from $120/hour 
  • Western Europe from $80/ hour 
  • Eastern Europe from $50/hour 

 In addition, take into account the following costs charged by  AI chatbot development platforms:  


Pricing policy 


Free plan – up to 10,000 text requests and 5,000 speech requests per month 

After a year’s trial period, you are charged based on the number of text or voice requests processed by your bot:

  • $0.004 per voice request, 
  • $0.00075 per text request

On request

IBM Watson Assistant

  • Free plan – 10,000 Messages/month
  • Standard – from $0.002675 USD/message
  • Plus – On request

Microsoft Azure Bot Service

On request

The cost to create AI chatbot starts from $6000, and the development stage takes 3 months. 

As for custom chatbot development, this is the most costly option. To create a custom chatbot you need to hire a development team, including front and back end developers, designers, QA engineers, and project managers, who will work on your project. That is why custom chatbots are so expensive – the price of custom chatbots starts from $40,000, and the development stage might take from six to eight months.  

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Wrapping up

If you want to stay ahead of competitors, provide customers with a high-quality customer experience, and keep them engaged, your travel business needs a travel chatbot. 

With many usage cases, you can develop a chatbot to meet the needs of a travel business of any size. 

Besides, with a wide range of DIY building platforms, you can even create a simple chatbot by yourself. 

But, if you want to automate business operations with an AI travel chatbot, you will need to hire a chatbot development team for initial bot settings. 

Related articles:




How to build a real estate website like Zillow

When you want to buy or rent a house, would you choose to hire a real estate agent or browse a real estate website? Most of us prefer to search for a property via real estate websites to save time and get access to a vast amount of options. During your search, you may visit Zillow, the leading real estate and rental site in the U.S. This website gathers real estate agents, buyers, and sellers, helping them buy and sell real estate property. 

How did Zillow manage to become so popular? What steps should you take to develop a real estate website like Zillow? How much will a real estate two-sided marketplace cost? 

In this article, we will answer all these questions and give handy tips on how to build a real estate website without spending a fortune. 

create real estate website like Zillow

The story behind Zillow’s success 

The Zillow story began in 2004 when two former top Microsoft managers, Lloyd Frink and Rich Barton, joined forces to launch a website that could estimate a home’s value and rental rates for homes. The following year they launched a website with real estate data from 300 cities. In the first three days, a million users visited the site to “Zestimate” the value of their homes. 

Since its launch, Zillow has become something more than a property listing website since its monetization strategy includes running ads and promoting brokers and agents. As Spencer Rascoff, the CEO of Zillow Group says, “We are a media company. We sell advertising. Having a large audience is critical.” 

How does Zillow make money?

To earn money, Zillow provides users with the following promotion services:

Premier Services for real estate agents who pay the website for running ads and receiving leads. Agents are charged:

  • Cost per ad impression, i.e., the cost per 1000 ads views
  • Cost per lead varies from $20-60.

Selling Promotions aimed at real estate companies. The website charges property management companies cost per lead, cost per click, and cost per lease for running ads within the Zillow Rental Network, which includes AOL Real Estate, Trulia, MyNewPlace, Yahoo! Inc., Hotpads, and MSN Real Estate websites. 

The advertisement sales model includes selling advertising space to lenders, mortgage professionals, and other businesses. The platform charges a cost per lead fee. 

Subscription model for mortgage services, which means the website connects custom quote services and lead management platform. 

real estate sites similar to zillow

In a nutshell, Zillow has become the ultimate real estate platform across the U.S. that connects home builders, rental professionals, buyers, investors, and agents. The website includes unique features and tools that help buyers to find the perfect home,  real estate agents to promote their business. 

Now, let’s dive into the real estate website development process. 

Build Your Own Dedicated Team

How to make a real estate website like Zillow: essential features 

As we can see, Zillow is the industry leader that others are trying to keep up to. However, it is almost impossible to duplicate  Zillow’s feature list without going bankrupt. According to an Aberdeen report, in 2018 alone, Zillow spent $20.8 million on technology. In view of this, we offer you to take you on your own path in the development of your real estate website. Below, we have gathered essential features for a real estate listing website MVP that will save time and stay within budget. 

Property listings and databases

Databases with properties are an essential feature for a real estate marketplace. If your real estate agency already has its database of properties located in your city, region, or country, the web development team will integrate it into the website’s back-end. But, if you have no databases, what should you do? Let’s find out.  

If you want to develop a real estate marketplace in the U.S., you can follow the Zillow example and integrate databases from:

  • National Association of Realtors (NAR)
  • Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

These sources of real estate databases list properties across the U.S., however, this is the most complicated option. You will receive access to MLS and NAR only if you get a real estate license in each U.S. state, which requires both time and money. Are there other ways to integrate property databases to a Zillow type website? Let’s see. 

  • Zillow API

You can integrate Zillow API to your website and get access to homes posted for sale. According to Zillow data and API Terms of use, the company allows integrating its API to websites, but not to mobile apps

  • Post by owners

Since you are going to develop a two-sided marketplace, you can allow landlords to place the information about their real estate for sale. 

  • Listing syndication platforms

You can enter the data-sharing agreement with one of the national real estate companies and list their property directly to your marketplace. To achieve that, you may choose among the following real estate platforms: 

how to make a real estate website

[Zillow property listing]


Filtering Algorithms

To allow users to find the property they are looking for more conveniently, you need to integrate a filtering algorithm to your marketplace. We suggest you consider the following search parameters:

  • Location 
  • Price
develop a real estate app like zillow

[Zillow “Price” filter]

  • Type 
real estate sites similar to zillow

[Zillow “Home type” filter]

  • Area
  • Number of bedrooms 
real estate platforms like Zillow

[Zillow “number of beds” filter]

  • Floor, etc.
build your own real estate website

[Other Zillow filters]


Mapping and geolocation 

Your marketplace users will want to learn about the area they are moving to beforehand. To achieve this, you can integrate Zillow API that contains neighborhood boundaries, and a bunch of other APIs with the neighborhood and geographical information, including:    

  • GeoNames, a dataset that includes over 10 million geographical names
  • Google Places API that provides info about local businesses, such as restaurants, sports clubs, and supermarkets
  • MapBox to build your custom map with property listing, market data, videos, and photos. This tool also allows users to draw a polygon on the map for better search results. 

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View property

A detailed representation of property is one of the essential functions for real estate websites like Zillow. To show website users the excellent visualization of real estate objects, you can use: 

  • Photos
how to build a real estate website

[Source: Zillow]

  • Videos 
build your own real estate website

[Source: Zillow]

  • 3-D models 
  • 360° panoramic images
making a real estate website

[Source: Zillow]

Cloud infrastructure 

Since your real estate marketplace will include a considerable amount of high-quality photos, videos, and even 360° panoramic images, to keep all this data you need powerful hosting. Otherwise, you will face issues with image system scalability, performance, and disaster recovery challenges. 

In this case, the best option is to follow Zillow’s example and integrate a cloud-based infrastructure from the very beginning. As for Zillow, the company uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store over 100TB of data, over 1 billion objects, and 300 million images. “Maintaining an object count in the billions doesn’t work so well on a traditional file system. We would have to split those objects across many file systems, which would be a management nightmare. The scalability of Amazon S3 seemed like the right technology for us,” says Nick Michal, Unix systems engineering manager for Zillow Group.

Since you are now aware of the essential features of a real estate website, let’s find out how much it will cost. 


How much does a real estate website like Zillow cost

The development of a real estate website is a complex project, not only because of API’s integrations, but also because it includes different user roles, such as buyers, sellers, and admin. Therefore, the development team should build your real estate website for three types of users. To save you time and money, we recommend launching such projects as MVP, a website with only the main features. In this way, you can discover whether or not your business idea has to earn potential. Below, we have gathered the main features for building a real estate website MVP. 


Functions required




16 hours 

40 hours


450 hours


40 hours

User interface

Home page

– Search by the address

24 hours

24 hours

Menu bar

– Menu options

8 hours


– Account creation

– Registration

16 hours

16 hours


– Login by Facebook, Google

– Restore password

8 hours

20 hours

Search Results

– List of properties with images

24 hours

8 hours

Search filter

– Search filters (rent, sale, budget, home type)

16 hours

16 hours

Map for search results

– Google Map API integration

– Define the user’s location

16 hours

8 hours

Listing information about house/property

– Fill the information about the property

– Insert images

16 hours

16 hours

Applications for listed property

– Application details for listed properties

16 hours

Property page

– Information (static)

– Features (static)

24 hours

8 hours

Maps directions

– Direction to the property (only for authorized users)

Static pages( About us, help)

– Static text (not editable)

32 hours

System rules, authority rules

– Authorized users and non-authorized users have different

level of rights (directions to property)

User account/profile

– Edit profile, account

– User settings

– Applications

16 hours

40 hours

Real Estate Agent interface

Log In

– Login, logout, password recovery

– Account creation

8 hours

20 hours

Home page

– List of requests from users

24 hours

4 hours


– Requests details

– Requests from consumers

24 hours

20 hours

User account/profile

– Edit profile, account, settings

16 hours

8 hours

Contact Us

– Static text (not editable)

32 hours

Admin Panel

Admin Login

– Login

4 hours

List of users

– Manage the list of users

– Manage user information

16 hours

Property List

– Review the list of properties

4 hours

Property page

– Review information about properties

20 hours


Front-end from 786+ hours  

Back-end from 332+ hours

How to build the real estate marketplace with The App Solutions? 

Before we start making a real estate website MVP, we will launch the discovery (inception) phase, to explore and elaborate on the project idea. Moreover, we will also define the scope of the project and the possible solutions to be implemented. The main goal of the inspection phase is to identify the project’s scope and the requirements and create an Inception Technical Documentation, which may cost from $4000. 

Next, using technical documentation, the team will compose a list of requirements of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) features in the form of User Stories. The business analyst will clarify User Stories by splitting them into Use Cases Investigation and analysis of third-party system integrations. Then, we will start planning and projecting the future project MVP server architecture. When all these documents are ready, our team will launch the MVP development stage. 

The cost to create a real estate website MVP starts from $45,000, while the cost to build a real estate website with an integrated calendar, payment gateway, and other bells and whistles will cost from $100,000 to $200,000. 

However, the costs to develop a real estate app like Zillow are only approximate, because the final estimation of the real estate website will depend on website requirements and the number of features. 

To find out more about real estate website development costs, you are always welcome to contact us for a free quote

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