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How to build an on-demand delivery app for package tracking
Regardless of the approach and business model you choose, it takes time and determination, on top of solid technical expertise, to create an on-demand delivery app.
To save your money and nerves in the long run, consider the following steps when building your package tracking app.
1.Choose the business model
To start with, you should understand which business model works best in your case. As mentioned above, there are several options: the on-demand parcel delivery marketplace, a branded retailer shipping app (local), a postal service app like DPD, etc. The choice is yours.
To choose the right approach, consider your business specifics, your long-term goals, your audience, available resources, etc.
2. Define your business requirements and goals
Mobile app development is just one side of the coin. You need to understand the specifics, requirements, and opportunities of your business model, as well as the technical limitations of your app.
Think about the geography of your delivery service: Will it operate in just one city? Can you scale to cover the whole country? Or do you dare to launch worldwide?
Consider the parcel size, weight, and packaging type: shipping a small envelope is easy, but will you be able to handle a sofa delivery?
Which delivery type will you offer (e.g. by car, by bike, etc.)?
Each of the listed aspects will affect the app scope and its functionality.
3. Identify the right scope of features
Once you’ve covered the theoretical aspects, you can start thinking about the practical implementation of your concept. To start with, document and prioritize your requirements. In this case, creating a functional specification is a great way to set your requirements (and communicate them to your designers/developers).
While the scope and functionality of your product can vary depending on your business model and specifics, there are some basic features every parcel delivery tracking app should have. Here are just some of them.
For customer-facing parcel tracking app:
social media login
customer profile, including address and personal info, preferences, orders, payment data, etc.
optional: Add parcel manually (only for aggregators)
GPS-enabled parcel tracking system with a map view
real-time parcel management: the ability to change the destination address, the recipient or delivery time, etc.
in-app chat: the ability to get in touch with the courier or request help from support
payment gateway integration
courier ratings and reviews
For courier app:
Login (for a postal services app, using credentials provided by the manager)
Courier account, including personal info, user rating, in-app wallet, etc.
List of available orders filtered by location, time added, package size, etc. Alternatively, the system can use a matching algorithm and automatically assign an order to the closest courier with the option to accept/reject the order.
delivery status management – manual or automated
delivery status confirmation by the customer (e.g. with a signature or by scanning a QR code generated by the customer app)
in-app messaging: ability to contact the customer and discuss the details of the delivery time/location.
completed orders history
Regardless of the business model or app type, you need to have an admin panel with extended access rights. Using this dashboard, you can jump in and resolve any issues that may arise with the parcels. You can also integrate a third-party analytics tool to track your app usage and learn about user behavior.
For large-scale logistics apps, there should be an option to integrate with the existing warehouse management system.
Now, as you know exactly what you need, it’s time to think about how to build your on-demand delivery app.
As with any other app, on-demand package delivery app development includes UI/UX design, engineering, and testing. This is a pretty standard process. What might differ, however, is the tech stack you choose and the tools you use along the way.
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