How Quick Delivery of Zepto, Blinkit & Swiggy Works?

Quick delivery

A highly popular trend that emerged in the post-pandemic era was quick commerce. All thanks to the busy lifestyle of folks that led to its huge success. Quick commerce (commonly known as Quick Delivery) is a unique business model. Here, the delivery of goods and services is done within 10-30 minutes of ordering. You may wonder how Zepto delivery works or how Blinkit or Swiggy Instamart deliver the goods so quickly.

Quick delivery

Quite convenient. Right? 

If you run out of groceries, just order them and you will get them within half an hour in the comfort zone of your home. You won’t even need to come out of your house to wander through the local market or hop through multiple shops or grocery stores. Companies have successfully exploited your addiction to such convenience to expand their business. Some of the famous companies that have thrived in their business by implementing quick delivery are Zepto, Blinkit, and Swiggy (Instamart). 

Don’t you wonder how the quick delivery of Zepto, Blinkit, and Swiggy works? In this article, we will take a look at the quick delivery mechanisms of these companies. 

Key Factors responsible for Quick Delivery Mechanism

Quick delivery of products is possible only with the smooth coordination of certain factors. It typically works by streamlining the delivery process to reduce the time it takes for a package to be transported from the sender to the recipient. The harmonious synergy of the following key factors aids in the delivery of the products or commodities. That you order online and expect it to land on your doorstep within thirty minutes.    


The internet is the kingpin of the quick delivery mechanism of Zepto, Blinkit, as well as Swiggy Instamart. Well, it is obvious because the internet is the backbone of e-commerce companies. All kinds of dealings like buying/selling commodities, payment gateways, order tracking, etc. occur on the internet. Those companies efficiently utilize the internet to execute their business.

Dark Stores

Now coming to the second key player- “Dark Stores.” As the name suggests, these are the stores that serve as the warehouses of the companies where the products are stored for delivery but are not open to the public. Although it resembles a conventional brick & mortar store. But you cannot directly walk in to buy the products offline. You may wonder how Zepto delivery works. Zepto and Blinkit hugely rely on dark stores to execute quick commerce. The former has over 80 completely owned dark stores while the latter has over 400 seller-owned dark stores all over India. Companies have to put in extra effort and investments to operate and maintain dark stores. 

how zepto delivery works

Fresh groceries, veggies, and other products that are bought from bulk distributors are stored in dark stores. They effectively utilize AI-powered technology to perform various tasks like order placement, mapping traffic-free routes, etc.

Collaboration with grocery stores

Do you know that all companies do not rely on dark stores for quick delivery? One such prime examples are Swiggy Instamart and Blinkit!  They operate on a marketplace model! They do not have any self-owned dark stores or warehouses. Then how does it store the products to be delivered? You may wonder. To your surprise, it never stores any product. Instead, Swiggy Instamart has collaborated with different local grocery stores and merchants in the city to create a network of seller-owned dark stores. It delivers orders by buying (picking up) the products from those partnered stores. It is a bit different from how Zepto delivery works.

This tie-up system enables them to reach the local grocery stores and deliver the orders to you within 10-30 minutes. Thus, they make profits from the partnered stores by charging a commission on each order.

Fast Processing

Here, the order placed by the customer is packaged, processed, and prepared for shipping. It is done within an hour after you place an order. The fast processing of the order usually takes place in dark stores or distribution centers. Once the product is completely processed, it is assigned to the fastest available shipping option. 

Strategic Location & Delivery Network

The distribution centers are strategically located to reduce the traveling distance. Eventually, it significantly reduces the delivery time too! Usually, the companies have contractual delivery partners to expand their delivery network. 

Real-time Tracking

The real-time tracking feature is the cherry on top of the quick delivery system. Both the sender and recipient can track the package in real-time. Also, the sender can quickly address delays or any issues regarding the delivery. 

Details Zepto, Blinkit, Swiggy Instamart Quick Delivery System

By now you have got an overview of the factors responsible for an effective quick delivery system. Although, these factors are more or less similar for the three leading companies associated with quick delivery i.e. Zepto, Blinkit, and Swiggy instamart. There are differences too. Now let’s look into the distinct features of their quick delivery system.

FeaturesZeptoBlinkitSwiggy Instamart
Launch dateApril 2021December 2013August 2020
Parent companyZeptoZomatoSwiggy
Prime productsGroceries, snacks, beverages, vegetables, fruits, dry rations, cleaning items, dairy products, personal care items, etc.Groceries, Chicken, Meat, Fish, Baby care food, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, beverages, pet care foods, etc.Groceries, cooking essentials, fruits & vegetables, bakery items, personal care, beverages, munchies, meal, baby care, snacks, personal care, instant foods, etc.
Estimated delivery time10 minutes10-30 minutes30-45 minutes
Dark Stores80 (self-owned)400 (Seller owned)150 (Seller owned)
Business ModelDark store ModelMarketplace business modelMarketplace business model & Hub and Spoke distribution model
Delivery ChargesINR 35.00 for orders under INR 99.00INR 9.00 to INR 30.00 (depending on the peak hours of the day)INR 15.00 for orders below INR 49.00

As you know, Zepto, Blinkit, and Swiggy are all different companies offering different services. Therefore, the speed of delivery can vary depending on various factors such as-

  • Location
  • Distance
  • Traffic
  • Availability of delivery personnel and partners
  • Mode of transportation


how zepto delivery works

It works in the quick commerce segment of India. This segment will answer your query of “How Zepto delivery works?” The effective business model of Zepto is highly responsible for the quick delivery system. Once you place an order on the Zepto app, they will pack up and process the order in their dark stores.  Even though they claim the delivery time is 10 minutes. But an average delivery time can vary depending on the distance of the delivery location from the pickup point, the type of item being delivered, and the availability of delivery personnel. Typically, Zepto delivers orders within 10-25 minutes of the order being placed.

Usage of AI

Zepto uses advanced AI-powered technology to perform various tasks ranging from placement of orders, packaging the products, and mapping the traffic-free routes for quick delivery routes.  AI-powered technology is the key reason for the smooth working of Zepto. It utilizes location intelligence and geospatial data to determine the target population/audience, geographical location of the customers, patterns of roads, traffic dynamics (to select the roads having less traffic/crowd), supply availability (availability of the products that the customer ordered), weather conditions (for instance, heavy rainfall may disrupt the product delivery), etc. That’s how Zepto delivery works.


Quick delivery

As it showcases itself, this grocery delivery part of Zomato is a last-mile delivery company that specializes in delivering goods and packages to customers on the same day. Typically, Blinkit aims to deliver within an hour of the order being placed. Blinkit has been most promising lately in terms of speed. They charge a delivery fee no matter how big the order is but mostly deliver within 10 minutes (especially in the Gurugram area). The journey of your order from the warehouse to your doorstep is accompanied by the latest technologies like geocoder, Google optimization tools, and Open Source Routing Machines (OSRM). Here is the description-


Geocoding is an essential part of Blinkit’s logistics to identify the location of the customer and to build an optimal delivery route. A geocoder provides accurate drop locations that lead to quicker deliveries. It also cleans up the addresses of the customers to find more accurate delivery destinations.

Route generating tools

Google optimization tools and OSRM solve the combinatorial optimization problem and calculate the distances. They aid in the planning of logical routes with low traffic to deliver the order as quickly as possible. Thus, it pre-determines the route and time for delivery. 

Swiggy Instamart

Swiggy instamart

Swiggy Instamart has already declared to deliver your order within 15-45 minutes (from 7 am to 1 am). This part of Swiggy delivers this highly convenient service with the help of its seller-owned dark stores and a hub-and-spoke configuration of micro-fulfillment pods.

Hub and spoke distribution model of Swiggy Instamart

how zepto delivery works

This model effectively satisfies consumers with faster deliveries. It is a centralized warehousing and shipment system. You will find its resemblance to the structure of a bicycle wheel. The center of the wheel represents the distribution center whereas the spokes represent the delivery destinations. 

Final Thoughts

All of these companies strive to deliver as quickly as possible while ensuring that the delivery is made safely and efficiently. So, the quick delivery services fulfill their objective of quickly delivering the packages by utilizing a combination of technology, logistics, and partnerships. 

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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