Zepto Business Model – How it Works and Generates Revenue


Zepto Business Model – How it Works and Generates Revenue

The pandemic significantly boosted the popularity of online grocery delivery. This shift in consumer behavior has led to the emergence of numerous delivery businesses, including Zepto, which aims to meet the growing demand for fast delivery services. If you’re considering entering this market, understanding the Zepto business model is essential.

Online grocery delivery is a rapidly expanding sector, with the market valued at $2.9 billion in 2020. Between 2021 and 2028, it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.1%, driven by changing lifestyles, a tech-savvy generation, and increasing urbanization.

Launched in April 2021, Zepto quickly gained popularity. Let’s delve into what Zepto is, how it operates, and how it generates revenue.

What is Zepto?

Zepto is a fast-growing grocery delivery platform in India that promises to deliver groceries to your doorstep within 10 minutes, much faster than competitors offering 30-minute delivery times.

Zepto’s Business Model: The Dark Store Concept

By 2025, the Indian e-grocery market is expected to reach approximately $24 billion. The online grocery penetration, which was less than 1% recently, is forecasted to reach 3 to 5%. Key drivers include lower-tier consumption, rising incomes, eCommerce penetration, a young population, and increasing affluence. Zepto’s business model, developed by a pair of teenagers, leverages the Dark Store concept.

Dark Stores are distribution centers that are not open to the public but are crucial for fulfilling online orders. These small warehouses allow Zepto to fill orders accurately and offer same-day delivery, in-store pickup, and online shopping options. The ability to deliver over 2,500 items in just 10 minutes has been central to Zepto’s rapid success, fostering strong customer loyalty.

Using the Dark Store model, Zepto meets the growing demand for quick grocery deliveries and has become one of the fastest-growing startups in the sector.

Benefits of Zepto’s Business Model

The founders of Zepto were inspired to create the company during the pandemic, recognizing a gap in the market for fast grocery delivery services. Their model offers several advantages:

  • Faster Delivery and Enhanced Distribution: The Dark Store model enables Zepto to fulfill multiple orders quickly. Micro and cold warehouses bring groceries closer to customers, enhancing distribution efficiency.
  • Increased Customer Reach: Cloud technology makes distribution hubs accessible, allowing customers to enjoy 24/7 online services.
  • Contactless Shopping: Dark Stores support contactless shopping, a significant advantage during the pandemic, enabling customers to shop for groceries without visiting physical stores.
  • Improved Product Assortment and Inventory Management: Zepto’s AI-powered platform ensures efficient inventory control and product assortment, handling large order volumes without customer interference.

How Zepto Works

Zepto operates around 100 micro-fulfillment centers or dark stores located in high-demand areas. These stores utilize advanced technology to manage product placement, optimize delivery routes, and finalize store locations.

Zepto offers nearly 2,500 items, including fresh produce, personal care products, cooking essentials, home cleaning supplies, and snacks. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Browse Products: Customers download the Zepto app or visit the website to view available products.
  2. Place Order: After registering and logging in, customers can place their orders.
  3. Order Processing: Nearby dark stores receive order notifications.
  4. Packing: Store staff pack the items.
  5. Delivery: A delivery partner picks up the order and delivers it to the customer’s doorstep.
  6. Payment and Feedback: Customers complete the payment and can provide feedback on the service.

Zepto’s Future Plans

Zepto aims to expand its customer base, hire more staff for smooth operations, and open additional dark stores. The company plans to extend its services to more countries and cover about 100 pin codes, continuing to innovate with its rapid delivery model.

Unique Selling Features of Zepto

Zepto differentiates itself by offering free shipping and exceptionally fast delivery times, with a record of delivering in 8 minutes and 47 seconds. This strategy sets it apart from competitors like Amazon Fresh and Instacart, attracting a large customer base.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Zepto do? Zepto is a Mumbai-based grocery delivery service that delivers groceries within 10 minutes.
  • How many users does Zepto have? Over 10 million people use Zepto for grocery delivery.
  • Who is the CEO of Zepto? The founder of Zepto is Aadit Palicha.
  • What is Zepto’s tagline? “Grocery deliveries in 10 minutes. Ordered grocery items will be delivered in 10 minutes or less.”


The grocery delivery industry has been transformed by the advent of ultra-fast delivery services. Companies like Swiggy, Instamart, and BigBasket are also aiming to achieve 15-minute delivery times. Zepto entered the market at a pivotal moment and has achieved remarkable success.