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How Much is the Average Cost of Ecommerce App Development?

18 Mar 21  

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Fazmeena Faisal


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“Let me see if they have an app” would be among the first thoughts that come to your mind when you think of shopping from an online platform.

It is true! Mobile apps have become that ingrained in our lives today.

People expect everything to have a mobile application.

And thanks to this, mobile e-commerce is on the rise.

The need to create an e-commerce application is more imminent now than ever.

A question that runs in the mind of every client when they think about e-commerce app development is “how much does it cost to create an e-commerce application?”

In this blog, we will take care of that question for you.

By the end of the reading, we hope we will clear all your doubts, and you will be ready to take the next step towards developing an e-commerce app for your solution.

But before we look at the cost of e-commerce app development, let us see the benefits of having an e-commerce application.

Benefits of Having a Feature-Rich Mobile Application for E-commerce Business

Mobile apps for e-commerce business, more appropriately called m-commerce apps, play a significant role in improving sales.

Research shows that 9 out of 10 customers walk around with their smartphone in their hands at all times. Today, people are more likely to make purchases on mobile than on computers.

Making a responsive website is definitely a solution to this, but there are certain advantages that mobile applications offer, which cannot be experienced otherwise.

What are the benefits of e-commerce applications? Let us take a look.

1. Satisfactory User Experience

A responsive website is comparatively slow to load. They simply can’t compete with quick displays and fast loading like mobile apps.

2. Use of Smartphone Hardware

Unlike websites, apps can access smartphone hardware like camera, geolocation, etc. Access to geolocation helps to provide a more personalized and efficient shopping experience to users.

3. Notifications

Mobile apps allow you to provide push notifications to users. Push notifications are a great tool to attract customers and make them open the app. Notifications about offers, limited deals, etc., are a great strategy to increase sales.

4. Visibility

If you have an m-commerce app on your phone, the chances are that you will open it once at least during a day. When users open an app and see interesting products or deals, they start browsing and end up buying something, most times.

5. More Conversions

Research shows people who browse through mobile apps view more products compared to website users and complete more transactions successfully.

6. App Analytics

By collecting data through apps and analyzing them, businesses can understand consumer behavior. This helps them to personalize product offers and which increases user engagement and improves their satisfaction.

Thus we see how mobile apps play a great role in generating sales and increasing customer retention.

Factors that Determine the Cost of E-commerce App Development

It is difficult to give a universal answer to the question, “what is the cost of e-commerce app development?”

Although all apps come under a broad umbrella of “e-commerce applications”, each app may have its own differences in features, design, etc.

So, several factors influence the cost of e-commerce app development. What are these, and what is the extent of their influences, let’s try and understand.

1. The Platform

It is an important decision you need to make before going forward with app development. To make this decision, you need to consider parameters like your target demographics, audience, expected market reach, etc. The cost of your e-commerce app development will vary depending on the mobile app development framework you finalize. 

Your application can either be a native app, web-based app, or hybrid app. The most popular platforms in today’s market are Android and iOS. You can choose your app to be Android or iOS, or you can go for cross-platform app development for an app that can run on both Android and iOS. 

2. Developer Location

The rate for mobile app development varies in different geographical locations. Usually, the developers charge on a per hour basis. Complex applications require more hours as compared to basic apps. E-commerce applications require some time to develop, so development time is a substantial factor that affects the cost.

Generally, the app developer rate is high in countries like the USA, Canada, and Australia, ranging between $100- $200 per hour. The rate is comparatively cheaper in Asian and Eastern European countries. For example, in India, app development starts in the range of $15-$30 per hour. This is one of the reasons why outsource app development is popular in India. 

3. App Design

The visual impression that an app creates is essential for an e-commerce application. Therefore, app design is one factor that’s unavoidable in e-commerce app development. The app design comprises several sections like logo design, screen design, icon design, etc. Depending on the extent of branding or customization you want to do, the cost of building an e-commerce app will change.

4. App Features

The features are what defines the app and determine its level of complexity. It depends on the mobile app ideas you have in mind.

You can choose to build an e-commerce app with just basic features for it to be cost-effective. However, for your app to stand out and make a mark among competitors, you might have to integrate some advanced features as well.

As the number and complexity of features increases, the cost of e-commerce app development also increases.

Some basic features that are considered as a standard requirement for e-commerce apps include:

  • User login/registration
  • Product catalogues
  • Payment gateway
  • Order and tracking
  • Checkout

With these basic features, a simple e-commerce application can be built to market your products to target customers.

Besides these basic features, some advanced features that will help to elevate your ecommerce application are:

  • Social media integration
  • Push notification
  • In-app chat
  • Product search and filter
  • Product reviews
  • Guest checkout
  • Multiple payment options
  • Wish listing

And the list will go on growing according to the latest mobile app development trends.

Integrating these advanced features will increase the cost of building e-commerce apps. It is also possible to create a mobile app with basic features initially and update them with advanced features as your business grows and expands.

5. App Maintenance

This is one of the invisible factors that determine the cost of e-commerce app development. We often don’t think about it at the beginning of the app development journey. However, it is an unavoidable aspect for the successful running of apps for a long period. 

The platforms we build the app on, like Android or iOS, undergo system updates at specific intervals. When that happens, for your app to operate perfectly according to the new platform updates, it might also need to be updated. So it is important to consider this aspect as well while estimating the cost to develop an app.

The Cost of Building an E-commerce Application

After reading the last section, you will have an idea about the various factors that play a role in the cost of e-commerce app development. Now, let us talk numbers and see how these factors translate into the cost.

1. Wireframe Costs

One of the first and very important steps of mobile app development is the creation of wireframes.

Wondering what a wireframe is? Imagine it as a blueprint of your mobile app.

A wireframe will give a detailed layout of app screens and arrangements and other visual elements like buttons, icons, etc.

Usually, the mobile app development services will create multiple wireframes and finalize one after discussion with the client.

When it comes to wireframe costs, it is calculated depending on the number of screens and the complexity of each screen. 

Creating a wireframe for a unique screen might take 1-2 hours, and a supporting screen may take half an hour.

And as I mentioned before, developers charge on an hourly basis.

So wireframe costs for apps with 2-3 screens go up to $500, and for more screens, they may vary between $1500 to $2500.

2. UI/UX Design Costs

The next step after wireframe creation is the development of UI and UX design.

It is very important for an e-commerce application as it has a significant role in attracting and retaining customers and improving conversion rates.

The UI design also varies depending on the platform of app development. Android development follows a guide called Materials Design, while iOS follows Human Interaction Design. This plays a part in the cost of app development.

The UI design takes care of visual details like buttons, font, animations, etc. An average app with simple screens may take about 90 hours of UI designing.

The UX design deals with providing an optimal user experience by taking care of workflows, interactions, etc. A simple UX design may take up to 30 hours on average.

Thus the average cost of UI/UX design starts from $2000 to $2500. It may go up to $30,000 for high complexity applications.

3. Development Costs

A significant part of the cost of e-commerce app development is its development cost.

It is the stage where apps take shape through codes.

Depending on the complexity of your application, the number and skill of developers are decided. And the total number of developers will determine the development cost.

The time frame for developing an e-commerce application with basic features comes around 600 to 900 hours.

Generally, the development cost for building a typical e-commerce application ranges between $10000 to $30000.

Depending on the advanced feature integrations and complexity of the app, the cost can go up to $80000.

Here, the geographical location of the development team plays a big part in the cost. So, to reduce the cost of development, you can hire mobile app developers from Asian or Eastern European countries.

4. Testing and Deployment costs

There is nothing worse than when you launch an app, and it happens to be full of bugs! Not only will you stop gaining new customers, but you will also lose existing customers!

That is why testing is an integral part of app development.

Testing ensures that your app is usable and has no bugs or issues.

The extent of testing depends upon the size of the e-commerce application.

Complex applications with advanced features designed for a large target audience base would need more extensive testing than small applications intended for a limited user base.

Testing time usually comes around 12-15% of app development time. So, if the app development time is 600 hours, testing would require 90 hours. 

Testing and deployment cost comes to $1000 to $20000 on average.

5. Additional Costs

Other than the costs we discussed so far, some minor costs also occur during e-commerce app development. These are platform license costs, equipment costs, maintenance costs, database and server costs, etc.

Marketing and advertising costs also are a notable aspect of e-commerce app development.

Let’s look at some of the additional costs.

5.1. Google Play/App Store Costs

This cost can be seen as the registration cost for launching your mobile app to the corresponding app store. Google has a one-time registration fee of $25, and Apple has an entry fee of $99 for one year. Besides that, both platforms also take service charges for in-app payments. For Google, it is 30% of the app’s total revenue, while for apple, it is 15%.

 5.2. Updates and Maintenance

Updates and maintenance are required for an app throughout its lifecycle. Though it is difficult to give a precise cost for this, generally, 15% to 20% of the total cost of app development is seen to be required for update and maintenance every year.

5.3. Hosting Costs

The hosting costs for an e-commerce platform is another important additional cost. First search for available domains, then depending on the domain you choose and the extent of services you avail, the hosting cost would vary between $20 to $1000 per month.

5.4. Payment Gateway Cost

For integrating a payment gateway, there is an additional cost depending on the service provider. It usually ranges from 1.5% – 3% of the transaction cost.

5.5. SMS Gateway Cost

To enable sending and receiving of SMS through e-commerce apps, SMS gateway needs to be integrated. The cost of it comes to about 20 paise per SMS.

5.6. Domain + SSL + Email services

These services require an additional cost of $30 per year. For eCommerce web app development, a code signing certificate will be useful as it assures code integrity and hashing and encryption makes software secure and legitimate.

6. Total Cost

After reading the previous sections, I hope you gained an understanding of the different costs associated with ecommerce app development

On average, we can say that the total cost of building an ecommerce app ranges between $30,000 to $200,000. This depends on the app complexity, features, and all the factors that we already saw in the earlier part of this blog. 

A Cost-Effective Solution by Mindster

Are all these big numbers making you rethink your decision for e-commerce app development? Worry not – because we have a cost-effective solution that will satisfy all your needs.

Mindster’s white-label app solutions provide the perfect proposal for your business. They require comparatively smaller investment, are faster and easier to develop, and also have minimum maintenance post-release. 

Our white label solution for e-commerce app development called MiGrocery app is highly customizable and feature-rich. 

The total cost of e-commerce app development using this white-label solution will come to $3500 for Android, iOS, and web portal, along with backend admin panel and Android delivery boy app. 

Mindster has built several mobile app solutions for e-commerce businesses in various verticals using white label app development services. We are a trusted and reliable mobile app development company with years of experience and expertise. If you want to build an ecommerce app for your business, get in touch with us today and let’s discuss it further.

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