How Much Does It Cost to Develop an eCommerce App in 2023?
Updated on Mar 23rd, 2023
2023 is an exciting time for the eCommerce app industry. The past few years have witnessed huge growth in eCommerce services and the use of mobile apps. In fact, as per the latest reports, the global mobile application market size grew up to USD 206.73 billion, and the eCommerce market is up by USD 5.7 trillion. As such, many keen investors are looking to invest in eCommerce app development to make the most of the time and grow their returns multifold. However, when it comes to increasing ROI, eCommerce app development cost plays a vital role. Today, we will uncover the various factors to help you calculate how much does it cost to develop an eCommerce app in 2023.
- The cost of developing an eCommerce app depends on various factors, including the type of technologies and platforms used, the number of features and functionalities, and the use of next-gen technologies.
- The cost of developing an eCommerce app can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Testing should be done regularly to ensure that the app is functioning optimally.
- It is important to choose the hiring model that best meets your project and business needs and budget.
Table of Contents
Factors and Constituents to Consider in eCommerce App Development Cost
The cost of eCommerce app development can vary depending on factors like the complexity of the project, the type of technology used, the platform it is built for, and the experience of the team working on it. In general, the more complex an eCommerce app development project gets, the higher its cost will be.
The Platform for the eCommerce App
The mobile platform of an eCommerce app also affects its development prices. Majorly there are two kinds of platforms one should consider while calculating the cost of eCommerce app development- Android and iOS. Both platforms offer a wide range of features and tools for developing and launching an eCommerce app. Additionally, a hybrid app development approach can also be used, which combines both native and web technologies for a cross-platform experience.
Technologies Used for the eCommerce App Development
The cost of developing an eCommerce app will vary depending on the technologies used. Generally speaking, the more complex technologies used, the more complex the app and the higher the development cost. Additionally, using cloud computing or serverless architecture can also add to the cost. Other factors such as custom interface design, content management system, payment gateway integration, and third-party integrations can also affect the development cost.
The programming language used for eCommerce mobile app development plays a vital role in deciding the budget of the production cycle. Often the selection of programming language depends on the platform of the mobile app.
When you hire mobile app developers to build an eCommerce app, they do not write programs on IDEs for software development. They use frameworks instead, that offer a comprehensive set of tools and components specifically to create mobile apps quickly and efficiently.
Frameworks often include libraries of pre-built components and code samples that help developers to focus on the core features of the eCommerce app. Frameworks also provide structure and best practices that help developers ensure their app is secure and reliable. Additionally, frameworks provide tools for debugging, testing, and deploying mobile apps, helping to ensure a smooth development process. As such, it is crucial to include frameworks while budgeting for an eCommerce app development.
Now frameworks affect the cost of eCommerce mobile app development in a few different ways. First, some frameworks are open-source and free to use, which can drive down the cost of development. Secondly, some mobile app development frameworks, like Adobe PhoneGap, Sencha Touch, and Kony, have high license fees. Now these frameworks, though expensive, may still bring down the development cost if the app in question is of greater scale. All these frameworks are popular for their enterprise-level features, which expedite the development process and help in generating better ROI.
Also Read: Build IoT based eCommerce App
Just like frameworks, the database management system used in the backend of the eCommerce mobile app also affects its overall development cost. The primary cost involved here is the licensing fee of the DBMS solution. Other than that, the complexity of the database, which depends on whether the data to be stored is of the structured, semi-structured, or unstructured type, also plays a vital role. The other factors involved here include that integration and maintenance. In the end, the database engineers you hire to create, manage, update, and integrate the eCommerce database with your mobile app also contribute to the final cost.
Payment gateways are the third-party tools responsible for handling and processing user payments. Usually, there are a number of payment gateways that are trusted by users across the globe, and it’s considered ideal to use these channels instead of investing in a custom one when one is just starting their journey into the eCommerce realm. In either case, you’ll have to budget for either the custom payment channel and digital wallet or to integrate the third-party one. This includes the integration fee or development hours, usage fee, and the regular transaction fee associated with the chosen payment gateway channel.
For example, PayPal is the most popular payment processing tool that is free to set up. It only charges a fee of up to 3.49% per order and an additional fixed price of 49 cents per transaction. Similarly, another popular payment channel, Stripe, charges a fee of up to 4.3% and 25 cents per transaction. In addition to that, it also charges a $15 monthly fee for account maintenance. Authorize.Net charges a monthly fee of USD 25 plus a fee of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.
Using any of these payment processing services will add to the overall cost of an eCommerce mobile app, if not at the time of development, then at the time when the app begins to function. Regardless, it is important to consider all the payment processing charges when you’re budgeting for eCommerce mobile app development costs.
For any eCommerce mobile app to function fully, integration with shipping solutions is a must. These solutions help in calculating the total order price by adding the shipping charges. They also help customers in tracking the status of their orders. Since most eCommerce companies depend on third-party carriers, the additional cost of integration and services fee needs to be budgeted for while calculating the complete cost of eCommerce mobile app development. In addition to that, the eCommerce app may feature functionalities like a shipping calculator and real-time tracking solution, both of which require extra development time and resources, resulting in an increase in the overall cost of the project. The final constituent of the shipping solution will also vary on other factors like the number of countries and languages supported, the level of customization required, and the complexity of the user interface.
Next-Gen Technology Implementation (AI, AR/VR, chatbot)
As mentioned above, the cost of developing an eCommerce app depends highly on the technologies and tools used. However, the most significant effect on cost occurs when you use advanced technologies like AI/ML, Big data analytics, cloud computing, and AR. These can significantly increase the development cost as they require specialized expertise and often expensive software.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) can have a significant impact on the development costs of eCommerce apps. By hiring a AI development company, retailers can create a more efficient and cost-effective shopping experience for customers. They can automate processes like product recommendations, inventory management, fraud prevention, customer segmentation, and customer services. While these improvements can lead to increased sales and offset the development costs, they are going to increase the development time and resources significantly, adding to the overall app development cost. Usually, an AI developer charges anywhere between 44 to 52 USD per hour. Now, depending on the complexity of the feature and libraries to be used, the overall cost can range between 22,000 to 1,00,000 USD.
Big Data Analytics
An extension of machine learning, Big data analytics, can also have a significant impact on the development cost for eCommerce mobile apps. Big data analytics allow for more detailed insights into user behavior, allowing developers to better understand how users interact with their apps and make necessary changes accordingly.
By leveraging big data analytics, developers can save time and money by being able to quickly identify and address user needs, reduce development costs, and increase the efficiency of their eCommerce applications. Additionally, by using big data analytics, businesses can gain more accurate and detailed insights into customer buying habits, allowing them to make better decisions about product pricing and discounts. As a result, implementing big data analytics tools in the development lifecycle and the backend of the eCommerce app can increase the development cost but can bring significant improvements in the ROI of the app. In the US, you can easily find Big Data professionals at an hourly wage of 39 to 50 USD.
Cloud computing and related services, too, can significantly add to the development cost for eCommerce apps. Cloud services such as virtual machines, databases, and storage can be used to quickly scale applications and provide additional flexibility. They can also provide additional security services such as intrusion detection and prevention, encryption, and secure storage. What more, you can also get additional development tools to speed up the development time and reduce the overall costs. With this, the net effect of adding cloud computing features and functionalities to the development lifecycle and even post-deployment of the app will reduce the eCommerce mobile app development cost. Still, the hourly pay of cloud professionals, which ranges between 20 to 100 USD per hour, must be considered when opting for the technology for development costs.
Another next-gen feature that ultimately results in higher engagement and conversion rates is AR or Augmented reality. This feature allows users to see the product they intend to buy in a real-life scenario. For example, if a user is interested in buying a pair of earrings, they can virtually try them on before placing the order. Since it is a rather intricate feature, it adds to the complexity of coding and testing an eCommerce app. Such AR features also require additional hardware components and specialized software tools, which could further increase the cost. In general, an AR feature can cost you anywhere between an additional 5,000 to 50,000 USD, depending upon the complexity of the feature.
Crucial Features to Include in the eCommerce App
The cost of an eCommerce app depends heavily on the complexity of its features. Basic features such as a shopping cart, payment gateway integration, security & authentication, product management, search & filtering, mobile app support, and push notifications all take significant development time and thus affect the overall cost.
This feature allows customers to add items to their virtual cart and then eventually proceed to check out. Now some shopping carts are only used to take customers from the online retail store to the final checkout page, while others are complex enough to allow customers to add additional coupon discounts and raise notifications when someone hasn’t finished the checkout procedure. Some may even suggest additional discounts, preferred payment methods, and other offers once there are relevant products in the cart. Therefore, depending on the complexity of the feature, it can cost up to hundreds of US dollars.
It’s important for any eCommerce mobile app to offer easy sign-in and sign-up options so that regular customers need not fill in their shipping and payment details. As such, the feature for creating and managing user accounts in a secure way is a must. Now depending on how much personalization and omnichannel experience you wish to offer to your customers, the cost of this feature can range verily.
Product Search Bar
Not all customers have the time to browse through your entire catalog. This is especially true if you’re hosting multiple categories and products on your website. As such, a product search bar can help you retain and engage more customers and eventually get more sales too. The cost to develop this feature, too, depends on its complexity.
A simple search will only allow customers to find relevant products through unique product IDs or product tags. A more complex version will allow them to find relevant products without even typing their entire name. Search bars can also be made intelligent to predict what the customer is most likely to look for based on their browsing history and shopping patterns.
This feature allows eCommerce owners to dedicate a complete screen to a particular product. This will showcase the product image, its textual description, ratings and reviews, maximum selling price, discounted price, and estimated delivery timeline. Depending on the level of personalization you want to offer, you can also choose to use this page to cross-sell similar products and upsell fitting combinations. Since all these details need to be fetched from different databases and through different channels, this feature alone can bring huge variations in the development cost.
Yet another must-have feature for eCommerce stores dealing in multiple categories of products. This is the place where users can see all the products on the website that fall into the category they have selected. These categories can be named in the navigation menu of the online mobile store. For easier navigation, this feature can be embedded with product filtering and sorting. It will allow users to browse products by category, price, brand, size, and other attributes, making it easier for them to find the specific products they are looking for.
Push notifications are also important for any eCommerce mobile app as they can increase engagement and conversion rates. By reminding customers about their abandoned carts and notifying them of exclusive and running offers, eCommerce mobile stores can bring users on the app screens multiple times, even when they are not planning to do so. Since this is an additional feature used to improve the revenue of an mCommerce store, you can skip this one altogether. But if you do decide to go ahead with it will cost you around 5,000 to 10,000 USD.
Method of Hiring the Development Services
There are several methods of hire dedicated developers and extensive development services for eCommerce app, and each of them will affect the cost of the project differently.
This is the most expensive method of hiring development services for eCommerce apps as it requires professionals to be present at the office or workplace. The cost of onsite services depends on the duration of the project, the number of resources needed, and the skill level of the professionals. But more importantly, it takes into account the cost of assets’ acquisition, maintenance, the space to deploy them, and the remuneration of the resources hired. Since this model of hiring involves everything and then some more in the development cost, it becomes the least cost-effective.
The turnkey is the type of project development model that is built as a whole to be sold to the buyer. For an eCommerce app, a turnkey project is when the investor hires a mobile app development company for a while and gets the app completely developed and deployed by them. Here the investors will do nothing but receive the completed project in the agreed-upon milestones and pay for the same. This is ideal for retailers who have negligible technological experience but sufficient opportunity and budget to take their online store to the mobile app stores.
Dedicated Resources Hiring
When you use this model of hiring for your eCommerce mobile app project, you’re either hiring an individual or a team of individuals professionals for your project. This model is ideal when you already have some resources and are looking for a specialized skill set. Through this model, you can hire project managers, UI/UX engineers, testers, AI/ML developers, big data specialists, cloud engineers, or AR developers. You can even hire distinct professionals for Android and iOS app development services. Since this model can include any number and combination of different professionals, all you have to include is the remuneration of the resources hired and the license fee of the software to be used. Mostly, you can utilize this model by simply hiring a staff augmentation company with eCommerce app development expertise and experience in next-gen technologies like AI/ML, cloud, and AR/VR.
Additional Services to Include in Your eCommerce App Development Budget
When budgeting for an eCommerce app development project, the developers’ remuneration and tools aren’t the only expenses to account for. You also need to consider the cost of additional services such as testing, maintenance, user experience design, and deployment. Here’s a brief overview of how all these different services affect the overall cost of development.
Firstly, the net effect of DevOps helps in reducing the cost of development by enabling teams to work more quickly and efficiently. It reduces the amount of time needed to set up and configure the development environment and thus speeds up the development process to reduce the overall cost of the project. That being said, the services of DevOps don’t come free of cost. It includes the cost of hiring a DevOps engineer, cloud-based hosting, and the tools and software necessary to implement the DevOps methodology. In addition, it may also include the cost of training the development team to work on DevOps methodology.
Manual and automation testing is an important part of the eCommerce app development lifecycle, which most people tend not to account for. Testing is essential to ensure that the app is functioning as intended and is secure for the users. It also helps developers identify and fix any potential issues before they can create major app failures or security breaches. Since, with eCommerce, users will have their payment channels saved, ensuring the security and seamless functionality of the app is crucial. In general, functional, usability, security, and compatibility testing can range from a few hundred US dollars to several thousand.
Maintenance and Support
Maintenance and support are essential to the success of any eCommerce app development project. It ensures the app functions properly and commits transactions and other related tasks seamlessly. Maintenance and support services can also help in identifying and fixing any potential issues that may arise post the deployment of the app. For all these benefits, you may have to pay around 20% of the original development cost per year. Depending on the features and complexity of the eCommerce app, the cost of maintaining it may get higher.
Investing in UI/UX for an eCommerce app is important if you want your users to have a great experience using your app and eventually have more engagement and conversions on it. A good UI/UX will ensure that your customers have a pleasant experience while navigating through your eCommerce app. This includes making sure the app is easy and intuitive to use, has eye-pleasing visuals, and is functioning as it’s supposed, even under high pressure. A well-designed UI/UX can help to increase customer loyalty and, eventually, revenues, but it doesn’t free of cost. Generally, UI/UX experts charge USD 40 to USD 55 per hour for their services. Now depending on the complexity of the app and the features included, they may have to spend a few hours to weeks on its design.
The cost of eCommerce app development can vary greatly depending on a number of factors like features, technologies used, the platform of the app, use of next-gen technologies, and additional services like quality assurance and user experience optimization. Depending on these factors, an eCommerce app can be developed in the price range of a couple of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of US dollars. However, this range is still too cryptic. If you really do want to know the actual cost of your eCommerce mobile app, the easiest thing to do is to request a quote for the same. You can do so by simply filling out this form. Matellio, one of the leading mobile app development companies with a forte in eCommerce and next-gen technologies, lets you request a free quotation for your project. We even offer a consultation call to understand your requirements and perform market analysis for you, too, all for no cost at all.
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