How Much Does Custom Retail App Development Cost?

Updated on Jan 22nd, 2024

Retail App Development Cost

The world is moving towards digital platforms at a much faster pace, and so is true for the global industries. With 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world, the industries are also adapting the mobile app development technology to reach a higher number of audiences. One such app that has gained a huge market today is the retail app. The retail app development market is touching heights and all thanks to its immense benefits in businesses. 

As per research, mobile apps usage grew to nearly 6% in a year, but the retail apps grew to a whopping 54% in the same year. Additionally, almost 80% of smartphone users in the USA alone use at least 1 retail app for online shopping. The effects of the COVID19 pandemic further facilitated the growth of retail apps amongst the common people. 

How is Retail App Useful for Your Business?

It is no doubt that with the growth in smartphone users and advancements in the mobile development sector, the global industry began shifting towards mobile apps. Today, there won’t be any person who would not use a mobile app for a multitude of purposes be it education, entertainment, socializing, etc. That’s where mobile apps come into play!

According to research by Google, almost 58% of the people use smartphones today to compare products, monitor prices and make the best purchasing decisions. Furthermore, the retail apps are the primary sources of exploring latest deals, new products, and much more. Additionally, the use of digital payments further enhanced the overall shopping experience of the users, and that’s why the revenues for retail app development rose to great heights.(Source: Statista)


Besides benefiting the users, retail apps also benefit the marketers alike. Here are a few benefits that you as a business may get while investing in retail app development:

  • The retail apps keep increasing your brand value and maintain them in the global market.
  • It engages your customers in an effective way by providing mobile-first experience.
  • Features like voice-search, image-search, and digital payments could only be offered with the help of a retail app.
  • Having a dedicated app also allows you to seamlessly connect with your users and provide them with personalized services. Not to mention, personalization is the key to success in today’s competitive world.
  • The app’s loading time is much faster than a website.
  • With advanced analytics capability, a dedicated retail app can offer you better insights into customer preferences and market trends. 
  • Last but not least, since all your competitors are either doing it or will be investing in retail app development, so why not you!

In short, people today prefer to use retail apps for online shopping rather than visiting physical stores or using websites! That’s the main reason why every marketer today is investing in retail app development! So, why wait for your competitors to leverage this golden opportunity when you can be a part of the trend! From features to cost, in today’s article, we will be covering everything about retail app development. Read on to know more!

Brands that have Invested in Retail App Development

Before initiating the development process of retail apps, it is first vital to know who all are big players in the market? Retail apps are not new in the global market, the concept has been long leveraged by many eCommerce businesses that become a top brand with time. Here we will be covering the top four brands that have been using retail apps for quite some time now!

1. Walmart


Well, who doesn’t know Walmart? Almost one-third of the US people visit the stores of this company. Walmart retail app has been helping the customers for quite some time now to do smart shopping.  With its dedicated app, the shoppers can quickly explore and purchase the products, link their credit cards, and scan the barcode to get the price of the products. Moreover, the Walmart retail app even enables the users to refill and transfer any prescriptions from other pharmacies to its own store.   

2. Sephora


Another big name that is ruling the market with a retail app is Sephora. Sephora is a cosmetic retailer that has invested in retail app development to offer enhanced shopping experience to their customers. The customers using their mobile app can seamlessly access different products, reviews, and beauty tips with their smartphones. 

Another crucial feature that has been offered by Sephora retail app is virtual try-on. Meaning, the users can virtually try different cosmetic products on them to find out which one suits them the best! 



With Augmented Reality, IKEA has opened new doors for online users. IKEA, a leading name in the home furnishing market, has invested in retail app development that is equipped with AR technology. That means, now, the users can virtually check how a certain chair or sofa set will look in their living rooms. Besides creating engagement, these types of retail apps also help to enhance the user’s shopping experience. 

4. Amazon


Last but not least, we have amazon, the great e-commerce giant! As their tagline says, the users can get nearly every product from A to Z, so does their retail app. Amazon’s retail app helps the users to explore all the products, sales, and even personalized discounts directly from their smartphones. Moreover, every new user even gets some amazing offers only on their mobile app. 

So, as evident, the leading brands in the retail market have already invested in the retail app development, and so they are reaping the benefits. When are you planning to get started with a retail app? 

Retail App Development – How to Create One?

Now that you are convinced enough to invest in retail app development, here’s the complete procedure for developing the best retail app for your business. Let’s dive in to know more!

1. Identify your Goals and Audience

The first and foremost aspect when developing a retail application is to identify and analyze your project goals. You need to have a clear idea of what your target audience is and how your concept will solve their problem. In your case, your target audience will be all those people who prefer doing online shopping. People who prefer using websites or any other mobile apps for online shopping might be your target audience. 

No, once you have recognized your target audience, the next step should be to analyze how your app will benefit them. Only thorough survey and market research could help you achieve that. Besides that, here are certain crucial questions that you may ask yourself before investing in retail app development.

  • Who exactly are your app’s audiences? 
  • Will your app be specific to a certain location, age, or gender?
  • What are the exact customer problems that will be solved by your app?
  • Are there any unique features that make your retail app stand apart from other available apps? 
  • Should you provide offline functionality in your retail app development?
  • Do you need a different team to manage your retail app?

There are many questions like that which you need to answer before beginning with retail app development. Once you get answers to all such questions, the project’s image will be much clearer before you! 

2. Select a Proper Development Platform

The next big step that must be considered before initiating the retail app development is selecting a proper development platform. Now that you have analyzed your business goals and your target audience, you might have an idea of the best platform. That means you might now know what type of mobile devices your audience is using, viz. Android, iOS, Windows, or so on. 

On the basis of that, you could easily choose the best development model whichever suits your business goals. Apart from that, if you have a mixed ratio of the people using the android and iOS version, then you can even opt for cross-platform app development, to satisfy the needs of both the users. In cross-platform apps, you get the benefits of both the platforms and hence you can target more number of customers easily. 

3. Hire the Best App Developers

Once you have finalized the technology stack for your retail app development, it is now time to hire the best development team. Now here, you have two main options, either go for an in-house development team, or outsource a reliable mobile app development company. While both these options have their certain benefits, it is much wiser to go for an outsourced development team. Why? That’s because of the following reasons:

  • If you are new to the development market, then it is certain that you will initially have a lot of problems in hiring the best developers
  • You will be needing to invest a lot of resources in the hiring process, and then on the management part.
  • Once you are done with the development process, the updates on your app will not go very often. Hence, you will not be needing the development team for a large part of the time.

As evident from the above points, in-house development team may be a good option initially, but not after that. Hence, you should always go for a reliable mobile app development team, as they would have an idea of the latest technologies that are trending in the market.

Moreover, an outsourced firm will even provide you with out-of-the-box ideas to make your retail app stand apart from the crowd. 


4. Features are Important

Features always play a crucial role when it comes to digital solutions. Be it a web application, or even a mobile app development, exceptional features surely make your app engaging and effective for users. 

That’s why here we have listed the best features that you should consider when investing in retail app development.



Log In/Sign Up The users can seamlessly log in or can create their profiles while using basic details like name, contact details, email and a unique password.
Smart Search With the use of AI tools, you can enable various smart search options to your users like voice-based searches, image searches, and much more.
QR Code Scanner The customers need not to type the keywords for every product. Instead, they can use QR scan options to find the price and specifications of any product directly through their mobile devices.
Filters and Sorting The users can sort the products using many filters like on the basis of price, availability, gender, color, and much more.
Wishlist If any user does not want to buy the product right now, then they can save it for later purchase by using the wishlist feature in your retail app.
Rewards and Loyalty Points You can offer special rewards and loyalty points to your valuable retail app users using this particular functionality.
Push Notifications You can send the latest updates of your retail stores, products, or any special discounts directly to specific users using push notification feature.
Digital Payments Offering digital payment methods to your users is very crucial and profitable in today’s digital era. The user can pay directly from their mobile-payment apps for the products.
Guest Checkout If you want to enhance the shopping experience, the guest checkout is a sure-shot way to do that. The users can buy any product without registering on your app as guests.
Advertising Using the iBeacons services, you can simply advertise your retail app to the specific customers once they are in your bluetooth reach. 
Admin Panel A basic admin panel from where you can manage users, payments, and revenues even sitting remotely. 
Customer Service Lastly, to solve all your customer queries, we can offer a customer service panel that could be managed using a chatbot.

Apart from all those features mentioned above, we have many more advanced features that can be considered in retail app development. However, as a leading mobile app development company, we would suggest you to go for basic features like these during the initial phase and then opt for advanced features as you grow up. 

Have more confusion? Reach our experts to get all your answers!

5. Invest well in UI/UX

Another big aspect that must be taken care of while planning to develop the best retail app is UI/UX. For all those who are new to the mobile app development market, UI stands for user-interface, and UX stands for user experience. Both these aspects have great value in today’s competitive world. For instance, even if you have all the advanced features, and they are not accessible by the users, then they are of no use. 

To have an intuitive design, you must provide a simple yet engaging interface to all your app users. They must have an idea of where to go next, or where they will land in after clicking a certain button. All that can only be achieved if you hire UX/UI designers from a trusted and experienced software engineering firm.

Additional Resource: Top 7 Tips to Hire the Best UI/UX Designer

6. Privacy and Security Should be Strong

Cybersecurity has always been a crucial issue since the inception of the digital market, and with time, this issue has only increased! The major Yahoo’s platform hacking that took place in 2014 is the best example of the above saying. Since your retail app development will include your user’s critical data, it becomes critical for you to have the best security and privacy tools integrated in your app. 

Investing in the best security tools and policies is always the best way to ensure that none of your critical data is being hacked or stolen by any fraudster. For that, you can either connect with a cybersecurity expert or can even contact a certified cybersecurity software company. Apart from that, little things like opting for cloud-based solutions could also help you protect your data safely. 

You can even contact your retail app development company to know more about security and privacy issues!

7. Don’t Forget the Testing

Last but not least, we have testing of the retail app. Testing has always been a crucial part of the mobile app development process as it detects the faults in your app which were overlooked during the development process. However, despite such importance, many marketers eliminate this crucial step in retail app development, and so, they suffer afterwards.

The users within a few days of using their retail app begin experiencing glitches and eventually, their brand image gets affected. So, the best way to avoid that in your case is to opt for testing. Additionally, nowadays, automated testing is in great demand. With automated testing, you do not need many resources, as the system will automatically detect even the slightest of bugs in your retail app. Plus, it would even provide suggestions to eliminate those bugs. 

For testing, you can either ask your retail app development company whether they provide this facility or not, or else you can hire a freelancer tester for that. A reliable and experienced mobile app development company always provides a testing facility when developing an application.

What is the Cost of Developing a Retail App?

So, here we are at the most awaited section of our article, the cost of developing a retail app! Now, just like other on-demand applications, the cost of retail app development also depends on many crucial factors. These factors not only impact the overall cost but also affect the development process. To name a few, we have:

  • Project Management Cost

To manage your project and the development team, you will be needing a project manager. Although some of the applications may not require a project manager, as the developers and testers can manage by themselves, it solely depends on the nature of your app.

  • Development cost

It covers the cost of designing and developing your application which is generally taken by the developers and designers. 

  • App Maintenance Cost

Once you have deployed your application, there are certain post-sales services that are needed to keep the app updated and in trend. So all that cost is covered under this category.

  • Tech Stack

The type of technologies you select for your retail app development will greatly influence the cost of your app. 

  • Size and Complexity of the App

Lastly, the size and complexity of your app will also impact the overall cost of retail app development. For instance, if you select many advanced features, then the cost will definitely increase along with its effectiveness. 

Apart from all these factors mentioned above, there are many more like testing costs, backend infrastructure, and much more that affects the overall cost of development. To get an exact idea of the retail app development, you can anytime visit our experts. We will be happy to answer all your queries.

How Can We Help?

We, at Matellio, are a leading brand when it comes to mobile app development. With hundreds of certified developers and testers, we ensure to cater to every need of your business in the most cost-effective manner. Whether big or small, our certified and reliable techies promise to provide you with a smooth and error-free application to fulfil all your business and customer needs. Hire app developers today!

Got more questions? Reach us today, and get answers to all your questions. Plus, get a free expert consultation on your next big app idea. So, hurry Up!

Till then, Happy Reading!

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