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How Much Does it Cost to Build an E-commerce App?

The mobile commerce industry is rapidly growing and presents a significant market opportunity for those interested in developing a mobile commerce app. With the right approach, there is great potential to turn your app into a profitable venture.

However, building a successful mobile commerce app can take time and effort. This is why it is important to understand the different cost factors for e-commerce app development. With the right budgeting, making a successful footprint in the mobile commerce industry is relatively easy.

How much is the cost to develop an app for your e-commerce store? Here we explain how much an e-commerce app project costs and the key factors to consider.

Selecting the Features First

When developing an ecommerce app, it's crucial to carefully prioritize the features of your choice as they can significantly impact the overall price of app development. To make the most of your budget, it's best to give priority to the essential features and gradually, through updates, incorporate the advanced ones.

  • Customer Login: One of the fundamental features of a mobile commerce app is the customer login. You can offer a guest login or allow users to register using their email or social media credentials. To enhance user experience, including a customer onboarding page or short tutorial is a good idea to help users navigate the app quickly.
  • Filter-Rich Product Search: A search function with many easy filtering options is crucial for any mobile commerce app. Users should be able to use various filters and search terms to find exactly what they're looking for.
  • Push Notifications: An essential feature for an e-commerce app is push notifications that can occasionally send users alerts, message offers, and promotions.
  • A Product Catalog: This is where most of the action happens regarding customer engagement and business conversion. Therefore, it's essential to have a well-designed product page that's user-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • User-Generated Content: You must include a product review and rating feature that allows users to share their experiences and opinions about the products.
  • An Integrated Payment Processing Solution: There should be a variety of payment options that are efficient and secure.
  • Shopping Cart: The cart is there to help users to add items they want to purchase.
  • Order Tracking: Allowing customers to track orders and delivery is crucial to give them autonomy and peace of mind. Users should receive a summary of their order and have the ability to track the delivery status.

Advanced features ranging from voice chatbot support and GPS location tracking are increasingly becoming common. Still, it's essential to remember that these advanced features can significantly increase the development cost for the initial release.

So, prioritize the essential features and gradually work towards more advanced ones based on user feedback. This incremental development is the best approach to building a successful e-commerce app without going overboard in budget.

Cross-Platform or Native and iOS or Android

When developing a mobile commerce app, you must be precise about which operating system (OS) platform you use. Deciding between iOS, Android, or both will significantly impact the development cost. It's also important to consider the dominant OS in your target audience market.

Choosing the right OS platform for your target audience is also essential. For example, if your target audience primarily uses Apple devices, then iOS would be the best choice for your app. Alternatively, if you target a market where Android devices are more commonly used, developing for Android would be the better option.

Moreover, the complexity of the app features and functionalities can also affect the development cost. For instance, the development cost can increase significantly if you need to integrate complex payment processing options or location-based services. It's important to carefully evaluate your app's feature requirements and prioritize them to balance development costs and user experience.

The Location of the Development Team

When building an e-commerce app, where you are hiring developers is a crucial cost factor. The location from where you are hiring developers can significantly impact the overall development cost.

Hiring local developers can be costlier than outsourcing the app development work to offshore or nearshore developers. For example, developers based in North America or Europe may charge higher hourly rates than those based in South Asia or Eastern Europe.

However, it's important to note that hiring developers from offshore or nearshore locations can also have some potential drawbacks. For instance, communication and time zone differences can create challenges regarding project management, collaboration, and delivery timelines.

Therefore, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons of hiring developers from different locations and choose the option that fits your budget and project requirements.

Hiring and Engagement Models

Last but not the least impactful factor for mobile commerce app cost is the chosen hiring and engagement model. When selecting hiring and engagement models for an e-commerce app project consider the following.

  • By hiring app developers to work from your office, you have limited exposure and cost bargains.
  • If you hire remote developers to work from their premises, this can give you better cost bargains.
  • When you hire developers to work both off-site and on-site, there is greater flexibility and wider scope to make the best bargains.

What is the Actual e-Commerce App Development Cost?

An e-commerce app with essential features like customer login, filter-rich search function, push notifications, product catalog, reviews and ratings, shopping cart, e-payment channels, and order tracking can cost $20,000 to $50,000. And the way for you to use your costs in the most effective way, look to the developers, the leading e-commerce app development companies.

Over to You

Developing an e-commerce app can involve a significant investment, but the potential return on investment is also high. The so-called cost-intensive advanced features can add to the mobile app development cost but may also provide a competitive edge in the market. So, striking the right balance between the two is essential.


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Victor Martin

Victor Martin



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26 Jan 2017



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

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