Today, business owners of all sizes focus on upgrading their eCommerce app experience as more customers turn online to purchase whatever they need.
Are you one who wants to boost your business growth by joining the eCommerce market? But don’t know how much it costs to build an e-Commerce app.
We’ve answered for you. Read the blog to find out what is an e-commerce app, the cost to build an e-commerce app, and what factors affect the development cost.
What is an E-Commerce App?
An E-Commerce app is an online shopping or mobile app that enables your targeted customers to browse, purchase, and conduct transactions for products or services directly from their smartphones or tablets.
These apps provide a user-friendly interface, showcasing various products with detailed descriptions, images, and prices. Users can easily add items to their carts, proceed to checkout, and make payments securely within the app.
eCommerce apps are typically connected to an online store or website operated by a business or individual, and the inventory and product details are synced between the app and the website. This integration ensures that customers have a seamless shopping experience across different platforms.
Growing Popularity of an E-commerce App
In 2019, the global eCommerce market size was around 9.09 trillion. The market is expected to grow at 14.7% of CAGR between 2020 to 2027.
The e-commerce market has experienced significant growth in recent years, and this growth was further accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and social distancing measures drove more consumers to shop online, leading to a surge in eCommerce transactions across various sectors.
In 2021, eCommerce market sales reached around 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars. This figure is predicted to increase by 56%, making sales reach around 8.1 trillion dollars by 2026.
Alibaba is the top eCommerce retailer globally. The sales made by the company were around 700 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. However, it’s predicted that Amazon will surpass Alibaba in sales. By 2027, Amazon is forecasted to make approximately 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in online sales.
Mobile commerce accounted for a significant portion of eCommerce sales, with more than half of online purchases made through mobile devices. Customers expect a seamless purchase experience across multiple channels, like online stores, mobile apps, social media platforms, and physical stores.
The growing popularity is encouraging businesses to invest in eCommerce platforms. If you are one among them looking to take your business online, App For Store can help you with eCommerce app designing and development. Developers and designers can work for you to fulfill all your eCommerce app development needs.
Still confused about whether to move ahead or how much it costs to build an eCommerce app and whether it would be worth investing. Then we can clear all your doubts. Let’s check different factors that affect the development cost and more.
Cost to Build an E-Commerce App: Top Factors to Consider
The cost to build an eCommerce app varies widely based on several factors. Here are a few key aspects that can influence the development cost:
Features and Complexity
The feature number and complexity you want in your eCommerce app significantly determine the cost.
Basic features like product listing, search, shopping cart, and payment integration will cost less than more advanced features like user reviews, recommendations, social sharing, and personalized user experiences. Check the table to know how much it costs to build an e-commerce app with additional features:
|Feature||Basic App||Moderate App||Complex App|
|Product Listing||$1,000 – $10,000+||$1,000 – $10,000+||$1,000 – $10,000+|
|Shopping Cart||$1,000 – $10,000+||$1,000 – $10,000+||$1,000 – $10,000+|
|Checkout||$1,000 – $10,000+||$1,000 – $10,000+||$1,000 – $10,000+|
|User Account Management||N/A||$5,000 – $20,000+||$10,000 – $30,000+|
|Product Recommendations||N/A||$5,000 – $20,000+||$10,000 – $30,000+|
|Social Media Integration||N/A||$10,000 – $20,000+||$20,000 – $30,000+|
|Inventory Management||N/A||N/A||$30,000 – $50,000+|
|Multi-Language Support||N/A||N/A||$20,000 – $30,000+|
|Multi-Vendor Support||N/A||N/A||$30,000 – $50,000+|
|Integration with ERP/CRM||N/A||N/A||$50,000 – $100,000+|
Design and User Experience
The complexity of the app’s design, user interface (UI), and user experience (UX) can impact the cost. A straightforward design costs less than a custom, highly interactive, and visually rich design.
Platform and Devices
The cost can differ based on your target platform (iOS, Android, web) and the devices you want to support (smartphones, tablets, desktops). Developing multiple platforms and devices will increase the development time and cost.
The choice of programming languages, frameworks, and third-party tools can affect the development cost. Using specialized technologies or opting for a more complex tech stack might increase the overall expenses.
Integration and Third-party Services
Integrating third-party services like payment gateways, shipping providers, analytics tools, and social media APIs can add to the cost. Each integration requires time and effort to set up and test.
If your eCommerce app deals with sensitive user information, payment details, or personal data, it will need robust security measures. Implementing encryption, authentication, and other security features can increase development costs.
Designing the app to handle a growing number of users and products will involve building a scalable architecture. Implementing load balancing, database optimization, and caching features can impact the cost.
Testing & Quality Assurance
Testing is vital to ensure the app functions correctly, while Quality assurance (QA) efforts, including manual testing, automated testing, and bug fixing, contribute to the overall cost.
If you require a high level of customization to match your brand’s identity and specific requirements, the development time and cost will increase.
Development Team Geographical Location
The hourly rates of development teams vary depending on their geographical location. Teams in regions with higher living costs and more outstanding expertise might charge more.
Project Management and Communication
Efficient project management and clear communication are crucial for successful app development. It might increase the cost if you need regular updates, communication, and project tracking.
You should adhere to specific regulations and standards depending on your industry and location. Ensuring compliance can add extra development efforts.
Post-Launch Support and Maintenance
The cost isn’t limited to development; you’ll also need to budget for post-launch support, updates, and maintenance.
Breakdown of Different Costs to Build an E-Commerce App
It’s important to clearly understand your requirements and priorities before starting app development. Consider creating a detailed project scope and working closely with a development team to get accurate cost estimates. Check the table below to look breakdown of the different costs of building an e-commerce app:
|Cost Category||iOS App||Android App|
|App Design||$1,000 – $20,000+||$1,000 – $15,000+|
|App Development||$25,000 – $100,000+||$10,000 – $70,000+|
|Payment Gateway Integration||$1000 – $20,000+||$1000 – $5,000+|
|Maintenance and Upgrades||$2,000 – $15,000+||$2,000 – $15,000+|
Keep in mind that while cutting costs might be tempting, investing in quality mobile app development can lead to a more prosperous and user-friendly eCommerce app in the long run.
Average Cost to Build an E-Commerce App: According to Business Size
The cost to build an e-commerce app can also differ based on the business size and its specific requirements. Here’s a breakdown of how prices differ for different business sizes:
Single Platform or Basic E-Commerce App
For a basic eCommerce app with essential features (product listing, search, shopping cart, basic payment integration) developed for a single platform (iOS or Android), you might be looking at a starting cost of around $20,000 to $50,000.
Advanced E-Commerce App
For a more advanced eCommerce app with additional features (user reviews, recommendations, social sharing, personalized user experiences), iOS and Android platform support, and potentially more complex integrations, the cost could range from $50,000 to $150,000 or more.
Cost to Build an eCommerce App: According to Development Approaches
Want to know the cost of building an e-commerce app based on different development approaches, such as hiring a freelancer, working with a development company, or opting for an in-house team? Check other methods right below:
Hiring a Freelancer
- Potentially lower hourly rates compared to agencies.
- Direct communication with the developer.
- Flexibility in hiring for specific tasks.
- Limited expertise and resources for complex projects.
- Might lack the complete skill set needed for end-to-end development.
- Less accountability and project management.
Freelancers usually charge by the hour or project. Rates can differ depending on their location and experience. A basic eCommerce app could cost around $10,000 to $40,000 or more, while more complex apps could cost upwards of $50,000.
Working with a Development Company
- Diverse skill sets and expertise for comprehensive app development.
- Project management and well-defined processes.
- Usually better equipped to handle scalability and complex features.
- Higher costs compared to freelancers due to overhead and resources.
- Potential communication challenges if not managed properly.
Development companies often provide detailed project estimates. For a mid-range eCommerce app, costs might range from $25,000 to $150,000, depending on the complexity. This typically includes development, design, testing, and potentially initial support.
- Complete control over the development process.
- Direct communication and collaboration within your team.
- Good understanding of your business needs.
- Higher long-term costs due to salaries, benefits, and infrastructure.
- Recruiting and retaining skilled developers can be challenging.
- Slower development process compared to specialized agencies.
The costs of in-house development can be substantial. Beyond salaries and benefits for developers, you’ll need to consider overhead costs, technology investments, ongoing training, and more. Depending on the complexity, a mid-range eCommerce app developed in-house could cost anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 or more.
Hybrid Approach (Freelancers + In-house or Agency)
- Combining the strengths of freelancers or a smaller agency for specific tasks while using in-house developers or a more prominent agency for more complex aspects.
- Can provide a balance between cost efficiency and expertise.
- Requires effective project management to ensure smooth collaboration.
This approach can offer a range of costs depending on the proportion of work done by freelancers, in-house, or agencies. Costs might start from $30,000 and can scale upwards based on the balance you strike between the different resources.
Using an App Builder
- No coding skills are required. Non-technical users can also use it.
- Faster development process due to pre-built templates and components.
- Generally lower upfront costs compared to custom development.
- A simplified user interface for designing and adding basic functionalities.
- Limited customization options beyond what the builder provides.
- It might not accommodate complex or unique features.
- Limited scalability, especially for rapid business growth.
- Potential limitations in design and user experience.
App builders often have subscription models or one-time purchase options. The cost can differ based on the development platform and features you choose. Monthly subscription costs range from $50 to $300 or more, while one-time purchases range from $200 to $1,000.
When considering the development approach, keep in mind that the costs mentioned are approximate and can vary based on the factors discussed earlier. Evaluating the trade-offs between cost, expertise, control, and project management is essential to make a better decision that aligns with your business goals.
The cost of building an E-commerce app can vary significantly based on numerous factors and considerations. From our exploration of the various components involved, it’s evident that the development cost encompasses several key elements, such as app design, development, features, platform compatibility, and ongoing maintenance.
A basic E-commerce app with essential features could cost around $20,000 to $50,000 on a rough estimate. As the complexity of features, user interactions, and design elements increases, the cost can escalate to anywhere between $50,000 to $150,000 for a mid-range app. For large-scale, enterprise-level E-commerce apps with advanced features, integration with complex systems, and high-end design, the cost might surpass $150,000.
It’s crucial to remember that these figures are approximate and can differ based on factors such as the development team’s rates, geographical location, technology stack, third-party integrations, and post-launch support requirements.
Ultimately, deciding how much to invest in your E-commerce app should align with your business goals, target audience, and long-term vision. Prioritizing user experience, security, and scalability will contribute to the app’s success and value in the competitive E-commerce landscape. While the initial investment might seem substantial, a well-crafted E-commerce app has the potential to yield significant returns and position your business for growth in the digital marketplace.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What factors contribute to the cost of building an E-commerce app?
The cost varies based on complexity, design, features, platform, third-party integrations, and developer rates.
2. How long does it take to develop an E-commerce app?
Basic apps: 3-5 months.
Complex apps: 6-9+ months.
Timelines depend on features and testing.
3. Can I update or expand my E-commerce app after the initial development?
Yes, apps can be updated, improved, and expanded post-launch for bug fixes, new features, and scaling.
4. How do I ensure the security of customer data in my E-commerce app?
Use encryption, secure payment gateways, follow industry standards (like PCI DSS), and conduct security audits.
5. Should I go for a native app or a cross-platform solution for my e-commerce business?
Native offers performance, while cross-platform is cost-effective. Choose based on audience and business goals.