I don’t understand whether it’s our ‘love’ for technology or our ‘endearment’ for lethargy, we, the consumers of today, can’t stay away from ordering stuff online. Whether it’s a great thing or a bad one, I don’t know. I am currently in no mood to suit up and dive deep into the Mariana bay of people’s mindset of buying goods. Offline or online, it’s their choice.
I am not a big fan of those ‘online limited-time’ deals, however, a good portion of 21st century’s population can’t resist when a see a digital banner shouting - “FLAT 50% off” or something like that. And that is what actually attracts entrepreneurs. A real businessman sees benefits where most people don’t. And today, the online retail industry is one such thing.
Thanks to some top eCommerce app development companies, the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store are now flooding with mCommerce (mobile e-commerce) applications. Some of them look good and are doing great in terms of consumer happiness and ROI.
No wonder if you too buckled up to develop an eCommerce app to rival the giants or present your unique idea to millions of buyers lurking around the internet to ‘buy’ stuff they desire. If you are not solidly dipped into the ocean of eCommerce app development technologies, chances are, you might still be ‘asking around’ to gain insights on the development costs, features, APIs, and everything that it requires to make an app a success.
If that’s the case, this article is for you. I will discuss the basic, essential, and enterprise-grade features of building an eCommerce app with the estimated cost required to develop one. Afterall one gets what one pays for. However, there are certain moments when that doesn’t happen. Take those $2.5 million watches for example. My $50 watch shows the same time. Anyway, let’s jump back on the topic. Read this little dictionary out before we advance to estimation and functionality of your to-be-developed online store application:
1. Native Mobile App
Mobile apps that have been developed for specific mobile devices or operating system to interact well with the system and put the available system resources to use in an optimum way. For example, an app developed just for Android will be called as a native one.
2. Cross-Platform Mobile App
Cross-platform apps are developed using cross-platform app development frameworks and technologies such as CSS and HTML which in turns, enables them to run on multiple platforms such as Android and iOS.
3. Web-Based Apps
Unlike general mobile applications, web-based apps don’t have to be downloaded (at least fully) to function. They can simply run on the web browser.
4. Hybrid Apps
A hybrid app can either be native or cross-platform. The thing that actually makes them different, is their mechanism to run websites on their inbuilt browsers. HTML and CSS components are used to add browser-like functioning to a mobile app.
App Store Cost
The fees of Apple App Store and Google Play Store are different. Google takes a one time fee of $25 for each app you upload. On the other hand, the App Store’s annual rent is $99.
Per Hour Developer Cost for eCommerce App
Development costs in some countries such as India can be way cheaper than the first world. However, if you don’t want to compromise with the security and code of your application, a skilled developer can cost you anywhere between $30 - $150. Hiring a company instead of a freelancer developer is highly recommend because that way you get an all-round development that combines the programming, UI designing, testing, and maintenance.
Development firms are more reliable as they protect your idea, stay liable for any loophole in coding and security, and the most importantly - frequent updation. Apart from a cheap development, hiring a freelancer doesn’t offer you anything flaunt-worthy.
Total Development Cost by Features
A basic eCommerce application will have the following entry-level features:
- Basic level UI
- Registration & login through email and password
- User profile
- Ratings and reviews
- Push notifications
- Shopping cart
- Transaction Tracking
- Payment API integration
Cost of Development: $5,000 - $30,000
A cross-platform App for both Android and iOS will come with the following features:
- All the features of the basic level app plus
- Engaging UI
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+)
- Tags, ratings and review sorting
- Advanced search
- Catchy app icon
- Cloud Syncing
Cost of Development: $20,000 - $90,000
At this level, you will actually seek incoming business from all directions. Hence, you would need to develop a web-based & hybrid application with an extreme level of security and user data protection. Here’s the list of the additional features of an enterprise-level eCommerce application:
- All the features of an intermediate-level app plus
- Highly interactive & personalized UI
- Social media login (LinkedIn, Instagram, GitHub)
- Device sensor data
- Barcodes or QR codes
- Auto order confirmation
- Advanced multi-vendor handling
- Social sharing
- Payment processing
- Crash Reporting
- Multilingual Support
- APIs: Third party services, SMS messaging, phone number masking
- Two-factor authentication
Cost of Development: $50,000 - $1,50,000
So that was pretty much the breakdown of what the development cost would be on different levels. The more budget you have the better app you get to begin with. However, a great number of applications ended up being generating millions of revenues in the later phases. So, it doesn’t matter whether you start small or big.