Nowadays when almost every brand that has a reputation to their name owns an Android native app version of their eCommerce, it makes you wonder if your business might need an app as well. And since you’re here, chances are you already know what you need—but not a firm grasp of what your final cost may look like.
That’s why we’re here to provide you with an in-depth look into the whole pricing process for your Android app. Without further ado, let’s dig right in:
Factors involved in the cost-estimating process of your Android app
First, we need to get something straight. There are a lot of factors involved in the cost-estimating process of your Android app, and the actual cost itself is calculated by the hours, as in hours that your developer(s) spent in the making of your app.
Here are some of the common factors that might affect your Android app cost, in a chronological order:
Visual design costs
This is the first step and also the most important step of your app’s development process. Wireframe is the visual architecture of your app which includes the physical layouts, arrangements of pages, and just everything that involves the process of displaying content on an app. Think of it as blueprints for your app development, which is vital for the next step of your app development which is Visual Design.
Depending on the complexity of each app screen design, it should take between 1 – 2 hours per unique screen and 20 – 30 minutes per subordinate screen.
Total cost for wireframe design: ~$700 - $2,500 (cost varies between regions)
Based on the previously designed wireframes of your app, the designer will then create your app’s User Interface (UI) which decides the overall looks of your app.
An attractive interface always deserves an investment—since we’re all visual creatures after all, and the fact that a well-designed UI can bring a whole new personality to your app is not something you’d want ignore.
Typically, an average app with no custom and complex screen can require an average of 87 hours of UI designing; and if there are custom screens with a lot of complex elements involved then it can require up to 210 hours of designing.
Total cost for UI design: $300 - $17,500 (cost varies between regions)
This is the part where the average app often skim on, partly because when budget is a concern, a bare-bone functional app is more ideal than an optimal user experience. However, this shouldn’t be something that store owners who care about conversion rates should ignore.
An optimal user experience, when properly designed to work with your app’s flow, provides a meaningful and affective experience for the end users, effectively increasing your app’s engagement rates.
Depending on the number of interactions involved in a project, as well as the complexity of which, the number of hours that your designer spends in the creation of your app’s UX flow can vary. On average, you should expect at least 30 hours of work spent in designing your app’s UX; and for more complicated apps with well-designed interactions and more eye-candy for the user, the number of hours spent can reach a number as high as 200 hours.
Total cost for UX design: $100 - $16,800 (cost varies between regions)
Without knowing all the requirements, it’s pretty hard to know for sure how much your entire visual design stage costs. The factors involved include the complexity of your design requests, whether there are requests for creations of custom icons and/or unique animations, etc. But to help you narrow it down, here are the usual costs for a visual design of your app:
Notes: – Based on the complexity of the projects involved, the costs can be higher
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It goes without saying that this is the part that affects your overall cost the most, since it’s the most time-consuming part after all. As with any decent solution provider, your app’s development stage will be handled by a dedicated team of developers, which will then be further divided into teams of back-end developers, front-end developers, and a testing team.
There are a number of factors involved in the pricing of your eCommerce app, depending on how advanced you want your app to be. For a simple eCommerce app with some basic functions such as app search, shopping cart, order placing, and payment information collection, the total development time varies between 600 and 900 hours.
To specify, you can take the following figures as references (do note that the figures are only approximations of the real-world development time):
Of course, these aren’t all the features that your eCommerce can integrate, but it’s pretty close to your average eCommerce app. If you take all the above features into account, it can take somewhere between $12,000 to $25,000 for the development phase of your typical eCommerce app, and upwards of $50,000 for a complex one.
Testing and deployment costs
To make sure everything goes over smoothly, your app needs to go through a series of tests to ensure its stability and usability. The testing and deployment phases shouldn’t be anything to worry about if your app is relatively small with a small number of users; but it’s an entirely another matter for apps that serve a large user base with requirements for advanced analytics and performance management.
In this phase, you can expect your dedicated team to spend at least 40 hours to test and deploy your app (if yours is a basic app) and up to over 500 hours total for larger apps with lots of complex logics.
Total cost for testing and deployment: $800 - $35,000
Other additional costs
There are, too, some additional costs involved in the development of your app. These are mostly some very minor and legal costs associated with licenses, equipment costs, as well as your app’s maintenance costs.
App Store Costs
For a leading platform for mobile apps, Google Play store is a rather inexpensive investment as users only need to pay a $25 registration fee in order to upload their app to the global app platform. In addition to the registration fee, Google Play also charges an extra 30% for their service. This service fee, however, can be minimized to as much as 15% for subscription-based apps. For more detailed information, do check out this article from Google themselves.
Updates & maintenance
Your apps require continuous updates and maintenance for full functionality and stability, which is why incorporating the long term costs of your app is often regarded as a playbook move, and failing to take this into account is a recipe for disaster.
It’s hard to say for sure what’s the precise update & maintenance cost for your app, but the general recommendation is that firms should allot a budget of around 20% of the total cost of development for maintenance every year—and that’s not including feature updates. For brands that want to make their names known, app updates can serve as a form of marketing strategy as they help users know that your business is active, cares about the user experience, and they bring an overall impression that your business is here to stay.
Total cost of other additional costs: A minimum of 15% of your app’s total cost.
Android apps can cost more owing to the range of devices and sizes the design has to be tailored to. Even with all the advancements over the last several years, it still takes quite a bit longer to build an app in Android than in iOS. This is called the Android tax.
There may be several other figures to take into account. Total costs are difficult to estimate because of the levels of variables involved but apart from development and design costs you only need to consider the fees charged by your platform and IT factors like servers and hosting.
In total, the average cost for developing an effective app for Google Android is usually between $40,000 and $200,000
It’s still worth it to reiterate that these are only the approximations of the final cost of your eCommerce app, and depending on each region’s developer rates, your final cost can widely vary as well.
A cost-effective solution
Faced with all these numbers, surely you’re wondering if there’s a cost-effective solution that can satisfy all your needs. To answer this question to all the Magento store owners looking to build an app out there, there is one—and it’s actually a solution without any catches.
Based in Vietnam, we pride ourselves on being a trusted solution provider for hundreds of Magento businesses from all kinds of industries worldwide. With our customer-first work ethics that puts your needs at the center of our development flow, we approach each and every of our projects with the attention and care that it deserves, aiming to give you the best value for your investment.
If you’re a Magento store owner in need of a cost-effective solution, don’t hesitate to hit us up for a free demo: