App development often starts with the question, “How much does it cost to build an app?”. App cost calculation is primary in business development strategy. However, to answer this question, we should go through a complex formula of calculation. This process covers all the factors that influence the final price of the mobile app. Here is an up-to-date survey for app costs in 2022.
Reasons to Invest in App Development for Your Business
Mobile application is not simply an entertainment product but a powerful tool for business development. Today there are over 3,2 billion smartphone users, i.e, potential mobile app users and consumers. It is expected that by 2023 global app revenue will generate $935 billion through in-app purchases and paid downloads. Investing in mobile app development in 2022 may be a significant step as a business strategy that contributes to business development projects.
1. Get the Wider Audience Engagement
The mobile app proved to generate higher traffic than websites. For a present-day consumer, it is more comfortable and faster to search for information through mobile. Therefore, the mobile app is a big step to get consumer engagement and consumer retention.
2. Increase Accessibility
The digital presence of a business is a must in today’s reality, but what about getting even closer to your customer by putting your business in his pocket? A customer-friendly application stuffed with all the must-have functions is the winning business development strategy.
No less significant advantages of investing in app development are:
- Value creation
- Brand recognition
- Better customer service
How Is Business App Development Cost Calculated?
App development is a complex process that takes hours of teamwork. Every single function of the final product may influence the price. That is why the initial stage of app development is the project alignment with the stakeholders to identify the MVP (minimum viable product).
MVP has just enough features needed to meet the goal of the application and deliver user satisfaction. After defining MVP and calculating app development cost, we can proceed with MLP (minimum lovable product) to make the app unique.
Together with the stakeholders, the development team goes through the following stages of alignment:
- Gathering requirements
- Market and competitor analysis
- Defining project scope
- Cost estimation
App Cost Calculator
Project Complexity x Hourly Rates = App Development Cost
Nevertheless, the simple formula may still not estimate the app development cost unless all the factors driving the final price are not identified.
How Much Does It Cost to Make an App for Your Business
Recent research reports reveal the cost to make an app for your business can be anything from $20,000 to $250,000.
The next step of app development cost calculation is defining all the factors that influence the final cost. Analyzing all the components, we have come with the top 7 main cost drivers when building an app.
1. App Development Team
So, the success of the projects depends on a number of factors, and one of the most crucial ones is the choice of the app development team with relevant knowledge and skills. As a cornerstone in the project, it is the top cost driver as well. The price may vary not only depending on the expertise of the company but also its location.
This table clearly shows the hourly rates of software engineers through regions.
|US and Canada||50$-250$|
|Western European and the UK||35$-170$|
2. App Features
At the initial stages of app development, only the top essential features are included in the list that comprises the minimum viable product. In the next steps of upgrading MVP, each new feature will change the price of development.
See Also: Advantages of Flutter
3. Number of Platforms (iOS, Android)
The app development approach affects the price of the project. In the initial stages of detecting the user profile, the stakeholders also define the platform most used by the target audience. This factor is significant to cut the costs and focus on developing an app for just one OS. When MVP is deployed and tested among real users, it can be further developed for another platform. The statistics of platform popularity dramatically change from region to region, so the more precisely the research is done, the more chances to get user engagement.
From these choices, Android vs iOS, there is a third option, popular and functional, that cuts the necessity of building separate apps. A cross-platform framework like Flutter is the option to create a single app for both Android and iOS. It is a cost-efficient choice for MVPs.
Also Read: 5 Main Reasons for Mobile App Failure
4. The Complexity of App Design
Aside from the number of features, the app development cost may change by app design complexity. The simple app with basic features and a limited number of interfaces is a low-cost option for MVP. It requires less time for development, respectively, fewer resources for completing the project.
|Basic App||Mid-Level App||Large App|
|1 platform + basic features||1-2 platforms + additional features + complex design||2 platforms + advanced features + high-level complex design + ongoing support|
|1,200 hours for development – $15,000-$60,000||1,800+ hours for the development – $95,000||3,000+ hours – $100,000-$300,000|
5. Backend Development
In the mobile application, the backend provides developers support with data exchange and ongoing support with app performance. Backend can be enhanced with numerous tools and parameters, and depending on its complexity, the price for backend development may vary.
The administration panel is the priority tool needed to manage app content, user data, and track statistics. As a way of cutting costs of backend development, a business owner may require a backend built on a template or adopt an existing admin panel. Nevertheless, a solid backend panel is a key to a fully functional and responsive app.
6. Third-Party Integration
App complexity and a number of features also include third-party APIS integration that makes the app more functional and user-friendly. Such APIs like maps, payment, weather channel, chatbot, etc, give more interaction with the users. Each API integration requires additional resources and changes the final app cost.
7. Support and Post-Launch Expenses
Once published, MVP steps into the most responsible and crucial stage. The real users are testing the app and sending feedback on its functionality. To polish the application to perfection, get the final version of the product and keep it up-to-date, the project should have ongoing support. The cost estimation does not include ongoing support, so when planning the budget, the costs for support should be calculated separately.
|App development team||Pros||Cons|
|In-house company||Culture fit Security control Close communication||The most expensive option Narrow talent pool|
|Freelancers||The cheapest option Large talent pool After-hours availability||Frequent delays Slow response time Limited expertise|
|Outsourcing App Development company||Reduced costs High-quality services Range of services Expertise in different projects Up-to-date skills||More expensive than freelancers|
Cost to Make an App Based on the Development Stages
The final result of the project greatly depends on the first steps and project plan. Though initial planning stages also require additional costs, it is not wise to skip them. Aside from pre-planning, app development goes through five stages:
- UX/UI design
- App development
- Testing and deployment
- On-going support
Discovery and pre-planning stage requires close communication with the client. It helps to specify the needs and expectations and find market competitors. With this step, it will also be possible to set unique value features that will make the final product distinctive on the market.
Furthermore, the second step includes the visualization of all the ideas and sketches of hours of brainstorming and discussions. Wireframing and prototyping are the substages of UX/UI design that also require extra cost. Sill, prototyping will later save time and money on the app development stage․
Lastly, app development and testing are the most time-consuming stages. The more time is spent on the discovery and prototyping, the less time will be spent on app development.