Ultimate Guide To ECommerce App Development Costs

Ultimate Guide to eCommerce App Development Costs

Ecommerce app development has turned the digital world upside down and changed how people shop forever. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can easily browse through millions of products, purchase them with one click checkout, and get them delivered right to your doorstep within days or even hours. 

The absolute convenience, variety, and simplicity offered by shopping on ecommerce apps like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and more have wholly revolutionised and disrupted traditional brick-and-mortar retail. The benefits are enormous for consumers – more selection, better prices, added convenience, and a superior shopping experience.

However, as the famous saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Behind the simple storefronts and sleek apps, building a successful and fully-featured app requires significant time, effort, and careful planning. 

Yes! We’re talking about ecommerce app costs. 

Understanding the actual app development cost is crucial, especially for startups with limited budgets. So, in this ultimate guide, we will break down the key factors that influence the cost of building an ecommerce app in 2024. 

Remember… Whether you want to create an app for your existing business or launch a startup, you need an accurate app development estimate. Hence, this blog will allow you to budget appropriately and ensure your app vision becomes a reality.

20 Emerging Strategies to Minimise Ecommerce App Development Costs

As innovation in the eCommerce sector continues to accelerate, new technologies and strategies are emerging to help significantly optimise the cost of building a robust eCommerce mobile or web application.

In 2024, businesses can use various techniques around architecture, testing, team assembly, integrations, and infrastructure to develop their ecommerce apps faster and more affordably. This section will cover some of the critical strategies to consider for minimising ecommerce app costs in 2024.

1 – Use No-Code Platforms

No Code Tools

No-code development platforms like Bubble, Adalo, and Thunkable will mature tremendously in the coming year. With the help of these visual, drag-and-drop platforms, you do not require coding skills. To be precise, you can build sophisticated web and mobile apps. 

Moreover, ecommerce businesses can use these to quickly build and iterate on their MVP and make changes down the road. Plus, such platforms can cut ecommerce app development costs by 50% or more compared to hiring traditional developers.

2 – Evaluate Serverless Architecture

As cloud infrastructure and services expand rapidly in 2024, leveraging a serverless architecture approach will become much more feasible and affordable for ecommerce apps. You must be thinking, what are serverless computing services… Well, serverless computing services like AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, and Azure Functions allow running backend code without managing physical servers.

Making sense?

Ecommerce apps can use these auto-scaling serverless services to execute essential backend functions like payment processing, order fulfillment, inventory updates, notifications, and more. This eliminates the need to provision and maintain servers for these tasks.

Better above, a serverless architecture can optimise resource usage and costs by running backend processes only when triggered by specific events. Serverless billing is based on actual computation used, unlike always-on servers. These factors can significantly reduce overall ecommerce infrastructure costs compared to traditional hosted servers.

3 – Automated Testing Will Mature

By 2024, smart, automated testing tools utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning will have matured significantly. Tools like Applitools integrate advanced image recognition and visual AI to automate key testing workflows like cross-browser compatibility, visual regressions, etc.

This can cut QA time by over 50% compared to manual testing. With faster testing, bugs can be caught early, lowering development time and app release cycles. The efficiency gains ultimately translate to lower QA costs (obviously reducing overall ecommerce app costs). 

4 – Voice and AR Commerce Will Rise

As voice recognition and conversational AI advance, shopping via voice assistants will become more commonplace by 2024. Additionally, with improvements in AR/VR hardware capabilities, integrating immersive augmented reality into shopping journeys will provide differentiation.

Unlike complex visual apps and UIs, voice and AR-based experiences require less design complexity, reducing app development costs and time. Ecommerce apps should evaluate and pioneer these technologies to provide next-gen commerce for mobile and desktop.

5 – Microservices Architecture

A microservices architecture breaks down an app into smaller, decentralised services instead of one monolithic system. Each microservice focuses on a specific capability like cart, search, payments, etc. This approach will gain more traction by 2024. The benefits are that different services can be developed, managed, and scaled independently as needed. 

Teams can also be structured flexibly around each microservice. Overall, this enables more agile, modular development and cost optimisation. You see how we can reduce eCommerce app development costs so far.

6 – Emerging Payment Modes

Ecommerce Mobile Payments Trend

As cryptocurrency payments, Buy Now Pay Later options, and embedded financing gain wider adoption by 2024, customers expect eCommerce apps to support these new payment modes. The good news is that integrations will become more accessible through payment gateways and APIs. Keeping diverse emerging payments maximises customer conversion/checkout while requiring minimal additional ecommerce app costs and efforts.

7 – Take Advantage of 5G Connectivity

As 5G networks expand globally by 2024, ecommerce apps can take Advantage by loading higher-resolution product images, 3D models, and videos without optimisation. This allows customers to view products in greater detail for better engagement. From a development perspective, 5G alleviates spending significant time compressing visual assets, reducing app development services costs.

8 – Evaluate Low-Code Platform Options

Low-code platforms like Appian and OutSystems are gaining traction as visual, model-driven tools that can build quality applications faster with minimal hand-coding. For ecommerce in 2024, low-code is worth evaluating as its drag-and-drop interfaces, automation, and pre-built components can accelerate development phases like workflows and integrations that traditionally require extensive coding. 

If a fit for app requirements, low-code can deliver sizable productivity gains versus traditional hand-coding, thereby reducing overall development time and cost.

9 – Lean on Ecommerce SaaS Providers

Rather than expend development resources reinventing basic ecommerce capabilities, leverage targeted SaaS platforms in 2024 for needs like search, recommendations, chatbots, and payments. Also, specialised providers enable focusing engineering efforts on customising the user experience and core differentiators. Plus, integrating third-party SaaS solutions avoids wasted time rebuilding commoditised functionality from scratch, allowing faster launch with optimised costs.

There are numerous ways to reduce eCommerce app development costs… keep reading if you don’t want to miss out on important information. 

10 – Offshore Maintenance and Support

After launching an ecommerce app, businesses can save money by hiring lower-cost overseas teams to handle ongoing maintenance, customer support, and content creation. If you think you can avoid these tasks… let us burst the bubble.  

You need to provide these services to maintain a relationship with your client. However, with remote work norms in 2024, tapping into skilled yet lower-cost talent pools in regions like Eastern Europe and Asia is feasible for non-core functions. 

This lets the in-house team focus on high-value product innovation and core differentiators. Offshoring non-critical post-launch tasks to qualified partners can deliver huge savings that positively impact overall ecommerce app costs. Remote collaboration tools make integrating distributed teams more accessible than ever.

11 – Explore Refurbished Hardware Options

Refurbished servers, laptops, and other hardware can be great cost-effective options in 2024 for equipping your development and support teams. Indeed, certified refurbished equipment from reputable suppliers works as well as new gear but is available at significant discounts of 40% or more. For resource-constrained eCommerce startups, refurbishing non-mission critical hardware can help slash capital expenditures substantially with overall eCommerce app costs.

12 – Automate Marketing and User Engagement

What Is Automated Marketing

There is no second thought about it; sophisticated automation tools for marketing, user segmentation, and triggering personalised campaigns will become much more accessible by 2024. Ecommerce apps should leverage AI-driven automation to minimise repetitive and time-consuming manual work across the entire customer lifecycle – from acquisition to engagement to retention. 

Intelligent automation enables the creation of hyper-personalised and contextually relevant experiences and communication for each user segment. This hyper-targeting and automation can deliver significantly higher conversions and revenue growth while freeing up human time and effort from mundane tasks – ultimately reducing ecommerce app development costs.

13 – Leverage Progressive Web Apps

Well, peeps, progressive web apps (PWAs) will continue gaining significant traction as a way to build cross-platform eCommerce experiences that function like native apps but are built with web technology. In 2024, PWAs will present a compelling alternative to native apps by reducing overall development and maintenance costs.

PWAs allow core commerce capabilities like browsing catalogues, managing carts, and handling payments to be achieved using standard web development stacks like React, Angular, Vue and Node.js. This avoids expensive ecommerce app development services, including native platforms and SDKs. PWAs also simplify supporting multiple platforms compared to building separate native iOS and Android apps.

With emerging standards like WebAssembly gaining more comprehensive support, PWAs will become even more capable and app-like in speed and fluidity. eCommerce companies in 2024 can leverage PWAs to quickly build mobile and desktop apps that feel native while sharing business logic across platforms – ultimately reducing eCommerce app costs.

14 – Evaluate Hybrid App Frameworks

In 2024, hybrid mobile app development frameworks like React Native and Flutter will be worth evaluating and leveraging for eCommerce apps. These innovative frameworks allow the building of cross-platform native iOS and Android apps using a single shared codebase and business logic.

Unlike traditional native development, which requires completely separate codebases for iOS and Android, hybrid frameworks reuse much of the same JavaScript or Dart code across platforms. This means faster development cycles and huge savings on overall ecommerce app development costs while still achieving native performance and UX.

For ecommerce apps, nearly 80% of the source code can be shared using React Native or Flutter. Capabilities like product catalogues, searches, shopping carts, and payments can all leverage the shared codebase. Only small portions of native UI code must be customised for each platform’s patterns.

Above all, the productivity and speed advantages over pure native development are massive. Hybrid frameworks finally make it feasible for lean engineering teams to build high-quality native commerce apps cost-effectively.

15 – Leverage Commerce PaaS Solutions

In the year ahead, ecommerce apps should leverage purpose-built commerce Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions, which provide robust, enterprise-ready ecommerce engines via APIs and SDKs. Rather than building custom platforms, solutions like Elastic Path and Commercetools enable the launching of full-featured commerce apps faster and more affordably. 

These commerce PaaS offerings provide pre-built capabilities for product management, cart, checkout, payments, subscriptions, and more. By relying on proven PaaS commerce frameworks, startups can focus engineering efforts on customer experience differentiation and avoid wasted time recreating commoditised backend infrastructure. 

The development time and eCommerce app cost savings will be substantial by leveraging commerce PaaS.

16 – Consider an MVP Launch

What Is Minimum Viable Product Mvp

If you want to reduce your ecommerce app development cost, consider an MVP-first approach. With this strategy, you can launch a minimum viable product in weeks using quick-launch app templates, agile build-measure-learn cycles, and no-code platforms. MVP launch allows validating core concepts at high speed with real users rather than overbuilding everything upfront.

Above and beyond, the latest no-code tools and pre-built mobile/web components allow the rapid assembly of a streamlined yet functional MVP. Moreover, integrating analytics and feedback loops is also faster than ever before. 

The benefit is avoiding getting bogged down for months, building every feature imagined. An MVP gathers accurate data on must-have functionality and pain points directly from users. By doing so, you can develop more imaginative product enhancements while saving precious time and money.

17 – Evaluate Alternative Monetisation Models

Rather than monetising through paid apps or traditional ecommerce models, startups should evaluate alternative emerging models. For example, innovators are pioneering concepts like social commerce, decentralised ownership, and digital collectables. Additionally, ultra-fast delivery in hyperlocal urban markets is disrupting logistics. Exploring such cutting-edge models allows for finding creative ways to monetise without steep upfront app development costs.

Better yet, Web3 concepts around blockchain, NFTs, and tokenised communities present opportunities to build engaged user bases. Plus, models like subscriptions, advertising, and transaction fees can also lower adoption barriers. Being an ecommerce player, you need to think outside the box.

By leveraging imaginative new monetisation models, startups can gain a competitive edge in attracting users without expensive traditional ecommerce app development. Re-read it…

18 – Explore Crowdsourced Testing

What Is User Testing

Crowdsource tests will undoubtedly be highly cost-effective for eCommerce applications – And that is just because of online work platforms and global connectivity. Besides, test.io and Applause enable on-demand access to diverse worldwide testers to validate web, mobile, and multi-device experiences.

Not only this but by opting for crowdsourced QA, startups can scale up testing on a budget while reducing in-house resource overhead. As opposed to dedicated internal QA staff, crowdsourced testing offers flexible scaling, faster feedback, and more comprehensive multi-device coverage without Sky-high costs.

Remember that artificial intelligence and advanced analytics are making crowdsourced testing pretty smart. Bugs can be auto-categorised with high-value test scenarios generated quickly based on accurate user data. 

Hence, by capitalising on the intelligent automation of crowdsourced testing in 2024, eCommerce innovators can deliver bug-free experiences across platforms in record time and with optimised eCommerce app testing costs.

19 – Leverage Pre-Built Design Libraries

Website developers should leverage freely available, pre-built UI/UX libraries and templates rather than expensive, fully custom designs.

Advanced sites like UI8 offer thousands of customisable web and mobile components, themes, icons, and illustrations covering modern ecommerce. Popular open-source libraries like Bootstrap, Material Design and Fluent UI also provide beautiful, consistent UI elements.

Instead of every visual asset from scratch, developers can configure and tweak these existing resources. Mixing and matching pre-built templates and components tailored to the brand saves enormous design time and cost.

Access to high-quality pre-existing assets allows for rapidly assembling slick, polished, and unique user experiences at a fraction of traditional custom development costs. Leveraging libraries cut design overheads for eCommerce apps in 2024.

20 – Evaluate App Refactoring

For established ecommerce app development, continuously refactoring and optimising the existing codebase is far more cost-effective than rebuilding from scratch.

Refactoring improves the internal structure and design of code without changing external functionality. This enhances performance, reduces bugs, and removes unused legacy features.

Rather than expensive complete rewrites, dedicated engineering sprints focused on incremental refactoring ensure apps evolve efficiently. Tackling areas like improving backend algorithms, streamlining databases, upgrading APIs, and removing deprecated code and technical debt reduces long-term costs.

Automated refactoring tools will also speed up the process in 2024. By dedicating resources to regularly refactor and enhance existing apps, companies can sustain innovation and quickly adapt to market changes without the significant costs of ground-up redevelopment.

For ecommerce apps, committing to continuous, targeted refactoring initiatives pays dividends by incrementally improving quality while avoiding unnecessary new development expenses.

And It’s a Wrap!

As we look ahead to 2024, it is clear that businesses have an expanding toolbox of innovative strategies and technologies to optimise and reduce app development costs without compromising on quality or capabilities. By adopting modern approaches like low-code platforms, AI-driven automation, voice/AR commerce, and serverless infrastructure, companies can build and launch feature-rich ecommerce apps faster and more affordable than ever before.

Not just this, 20% to 60% reductions are easily achievable. Besides, with the proper roadmap, even bootstrapped startups and smaller players can turn their ecommerce app visions into reality. Better yet, companies that leverage these emerging best practices will gain a competitive edge with apps that delight customers and rapidly deliver ROI. 

With careful planning, what once seemed an expensive affair reserved only for large enterprises is now very much within reach for businesses of all sizes looking to craft differentiated mobile and web commerce experiences in the coming year and beyond.

Still, if you need help with ecommerce app development – Geeks of Kolachi, based in the USA, can provide top-notch software development services.

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