How Can You Predict the Cost of Building an App?

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When building an app the first question that pops into mind is: how much should I spend? Don’t worry and find all the answers in our article!

So you decided to expand your business and take it mobile. The first question that pops into mind is: How much is it going to cost me?

Well, there is no right answer to this question and every business is unique. But in this article, we will try to share our knowledge and give you useful tips on how you can get close to that number!

When building an app the first question that pops into mind is: how much should I spend? Don’t worry. We are here with the answers. From how to start calculating to what to expect, when building an app there are many factors you should consider

How Do You Start?

The mobile revolution is here and more and more companies are going mobile. It goes for customers to. Just remember the last time you visited a tourist destination and decided to go to google store or apple play to find a tourist app for the destination. Nowadays, building an iOS app or Android mobile app is a must-have and this is not surprising!

  • In 2017, 197 billion apps were downloaded and by the end of 2022, we can expect that number to grow up to 258 billion app downloads worldwide, according to Statista.
  • Even though there are apps for everything these days, according to Techcrunch the average number of apps people use is only 9!
  • But when it comes to purchasing, mobile apps lead the way. Comscore says how 78% of mobile searches for local business result in a purchase.
  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site, according to socPub.
  • Statista says that the most popular mobile feature is a “List of the products” with “Opening hours” and “Price list” following closely after.

If you’re still thinking; what are the reasons why your retail business needs a mobile app? Or do you really need a mobile application? Don’t!

The stats are in place and mobile application usage is just going to go up!

So rethink your strategy and start planning what exactly your application needs to be. Start from the beginning – cost, and maintenance of an app.

Everything matters! This is the basic rule of mobile app development. From design to platform and complexity of an app. And since there is no magic formula on calculating your app-building costs, we have prepared 8 questions you should ask yourself before deciding on the app.

8 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning on Building Your Mobile Application

What Is the Type of Your Application?

There are two types of mobile apps: Apple or/and Android. When it comes to Apple or iOS, it is said they are a better choice if you want to reach more engaged users base. On the other hand, Android has a broader reach. You can go with just one, or both!

Do You Want Users to Log In?

If your company is big on Facebook or Twitter you might consider allowing users to log in with those accounts. The usual log in is via email, but as said, if you have a broad number of followers that are engaging on those platforms you might consider giving more login options to your users.

Do You Want Users to Create Personal Profiles?

By creating personal profiles, users are giving you some personal information. If you want to collect this data be prepared to do the paperwork and check all the regulations concerning privacy issues. Nevertheless, this can be very beneficial for your company and studying consumer behavior.

In What Ways Are You Going to Make Money from the App?

If you decide to go with in-app purchases you can have higher returns if/when you build an engaged user base. In contrast, the upfront cost is cheaper to build than in-app purchases. The decision is yours but how you’re making money from your app should definitely be on the top of your priorities.

Do You Want Users to Rate or Review Things?

How often do you leave a review or rate a page? Pretty rarely, right? But how angry would you be if you didn’t have that possibility!? If a company is inviting users to rate and review, it builds the image of openness and looks inviting to communication with its customers. Just have in mind that ranking systems can be pretty complex and therefore, pricey.

Do Looks Matter?

Everybody says – beauty comes with a price tag. And in the case of building apps, it’s true. From buttons to gestures, if you want your app to look superb, be prepared to open your wallet.

What About an App Icon?

Designing a unique icon for your application is going to different from your competition and make an app stand out on users phone. But like everything else, it will cost you.

Do You Want Your Application to Be Connected to Your Website?

Connecting all your friendly apps means you are going to need to make API (or Application Programming Interface). Have this in mind when negotiating features of your application.

More useful information can be found on The – platform that analyzes why people use apps, why they delete them and which ones are they using most frequently.

  • The most frequently used apps are social media applications with 39% while messaging apps tie for second place with 10%.
  • 32% of respondents say they open any kind of app on their phone 1 to 10 times per day but it is considered that they are underreporting their behavior
  • But 21% of Millennials (over one-fifth) say they open an app on their phone more than 50 times per day
  • When it comes to deleting an app, 51% of respondents say they deleted and app only 1 week ago or less
  • 25% of respondents say they deleted an app because of their phone storage space

Riley Panko Shares Her Opinion on What Determines Mobile App Cost

She is a Senior Writer at B2B  news and how-to website, The Manifest and a Senior Content Developer and Marketer at Clutch.

In Her Opinion…

The process of building a mobile app depends on a wide variety of constantly changing factors and this is one of the main reasons why it is hard to predict the exact costs. You need to know a large number of specific details to accurately predict your costs. Consequently, if you estimate your cost on a few broad assumptions you can only get a general range of costs, at best.

Furthermore, Clutch’s survey underlines the two most important elements when it comes to mobile application development costs – planning and flexibility!

By carefully planning and being flexible you are maximizing app development budget. Furthermore, the planning process can best be optimized with a “discovery” stage in which the company will perform various tasks:

  • Market research
  • Building prototypes
  • Scheduling the project’s timeline

With these tasks, the company is less likely to waste time on features that the app doesn’t need, or shifting deadlines. Also, you should be wary of teams that promise a certain price without doing a “discovery” or similar stage, unless your app is really simple. Dmitry Dobritskiy, CEO, and Co-Founder of MindStudios, told Clutch: “There’s always a pitfall there because, in the very beginning, neither the client nor the development team clearly understands what should be done.”

Secondly, being flexible is an important part of building an app. You need to accept the fact that errors or changes can be made. The timeline can move and you need to be flexible about it if you want to avoid dissatisfaction with the final product.

If this is your first time building a mobile app the best thing is to find partners that are transparent in their needs and skilled in communication. This will make the relationship easier and reduce the percentage of variability. Furthermore, as apps are becoming more and more complex the need for planning and flexibility is gaining importance.

Be aware:

  • The costs are depending on the features, complexity, and platform
  • Back-end servers will be more expensive
  • Simple apps, build for just one platform will cost from $10 000
  • Save some budget for updates, analytics, and upgrades

By Building Your App You Are Also Building Your Business!

Make a plan for your business, before making a plan for the mobile application! Determine what are your KPIs. Do you want a simple presentation-portfolio application or something more complex and an application you can continue to develop?

Also, remember – build for the user! Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and think what is it that they want to see in your app? We know you already have a vision of your app but very often the companies make mistakes of building apps about what they think it should be. And very often the users think differently.

Also, create buzz and be engaging about your app. Make people want to tell their friends about the app! Try to be unique and make it yours. What is it that sets you apart from all of the rest? By building an app you have a chance to promote your business and get closer to customers.

Be the Next New Thing!

Remember that there will be an additional cost for ongoing updates and potentially, server cost. So prepare some budget for these. However, if you are an existing company, hiring an outside company to build an app, the costs are probably accounted for.

If you have any further questions about determining the costs of building an app, feel free to contact us on Factory contact form! Also, we welcome every idea or thought!