Today's digital trend dictates that an eCommerce app is a must, especially during the COVID-19 situation. Whether you’re located in Dallas, Houston, Texas, or Los Angeles,  brick and mortar stores become obsolete. If you’ve been neglecting this opportunity, here are some hard-hitting facts for you to see where the eCommerce app development stands today: 

  • According to studies, since last year, mobile devices have attracted 53% more traffic and increased by 32% more revenue, 23% more than last year. 
  • In the US alone, Walmart reached 86.05 million visitors in just one month, and Amazon hit 150.6 million visitors. 
  • A drastic jump of average order cost via a smartphone user has increased to $94.85 per purchase. 
  • Surprisingly, the average cost to acquire user has drastically reduced to $19.47
  •  However, the average cost-to-install in 2020 has declined to $2.87 

Well! Now that we have enough concrete facts and figures. Let’s understand and work towards estimating the cost of an eCommerce app. 

How much does it cost to develop an eCommerce mobile app? 

There are multiple vital parameters to decide which kind of app you would prefer to develop, and based on that, the estimated cost is procured. Let’s find out more about these parameters.

#1. Platform and technology

The first thing you need to pick before you proceed further is which platform you would choose: Android, iOS, or Windows. This decision will help you also understand several combinations and access to diverse geographical factors about your potential users. 

Understanding your target audience will help you to make an informed and right decision. According to Statista, you can reach a broader audience of 88% by developing an Android application. However, iOS users are typically from the higher income segment and spend more on in-app purchases. Furthermore, they are likely to be customers with higher lifetime value bringing in more and consistent profit.  

There are also three major types of apps: a web-based app, a native app, and a hybrid app. Before deciding which to pick, understand, and the fundamental difference here. Before deciding which to choose, the answer will mainly depend on your app's priorities like:

  • What are the features you need in this app?
  • What is the business and revenue goal of this app?
  • Where is your target audience, domestic or international?
  • How fast do you need your app?
  • What infrastructure do you require for this app?

Understand the fundamental difference here:

Native apps are developed for a precise platform, and they can be directly downloaded and run even without an internet connection. A native app can interact with all device OS and is faster and more reliable for user experience. 

The web-based app runs only with an active internet connection. It is solely developed to access a web browser and is often less expensive. Unfortunately, they are slower and not accessible through the app stores. They are like websites with interactive features. 

There is a hybrid app with both attributes of a web-based and native app that are somewhat pricey but the most superior for their high-end functionalities. They can be made available for the app store and are much faster with less maintenance. Each of these types of app has its pros and cons, but these parameters will surely help make the right decision.

#2. Wireframing


After you have decided on the platform, it’s time to shape your idea’. The second stage for estimating the cost to develop an eCommerce app is wireframing. Wireframing lets you understand your app service on a structural level. It gives you time to refine your eCommerce app layout and gives you a basic idea of how the app will look and feel. Designing an eCommerce app without a solid understanding of content layout and functionality can lead to catastrophic spending during the UI/UX planning phase. 

Cost Estimation: The time taken to create a wireframe varies, depending on the app’s complexity and the number of revisions each screen will need before finalizing. An excellent general average is about $50 per screen.

There are three different kinds of wireframing. Based on cost factors and personal user preferences, you can choose any of them before proceeding to the actual UI/UX design. 

  1. Low Fidelity Wireframes- These are the app’s fundamental representations and usually serve as the design starting point. Low fidelity wireframes are without any details and include only simplistic images like block shapes and mock contents. They are created without any sense of scale, grid, or pixel accuracy. Average time to create low fidelity Wireframes: ~1–2 hours for each unique screen and 20–30 minutes for each subordinate screen.
  1. Mid Fidelity Wireframes- A blend of cost to value ratio, mid-fidelity wireframes is an upgraded version of the low fidelity wireframes. They are still black and white with simplistic images but with a sense of scale and pixel accuracy. Keeping in mind that a mobile app’s limited space could be troublesome, wireframing with pixel accuracy could prove beneficial while designing the app. 
  1. High Fidelity Wireframes- While low and mid-fidelity wireframes have pseudo-Latin text fillers and gray boxes; high fidelity wireframes contain actual featured images with relevantly written content. High fidelity wireframes come with completely interactive web pages showcasing the product’s look and feel at development. Average time to create high fidelity wireframes: ~ 1,5–2,5 hours for each unique screen and 30–40 minutes for each subordinate screen 

#3. The Must-Haves functions and advanced features 

Here is a quick list of must-haves features on every eCommerce app according to the industry and user preference trends today:

  • Easy User login ( Sign-in options) 
  • Profile creation 
  • User-friendly product categories/subcategory for catalog
  • Search bar option 
  • Checkout options
  • Secure Payment methods and payment gateway options

While the complexity of features and advanced functionality can make the very app user friendly, it can also become frustrating for users if not planned well. Hence picking the right mix of features and functionality is vital.


A quick list of most-preferred advance features 

  • Live Chat support
  • Push notifications 
  • Wishlist option
  • Social media button to Share 
  • Advance filters for Product
  • Similar products
  • Recent product search 
  • Post-purchase - product review or feedback
  • Customer Support call-back button
  • Promotions and offers 

Keep reading and find out more about the few cost estimations revealed by experts. This will assist you in making an informed decision.

Overall Costr

iOS Cost

The basic version enables users with the must-haves features as listed above. In this version, the design, complexity, and development time remains quick and straightforward. This version also relatively costs less in comparison to others. The cost estimation also reflects according to the app development platform. 

Android Cost

The medium complexity version has the basic plus a few advanced features depending on the platform and UX/UI design. The added features are integrated to improvise gradually with its evolving phase of the app roadmap. This version gives you the freedom to cherry-pick the elements from the advanced list and customize or personalize the overall app look and feel. This version also costs moderately to develop, design, and work within a reasonable budget. 

Hybrid Cost

However, the complicated version is entirely customized right from platform, design, technology to cutting-edge trending tech such as ML and augmented reality or even a 3D model view. This version gives complete freedom to personalize your features and stand out according to your branding and marketing goals. It is inevitable to have an expert app development team in Dallas to build such a unique and niche eCommerce app. 

The overall cost of such an eCommerce app might be comparatively high and take longer to develop but can do wonders for your business goals. A complete package of basic, medium, and complex version fully loaded features and functionalities varies on a different platform.

#4. App development team 

App Development Team

Your app development team’s cost will depend directly on the complexity and platform/technology for the eCommerce app. The development team determines the exact scope of work and defines different development phases according to milestones/ goals. The cost is then determined according to the number of hours each stage/phase requires. Another critical aspect that influences the budgeting is how comprehensive or complex the range of functionalities will be developed in this app.

What kind of development team should you build for your eCommerce app? Well, a primary team of a project manager, UI/UX designer, QA expert, and a programmer. But a smarter and cost-effective approach can be of an extended team where there is a project manager, 3-4 developers, one back-end developer, 1 UI/UX designer, 1 QA engineer, and one system administrator. 

#5. Physical or digital product 

The app development team also works through these parameters quite meticulously. The eCommerce app could be a shopping platform for physical products or digital products. The physical products require a back-end development on existing features such as inventory management and the shipping and logistics factors. 

For example, Amazon is an eCommerce app with physical products. This factor also directly reflects the app’s cost estimate as these will be added functionalities developed in the development phase.

Whereas when it is about the digital product, it is instantly accessible or downloadable, such as Udemy, a digital product. This factor does not require added integration or cost involved in the inventory management, shipping, or logistic side of app functioning. 

#6. Payment Gateway Integration

The significant difference between a regular app and an eCommerce app is the payment gateway integration. It contributes to the cost factor in the final app development. Selecting an appropriate payment gateway could be evaluated based on factors such as

  1. Credit Card/Debit Card support
  2. Netbanking support
  3. International or Domestic payment methods support
  4. Overhead charges per transaction
  5. UX and reliability of the payment gateway

There are two types of payment gateways – hosted and non-hosted payment gateways. A hosted gateway takes your customer away from your website to another secure site to get the payment and then redirects the user back to your website.

A non-hosted payment gateway has APIs and modules that can be integrated into your website. The payment transaction happens on your website itself. However, as customer bank, card, and other personal information will be stored on your website, you need to ensure that it is 100% secure and safe from cyber threats and hacks. 

Cost Estimation: Free - 500$ one-time setup fees with 3% to 6% overhead charges per transaction for digital products. For physical products, charges are either exempt or are as nominal as 0.5% to 1.5% per transaction.  

Non-hosting gateways are more expensive than hosted gateways.

Payment Gateway

Many web hosting providers also offer payment service integrations as a part of their service pack, while others can charge you separately. Top web hosts for payment services are Bluehost, A2 Hosting, InMotion Hosting, GreenGeeks, GoDaddy, Wix, SquareSpace, and FatCow.

#7. Dedicated or shared hosting

Dedicated or sharing hosting

According to the predicted number of user footfalls, you have to consider the cost of opting for a shared hosting server / a virtual private server or a dedicated cloud computing server. During the development phase itself, the development teams help you identify the footfall matrix and notify you about the eCommerce app’s technical requirements. 

When you are a small/medium-size eCommerce app initially, you might require tremendous technical support for hosting. Many other services are included in shared or VPS services, such as DB engine, required size for hard disk space, bandwidth, number of page visits, etc. For example, GoDaddy offers various packages inclusive of these added services. Typically a shared hosting server can cost you approx $9-39$/ per month.

Say your eCommerce app is involved with a vast product inventory list and expects to have extensive user footfall, frequent product addition, or app updates. In that case, you will have to consider the dedicated cloud server for running the app without any downtime server glitches. Cloud hosting is a dedicated server for the API service layer, DB service layer, or web server layer that requires cost estimates starting from $120/per month and above, depending on your needs.  

#8. App Store Charges

After your eCommerce app is developed, it's finally time for the big launch event. Depending on your app platform, you can either launch it on Google’s Playstore or Apple’s App Store. Charges are usually the same and typically do not vary much. 

If you are dealing with physical products in your eCommerce app, there are no charges you need to bear apart from the initial 25$ registration fee. However, if you are dealing with selling digital products, an overhead charge is applied based on your in-app subscription model.

Cost Estimation: It will roughly cost a minimum of 25$ one time fee + 30%(15% after 12 months) of any in-app subscription fees you charge your customers. 

Wrap up

Hopefully, these parameters have helped you zero down your queries about the cost estimation for an eCommerce mobile app. Picking the right development partner is vital. Don't worry, we've got you covered. 

Purple Olive Labs builds extraordinary eCommerce mobile apps for you in Dallas, maintains complete transparency, offers impeccable support services and seamless communication as an extended team. 

We effortlessly develop prolific eCommerce mobile apps and instill your business uniqueness in it. Our customers vouch for our service excellence in this hyper-competitive development market. To know more about us, get in touch with our experts today.