What Drives E-commerce Development Costs: An Explanation

Buying goods online became as natural as flipping a switch to turn on the lights. You enter the app or the website, click on everything you need in the catalog, write your address, and buy it. Perfect. This lazy shopping definitely surpasses old-school strolling along the aisles.

Businesses that wish to succeed in the e-commerce sector need to build web and mobile software to have a digital presence. If you haven’t established your online image yet, let’s talk about the money and discuss how much e-commerce mobile app development costs.

3 Reasons to build an e-commerce app

  1. You can reach a broader audience. People are reluctant to go shopping, and many can’t dedicate much time to it (for example, mothers on maternity leave or office workers). That is why online shopping has become a full-fledged alternative to acquiring everything quickly and simply.
  2. You can get more orders. This reason is connected with the previous one. A broader audience means huge traffic flow and more orders.
  3. You will save money. Many typical company expenses, such as rent, utilities, and in-store employment, are decreased when running an Internet store. E-commerce is a financially sensible option for companies of all sizes because of its efficiency, which enables more competitive pricing and larger profit margins.

What factors influence the price of an e-commerce mobile app?

In fact, every tiny detail in the app can add to the overall e-commerce app development cost. The number of screens, features, UI/UX solutions, and many other things contribute to the budget. Roughly, we can distinguish these factors into several groups:

App complexity

Complexity means the number of features and functionalities in your app. The more complex the app is, the bigger your expenses will be.

Let us consider an online store app example:

  • Its basic version will have essential features like product listings, a shopping cart, and a basic checkout process.
  • Its medium-complexity version will include additional functionalities such as user accounts, personalized recommendations, and order tracking.
  • Its sophisticated version will contain advanced features like real-time inventory management, AI search, social media integration, etc.


A well-designed app with a user-friendly interface will cost more due to the time and expertise required. Complicated solutions, such as custom animations, can also add to the e-commerce app design cost.

Third-party integrations

The cost of development may increase if third-party services like payment gateways, social network logins, analytics tools, and shipping services are included. To guarantee flawless operation, each third-party integration in e-commerce apps has to be tested.

Maintenance and updates

After the initial development, you should maintain the app and provide regular updates. We recommend putting aside 15–20 percent of your original development budget annually for routine app inspections.

App development cost breakdown

You will usually pay between $32,000 and $85,000 for software development for a simple e-commerce app. $67,000 to $120,000 is the pricing range for a medium-complexity application. Complex apps will require between $102,000 and $220,000 to build.

Disclaimer: These numbers are average. You can use these price ranges as a reference point, but the exact e-commerce mobile app pricing for your project will be known only after a meeting with your development company.

Final tips on how to minimize the costs

Start small. To enter the market quickly, start with an MVP and gather user feedback before investing in more complex features.

Outsource. Partner with remote IT teams with lower labor costs. Asian and Eastern European development companies are typically more affordable, while the quality of their work doesn’t concede anything.

Use the pre-built solutions. Leverage pre-built solutions and templates for common functionalities. This can save time and reduce mobile app development expenses.

Negotiate on licensing. Haggle on licensing to secure the best deals and avoid unnecessary expenses.

Focus on the essentials. Prioritize features that are crucial for your business and user experience. Avoid adding unnecessary features that can complicate the app and increase the budget.

Utilize open source. Take advantage of open-source libraries and frameworks. These resources can significantly cut down on development time and spending while providing robust and tested functionalities.

Opt for cloud services. Use cloud services for hosting and infrastructure. Cloud providers offer scalable solutions and don’t force you to make upfront investments in hardware and maintenance.

That’s all for today! Reach out to a development agency for a detailed cost breakdown of your project and expert insights on your future e-commerce app!