How Much Does It Cost to Build a Shopify App?


cost build shopify app

When working with an online store, the basic template will not give you a fully functional and automated store that you need. The Shopify app store is full of hundreds of great apps that can help salespeople optimize daily tasks, add new store functionality, and make business management easier.

Of course, clients are usually interested in the Shopify app development cost (approximate sum) to plan the budget of the project. While hiring an app development team, low price and high quality are the highest priority points, no matter it’s the UK, US or Ukraine. This fact is clear for us because we develop Shopify projects for startups and small company entrepreneurs all around the globe.

So, let’s find out about the cost you may be supposed to pay for building your Shopify future app, whether it’s desktop or mobile one and what can influence the price.

Categories of Shopify Apps

All Shopify applications can be divided into some categories according to the features and purposes they were created for. This is really important for setting the cost of the app because every feature takes a different amount of time to implement it so that cost differently too.

  • Marketing – these applications assist to work with traffic and SEO, sell through new channels and promote their products. In this way, you can increase sales and improve customer commitment to your store.
  • Sales – these apps will help you expand your business, sell more products and increase revenue from each order.
  • Shipping – the aim is to optimize the delivery process, which makes it quick and easy for customers.
  • Accounting & Inventory – these applications will help you to save orders, customers, and all important business information, synchronize them with your favorite accounting software, and also allow you to spend less time working with your goods inventory.
  • Reporting & Tools – these items will organize sales data and conversion rates to help you make informed decisions for your business.
  • Customer Service and Social Networks – these apps provide better support by email, telephone, ready-made solutions or online chat for your online store, and also help you interact with your customers and promote your store on Facebook, Twitter and other networks.

Now if you even didn’t have an idea or a list of features for your future Shopify app, you can choose the area and plan the development tasks for your companions from the development team. Pay attention that each app needs a different set of hours to be made and discuss it with them.

Things Which Influence Shopify App Development Cost

Development time and hourly rates aren’t the only factors which you should consider. Here is a list of main issues which influence the cost, as well.

Technical case

Technical complexity of a project can be caused by thousands of features. The more options you need to add, the more money it will cost. Also if you need to develop a new algorithm or a clothes filter with many points to fill in or choose, it will increase the app cost. You can see other examples of the technical factors below:

  • Number of features

Modern mobile applications are able to perform a huge number of tasks. We further analyze the main functions that are used in most cases and affect the price of developing a mobile application.

  1. Online order payment. The function of payment orders from the application not only increases the usability of the service, but also reduces the turnover of cash, eliminates the need to equip couriers with terminals for cashless payment.
  2. User account. The content of the personal account in the mobile application depends on the needs of the user. To reduce development costs, you can start with a minimum set and gradually extend the functionality. Entering a commercial application by a combination of login / password is not relevant now: users do not like to store unnecessary codes. The best way – authorization through an account on a social network or by phone number. Distributed authorization option in Google and Facebook. The more authorization methods, the more expensive the application, so it is important to analyze the target audience and determine which methods are preferable for it.
  3. Connection with a user. In the application, you can promptly notify users about the change in the status of the order, the arrival time of the courier or the arrival of a purchase at the pick-up point, as well as remind you of the events that have been ordered, report news and promotions. You can provide information through a personal account, automatic sending of SMS-messages or push-notifications. They need to be made carefully to omit users’ negative reactions.
  4. Geolocation. Applications of network companies access to a GPS allows you to automatically determine the location of the user and transfer it to the local branch. It could be useful for the delivery cost calculator, etc.
  • Number of platforms you want your app to be launched on (native Android or/and iOS, PWA)

For example, development for Android and iOS takes into account the following operating system differences:

  1. Application interaction with the mobile device architecture: processor, RAM, graphics core and other components.
  2. Design. On iOS, on the previous screen, the left-to-right swipe returns, and on Android, a click on the navigation bar. There is no navigation bar on the iPhone, so when adapting an “alien” application, you need to cut it out.
  3. User experience. On Android, the date is selected according to the calendar, similar to the pocket. In iOS, it resembles a slot machine window. With an unusual calendar, it will be more difficult for the user to arrange delivery or sign up for a service.
  • Screen and mobile support

Based on the analysis of the target audience, a list of priority mobile devices and desktops is determined, to which the application must be adapted first. The price depends on the number of devices in the list.

  • The amount of designer work

This factor depends on the number of screens which will use your app(if it’s a mobile version), complexity of design, the customers requirements and the changes of them, etc.

  • Supported browsers

There are so many browsers which are used by the audience, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge. You should be sure the app supports their latest versions while developing a web app.

Backend development

Even if your app is not so huge and attended by millions of users, the situation can change for the better so soon. That’s why it’s crucial to have a strong backend technology which can cope with high loads and bear any complications. But it needs more time to spend on building the app architecture using different programming languages. Take it into account when hiring a development team.

Choice of an app development team

A development team can be basic or extended, local or outsourcing, experienced or freelance depending on the project requirements and your needs. A basic dev team usually consists of:

  • business analyst (BA);
  • project manager (PM);
  • one or more engineers;
  • UI/UX designer;
  • quality assurance specialist.

These professionals are really important for a successful working process of building the Shopify app. Now you can check out a worldwide average hourly rate for developing an app:

  • USA and Canada – $50-$250
  • Australia – $50-$150
  • UK and Western Europe – $40-$170
  • India – $10-$80

Hiring a luxury company for your project doesn’t mean you are free of risk. Nowadays, high price not always relates to high quality. There are many cofactors which is more crucial sometimes. Location is not a thing you need to rely on.

Post-release time

The application launch budget doesn’t include only development expenses. Also you’ll need a marketing staff working hard on promoting your app or advertising it yourself via email or pop-up notifications. After launching it, you should work on users’ reviews, provide some customer support technologies to improve your product fast. Add such categories to your financial plan and be ready for extra expenses.

Shopify App Development Cost Estimation

So, how much does it cost to build a Shopify app? To answer this question we are going to show you the brief example of Shopify app and its estimation. Remember that every app is unique and will cost differently depending on factors described above.

The client has an existing store, which sells various glasses and accessories. At the moment, when a customer adds products to the cart, it happens without using any parameters at all.

The first feature is about:

The client wants the parameters of glasses to be selected during the process of adding the product to the cart.

This should be done in the following sequence:

  1. Prescription type
  2. Magnification (this step appears only if the Readers option was selected in the previous paragraph)
  3. Lens type
  4. Lens material

This configurator is not applicable to all site products.

Option 1: The composition of options for all products is the same.

Option 2: The composition of options for the product may be different, but the list of options doesn’t depend on the choice in the previous step. It is necessary to provide the choice of a set of options for the product using a template.

Option 3: The composition of options for the product may be different. The list of options depends on the choice in the previous step. It is necessary to provide for the choice of a set of options for the product using a template.

The product is added to the carts, the user’s choice is placed in the configuration option.

The second feature is about:

Option 1: When ordering, the buyer must add a file (PDF or image) with a scan of the prescription for items (required field for checkout).The file should be protected from free download, but db. available for download by third-party utility.

Option 2: Includes Option 1 plus the following customizations:

In the account of the customer you need to add a “list of prescriptions”. Each prescription is a multi-line text field. Custom can have a 0 or many prescription entries. With a checkout, a list of prescription linked to a user account is added to the options for downloading a prescription file.

The logic changes as follows: the customer can choose one of the existing prescriptions or load a new one.

Also, as an option for storing files – we need to provide storing files in one of the following services:

  • Google drive
  • Dropbox
  • Onedrive
  • Carbonite
  • Box

So according to the brief description of the app, we provided its estimation below.

1Project Setup22
2Admin app page product-options templates management810
3Admin app page products’ template management1216
4Storefront modifications (liquid, product, cart)1620
5Create custom storefront popup for options selection1620
6Custom JS logic to process cart810
7Server side logic for order processing with customized price based on additional options1620
8Admin app page to manage users’ prescriptions1216
9Additional storefront step to upload / select a prescription812
10Server side logic to upload and store prescriptions in Google Drive812
11Customer page to manage/view own prescriptions810
 TOTAL (h)118152

This is an approximate hourly estimation of the development process for such a project. The Shopify app is considered to help the client to have more sales. There is not much work for a designer but a lot for devs so it needs 2 developers, a QA, a PM and UX designer. The estimation covers only developers’ working process. Pay attention that there is also a percentage rate for a PM work (20%), QA work (30%) and collaboration (10%). Many companies don’t show this information so project costs less than it’s going to be.

Regarding to the estimate we can set a Shopify app development cost around the globe. Taking an average hourly rate, which was enlightened above, it results:

  • USA and Canada – $17700-$22800
  • Australia – $11800-$15200
  • UK and Western Europe – $12390-$15960
  • India – $5310-$6840

Final Words

Planning the creation of Shopify application, a client faces a great number of factors that influence the development cost. So there is no exact price for any application or site, every product has different features, design, etc and takes unfixed amount of time. Choosing the development company, clients shouldn’t rely only on its location and hourly rates. It’s better to check its portfolio and team experience. Multi-Programming Solutions has already made reliable and affordable resolutions for Shopify entrepreneurs and businessmen. One of them was AOP+ e-commerce web application. All Over Print application is intended for online shop owners who would like to work with a company that provides Easy Print on Demand Fulfillment and Worldwide Dropshipping services. Store owners will be able to upload their original artworks which will then be placed on a variety of printable objects to offer on the store including clothes, home decor items, phone accessories, etc. This project needed a lot of technologies to be used and creative solutions to be presented. After launching the app:

  • over 50000 products were published on marketplaces;
  • over 5000 items were printed;
  • more than 3000 new clients came there;
  • the delivery service was provided in over 80 countries!

You can find out about this successful project in AOP+ case and see the details there. If you want to become an owner of a profitable Shopify application too, contact our development team and make your plans real!

TechnologiesJune 24, 2019
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