Understanding App Development Costs

A key consideration when scoping out your mobile application development project will likely be how much it will cost. 

You may feel that by understanding the average app development cost, you will be able to benchmark your own mobile application development project budget. However every mobile app project has different requirements based on multiple factors.

Therefore, you may find that any figures for the average app development cost you may come across are not representative of what to expect for your own mobile app development project, and can set false expectations or mean you budget incorrectly.

A better way to look at your potential costs as opposed to average app development cost, is to understand the process of researching and developing your mobile app from the perspective of a developer. 

This short article looks at a simplified version of the app development journey, helping you understand the different stages of the process and allowing you to gain a deeper insight so that you can estimate the cost of your mobile application. 

Developers often begin by estimating the cost of developing a prototype. Once they have developed an app with an established visual design, the cost of creating a functional mobile app can be estimated. From there, project managers can establish an estimated number of users to support at the beginning of the project, and then implement this along with app marketing costs.

The key to estimating app development costs is understanding the functionality of your project and its features.

1. Research your market

The market for your mobile application is probably the most important part of app development. To establish the right pricing for the project, you should compare how you can value your customers by identifying market segments that you think your mobile application will be useful for. With the proper segmentation, you can then establish price points and provide a detailed customer profile that can provide you with a range of possible customers to target.

Use this data to identify customer segmentation and their value.

2. R&D

Once you have determined the range of potential customers, you can develop a mobile app that generates the most value. This process begins with user research and development.

Customer research can provide information on how likely customers will engage with your app, which can help determine their relative importance to the business. Because your business depends on the strength of your mobile application, you should consider including a strong value proposition in your product so that customers will be drawn to it.

When developing an app, it is important to be able to measure performance and, in the case of mobile apps, a demo should be available to allow customers to experience the functionality and offer qualitative feedback. This allows for better planning and can help you mitigate risk when implementing an app and evaluating different markets for potential users.

3. Manage development costs

As the project manager, you are in the position of managing the development of the project and reviewing the process as you go. This allows you to modify costs along the way to optimise the productivity of your team.

To help keep development costs low, it is useful to have a dedicated engineer on the team and set fixed delivery dates. This prevents time-suck and allows the developer to spend more time implementing the app.

Also, track the results of the development team in order to identify the cost of each functionality that is implemented in the app. If they are creating functionality that will not provide the most value to the business, then you will have the ability to reduce the cost.

4. Establish pricing for the mobile app

Now that you understand what the mobile app is intended to accomplish, you can develop a pricing structure that reflects this value. This will make it easier to determine how much profit you will make on each copy of the app sold and also help to establish a budget for the app development process.

When pricing, you need to make sure that you have determined the minimum number of customers that your product will sell to in order to maximise profitability.

6. Analytics

With that said, designing an app takes time and money. And, as mentioned, that cost is often underestimated.

Start by going through Google Analytics.

While there is no requirement to create a landing page, you might want to consider one for any project that will be prominently displayed on a website. Leverage data to determine your app’s average amount of daily installs and time spent in the app store. Check app analytics to determine how many downloads are occurring. And, once the analytics are available, track what competitors are doing and adjust your approach accordingly.

7. Mobile App Requirements and the Market Opportunity

Before you begin your design, investigate your current mobile-friendly target market. This will provide insight into your core markets, revenue streams, and main app behaviour. In addition, consider why your app is needed.

What makes your app unique? And, what value does it provide?

Consider whether your target audience is ready for your app. Not all app users are tech savvy or are familiar with mobile devices. Consider whether there are additional features that your target audience may need. Is your target audience taking part in any relevant mobile activities?

After you have identified your target market, it will be easy to decide on the features to include in your app.

8. Understanding App Development Costs & Marketing

While mobile app marketing is most effective with regular updates, this also requires time, money, and a significant time investment; and pp marketing requires an understanding of the mobile app ecosystem. It is necessary to design mobile ads that resonate with the target audience, as well as a campaign management system to track campaign performance.

Designing an app is an exercise in combining marketing and design elements into a seamless solution. Start by engaging in extensive market research. Having an online presence is helpful. It allows you to tap into users’ interest through search, social media, and blogs.

9. Pricing, Software, and Development

The cost of developing your app depends on the device, hosting, and cost of software.

While development costs are very important to consider, understanding the cost of the app itself is very important.

As previously mentioned, it is vital that you analyse your target market. Your mobile app’s cost depends on the overall development time. Also, considering the marketing efforts of the app’s development will determine if the cost justifies the time and resources spent.

Developing an app is a complex project that takes up a great deal of time and resources. The minimum development time required for an app is usually 5 to 8 weeks. And after the app has been developed, ongoing maintenance and app marketing are required.

Summary

When you understand the considerations that go into developing your mobile app, you will be better equipped to optimise your plan. By developing an app, you are promoting your company’s products, service, or brand. Your app allows you to interact with users and generate leads. In doing so, your app brings customers closer to your brand and increases your brand’s visibility.

Your marketing plan will help you plan the best way to promote and market your app. It will also dictate your investment strategy and increase the likelihood of sales. From there, you will be able to prioritise your development efforts.

Whilst understanding the average cost of mobile app development may seem like a sensible way to bracket your own costs, you now understand that each project has its own specific requirements and in order to gain a true understanding of costs, it is wise to engage with a developer as early on in the process as possible.

Any respectable developer will give you a free consultation in which they will ask structured questions around your requirements. This then enables them to give you an estimated cost and timescale for your mobile app development project.

Here at Fusion Software Consulting, we’re always happy to speak with you regardless of where you are on your mobile application development journey, and provide you with an estimate of how much your project would cost, without any cost or obligation.

We believe in being transparent with our approach, and demystifying the costs around mobile application development so that you can make well-informed decisions and get the best return on your investment.

Feel free to get in touch and find out how much your mobile application project could cost.