Creating a mobile app is sometimes a problem for both experienced merchants running their stores on Magento as well as those new to mobile commerce. They all want to reach more customers on the go. But how does one get there?
First things first, you have to understand that there is no universal formula to calculate Magento mobile app development costs. But your budget will depend on the type of Magento app you choose – if it’s a native app, a hybrid app, or a PWA.
At Elogic, we specialize in the native app and PWA development. Some rough figures you can expect for a Magento mobile app are the following:
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s see how much an ecommerce app costs and what’s included in the price in more detail.
Honestly, this question has no precise answer. The costs depend on different factors, including the size of your business, app functionality, design complexity, vendor type, etc.
Development costs for a mobile app vary depending on an app type. A Magento merchant has three particular options here:
Magento Native Apps — $40K+ for development costs
Native apps are platform- or device-dedicated. They closely interact with the operating system of the customer’s phones and can be downloaded from Google Play Market or Apple App Store. Native apps allow for unique features that can increase user engagement, ensure faster performance, and allow more flexibility.
Magento Hybrid Apps — $10K+ for development costs
A hybrid app is based on a website rather than on OS components. This can slow down the application considerably and reduce flexibility. However, hybrid apps are cheaper and easier to code compared to native apps.
Progressive Web App (PWA) — $40K+ for development costs (one-time payment)
Merging app and web capabilities, PWAs are the new big thing in e-commerce. With better usability and speed, better performance, and higher conversion, these apps provide an improved experience for you as a merchant and for your customers. If you haven’t heard of this type of app yet, feel free to educate yourself on its perks.
Even though the price listed for a Magento native app and PWA development is the same, PWA still comes cheaper. Building a PWA means investing once to get a desktop version, a mobile responsive one, and an app. With a native app, your development costs will triple only because you’ll need to invest in each storefront separately.
The truth is, no matter how good your product is, customers won’t wait for the page to load, be it a desktop or a mobile version of your store. You will have to pay about $16K+ for a decent UX/UI, choosing between a responsive, mobile-friendly, or mobile-optimized design. These three options come at a different price range, which allows you to calculate the Magento mobile app price according to your capabilities. So… choose your fighter.
Responsive web design
In this case, website design automatically adapts to the size of the customer’s screen. It allows you to view the website from any and all devices in the world; however, this universality may cause some glitches in UX.
Mobile-friendly web design
A design like this refers to websites being developed specifically for mobile – the content is smaller in size and may not display well on a tablet or a desktop. The functionality stays the same though, regardless of the device. This type of design might be a step up compared to responsive web design; yet, it’s still just a scaled-down version of your website which doesn’t guarantee optimal user experience.
Mobile-optimized web design
The mobile-first strategy is quite new, but already a favorite. The secret here is to develop the mobile version first to account for all of the demands of a mobile device. Once mobile functionality is settled, it’s possible to expand to a desktop version. Unlike its predecessors, mobile-optimized web design prioritizes content, thus, is more user-focused.
Even after an app is designed, the process isn’t over. Keep in mind that Magento support services and maintenance will be necessary. Count with maintenance cost being about 50% of the initial price of the app during the first year, in the second year it will amount to about 25%, and 15-25% every coming year. The cost may also differ depending on whether it’s a basic app or a customized app, native, hybrid, or PWA.
You will have to decide about the type of app you need depending on the type of business you run, your audience, and most importantly, your budget:
Despite all the perks of native apps – like high performance, fast setup, and immediate implementations – they are the most time and money-consuming from a business point of view. A starter entrepreneur won’t be able to afford a native app, one of the reasons being that you will need two teams to work on the iOS and the Android versions. Conclusion: a native app is a good investment if your business is settled long-term. It’s also a good choice if you work only with one platform or with a lot of 3D and/or animation.
Hybrid apps are a great compromise in terms of the features you get and the money you pay. If you need to release on both iOS and Android, this is definitely a more cost-effective solution. Especially if your project is simple and prioritizes content over complex features. Since the time-to-market of a hybrid app is quite short, this may be also the better solution for start-ups that want to stay flexible.
For progressive web apps, there are more than enough examples in e-commerce. PWAs work flawlessly on mobile devices, can be developed fast, and a single app works on all platforms. On top of this, developing and maintaining one can be 75% cheaper compared to native apps. Please note: Unlike other apps, this one can be only downloaded from the website, not the App Store or the Play Market.
Like with most things in life, if you want to make money, you need to spend money. So, unfortunately, there’s no viable option to get an app done for free. Well, unless you code it yourself.
However, you can lower down your expenses by opting for a PWA. The costs for PWA development are about the same as for the native app. However, you pay this amount only once as a PWA requires only one version that works on desktops and mobile devices. With a professional Magento development agency, you can make a pretty good (yet never free) deal for a Magento mobile app.
That’s an excellent question to ask, indeed. If native and hybrid apps are so slow, or expensive, or inapt to new features, maybe you should really try to go PWA. In fact, these are the top five reasons to do just that:
Mind, though, that a PWA might not be a solution to your mobile app problems. They’re still quite a rare solution in the ecommerce market. Your customers won’t find them available on Play Market or AppStore either: a PWA can be downloaded only from your Magento website. Still, it’s a go-to solution for SMEs and mid-sized companies that are just tapping into the mobile commerce market.
At this point, we seem to have made a really good case for PWA. Yet, regardless of what type of Magento app you choose, you can rely on the Elogic team to support your decision.
And if you’re still not sure what is best for you, feel free to get in touch and learn more about the Magento mobile pricing and B2B development options we offer.