In earlier days, we used to manage our activities manually, which was time-consuming and demanded a lot of effort. But thanks to modern technology and advancements, everything is moving towards automation. This is where mobile applications came as a game-changing tool. We now have a mobile application for approximately every other activity and use case to make it convenient and execute activities faster. Be it to book a ride, watch a web series/movie, book flight tickets, or order food.
According to a study by Statista, there were 255 billion annual mobile app downloads in the year 2022. This indicates how heavily users rely on apps and also shows the potential success businesses can accomplish from them. But do you know many mobile apps fail amidst this competition and race to win maximum traction? On the contrary, the ones that succeed are those that were developed with strategic planning, implementation, knowledge of the associated costs and ongoing trends, and assistance from an expert mobile app development company. This article will talk about the mobile app development cost, must-have features, and the latest trends that lead to the success of an app.
Mobile App Development Cost: Factors and Average Estimation
As a business entity, if you’re looking to develop a mobile app, you must understand the underlying mobile app development cost, the areas where you actually need to invest, and where you can save unnecessary expenses. Apart from that, various factors impact the final cost. Let’s understand them in detail.
Features & Complexities
The features and how complex an app is will eventually increase and decrease the app’s cost. The mobile app development cost will be lower if it’s a basic app and higher when you integrate advanced features and complex functions. So, it’s best to ideate and then point out the number of features you wish to add to your app and avoid adding unnecessary functionalities wherever possible.
Category of the App
Another notable factor is the category. What kind of app you’re looking to make? Some common app categories include on-demand apps, lifestyle apps, social media apps, utility apps, and entertainment apps. Every category will have its own set of features, UI design, and other functionalities that will determine the final estimation.
UI/ UX and Functionalities
Being a mobile app user ourselves, we can imagine how important the user interface is for holding the customer longer to it. For example, think about Instagram’s UI/UX design. It’s designed to compel users to stay longer with unstoppable scrolling and intuitive ads and images that keep them engaged. Hence, make sure to invest massively in this area. Design your app’s UI with a motive to increase traction and minimize bounce rate.
Number of Platforms
The number of platforms you build your app on will conclude the total mobile app development cost. If you’re developing it for a single platform like Android, the cost will be specified depending on the tech stack and development life cycle used for Android app development. On the other hand, if you choose cross-platform development, the cost will be comparatively lower and available across every device (iOS, Android, Windows, and MacOS).
Location of Mobile App Development Company
The location of a company is a determining factor in the cost. If the mobile app development company is located in the USA or the UK, the cost can go up to $71 per hour. However, if you choose countries like India, the same project can be completed at a $25 per hour development rate. So, it is always best to outsource an agency for mobile app development.
Maintenance & Support
Lastly, since app development is an ongoing process, it demands continuous maintenance and support for long-term app success. Your hired mobile app development company will offer maintenance services as a part of their service mechanism. It will ensure your app remains glitch-free and is updated regularly. The scale of maintenance the company offers will be added to the final cost.
How much does it cost to develop a mobile app?
Based on the aforementioned factors and market standards, many known platforms, such as Clutch, have revealed that the average cost of developing an app–from prototyping and development to testing and deployment- can cost around $ 5,000 to $500,000. But remember that the exact cost will vary upon the features and functionalities you integrate and the SDLC chosen for development.
It is also important to note that mobile app development costs will differ for native app development (Android or iOS) and cross-platform app development (Flutter, ReactNative). Consult a reliable company offering cross-platform app development services and decide which development mode you wish to proceed with.
Yoy may like – How to Reduce Mobile App Development Cost?
Essential Features of a Mobile Application
Nearly half of people spend around 5 hours a day on their smartphones and prefer a great user experience over every app they use. This makes it essential for businesses to focus on features and how each feature will cater to their user’s needs. While some features are must-haves for your app (based on its category), others need to be added depending on your target audience preferences. Here are the key features you should consider before beginning the development process.
USP and User Interface
The user interface is the core element of every mobile app. If it’s not user-friendly and appealing, it is fortuned to fail. Hence, you must prepare a thorough USP detailing what problems your app will solve and then develop a User Interface that aligns with it and persuades the customer to use your app instead of the competitors.
Navigation is an important part of every application, irrespective of its category. Navigation enables your users to easily interact and engage with your app and use it at their convenience. Hence, intuitive navigation is essential to allow them to fulfill their purpose within a few clicks. For example, if it’s a food delivery app, then the user must be able to find the search bar and location tracking tab in your application. Make sure to design an interactive navigation mechanism in your app.
Be it an app or a website, users always look for a personalized experience over everything else. As per a study by McKinsey, 80% of consumers wish to have personalization when using an application. Ensure to use demographic, contextual, or behavioral targeting strategy to track and analyze user behavior and then initiate personalized recommendations and notifications to give customers exactly what they want and when they want while ensuring they keep returning to your app.
Even though we are internet savvy all the time, some places still have poor internet connectivity. This is where the apps that run offline, the same as when online, stand out from the crowd. Ask your hired hybrid app development company to build an app with offline capabilities to ensure maximum usage and traction of your application. With offline availability, you can be continuously available for your users and power customer loyalty and long-term retention.
Reviews, Rating, and Customer Support
Customers prefer apps where they can leave their feedback and reviews. Take an example of an apparel shopping app like Amazon. It has an option where customers who shop for a particular product can leave their ratings and reviews afterward. This helps a new user get confidence and immediately make a purchase and, indirectly, more sales for the company. Additionally, a feature of customer support is also essential. This is required to solve queries and issues of a customer promptly. You may add an AI-powered chatbot function to ensure a seamless experience.
The push notification feature will allow you to interact and draw users’ attention even when their phone is locked. Based on your user’s behavior, you can send them personalized notifications and make sure your app doesn’t slip from their cognitive memory. However, push notifications must only include minimal texts, such as informing users about limited promotions, newly added features, and other information they might find valuable. Also, remember that these notifications shouldn’t be excessive or intrusive; otherwise, it will lead to higher uninstall and bounce rates.
The shopping behavior indicates that a user tends to view a product on one platform, add it to the cart, and later buy it from another device. Hence, your app must offer multi-platform compatibility to maintain the user’s data and keep it synchronized. This feature will allow real-time data synchronization across devices and offer your customers a seamless experience.
Top Mobile App Development Trends
As we move forward with technology and leverage it to improve our daily operations, so do the mobile apps. You can witness several mobile apps, such as Instagram and Snapchat, are already utilizing trending technologies to keep the user engaged, which maximizes user interaction with the app. Let’s have a look at key trends powering modern mobile applications.
Shopping has now changed how users view and shop their favorite products with augmented reality (AR). It allows users to check and view a virtual product in a real setting and analyze whether it really fits their needs or not. For example, they can now see how a pair of jeans will look without trying it out in real life. This helps in enhancing user experiences and lets them make an informed decision. Augmented reality also helps improve customer interaction and persuades them to complete the purchase process in one go.
AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are two top-tier players in today’s tech-savvy era. These technologies thoroughly understand and analyze user behavior and provide responses that can best suit their needs. They are being actively used for image and speech recognition, predictive analysis, and personalization. AI is best used to reduce redundancy and improve response accuracy, which is important to satisfy the user. Another reason to use AI is to increase the app’s efficiency and automation of certain tasks.
Progresses Web Apps (PWAs)
PWAs are web-based applications installed on a user’s device but accessed through an internet browser. They have many of the same features and functions as native apps but don’t need to be downloaded separately from an app store. PWAs will likely be more common in the coming years as mobile apps evolve.
A new way to keep customers engaged using social media is social commerce. This is the concept where customers can check out your products and services over social media and use it to make a purchase. In this process, you can integrate social media with your app and let the customers view the particular product on one social media platform and land on your app as a result. This encourages customer engagement while ensuring they also interact with your mobile application at their convenience.
Since artificial intelligence (AI) is termed as a game-changer technology, many business verticals are using AI to build their chatbots and address customer needs promptly. These chatbots can quickly analyze customer behavior and recommend solutions that suit their needs and solve their particular problems. For instance, adding a chatbot to a shopping application can help customers get personalized product recommendations/alternative product options if they don’t find an exact match for the blue jeans they were looking for earlier.
5G technology is considered a significant technology in today’s modern, digitally savvy world. This will enable new opportunities for mobile app development, such as high-quality streaming, real-time multiplayer gaming, and enhanced virtual and augmented reality experiences. It will also enable high-speed download, minimized buffering, and enhanced connectivity, directly improving customer experience and satisfaction.
To thrive in the rapidly evolving and competitive market, building a mobile app is both success-driven and strategy-depended. If your strategy fails, so will the execution and, eventually, the end product. But if you conduct thorough research, determine features, and get assistance from a professional mobile app development company, you can ensure the app’s success. Also, keep in mind the cost that comes with development and trends to follow to enable your app to stand out from the competition.