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Having a mobile app is direly essential for all types of organizations. If you don't already have an app or an interactive website running for your business in 2023, you are most likely to be overshadowed by your competitors in terms of digital presence; which directly affects you on losing out on a massive market that you can earn a lot from.
If you’re thinking about developing an application for your business, you probably wonder how much that is going to cost you. In this blog, we delve into creating estimations for the price of app development in 2023, from mobile apps to web apps.
What is the difference between B2B and B2C app?
The type of business you develop an application for can greatly influence the price of the development process and everything involved. Different target markets have different needs, which affects the features and functionalities of your application, and therefore the price. There are some distinctions between a business-to-consumer (B2C) and a business-to-business (B2B) application. B2C companies usually develop applications for the public to use. These are the apps you’ll find in the app store, varying from leisure games to productivity trackers and social media platforms. B2B-focused applications are made with the goal of both improving internal and external business processes. While you can find many B2B apps in the app store, a lot of them are only available as a product with a monthly or yearly subscription on the product’s website.
B2C app development
In B2C applications, consumers are more broadly targeted. The app can be used by millions of people at the same time and anyone can install and use the app whenever they want. Consumer applications are generally focused on entertainment, content, or building new relationships, whereas business apps solve a business problem. If you're in the B2C market, you're up against not only rival apps for your customers' money and attention but also other time and money-consuming activities that fall outside the digital environment.
Because there are more choices to optimize and consumer needs and tastes are more fickle and ever-changing, B2C applications are updated more frequently, and often, design plays an essential role. Users can easily drop out if they do not pay enough attention to small details because there are thousands of alternative options available. B2C applications are typically “freemium models”, which are free to install and initially use, but they are nevertheless profitable because they often provide advertising space, and sell in-app extras, or subscription-based services.
B2B app development
Your focus as a B2B company is on experts working for larger enterprises. As a result, the number of possible users for your software is limited. You might, for example, target exclusively large companies' logistics divisions. In the Netherlands, there are tens of thousands of them. This won’t make it likely that hundreds of thousands of users will use your service at the same time. Whereas B2C applications focus on entertainment, B2B apps focus on solving an often business-related problem. This can be the automation of certain processes to increase overall productivity and efficiency, like Salesforce’s CRM software or implementing a centralized dashboard for providing real-time data insights, such as Google Analytics.
B2B apps generally provide a subscription service for businesses, either limited to their own company, but more often available for other businesses facing comparable problems and requiring the same solution. These apps are not available in the app store, as solutions like these require a tailored and custom implementation into a business, rather than a quick plug-and-play tool.
Which factors affect the cost of a mobile app??
At the end of the day, each development project is unique. The costs of developing a mobile app, for example, will differ from those of developing a web app. A B2B app will require different features than a B2C app. Different features will cost different amounts, with more complicated features costing more than standard components. Depending on the type, features, and complexity of the app, the cost to design and develop a mobile app can range from $50,000 to $500,000, or even more than a million dollars. There is no specific figure for the cost of developing an app, and the range between a budget app and a million-dollar app is massive. So, how can we come closer to an answer? The price of an application is generally bound to three main aspects:
Operating system & device: mobile or web app?
There won't be a substantial difference in app development costs between Android and iOS if you develop a native mobile app for a single platform. However, the platform's functionalities and capabilities might affect the development timeline, causing expenses to rise. However, the costs of building apps for both platforms separately likely result in double the price. When developing an app for iOS, you must adhere to Apple's strict regulations. The Android platform is far more adaptable, but also comes with its limitations. Both of these development platforms use different frameworks and SDKs, which have an impact on app prices.
Native development is appropriate for high-performance programs or those with a lot of complex animations or a complicated user interface. Native mobile apps are technically superior to web apps since they are better tuned for an optimized user experience. They use specialized toolkits and programming languages for iOS and Android apps, such as Swift for iOS and Java or Kotlin for Android. Native app development is generally more expensive and takes longer to complete.
When compared to native mobile app development, progressive web apps have a variety of benefits and drawbacks. Web apps must be responsive, meaning that they must look attractive and provide the same level of usability regardless of the size of the user's screen. The software must also work in several browsers and on a variety of operating systems. Most browsers and operating systems share many of the same standards, making PWA programming much easier for programmers. Next to that, with a web app, you are not bound by the Apple App Store and Google Play Store's rules and requirements. If you want to develop an application for multiple operating systems without paying top dollar, progressive web apps are often the best choice.
Features and complexity
To determine how much the development of your app will cost, you must first define the complete scope of the features you intend to include. The number and complexity of features will have a major impact on the number of hours it takes to develop an app and the type of app you end up with.
Choosing the right functionalities for your application fully depends on the main goal of your app. For example, if you want to develop a navigation app for cyclists, you will need to prioritize the implementation of a GPS tracker and an offline mode, while you can leave payment plugins and social connectivity for later. At Lizard Global, our development process always starts with an MVP, or minimum viable product, which is a product that consists of only the necessary components to test out among its first users. Want to know more about that? Check out this blog on MVPs or drop us a line.
To end up with a professional and well-functioning application, you’ll need the help of a development partner. This can be a freelance developer, or an entire team or agency providing a complete package of services that can contribute to the successful development of your app. You can also choose to employ professionals to supplement your existing in-house development team. All of these options have their advantages and disadvantages that have a substantial impact on the entire cost of app development.
Depending on the size and complexity of the project, you will have to find the appropriate partner. However, price should not be the only consideration. Instead, think of the development team's specialization, expertise, and experience. You can ask for references and check client feedback on recent projects on agency review platforms like Clutch.co and Sortlist.
Find out how and where you can find the right development partner for your project in this article.
Things to consider before designing and building your app
It’s clear by now that the price of an app isn’t just something you can jot down on a piece of paper. It’s complex and dependent on a wide range of factors included in the development process. To make sure you’re prepared for that process, a solid plan can take you a long way.
Having a concrete vision of what you want to develop can help you in many ways. It makes it easier for you and your development partner to estimate a concrete budget, but it can also save you quite some time, and therefore money. If you already have a clear idea of who your target audience is and what platform they use, what main functionalities need to be included in your app, and what your longer-term business plan looks like, you’re already off to a great start and probably already saved yourself some money.
In our article on preparing for an app development partnership, we provide you with some helpful tips to get you started most efficiently.
Our digital workshops are great for starting your digital partnership. During these workshops, we dive into the ins and outs of your target audience, industry, and market to get a concrete idea of what problems need solving.
Need a hand?
At Lizard Global, our cross-functional team of app development experts is specialized in taking your plans and dreams to the next level by turning them into a concrete plan of action to work towards a fully developed product that’s ready to take over the market.
With you as the expert in your field, we dive into your target audience and competitors and define a tailored solution for your end users. After this, we turn that idea into a cutting-edge product, from its design to its eventual development. Once you and your product are ready to take over the world, we help you guide it onto the market with a solid go-to-market strategy.
If that’s what you’re looking for, we will gladly lend you a hand in developing your digital solution. Get in touch with our experts to find out more about our development process and how we estimate the price of development at Lizard Global.