How Much Does It Cost To Develop An E-commerce App In 2021?

Is building an e-commerce app in 2021 a big hassle for you? Make your business successful with a marketplace app and generate new revenue opportunities.

Sara Khan
Sara Khan
Mar 30 · 11 min read
dribbble by Abhishek Prakash

Get your first ever marketplace app developed with no coding! Interesting — learn it how!

Are you also planning to migrate your brick-and-mortar shop to an eCommerce platform? Undoubtedly, eCommerce applications like Amazon and eBay are dominatingly ruling the world of eCommerce and inspiring thousands of startups to get started with their emarketplace app to unlock new revenue-generating opportunities for their business.

With 600+ million users accessing e-commerce applications and expected to generate $24,3 trillion by 2025, investing in eCommerce has become a preferred way of trading services and products in this modern society.

Over the years, the concept of e-commerce has spread out its wings dominatingly and become a staple of our lives. In fact, eCommerce apps are considered as the second most favourite place of meeting people or engagement after social media apps. Right from ordering your party dress to your grocery, we have now eCommerce for everything.

By having a look around yourself, you’ll easily make an assumption about how the global eCommerce business is heading. To define your idea into a proper practical shape here’s jaw-dropping statistics from the multiple resources.

Catching the Important Stats of the Ecommerce Industry

In a Nutshell: Though these figures are quite inspiring to hire mobile app development company in Dubai to get started with your eCommerce app as the next wave of innovation will not allow you to satisfy the growing needs of the end-users with the ordinary business model. Simply browsing and buying products no longer gives a satisfying experience on an eCommerce app. To keep your application stay ahead, you need to integrate an innovative set of features such as discounts, rewards, AI-based recommendations to make your app function outstandingly.

Let’s assume you are convinced to develop a mobile application. But “How much does it cost to develop an eCommerce app developer for your business?”, is one of the primary concerns of the organizations…

According to the Clutch survey, the average cost of agency-developed applications ranges between $30,000 to $700,000, with a median cost of $171,450. But app development experts say, the cost of building an eCommerce mobile app with basic e-commerce features starts from $5,000 to $7,000 for both iOS and Android.

Is it a marketing trap for businesses or a reality?

Let’s understand the key highlights of the blog:

  • Ecommerce App Development: What Type of App You Want For Your Business?
  • What is the Business Monetization Strategy for an eCommerce Mobile app?
  • General and Advanced Features of Building an eCommerce mobile app?
  • What Tech Stack is Required For eCommerce App Development?
  • Major Factors Affecting the Cost of Hiring eCommerce App Developers
  • Number of Platforms: Native or Hybrid
  • Team Structure: Outsourcing or In-House
  • Location of the Development Team
  • Final Words

Let’s dig deep to understand each point in detail:

1. How Much Does an eCommerce App Cost to Develop?

The recent research report from GoodFirms shows that the average price of developing a simple app can vary between $38,000 to $91,000. The applications with medium complexity will cost in between $55,000 to $131,000, whereas the complex apps can go $91,550+.

So here is the rough estimation of how much it costs to create an app as per the developer’s hourly rate of $30: A basic app will cost you around $30,000, medium complexity apps will cost between $50,000+ whereas the complex apps usually go beyond $75,000+.

Many of you are wondering why there is a huge gap between each version of the app and what exactly affects the cost of the eCommerce app development.

Well, there are multiple factors that influence the development cost of the app, but majorly it depends on what type of application you want for your business. So let’s discuss it below…

2. Ecommerce App Development: What Type of App You Want For Your Business?

  • B2B (Business to Business): As its name suggests, B2B eCommerce applications are concerned with providing goods and services between two businesses. For example, a mobile app that sells spare parts of the automobile, machine parts and more.
  • B2C (Business to Customer): B2C applications connect businesses to customers and allow them to offer products and services. The biggest example of this type of application is the Taxi Booking app.
  • C2C (Customer to Customer): This type of application is used to exchange products and services between two consumers. And a perfect example of such dealings are the apps that facilitate the auctioning of products.

Each version of this business app costs you differently as it includes different structure, features, and monetizing strategy.

There are hundreds of mobile app development companies in UAE, claim to be the best developers and assure you to get quality solutions. But before you fall for any trap, it’s important to evaluate the profile with important parameters such as their establishment year, portfolio, experience, local or foreign language, track record, per hour cost of the development and more.

Once you decide the type of application you want to develop, hire a team of programmers. But how it helps your business grow? How to make money from your app?

3. What Are the Best Ecommerce App Monetization Strategies for Your Business?

Business Monetization Model: This monetizing model is recommended for those who want to sell products or services of their own brand through this app. You can sell products with monthly subscriptions, annual packages or retain customers with loyalty reward points.

Aggregator Business Model: If you are already inspired by eCommerce applications like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, then this monetization strategy is for you. This type of monetizing strategy allows you to partner with multiple brands and allow them to sell their product or services under the umbrella of your brand. You can earn by charging any percentage of share on each sale.

Your brand will work as a third-party platform that allows other companies to sell their products and services. If you are considering this type of monetizing strategy, then make sure your app is designed and developed in a way to support this strategy. You can either choose to hire an app development company in UAE to accomplish it.

However, the only way to leverage these monetizing strategies is to integrate your app with the right feature set. So what are the essential features that you need to consider while creating an eCommerce app for your business?

4. General and Advanced Features of Building an eCommerce mobile app?

No matter what type of eCommerce application you are planning to develop, every app version has three pillars- Customer panel, Vendor panel and Admin Panel. So here’s the infographic look of features for each panel:

Advanced Features that Make Your Ecommerce Mobile app Perform Outstandingly

When it comes to developing an eCommerce app, UI/UX designs contribute a major role in attracting and alluring the attention of the users. The long-term success of your app is depending on the services and experience you provide your customers. So let’s have a look over advanced features that you should consider integrating into the eCommerce mobile app:

  • Push Notification: This is one of the biggest marketing tools that help you keep your customers engaged with your app longer. By leveraging this feature, your app can show customers new offers, deals and discounts on your products and services, order and payment confirmation details and more.
  • Social Login-Sign Up Allow users to log in and signup to your eCommerce app with the same credentials that you are actually using for the social media accounts. Users can log in to an eCommerce app with a Facebook or Gmail ID. These features can add a leap of convenience to the users.
  • Chatbot for 24*7 Customer Support: Chatbot support makes any eCommerce app more interactive by simply answering all the general questions to the customers. It will not only help you enhance the customer experience but also saves a lot of time and money. You can also choose to hire an eCommerce app development company in the UAE to customize this feature for your app.
  • Role-Based Dashboard: Role-Based dashboards are uncommon as they show data that is relevant to the role of a particular admin. These dashboards are uniquely designed to provide real-time data of the application on different dashboards and ensure better data understanding.
  • Real-Time Analytics: Generally eCommerce applications have a huge user base, so managing and monitoring app data manually are quite complicated. By integrating the real-time analytics in your app, you can determine your app pertaining to transactions, online users, more trending items.
  • Using AI: Based on the user’s previous actions, an app integrated with AI can help online retailers to leverage voice support, image search, product recommendations by tracking the behaviour of the users and advanced eCommerce analytics.

These are the few advanced features without which it is complicated to survive in this cut-throat competitive market. Adding an advanced feature set to the app development can lift the budget but it also increases the possibilities of achieving success. You must be wondering what technologies are required to develop an eCommerce app to meet the modern demands of the market.

5. What Tech Stack You Required For Ecommerce App Development?

— Will your app be capable enough to handle the wide user base?
— Should you hire a cross-platform mobile app development company in the UAE to integrate the right technology?
— Is that technology reliable and tested enough to integrate into your app development?
— What’s the best combination of technology that you can use for eCommerce app development?

Let us break it down into pieces:

  • Frontend/ Backend Development: HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • Web Server: Apache and Nginx
  • Databases: MySQL, MongoDB, DynamoDB, Firebase Database, PostgreSQL
  • Storage: AWS, Firebase Storage
  • Programming Language: Python, Scala, PHP, Java, React Native, Flutter, Laravel
  • Payment Gateway: PayPal, Braintree, Stripe
  • Social Media Marketing: Hootsuite, Buffer, Marketing 360
  • CRM: Salesforce, HubSpot, Nimble CRM
  • Inventory Management: Square For Retail, Lightspeed

Developing an app will all these technologies can help you stand out in the competition. But the question remains the same, how much does it cost to hire an eCommerce app developer in Dubai? Well, the average hourly cost to hire app developer in UAE ranges between $30 to $150. Again the final price to hire an eCommerce app developer is depending upon the few major features.

6. What are the Major Factors Affecting the Cost to Hire eCommerce App Developers?

  • Number of Platforms: Native or Hybrid

Whether you are building a Native app for Android, iOS or both. The more number of platforms simply translates into more expense. The estimated cost to develop a native app for a single platform will be approx $25000+. But considering the popularity of both the Google play store and the Apple App store, it makes sense to hire software developer experience with cross-platform app development solutions.

  • Team Structure: Outsourcing or In-House

This is the main cost driving factor of your application. When it comes to hiring app developers, many of you are in a dilemma, whether you should build an in-house development team or outsource a software development company in UAE. Keep it simple and clear, having your own in-house team will cost you more than outsourcing the team for the development project. While you have to spend long hours on screen the IT professionals for your in-house team, on the other hand, you can simply hire a team of project manager, business analyst, backend/frontend developer, quality assurance and more with the hourly cost of $25+.

  • Location of the Development Team

The cost to hire a mobile app developer greatly varies according to the location and its living cost. While the hourly cost to hire a developer in India will cost you $20+ and Dubai developers $25+, the USA and UK are the most expensive places to consider with $100 to $150+ hourly cost.


If you are also looking for ways to improve your business, you should definitely consider hiring an app development company in UAE with experience in crafting customized solutions by implementing various ideas into successful products. In fact, by collaborating with a team of highly skilled developers, you can easily get your app idea evaluated and get the right estimations.


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