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How to Save $$$ on App Development?

A tiny mobile app costs a bomb! 

Though it has recently become very easy for developers to accomplish the app, it still eats up many hours of development and design teams. 

The more hours they spend, the more money they charge. Because they charge hourly! 

In a country like India, app agencies generally charge around $25 per hour. Whereas in North America and Europe, they charge around $70 per hour. 

Thus, if you outsource your app development project to India and they estimate 400 hours to create the app, the cost of making an app would be $10000. 

Here, it is worth mentioning that 400 hours is the least possible time developers and designers require to develop the most basic app with only important features. 

However, there are many ways to save money on app development, and today, we are going to discuss the same. 

But first, let us share a client story so that you will understand that the best way to save mobile app development cost is to decide the app development approach carefully.

The Client Story – How He Saved $50000 on App Development? 

We recently received an inquiry for food delivery app development. 

The client wanted to develop a food delivery app like Zomato. 

When we further studied and evaluated his requirements, we came to know that it would require us more than 2200 hours to develop an app like Zomato. 

With a 2200 hours long app development cycle, we were overshooting his budget by $50000. 

Zomato is a unicorn startup. It recently raised a whopping $660 million in a single financial round. 

Even after the lockdown period in India, its revenue increased by 105%.

The unit economics of Zomato has also improved very significantly. 

Talking about the Zomato app, it works on the latest technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning. And it is equipped with some very complex features and flawless UI. 

We suggested to him to change the app development approach. 

So far, he was looking for a custom app development. But we offered him to either go for a clone app or MVP app development approach. 

He selected a clone app as we were providing a Zomato clone app armed with all features same as the original Zomato clone app at the price tag of $5000. 

But a clone app isn’t developed dedicatedly for you after considering your business operations, needs, and goals. It follows the ‘one-app-fits-all’ approach. 

And the client was seeking an app that adapts to his business operations easily. The client also wanted to experiment with the app first before launching the app on a large scale.

So, we suggested going for the MVP app development approach. 

An MVP app is an app with basic and important only features. Developers develop it according to your business operations, needs, and goals. 

And the best part is, it costs the same as the clone app. 

We delivered the MVP version of the food delivery app to the client within a month. He then launched it and collected feedback from the initial users. 

Based on the feedback of the users, we integrated one new feature at a time to keep the risk minimum. 

Today, his app is a very popular app in his business terrain. 

Most importantly, he saved almost $50000 on mobile app development cost and kept the risk minimum so far in his business journey. 

In essence, the app development approach you select influences your budget greatly. 

Before we discuss many other ways to save money on app development, let’s discuss how a mobile app benefits your business. 

Top Reasons Why You Should Develop an App in 2021 for Your Business

  • Sales Growth 

Look around you. You will find almost all restaurants delivering food through mobile apps. 

Why? Because mobile apps are giving them an opportunity to make extra money in addition to their regular profit through dine-in options. 

In 2020, their earnings through online delivery surpassed their earnings through dine-in options. 

This depicts how brilliantly a mobile app helps you grow your sales and find many other ways to make money. 

  • Customer Relationship 

If a customer buys something from you only once, there is a serious issue with your customer relationship efforts.  

All big companies invest a lot of money in customer relationship management as they know the fact that a happy customer will make you earn 100 more customers. 

With a mobile app, you can keep all records of the customers in one place, send them personalized offers and give them an easy way to claim what they deserve. 

  • Easy Communication With Teams and Customers 

You rely on text messages, phone calls, and WhatsApp to communicate with the customers and teammates. But not all of them are using WhatsApp or fond of text messages. 

It is also a tedious task to manually add the contact details of each customer and teammate. 

But with a mobile app, it becomes very easy to not only communicate with teammates and customers (from the app itself) but to manage the contact details of all stakeholders. 

  • Valuable Analytics 

Analytics plays a very crucial role in defining the success of the business. It reveals the real customer behavior which helps business owners to make strategic decisions. 

For instance, you can come to know two different products which customers buy together. 

So, next time when a customer buys any of these products, you can suggest the second product. 

And there will be a high possibility – as per historic trends – that he would buy both together. This way, you will end up selling one more product to the customer.  

So, after reading the benefits of the mobile app, if you’re planning to develop one such app for your business, you should know different ways to achieve it within your budget. 

How to Save the Cost of Making An App?

Before talking about the smart moves, we need to identify where there is the scope for cost-saving. 

Talking first, there is no scope for cost-saving when it comes to clone apps as such apps are already priced very aggressively, and app agencies sell them at a fixed price.   

But yes, when it comes to custom apps and MVP apps, there is a huge scope for cost-saving. 

So the following smart moves to save money on app development are applicable only on custom and MVP apps. 

  • Keep An App/Product Requirements Document Ready

When you share the app idea with an app development agency, they prepare the document in which they list out all features required to execute the app idea. 

Since the number of features influences the number of hours required to develop the app, it influences the app development budget too. 

Thus, it is advisable for you to carry out basic research and list out a feature set by yourself. This will help you to draw a line between what you actually need vs what the app agency suggests. 

As a result, you will be able to successfully discard the less important features. 

For instance, your need is to have a simple sign-in page. But app agencies suggest you have a sign-in page with social sign-in options. 

Now, without any doubt, a sign-in page with a social sign-in option will increase development hours and cost. 

But if you are very clear with your requirements, you won’t directly accept the suggestion of anyone! (Because now you have a base ready to evaluate what is needed and what is not!) 

But the question is, how to define the feature set. 

You need to follow the simple process – define the user goals and user journey. 

For instance, if a user is using a food delivery app, the user goal will be ordering the food. 

And the user journey for that goal will be, log in > search restaurant > select food items > add address > make payment > track order > rate and review. 

Lastly, you need to add the features that satisfy each phase of this user journey! 

2nd phase – search restaurants  

Features – voice search, search by filters

  • Work With All-Rounder App Development Agency Only 

For a successful startup, you won’t just require an app. You will also require business consulting, technical consulting, legal advice & help, a digital marketing agency, etc.

If you choose to work with an all-rounder app development agency that helps you set up an entire startup, you would save effort, time, and cost. 

Here is how: 

Unlike just-an-app-development-agency that just delivers you the app, an all-rounder app development company helps you register your company, register the trademark, and make your app compliant with local laws by charging a minimal amount or free. 

They also help you make business decisions in favor of business growth based on current market scenarios and future trends. 

In case you don’t work with an all-rounder agency, you will end up hiring multiple companies and their services to get your work done. 

This will result in unnecessary efforts in coordination and communication, different fees for different services, and delays in app launch. 

  • Adopt Responsive Design

First of all, let’s understand what responsive design is. 

A responsive design creates dynamic changes to the appearance of an app based on the screen size i.e., tablet, smartphone, foldable phone.  

In other words, a responsive design needs to be created only once for all sizes of devices. And this will reduce the design hours and development cost. 

Example of Responsive Design 

  • Select APIs After Considering Your Needs and Cost-to-Needs Ratio 

Developers integrate many APIs into the app to accomplish some complex features easily. 

The most common APIs they integrate are payment API, map API, and communication API. 

However, this is not a one-time-investment as most of the APIs charge you every month – either based on your usage or a fixed amount. 

There are multiple APIs available in the market and they all don’t charge the same price. They come with different features too. 

This makes it urgent for you to select the most suitable API for your app. 

If you’re looking for a payment API, you do have hundreds of choices. 

But generally, app agencies suggest you go for Stripe or PayPal API. But these are very ‘premium’ APIs with very advanced features that you might not need at all. 

Meaning, the cost-to-needs ratio of these APIs is very high. 

To keep it low, you must go for any affordable API which offers all basic yet important features while satisfying all of your needs. 

We’re Sharing Such Knowledge Because We Develop Cost-Effective Apps Only! 

We help startups like no other app agency on earth (and we’re proud of that!)

First of all, we’re not only the app agency and that’s why we help startups beyond just the mobile app.

Before investing your hard-earned money in app development, you have to figure out successful app development steps & target audience and compare existing competitors’ apps, define the user journey and validate the app idea with experts.

And yes, we’re an all-rounder app development agency! 

We have been working with startups for 3 decades. We know the fact that high development cost is the biggest challenge for startups. 

Thus, making apps affordable for startups has been our only goal from the beginning. 

And we are proud that we are delivering a feature-packed app within $5K. 

As if this is not enough, with our in-house business experts, legal advisors, and marketing gurus, we are helping entrepreneurs set up an entire startup from scratch. 

Share your requirements with us. We’re clever enough to address any sort of requirement related to startup!  

We promise you to make our first conversation (which will be consultation) extremely useful and absolutely free!