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In today’s digital era, mobile applications have become a crucial aspect of modern business operations. With the retail industry being no exception, businesses are constantly looking to leverage mobile apps to drive customer engagement and increase sales. In 2024, the retail industry is expected to continue its growth trajectory, with mobile commerce projected to account for a significant percentage of total retail sales. As such, businesses are increasingly looking to invest in retail apps that offer users a seamless and personalized shopping experience by availing retail app development services from various companies. However, a common question businesses face when considering developing a retail app is what will be the total retail app development cost

(We’ve also answered similar questions such as what is the cost to make an app like DoorDash? Or what is the cost to create an app like TikTok?)

In this blog, we will explore the various factors that influence retail app development cost in 2024 while providing a rough estimate of the retail app development cost range businesses can expect to incur. But before that, let’s discuss the importance of having a retail app for your business.

Importance Of Having a Retail App

Here are some of the perks, benefits, and edge you get by investing in an app for your retail business:

  • The amount of time users spend on their smartphones keeps growing, and apps can help you maintain your brand’s prominence in the marketplace.
  • Applications boost client loyalty and retention, helping drive more sales in the process.
  • You can engage with customers and showcase your goods and services by having an app.
  • Users are able to receive enhanced customer service.
  • Compared to mobile websites, apps load more quickly.
  • Apps can be used offline by users.
  • With the help of the app, you can stay in touch with clients wherever they may be, remind them of appointments, and create effective loyalty programs that reward your most devoted clients.
  • Extensive analytical skills. You may easily get data on user purchases and examine information about how they use your app and shop.
  • If you compare the cost of an in-app catalog of products and services with print brochures, apps take the win.

Factors that Influence Retail App Development Cost

The first influencing factor in retail app development cost is to analyze the target audience and business objectives, understand how to develop an app, and choose a platform to code.

Although the application’s buttons, screens, and other UI components determine its uniqueness and usability, each additional component increases the cost of the project as a whole. Therefore, it is essential to pre-develop a prototype and think over the App functionality and features, down to the last minutiae of detail. This functionality influences the following factors that affect the price.

Retail app development cost can be simplified into three separate sections:

  • The complexity of the application
  • Its Design and Structure
  • What Tech-Stack is to be used

Let’s discuss each aspect in detail starting with the complexity level of the app’s development.

Factor 1: Complexity Level of App Development (a)

Designing an application that is smaller in size and simpler in design will need less time as opposed to one that is more complex and intricate. You will need to define the scope of the retail app project as well as its developmental timeline.

How many features will the product include in total? How many displays, switches, and other features will it have? How intricate will the business logic be in the application? The features and integrations you select, as well as the method used to have an app produced, will determine how complex the app is. Here are the features that can be found in various basic, mid-tier, and complex retail apps. Just remember, the greater the complexity, the higher the retail app development cost to develop, test, and integrate.

Basic Features:

  • Product Catalog: The app should have a complete catalog of products available for sale.
  • Search Bar: A search bar is an essential feature to help users find what they are looking for quickly.
  • Shopping Cart: A shopping cart feature is essential for users to add items they wish to purchase.
  • Checkout Process: A straightforward and easy checkout process is crucial to increase conversion rates.
  • Payment Gateway: The app should support multiple payment options such as credit/debit cards, PayPal, etc.
  • User Account: Users should be able to create an account, login, and manage their profile information.
  • Push Notifications: Sending personalized notifications to users can help improve engagement.

Mid-tier Features:

  • Product Recommendations: The app should use machine learning algorithms to suggest relevant products to the users.
  • Reviews and Ratings: User-generated reviews and ratings can help other users make informed decisions.
  • Wish List: Users should be able to create and manage their wish list of products.
  • Loyalty Programs: Retail apps can integrate loyalty programs to reward users for their repeat purchases.
  • Order Tracking: Users should be able to track their orders in real-time.
  • In-Store Pickup: The app can offer an option to buy online and pick up in-store.
  • Multiple Languages: Offering multiple languages can help reach a wider audience.

Complex Features:

  • Augmented Reality: Retail apps can use AR to enable users to visualize how a product looks in their home or office.
  • Virtual Fitting Room: Apps can use AI-powered technology to allow users to try on clothes virtually.
  • Social Media Integration: Retail apps can integrate social media platforms to allow users to share their purchases and reviews.
  • Personalized Marketing: The app can use data analytics to send personalized marketing messages to users.
  • Chatbots: Chatbots can assist users with their queries, such as order status or return requests.
  • Voice Search: Integrating voice search can help users find products without typing.
  • Artificial Intelligence: AI can be used to provide personalized recommendations, optimize pricing, and analyze user behavior to improve the app’s overall performance.

Factor 1: The Complexity of the Application Design (b)

Moving onto the second factor of retail app development cost, we have the app design stage. The design stage is an integral part of the development stage. You cannot separate the two to Choose the app’s development budget. Designing is very similar to the development phase; as you add more features, the cost increases proportionately. (Learn more about the cost of developing an app.) Similar to designing, using templates may limit the retail app development cost estimate, but adding more customizations will increase the cost and lengthen the process. There are a few other issues that we must consider.

Point 1. User Experience

UX is about how the application works. The screens are created using a designing platform or on paper in UX. In the end, it also influences the final cost of creating a mobile app. The program should be simple for the user to use. Understanding the market, the consumer, your goals, and your objectives are crucial for creating that kind of experience. The price to launch a mobile app will vary depending on user involvement and the complexity of the design.

  • Button Placement
  • Color Psychology
  • Following the user’s eye pattern

Point 2. User Interface and Visuals

You can estimate the retail app development cost based on how many and various UI and visual components are used. This factor affects MVP design costs as well. A better outlook is merely one benefit of improved design. Creating an application is followed by building mockups that let you see the solution visually. To determine the best price to construct an app, give equal weight to design and development. Here are some of the (general) design aspects and elements you will need to consider for your app. The more complex and intricately designed these elements are, the higher the cost will be to code them into existence.

  • Layout,
  • Animations
  • Widgets
  • Screen,
  • Colors,
  • Typography,
  • Shapes,
  • Elements,
  • Items.

One important aspect you need to take into consideration when designing the UI and visuals of a retail application is following and staying true to the brand style guidelines. This will help ensure a consistent look and feel of the app while also helping instill a sense of brand identity and creating brand value. 

Factor 2: The Platform on Which the App Will Run

Moving onto the third factor to affect retail app development cost after complexity and design, is which platform(s) the retail app will run on. You are given two choices.

Option 1. Develop a Hybrid or Cross-Platform App

A Hybrid application is an application that can run on both iOS and Android platforms. There are three important things you need to take into consideration before you go ahead with choosing a platform for your retail app project.

  • Market Share
  • Device Fragmentation
  • Prevalence

All of these are based on the original market you plan to target. Knowing the market might help you determine how much it will cost to design an iOS application. The same logic applies to Android smartphones, so you need to be aware of areas where iOS is more common than Android. Although the app creation costs are different for the two platforms, the app development procedure is the same for both. Cross-platform programs can exploit platform-specific capabilities and benefit from easy integration and slick functioning. This improves the user experience and lowers the app’s “how much does it cost” response. A native app costs more to produce than a hybrid one. And it makes sense why this would because you’d require a greater number of resources as well as more time and effort to build the two apps simultaneously.

Option 2. Develop a Native App

In contrast to a hybrid app development approach, a native application runs only on a single platform: Android or iOS. Thus, if you want to build an app for both Android and iOS using native frameworks, you’ll need to hire 2 separate development teams, meaning you will have to bear two development team costs. One to produce an Android version, the other an iOS version. I assume you got the point. The cost would definitely double because you will need to hire different individuals for each platform. How much do iPhone or Android apps cost is a question that you might have. The cost of developing an app for iOS and Android is the same, is the answer. The cost is the same even though the technologies, SDK, databases, frameworks, and quality assessment systems differ between the two. A hidden cost is an essential component of the cost estimation guide for apps.

retail application

Factor 3: Technology Stack Costs

What tech-stack you’ll be using for your retail app project is completely dependent on what your individual needs are for your app. To learn about how much each specific technology stack will set your retail app development cost back by, we recommend getting in touch with a custom retail app development company. For your easier understanding, we’ve gone ahead and listed which technology is used in which specific aspect of retail app development.


Tech Stack

Backend Development Python
Frontend Development Javascript
Real-Time Data Management And Processing Kafka Software


Platform Infrastructure Dataproc
Frameworks Hadoop, Apache Storm, Hub Framework
Client-side development HTML,CSS,JavaScript,Bootstrap
Database MongoDB,MySQL
Payment integration Stripe, Braintree
Other Utilities Swagger, Confluence, AWS S3, PostgreSQL,MailChimp

Other Associated Costs

Like all, there are some hidden retail app development costs you will also have to bear when looking to develop a retail app. In this section, we will be going over some of the most common hidden or associated costs people came face to face with in their mobile app development project.

Quality assurance

You could also need to hire a project manager or a quality assurance agent, depending on the scale of your app. You might also need business analysts to help you stay on schedule and make sure your retail app development cost does not exceed the budget.

Infrastructure costs

Costs associated with infrastructure include those related to app hosting, data delivery, and storage. All of this increases a project’s expense and complexity. Servers, data storage, programming tools, and libraries are a few examples of backend infrastructure and server hosting that affect retail app development cost.

IT support costs

Without ongoing technical help and IT support services, it is impossible to create a high-quality app. The retail app development cost however, can rise over time in terms of support. Bug fixes, maintenance of APIs, and other upgrades for iOS and Android are a few examples of IT support services.

Retail App Development Cost Breakdown in 2024

Who you choose will have a significant impact on the total retail app development cost you incur. There are several options available, including an experienced retail app development company, local development teams, an in-house team of developers, as well as hiring freelance developers.

But, when it comes to creating high end applications with top notch features and functionalities, nothing stops a skilled mobile app development company as they can do wonders for your retail app. Below is a general estimate of the total retail app development cost you would incur after hiring resources to create your app.





Development time 2-6 months 6-9 months 9-15 months
Developers $30-40,000 $50-60,000 $100,000+
UI/UX Designer $4-5,000 $5-7,000 $10-15,000
Project Manager $5-7,000 $10-15,000 $10,000+
QA Specialist $8-10,000 $15-20,000 $20,000+
Business Analyst $2-3,000 $5-8,000 $8-10,000
DevOps $2-4,000 $5-7,000 $10,000+
Solutions Architect $1-3,000 $5-8,000 $9,000+
Total $20-50,000 $50-100,000 $100,000+

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the retail app development cost in 2024 can vary depending on various factors, such as the app’s complexity, features, and the technology used. The estimated cost may range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is crucial to partner with a reliable and experienced app development company that can offer cost-effective solutions while ensuring quality and timely delivery. By investing in a well-designed retail app, businesses can gain a competitive edge, improve customer engagement and loyalty, and drive revenue growth. With the continued growth of the retail industry, the future of retail app development is undoubtedly a wise investment for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve. If these costs are too out of budget for you, you can just get in touch with us at Trango Tech and we will discuss some Cost reduction strategies with you to help bring the overall retail app development cost down without compromising on the overall quality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What are some benefits of having a retail app for a business?

Some benefits of having a retail app for a business include:

Increased brand prominence:

With the growing amount of time users spend on smartphones, having a retail app helps maintain brand visibility in the marketplace.

Improved customer loyalty and retention:

Retail apps can enhance customer engagement, leading to increased sales and improved customer loyalty.

Effective product showcasing:

Retail apps provide a platform to showcase goods and services to users, helping to drive sales.

Enhanced customer service:

Apps offer features that enable personalized customer service, leading to improved customer satisfaction.

Faster loading times:

Compared to mobile websites, apps load more quickly, providing a seamless user experience.

Offline usability:

Retail apps can be used offline, allowing users to access information and complete transactions even without an internet connection.

Improved communication and loyalty programs:

Apps enable businesses to stay in touch with clients, send reminders, and create loyalty programs to reward dedicated customers.

Advanced analytics:

Retail apps provide valuable data on user purchases and behavior, allowing businesses to analyze and optimize their app’s performance.


Compared to print brochures, in-app catalogs of products and services are more cost-effective for businesses.

Q2: What factors influence the development cost of a retail app?

Several factors influence the development cost of a retail app, including:

Complexity of the application:

The more complex the features and functionality of the app, the higher the development cost.

Design and structure:

The design elements, user interface, and visual components of the app impact the development cost.

Choice of tech stack:

The selection of technologies and frameworks used in app development can affect the overall cost.

Target audience and business objectives:

Understanding the target audience and defining clear business objectives helps determine the app’s scope and development cost.

Platform selection:

Developing a native app for a specific platform (e.g., iOS or Android) or a hybrid app that runs on multiple platforms can impact the cost.

Additional costs:

Hidden or associated costs such as quality assurance, infrastructure, and ongoing technical support should be considered.

Q3: What are the basic, mid-tier, and complex features typically found in retail apps?

Retail apps can have different levels of features based on their complexity:

Basic features:

Product catalog, search bar, shopping cart, checkout process, payment gateway, user account, push notifications.

Mid-tier features:

Product recommendations, reviews and ratings, wish list, loyalty programs, order tracking, in-store pickup, multiple languages.

Complex features:

Augmented reality, virtual fitting room, social media integration, personalized marketing, chatbots, voice search, artificial intelligence.

Q4: How does the complexity level of app development impact the cost?

The complexity level of app development directly affects the cost. A smaller and simpler app requires less time and resources, resulting in a lower development cost. However, as the app becomes more complex and includes advanced features, integrations, and business logic, the development time and cost increase accordingly.

Q5: What are the estimated development costs for retail apps based on different complexity levels?

The estimated development costs for retail apps can vary based on complexity levels. Here is a general breakdown:

Basic retail app:

Development time of 2-6 months, with costs ranging from $20,000 to $50,000.

Mid-tier retail app:

Development time of 4-8 months, with costs ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

Complex retail app:

Development time of 6+ months, with costs starting from $100,000 and potentially exceeding $500,000, depending on the app’s specific requirements and features.

About The Author

blog author
Ahsan Shahid

Meet Ahsan, the wordsmith behind some of the most electrifying pieces on app development. Armed with a keyboard, a cup of coffee, and an insatiable curiosity, Ahsan has spent years exploring the wild and wonderful world of app development. Currently working at Trango Tech, an app development company, Ahsan brings his expertise to the forefront. So buckle up, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, we won't judge), and get ready to dive headfirst into the exciting and ever-changing world of app development with Ahsan as your guide.

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