A good eCommerce platform is one of the simplest ways to take your business to a more extensive customer base. The pandemic has also made entrepreneurs realize the importance of taking their business online. It is future-proof, scalable, and easier to manage than a regular brick-and-mortar store.
The primary concern, of course, is building a robust app while sticking to your budget. The good news is that you can start small and increase the complexity of your app as you scale your business up.
Here is a complete guide on how to bring your eCommerce app development costs with 12 practical tips.
#1. Have A Plan In Place
Like any business, eCommerce development begins with a solid plan. It would be best if you were very clear about what you wish to achieve with the app and your goals for the near future. This will help you choose the right features and reduce costs on unwanted ones.
Moreover, when you start an eCommerce app without a plan, you may have to make changes and edits. They increase your app costs significantly and can even hold back the development process. So, if you hire designers by the hour, your price will only increase when you do not have a plan in place.
The most important thing to remember when you start is to keep it simple. Try to keep the number of product categories minimal. This also reduces the size of the app. The lower the number of pages, the lower your overall design costs.
#2. Reduce the Scope of Your E-Commerce Application
It is good to start with an MVP or Minimum Viable Product. This is the application with the bare minimum features. There are many advantages to this:
Hosting and server are cheaper as the application is smaller.
Limited features mean lesser maintenance costs.
It is easier to find developers.
You can create a product that will get your business off the ground without an exuberant budget.
Once you have some returns on your investment, you can customize the application to suit your requirements. This will also reduce the risk once your platform is functioning. You can assess the performance and then choose to include more features in the new phase of your application.
This is an added advantage; you can keep your customers’ interest for longer by introducing interesting features at regular intervals.
#3. Consider Available Templates
Once you have overcome the biggest challenge, determining the expectation you have from your business, the next step is planning the interface. Now, this is what your customers will associate the brand with. So, you cannot make any compromises. That said, you can look for templates that suit the requirements of your business. Most of these templates are highly customizable. Dedicated marketplaces such as WooCommerce and Magento provide you with ready themes and templates that you can change according to your brand guidelines.
These templates cost you anything from $0-to $200. However, if you are looking for a customized design, the cost can vary between $1500- and $5000. For enterprise-level customization, the price can go up to $50000. This depends upon the number of internal pages you have and the categories you have.
#4. Build a Cross-Platform App
A native app offers more speed and performance, no doubt. However, the cost will increase significantly if you want to
develop an application for various platforms like Android, iOS, and Android. The best solution is to opt for cross-platform development. There is no hardware integration required when you build a cross-platform application.
While it does not deliver the same user experience as a native application, the advantage of a cross-platform applies to cost reduction. It is easy to update. These apps can even be accessed through internet browsers. The latest version is accessible to the user. Your uninstall rates will also come down as users don’t have to update the app repeatedly.
#5. Get the Right Tech Stack
The tech stack is a set of programming languages, frameworks, and tools used to build your eCommerce application. There are two parts to your tech stack- the front end and the back end. The front end is what your user gets to see, while the rear end is what you need to take charge of to manage the data and function effectively.
Keeping your tech stack simple is the key to reducing your application costs. It is easy to get attracted to the latest tools or software. However, instead of spending time and resources on understanding these new technologies, it is better to use tested, reliable options. The open-source community is a great place to look for the best tech stacks for your apps. There are only three things you need to consider when you choose a tech stack:
Does it support your app’s functionality?
Does it reduce development time?
Is it scalable?
A good tech stack has secondary benefits. It improves communication between team members and reduces the time to market.
#6. Reduce Domain and Hosting Costs
A domain name is necessary for an eCommerce application for two reasons. First, you need to store data centrally ( login, registration, etc.). Second, you need a domain verified as the owner for platforms like Google Apps.
Your domain is your virtual address. This is where your customers will find you. The domain is also one of the most expensive factors in eCommerce app development, depending on which one you choose. If you select a top-level domain, you have to spend more for acquisition.
You need to remember the objective of your business before you get carried away by the need to get the right domain name. This is a rookie mistake that most entrepreneurs make. Facebook was hosted, known as The Facebook, when it was first launched to give you a perspective. The domain name was
However, Mark Zuckerburg wanted to call it Facebook initially, but the name was not available. So, the prefix was added. In the following year, the current domain name was purchased for $200,000. So, even if your domain name does not seem perfect when you begin, remember that you can always invest in it in the future if needed.
#7. Get The Right Hosting Plan
Always take your developer’s advice when choosing your hosting plan. This will ensure that it matches the requirements of your app. If not, you may have unexpected glitches after your app is live, significantly adding to your development costs.
When choosing a platform, make sure that you take care of two essential factors:
Easy entry point concerning the cost.
Scalability as your business grows.
Managed cloud hosting is one of the best options available for startups. You get the advantage of several features and the power of cloud hosting without the hassle of server management. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars every month, you can start with double-digit figures and then move up as your business progresses.
Options like Digital Ocean, AWS, and Google Cloud are available at prices starting from $12 based on the capabilities you require for your app to function smoothly. Always make sure that you opt for a server above 2GB to avoid errors when customers visit your app.
#8. Use Pre-Built Features
Whether it is payment, registration, or any feature you wish to include in your app, you can choose from a range of plugins and extensions. They are readily available on eCommerce platforms or can be purchased from third-party marketplaces.
Some extensions are also available for free for everyday business requirements. For the others, the cost ranges from $10- to over $500 based on the type of extension or plugin you choose. If you want more complex functions like cache management, it costs higher. The eCommerce platform that you choose also affects your overall cost.
#9. Choose the Agile Methodology
There are many processes involved in traditional app development. This includes speed optimization, performance testing, support, etc. The best way to bring these processes together cost-effectively and efficiently is to use the agile methodology. It breaks down the entire development cycle into many more miniature stages. You can develop, test, and deploy at each stage through sprints or iterative cycles.
This allows you to reduce the cost of resources and even eliminate the ones you don’t need at an early stage. Testing smaller cycles enable you to fix issues early and efficiently. You not only save on the expenses but also on the time it takes to develop your app. You can even focus on the MVP easily without worrying about missing out on essential features when you choose the agile methodology.
#10. Automate Whatever You Can
Any mundane or repetitive task can be automated. Testing, for instance, is an area that can easily be automated. The objective of automation is not to replace developers. Instead, it allows your developers to focus on more critical tasks. It also reduces the cost of hiring a developer. Using a Continuous Integration platform, for instance, is a great idea. It creates a code repository where you can run quality, unit, and syntax tests. All your developers are notified in case of any failure. That way, issues can be fixed in the early stages.
Consider DevOps automation to create continuous feedback between the development and operations teams. That way, deployment becomes faster and reduces the overall cost of production. It also makes a seamless system that integrates tools like infrastructure automation, performance management, configuration management, monitoring, testing, and log management.
#11. UAT In the Initial States
User Acceptance Tests are highly recommended to reduce your development cost. The last thing you want is to launch your app on a famous store and then learn that users aren’t accepting it readily. Fixing these issues at that stage is very expensive.
It is a good idea to release a prototype and begin the UAT. You may repeat it just before launching the final application. Your product is its best version when it is released to the market.
#12. Outsource Development
Outsourcing development gives you the advantage of an experienced team at a lower cost. For startups, using a team on a per-project basis is cheaper than maintaining a regular payroll.
Even the maintenance of your application can be outsourced to reduce costs. It gives you a dedicated team without the added expense of maintaining resources and infrastructure to support an in-house team.
When you are shifting your entire business online, there are different phases that you must go through. Each of them provides ample scope for you to reduce the costs. The bottom line is that the simpler you start, the easier it is for you to scale up.
Bitcot helps you find the most appropriate resources to make your eCommerce app flawless in functionality and user experience. We connect you with the right talent and provide expert solutions to build the best eCommerce app even when you are on a tight budget.