How much does it cost to make an on-demand application?

By James Tredwell on March 19, 2021

How much does it cost to create on-demand apps? How to design ones that can bring in expected returns? A genuine concern for every business dabbling in mobile applications! Here’s a quick guide at cost estimation for on-demand apps to help you answer that for your business and venture at hand. 

The on-demand economy, i.e., the access economy, stands on the foundational pillars of convenience, speed, and ease of service. The market is filled with web apps that serve particular user needs with prompt assistance and make millions in the process. Take Uber, DoorDash, PostMates, or Airbnb, for example.  

But, not all make it to the top-tier, regardless of how much money and time you put in them. (Think Pronto, DoorMint, or The Happy Home Company.) 

The reasons vary, but proper cost estimation remains a decisive factor in determining the effectiveness of any on-demand mobile application’s prospects. Let’s dive into a simple guide for understanding the on-demand application development process and the factors that can help you create a near-accurate cost estimation.

How Do You Create An On-Demand App That Inspires Returns? 

On-demand apps are an excellent, creative, and potentially profitable tool to accommodate modern-day consumers’ needs. And, the process to create one is very straightforward at a glance. 

  • Validate Your App Idea For A Target Audience 
  • Prepare A Clear Business Model For The App 
  • Determine The Platform, Technology, Resources, And Tools
  • Establish A Timeline 
  • Establish Specifications For Intended Consumer Experience 
  • Prepare For App Store Optimization 
  • Prepare For Monetization 
  • Install Security Measures 
  • Launch And Maintain App Performance 

However, the devil is in the details! That’s why you should not expect to become the next Uber the moment you launch an on-demand application. 

The On-Demand Industry in 2020-2021 
  • Worldwide Mobile App Revenue Could Cross 935 Billion USD by 2023. 
  • The US On-Demand Economy Had Over 22.4 Million Users. 
  • US Consumers Put In Over 57.6 Billion USD In The On-demand Economy Annually.
  • Video Apps Like Houseparty, ZOOM, Hangouts Meet, and Microsoft Team crossed 60 Million Downloads in 2020. 
  • Platform-to-Consumer Delivery Is The Market’s Largest Segment With Over 70,741 Million of Projected Market Value. 

The on-demand mobile app development industry is gaining momentum, but the COVID-induced global trend shifts have led the way to intense competition. In such market circumstances, the parameters of success in this industry have moved from idea and execution to battle-scale preparation. It’s become a prerequisite to beat the rising competition while fulfilling user demands and generating revenue. 

And, how can you achieve that? 

Simple- Take stock of the investment and match it with the market prospects for your project. That’s where cost estimation for your on-demand app becomes a necessary process. 

Types of On-Demand Apps 

Before discussing the factors that impact on-demand app development costs, it is critical to clarify that they apply to different types of on-demand apps individually.

End-User Centric  Service-Provider Centric  Admin Centric 
An app designed with the service-using, final customer in mind. Possible features include user profiles, log-in modules, profile editing, chat, messaging, in-app purchases, multilingual support, push notifications, ratings, etc.  An app designed for the companies/ businesses/  service providers in mind. Possible features include service acceptance or rejection modules, cost calculation, earning records, service tracking modules, data encryption, payment integration, availability, etc.  An app designed for service mediators and administrators. Possible features include user and service provider management modules, central dashboard, analytics, BI, reports, price analysis modulus, commission tracking, etc.

So, much like Uber, if your on-demand mobile application involves an end-user, a service provider, and a third-party administration mediator, you must perform cost calculation and estimation for all three modules to get a comprehensive ballpark figure. 

How Much Does It Cost To Create On-demand Apps

As much as you would like a straight-up cost breakdown with exact figures in place, the best anyone can offer you is a ball-park guess, albeit well-informed. 

The reason- There are different types of on-demand apps intended for a diverse range of audiences and impacted by many factors.

As a business, when you hire dedicated mobile app developers for any project, it’s wise to obtain a forecast of the costs you’ll incur. With mobile or web applications, that involves a thorough breakdown of the various reasons that impact app development in your domain, region, and industry. 

1.  Team Involved

Any mobile app development process involves certain resources, i.e., developers, testers, analysts, UI/UX designers, QAs, process specialists, project managers, and so on for every other specialization your app needs. In different economies, their rate of services vary. For instance, you can hire dedicated mobile app developers in India for $10 to $50 an hour. In the USA, this can cost you anywhere between $60 to $125 an hour. 

This hourly rate can fluctuate on the basis of your application’s complexity, volume, and timeline. It can also change depending on the resource’s experience, expertise, and specialization. iOS app developers may demand higher prices than Android mobile developers in some regions and vice versa. 

Do the math before you proceed! Keep a buffer as well for unexpected requirements mid-development. 

2. Major Features 

Every feature in an on-demand mobile application carries a development cost. These vary by the nature and complexity of the module/feature, hours needed to develop it, and the region you choose to hire dedicated mobile app developers from. 

Keep in mind that these numbers merely reinforce the idea that your investment depends on different types of on-demand apps. There are several cost differentiators enclosed within, for instance.

  • The cost of regular stability updates
  • Third-party app integrations 
  • Content sources 
  • Visual elements and their complexity in the app 
  • Hardware feature integration for smartphones (includes GPS, sensors, AR/VR tech, etc.) 
  • Post-launch technical support 

Once you acquire an idea of the expenses likely to occur in developing your on-demand mobile app idea, you can manage and allocate the funds accordingly. 

3. Technology Stack 

On-demand mobile application development services can be categorized by the devices and technology platforms they function on. These would mainly include iOS, Android, React, Xamarin, Node, Flutter, Ionic, and the likes. Additionally, the nature of your mobile application may require integration with high-end technologies, like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, or Artificial Intelligence. 

These technologies offer certain advantages, fit different application needs, and vary in their development expenses. 

4. Processes Involved 

On-demand applications are usually more concentrated in their usage and nature of intended users. And yet, the maintenance costs they incur are similar to that for any other business app. 

  • Backend data hosting 
  • App hosting web server 
  • Performance monitoring 
  • User analytics gathering 
  • App store registration 
  • Device-specific updates 
  • Region-wise license registration and updation 

When you sit down to figure- how much does it cost to create on-demand apps – simultaneously work to determine the cost to maintain your application, keep it live, functioning, and stable.

The Final Bit-How Do You Create On-demand Apps With a Higher Likelihood of Success?

Now that you are acquainted with different on-demand app development cost differentiators, the first step to that goal would be thorough R&D. You can use this list to create a rough idea of what you want your app to be like and how much each of those specifications is going to cost you. 

  • App complexity 
  • Development platform 
  • Target device(s)
  • Type of on-demand app (Native/Hybrid/Web)  
  • Nature of app services (Free/Paid/Both) 
  • Development team resources (outsourced offshore/local teams) 
  • App maintenance 
  • Niche-specific development costs (eCommerce/Food/Social Media/Logistics, etc.) 

Pro-Tip: Always compare regional costs for resources, infrastructure, and services. As already discussed in the article, you will find that the expense for a few on-demand mobile app development services in India is lower than that in the USA. It could be true for other regions as well. Depending on your project’s flexibilities and your business preference, regional cost calculations can help cut the final figure by a considerable value. 

And of course, don’t compromise on quality! Good luck with the project!  

This article is contributed by Rohit Bhateja –  is heading the Digital Marketing & Business Transformation team at SunTec India and loves helping people & brands plan, optimize and implement strategies. The author is a technology enthusiast, IT professional, and advocate of intelligent business development, specializing in queries related to hire Indian mobile app developers.

Contact Us for Free Consultation

Are You Planning to outsource Digital Tansformation services? Feel free for work-related inquiries, our experts will revert you ASAP,