During the year 2021, we at Syndell were seeing an influx of people seeking custom Shopify app development services. These requests frequently come with hopes for a reliable Shopify app development cost estimate.

One of the things you should expect when hiring a company to work on your project is to pay close attention to your project’s scope and expectations. Because, you will find that when estimating the cost and timing, being clear about expected deliverables helps Shopify developers understand where they can be flexible with the development approach matching a specific budget and timeline. We recommend reading this detailed guide for app development and essential tips on how to develop an effective estimate such as:

  • Elements used to determine the cost of custom apps
  • App cost calculation methods
  • Levels of Shopify custom app development
  • Approx time required for an app to be completed

What Factors Determine the Cost of Shopify App Development?

When you’re working with clients to build something from the ground up, it’s important that you first do your research into how much something is likely to cost. Sometimes people might not be able to explain well enough how the app will give them a return on investment, and so before you can provide an accurate estimate for their future shopify website cost, you’ll want to understand exactly what their requirements are.

The Functionality of an App

The more complex the functionality of a future app you need for your company, the more time it will take to build. Nor will it come cheap, either! If you need an application that does one specific thing, like add a customer feedback button to your store or create a product filter system, they can typically be built within budget. However, these simple customisations are often included as part of your Shopify plan in the app store.

If we talk about the costs for adding a little something extra to an application or service, it’s logical that it will be more expensive than simply buying a separate module. So how do we actually come up with a good estimate for the future cost of developing apps?

What Type of a Shopify App Do You Need?

There are many different types of Shopify applications . Some are used for ecommerce companies , others for social store and online shopping communities , others for manufacturing companies , etc.

Are you a Shopify app developer who has created an app for one of your clients? Or maybe you have built the foundation for an app and are now looking to share it with the world? Or perhaps you want to create an exclusive app meant only for one client so they can sell their wares through your brand new, personalized Shopify app? Do you understand?

Guess what – you can build apps for your Shopify store! There are three types to choose from: Public app, Private app, and Custom app. Every type provides a different design template upon creation with some offering more customization abilities than others. You can get really creative and make a lot of different apps using this tool!

Public Shopify Apps

Public Shopify Apps, the ones that can be installed by any user of Shopify and are downloadable through the app store, come in two varieties – Listed and Unlisted. Listed apps can be found alongside other Shopify-hosted apps in the App Store while Unlisted Apps can’t, but can still be installed from links and have access to add-ons.

Shopify Private Apps

Private apps are apps that can’t be installed on other online stores or used by other merchants. In order to get a private app for your store, you will need to provide access to a developer who wants to become an expert in the fields of ecommerce and programming by providing them with API access of your store.

Custom Apps

Custom Shopify apps allow you to add a unique feature to your store but without hack. Most probably, you want to go through with some additions or improvements in your Shopify store but are not comfortable with giving access to your admin or API access to external developers. These apps do not need to pass the Shopify review process and cannot be listed on the Shopify app store. These features can only be installed for single stores.

Although the type of the app you need doesn’t directly influence its final cost, the development process for each type has its own intricacies and characteristics. This means that one should research their options carefully before hiring a specialist developer.

Who Will Be Engaged In The Development of a Custom Shopify App?

During the development stage, project managers have a lot to deal with. This stage serves as the foundation of your final product in that it determines factors like its quality and quantity. While there are three standard options for organizing the development process, they all generally revolve around the same concept regarding prioritizing the use of time and resources efficiently:

  • Hire a Shopify development company
  • Contact a freelance developer
  • Build an app yourself

When Should You Hire a Shopify App Development Company?

When it comes to hiring a close-knit team of developers, it’s often necessary to find a development company that has plenty of experience developing Shopify apps.

  • Companies will typically offer a well-rounded service. The result of this collaboration being that the finished product is ready to be either sold or used.
  • When you communicate with the developers, it is through the project manager. The project manager functions as an intermediary between your company and the hired services in order to ensure that everything goes well.
  • Hiring a freelancer is just like betting on a coin toss – it might work out but there’s no guarantee. For example, you may hire someone to write code for you, but then they get hit by a car the day after and can no longer continue working on your project. And without them, your development comes to a screeching halt! If anything goes wrong that’s outside of your control, working with a product development company reduces overall stress and will keep everything moving forward at all times because there are fall back plans in place.

App development can seem simple at the beginning but it can become more complicated once you realize the technical hurdles you may face. If you are on a financial budget, then it’s not easy to go to one development company and ask them to make a mobile app for your business. There are no guarantees that you’ll end up with the product of your dreams where collaboration between every member within your team is seamless. Your best bet is to first find multiple developers who specialize in varying areas, get in touch with each other through a go-between and build your app together.

If you entrust the task to a specialist, it’s crucial that they be personable and reliable so that your company delivers on its product. When you delegate work to remote employees, make sure they work within reasonable hours because after all you want them to be able to bring their A-game as much as possible.

Can You Manage The Shopify App Development Yourself?

If you answer “Yes”, this only means that you might not need this guide. Having enough knowledge about the intricacies of app development, and of course practice makes a huge difference. When it comes to app testing and debugging alone, trial and error can make all the different in the world!

How Shopify App Development Pricing is Usually Formed

It is important to note that there are many features of Shopify and third party apps that can help business owners run their daily operations within their stores faster or easier by aggregating services provided in one solution. In most cases, this means that the clients don’t need complex custom solutions but simple functionalities instead. So you will want to always ensure your quote requests and sales inquiries are correctly oriented so you aren’t providing bids on customizations when they involve only simple functionalities instead.

Stages of a Shopify Development Process

Developing Shopify apps is a process involving five stages. Depending on the client’s requirements, this number can increase or decrease.

Stage 1: Discovery

After the initial interview, our first goal is to understand their niche market and competitive environment.

  • Establish the scope of the project
  • Analyse the competition in the market
  • Track a user path
  • Select a technology stack
  • Set precise time and cost estimation for the project
  • Draw further steps

This stage can take upto almost 40 hours. 

Stage 2: Design

User experience is the most important aspect of an app. If you want your users to be happy, you need a design that caters to their needs.

  • Wireframes are the blueprint to your app’s building. With them, you can see how all of the pieces fit together in order to find functionality that works well for your intended users.
  • Prototype is designed to simulate the way users will actually interact with the application. It looks and feels realistic enough to test out internally as it would if it were live.

Apps require designers to make them look great, but not necessarily if they’re going to be rare or simple in functionality. A website may have both a front end and a backend that’s integrated with various features.

Stage 3: Development

Now that the app’s design is ready, we start working on the custom logics for developing customized features and functionalities. The development time will vary depending on what types of functionalities you have planned for the project.

Stage 4: Testing

Yay! You’ve chosen to launch an app/theme on the Shopify platform. What next? Well, first you’ve got to choose your testing strategy(s). There are two main testing strategies that any Shopify application can be subjected to:

Functional testing allows us to check under the hood of your app and ensure that it works correctly, is user friendly and does not have any technical glitches or errors.

Non-functional testing are usability tests that are made in order for the app provide its users with a good interaction interface.

What’s Next?

You’re almost out of the woods! This app is ready to go on a Shopify store. The next steps will depend on what type of app you have: If it’s intended to be a public Shopify app, you will need to get it ready for submission to the Shopify App Store.

To be published, the Shopify App Review team must review your custom Shopify app and approve it for use in production. To learn more about the app publication process, you can visit its resource page.

How Syndell Can Help You Create Your Shopify Store? 

The app creation process is not always an easy one, and it can be difficult to fully define what your intentions are up front. Once you know what features you need in your app, make sure that the developers have experience in your niche so that you can count on them to meet both your specific requirements as well as their standard expectations for this type of work. It’s a good idea to get several estimates before choosing a partner so that you’re confident in any decision you make! Syndell can cater you with  Shopify app development services. Reach out to us for more information on creating your next Shopify store.