Why App Development Costs Are Coming Down (& How You Can Keep Yours Low)

About ten years ago now, developing an app for your business was considered to be an ultimate goal.

Businesses with established mobile apps were able to garner consumer attention and perhaps even nurture customer loyalty in an additional, dynamic digital platform.

Simply put, business mobile apps were considered to be an endgame for a company’s digital development.

Cut to today, and business mobile apps are still very much all the rage – but there’s less of an intense demand for them amongst business owners.

It’s not an endgame anymore, but rather a ‘nice to have’ – so long as you have a winning idea for your app and how it can drive revenue.

The focus on revenue is important as well, because app development has historically been expensive.

However, whilst the costs of managing an app development project for your business are still comparable to managing a large-scale, multi-channel digital marketing campaign, app development has also become more accessible to business owners. And in that accessibility, there is an increasing affordability.

So why exactly have app development costs been coming down across the globe? And more importantly, how can you keep your own app development costs down over the long term?

We’ll be answering just those questions today by outlining some of the key innovations that have been inspiring more business owners to invest in sustainable and low-cost app development initiatives for their businesses.

Why App Development Costs Are Coming Down

Why are app development costs decreasing?

First, let’s unpack why app development costs are actually on a downward trend. There are three major reasons to attribute to this transition from high-cost to lower-cost app development. These reasons are as follows:

Digital design has become more accessible

Nowadays, there is an abundance of free digital design tools that streamline the process of app, UX, and even brand development.

Business owners can take their graphic and digital design tasks in-house by using Figma to create web and app interface flows and using Adobe Express to design banners, interactive icons, buttons and more.

You can even use Adobe Express’ free logo maker to design company logos to a professional standard.

With this sheer abundance of digital design tools now available, business owners are able to greatly streamline the deliverables in app development projects. Less work for app development agencies means lower upfront costs.

Low-code and no-code software makes app development more accessible

The development of open-source app development software has also played a major role in the reduction of app development costs.

With more low-code and no-code app development tools available now than ever before, business owners are able to create their own functional apps without having to outsource their app development to digital agencies.

The only thing to keep in mind here is that using low-code app development tools may still require businesses to invest in their own in-house developer talent – especially if you’re looking to develop dynamic multi-page apps or apps with UX-friendly in-app purchase functions.

Naturally, more dynamic business mobile app projects will benefit from investing more in professional app development services.

Businesses are more realistic about app capabilities

That being said, business owners are no longer expecting the world from their business mobile app projects anymore.

The capabilities of business mobile apps for driving revenue and boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty have now been well-documented.

As a result, business owners who do their due diligence know that they don’t need an ambitious app development project (and project spend) to get the results they’re after.

With business owners seeking to spend less on their app development, the cost of development projects has fittingly reduced in turn.

How can you keep your app development costs low?
The increasing accessibility and affordability of app development tools and technologies have allowed business owners across the globe to reduce their development costs.

But for business owners who do want to embark on a dynamic, multi-page app that boasts plenty of interactive elements and perhaps even in-app purchases, working with dedicated app development agencies may still be more cost-effective (and time-saving) than trying to create these software offerings independently.

So how can you keep your app development costs low as a business owner? Consider adopting these three approaches:

Use no-code and low-code app development tools
Even if you can’t use no-code and low-code tools to completely design and launch an app, you can at least use them to map out your preferred page flow and user interface.

Having a strong understanding of what shape you want your user journey to take can drastically reduce the amount of time spent on preliminary design in your app development project.

Having a stronger foundational concept of your app design can also help your development agency get right to work, which is ideal for business owners who are looking to operate within a stricter launch timeline for their business mobile app.

Work with nearshore or locally based development teams
You can save money on any kind of business development project by enlisting the support of offshore specialists and agencies.

But what many business gurus aren’t as quick to mention is that outsourcing your work to offshore service providers can often come with delays, miscommunication, and even hidden costs resulting from redoing work and racking up billable hours, or even just from currency exchange rates.

These are just some of the many reasons why business owners are opting to outsource to nearshore or locally-based development teams instead. Yes, there may be higher upfront costs, but what you spend in money is returned when it comes to time saved.

That, and you’re less likely to have delays caused by time zone differences or language barriers during your development project.

Simply put, working with nearshore or locally based development teams can help you keep your app development project as streamlined and agile as possible.

Maintain a proactive approach to software updates
Even if your app is just a single-page interface, it’s still imperative that you stay on top of your software updates, both to ensure ongoing usability for your user base and to prevent malware and ransomware from wreaking havoc with your system and user data.

The important thing to keep in mind is that a proactive approach is always guaranteed to be cheaper and more effective than a reactionary approach to cybersecurity as well as your app maintenance.

So when you’re budgeting for your app development project, don’t forget to factor in the costs of ongoing app maintenance. This is, after all, a non-negotiable expense, and a failure to prioritize it can result in greater financial loss.

All things considered, app development is still definitely an investment that shouldn’t be made lightly.

If you do happen to have a killer concept for an app that’s been tested to ensure it can build revenue for your business, then why not kick-start the process of turning this idea into a reality by jumping on the low-code and no-code tools yourself to mock up some preliminary interface designs?

In doing so, you can keep your app development costs more sustainable and scalable, ensuring you’ll always have capital on hand for other business development projects – digital or otherwise.

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