Depending upon the features, pricing models and stages of Shopify app development, there is a lot of guesswork involved.
A basic Shopify store template doesn’t satisfy customers because they demand fully functional and automated stores. Shopify app store has hundreds of useful apps for integration but usually, the clients are not that tech-savvy and sometimes they fall prey to the wrong service providers.
Clients when first contact us, ask for the Shopify app development cost right away. We inquire about the project details and guide. ‘Low price and high quality’ is what every client wants, this fact is obvious for us as we are building Shopify apps for startups and big-size companies for the last couple of years.
However, we find a need to educate Shopify store owners about how they can calculate project pricing and keep themselves from getting mugged or paying extra (which clients are not supposed to).
How to calculate Shopify app development cost?
It depends on the feature set you want to have in your Shopify store. Jot down the list of features and see how many are these and how complex they are going to be.
For example, you want a basic set-up with login, cart, product list and a couple of other features. Or you want an enterprise-level Shopify store. Both cases are different with varying costs.
Shopify app development costs mostly rely on the time developers spend on delivering those features.
Let us give you an insight. You want a Shopify store and want to add a catalog with a list of categories. This will take approximately 20 hours which an hour of custom Shopify app development will be $50.
All you need to do is multiple the number of hours by $50.
Formula for calculating Shopify app cost
No.of hours developer spent x hourly rate of the developer/company = total cost
Good companies/developers always share rough estimate of the app development and that quote (rough estimate) is based on the client’s project summary, tech requirements and the expected outcome.
Furthermore, tech companies offer some basic pricing models. Let’s review each of them one by one.
Basic Shopify Custom App Development Time and Cost Calculation
Clients who want to integrate custom apps in their Shopify store usually find custom development expensive mainly because they can pre-built apps from the Shopify app store.
A simple app integration takes 8-10 hours. However, depending upon the complexity of the custom app time may vary.
Here is the estimated time consumption for the basic Shopify app development and integration.
App setup – 4 hours
Dashboard – 16 hours
Designs – 50 hours
StoreFront script tags to fetch date from backend – 12 hours
StoreFront JS to handle use cases in the scope of app – 30 hours
Settings – 16 hours
Stats page – 20 hours
Deployment AWS/ DIGITAL OCEAN – 8 hours
QA – 10% of total project
Basic Shopify app development cost range from $5000 – 15000.
Facebook, Instagram and Google ads marketing – $9/mo – $100/mo
Email marketing – $13/mo – $30/mo
ERP Connectors /integration apps
Integration time – 1-2 weeks
$30/mo – $300/mo
All of the above apps have free/trial versions.
Above custom app prices are calculated on the basis of pre-built apps selling on the Shopify app store. Usually, they fulfill the need of the client in a cost effective manner. However, still there are some of the custom use cases that clients ask from us.
In this business model, the project scope is clearly defined or can say limited that is why the price is fixed. Ideal for startups or small scale projects. These projects finish on time. However, if the scope is vague, and the project needs a feature update, we do not recommend a fixed price model.
The service providing company estimates time and the budget they need for handling the provided scope of work. The price once decided and signed by the client can’t be changed.
This model works best with fixed deadlines and prices. For example, if a client needs MVP, it would take 3-5 months.
Still, confused about the requirements of the project or want change in the scope? Fixed price is not the right option, maybe the other too.
Small and mid-size businesses can seek benefit from this business model. The model works best for long term projects, especially the ones with complex features or projects with ongoing testing/ bug fixing or app maintenance and support.
Unlike, fixed price model, the T&M model doesn’t require a complete scope of the project, rather a client can kickstart his project with a limited set of scope.
Typically Shopify app development cost can be calculated on how many hours Shopify developers spend on the app. T&M model comes with a flexible approach where you can change the scope of work if you come up with some other idea.
Enterprise-level companies/projects can totally rely on dedicated teams as they cover each and every aspect of the project. Our clients choose this pricing model when:
-Launch a new product in the market
-App development continuity and maintenance
If your company wants a full project team or some extra developers for project completion or assistance, a dedicated team modelis an obvious choice.
Shopify app development by stages
Shopify app development doesn’t start with the coding right away but with the planning. First the project is analyzed by business analysts and they come up with tech and business requirements.
Research and planning of a project consume 2-4 weeks depending upon the scale of the project.
The Discovery phase is the cheapest phase of all the other phases of Shopify app development.
3 days (for basic Shopify store)
Design / UI/UX
2 days (2 cycles of user acceptance testing and fixes)
Note – These are approx or rough estimates which are the most affordable that you can get.
Shopify app development by features
Approx time (days/weeks)
Approx cost ($)
Signup / login
Social media integration
-Product detail page
Title and description
Add to cart
Buy it now
Adjust product quantity
Social share icon
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Contact form submissions
An average cost of Shopify app development range from $5,000 to $50,000
Average hourly rate worldwide
A typical U.S. based Shopify development agency will charge $150 per hour (top rate companies easily charge up to $400-$500 / hr for lead Shopify engineers).
Shopify developers rate in US/Europe – average $50-200/hr (depending upon the client store requirements and skill set of a developer)
Shopify developers rate in Asia – $20-50/hr
Freelance Shopify developers – 20% cheaper (we normally do not recommend this type of outsourcing because it won’t work as a long term solution)
Shopify app development rates in the world
Typical US based Shopify agency rate – $150/hr
Shopify developers rate in US/Europe – $50-200/hr
Shopify developers rate in Asia – $20-50/hr
Source – Shopify
Clients often ask per page rate too but that makes no sense no matter what pricing model is picked. Mainly because a lot of the product pages use the same templates.
Shopify developers rate per hour is another common query and it makes sense because clients ask for custom work where project scope isn’t defined or may change. This type of work comes under a Time and Material contract as discussed above.
Oftentimes when a client is focused on app development he doesn’t consider the overlooked expenses like app release, maintenance and third party apps integration. Shopify app development isn’t just about coding, design and testing but it needs updates, and support.
Let’s explore what additional cost a client may have to bear.
-App release / launch
Shopify does not charge for publishing the app but it does charge 20% on each sale. And that is for the basic store. However, Shopify platform handles the payment where charging and payment get processed and mostly clients/merchants rely on Shopify.
You can set up an external payment gateway and you don’t have to pay to Shopify any commission. But there is a loophole. That is, it’s complex technically, second customers may not trust.
Golden rules you should follow here:
Use Shopify payments processor if you have a basic store set up because you don’t have customers trust yet. If you have a well-known app/store, you can use an external payment method.
Costs of app maintenance isn’t much compared to actual app development. You can expect 15-20% of the original app development cost. Do consider maintenance service even if you don’t have plans of scaling the app or adding new features.
Let’s clear what does maintenance services include:
2-Performance testing and improvements
3-Code optimization for speed
4-Addition of new features
5-Supporting latest versions of 3rd party services
Post-release support/services are not part of the contracts normally so average cost of the app development is overlooked. Maintenance services are considered as additional service and billed separately.
Now you know the pricing and details of how much Shopify app development cost, it’s about time to consider what you should have before hiring for Shopify app development services. We advise our clients to be clear on 3 things. First, list the features you want in your store/app. Second, examples of different online stores whose elements you’d like to incorporate on your website. Third, be clear about the issues you want a solution for (in case you already have a developed app).
If you have any questions about hiring Shopify developers, whether for a one-time project or for a long term role on your engineering team, Phaedra Solutions is happy to help.
Want to know the Shopify app development cost for free?
Tell us about your project details and we’ll send a quote of rough estimates for free.