How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Shopping App Like Zalando?

Updated 15 May 2024
Published 14 May 2024
Nancy Bhargava 1215 Views
Cost to Develop Shopping App Like Zalando

The emergence of online shopping has had a revolutionary impact on consumers worldwide. The worldwide e-commerce market is projected to reach $6.3 trillion in 2024.

What stands out in this revolution is Zalando, a leading European e-commerce platform, which is known for its variety of products and convenience for its users.

For businesses seeking to get into this profitable field, it is imperative to know the cost to develop an app like Zalando.

The development process includes various stages, from concept and design to implementation and maintenance.

Each of the phases has a specific set of expenses that are affected by factors such as the design and functionality of the application, the technology stack used, and so on.

In this article, we will explore these components in detail, clearly outlining the expenses involved and offering advice on how to handle these costs.

As we look into the details of the Zalando app development cost, we want to give you the information you need to make decisions on your e-commerce app development journey.

Understanding Zalando’s App Features

Zalando’s app is unique because of its intuitive design, customized shopping mode, and extensive functional capabilities. Key Zalando app features include:

  • Product Catalog

The Zalando app is all about the comprehensive product catalog with detailed product descriptions and images in high-resolution and advanced filtering options.

This enables users to navigate and browse products with ease, therefore making the shopping process enjoyable and convenient.

  • User Accounts

Users can create personalized profiles where they can manage their preferences, track their orders, view their purchase history, and receive specialized recommendations.

Personalization creates a smoother experience for the user by making navigation and re-purchases hassle-free.

  • Payment Gateway Integration

Zalando provides a range of payment methods, such as credit cards, PayPal, and Klarna. The diversity of payment methods caters to the needs of a lot of consumers and also optimizes the checkout process by enhancing user convenience and security.

  • Customer Support

The app includes rich customer support features like live chat, comprehensive FAQs, and a feedback mechanism. This guarantees that assistance is provided instantly and efficiently, which is very important for retaining high user satisfaction.

  • Marketing Tools

Zalando uses push notifications and personalized promotions to build customer engagement. These tools are for driving sales, promoting new arrivals and also informing users about special offers and upcoming sales.

  • Augmented Reality (AR) Try-On

Another way by which Zalando enhances the shopping experience is by integrating AR technology that allows users to try certain items virtually.

This feature enables customers to make informed decisions and to visualize products themselves before purchase, which in turn reduces returns and increases customer satisfaction.

Understanding these features is essential, as they significantly influence the app’s development cost.

Zalando app development cost

Key Factors Influencing App Development Costs

Several factors impact the Zalando app development cost:

1. Platform Choice

The right choice of platform—IOS, Android, or both—is an important factor that directly affects the cost of Zalando app development.

It is cheaper to develop for iOS, thanks to fewer devices and a more homogenous screen size, which makes the testing process easier.

On the other side, Android has a wider global user base, which is quite costly because of the need to incorporate a different range of devices and resolutions.

Adopting the cross-platform development paradigm using frameworks such as React Native or Flutter will result in a high initial cost of development but offer savings in the long term as a single codebase can be used to deploy to both platforms.

The platform choice will determine the size of the market and user acquisition strategy as well. If the target audience prefers Android, it’s reasonable to choose it, even if it is more expensive to develop, instead of other platforms.

2. Design Customization

Custom design provides an opportunity to stand out among the multitude of apps in the online retail environment.

The unique and attractive design of a UI and UX can make the brand stand out and attract more users.

To create an app like Zalando requires a high level of customization, so an e-commerce app aiming to compete with Zalando would need to make sure it looks great as well as works effectively.

This requires an experienced team of UI/UX designers that could add custom animations, and transitions, as well as an intuitive interface layout that is in line with user expectations.

In the second phase of design customization, special care is taken in the design of the core of the app: icon sets, typography, and consistency in theme across all screens, which significantly improves user engagement and satisfaction.

Although these creative processes need more time and resources, this adds to the general app development budget. Properly blending artistic design and practical simplicity without going over budget is a task that requires meticulous execution and planning.

3. Development Team

Team choice is the decisive factor in defining the Zalando app development cost. The location of the team greatly affects the cost, as different wage standards are used in different regions.

For example, the hourly rates of developers in North America and Western Europe are higher in comparison with those in Eastern Europe or Asia.

Nevertheless, working with a much more experienced and geographically closer team could speed up communication and lower the time zone friction. This will shorten the development period, despite higher initial costs.

During the selection of a development team, experts and the size of the team are very important. A bigger team could probably shorten the development time, but, at the same time, it could increase the management and coordination costs.

However, a small, highly professional team could offer a cheaper option by focusing on efficiency and specialization.

However, this will stretch the time frame. Strategic planning is instrumental in balancing team size, location, and expertise to leverage costs and development quality.

4. Backend Infrastructure

A robust backend infrastructure is a key factor for an app like Zalando to be scalable and operate smoothly.

This involves hardware configuration, data warehouses, and the right APIs that handle large numbers of user data in a secure way.

One of the main challenges behind the development of a scalable and robust backend is the cost, especially if it comes with advanced data processing and security measures to ensure users’ data protection as well as compliance with regulations like GDPR.

Moreover, the choice of either building custom-made solutions or choosing third-party services also affects the cost.

While custom solutions are good in terms of performance and scalability, they require huge initial costs for development and subsequent maintenance.

Third-party choices are advantageous in terms of lower upfront costs and dependability but may result in more frequent subscription fees and a lack of flexibility.

Balancing these facets is very significant because the backend not only supports the immediate requirements of the app but is also scalable for future growth.

5. Legal and Administrative Expenses

Compliance with legal requirements is mandatory, especially for an app operating in the online retail domain, where data breaches of users’ personal as well as financial information are considered unacceptable.

The expenses associated with meeting legal requirements, such as data protection laws like GDPR, consumer protection laws, and e-commerce laws, can be quite heavy.

Such costs are associated with legal consultations, the design of privacy policies, and the adoption of payment systems that are secure and allow PCI DSS compliance.

Furthermore, managing a business operation through the app is accompanied by a number of costs, such as licensing fees, insurance, and administrative tools for running operations effectively.

Such regular costs need to be included in the total budget right from the start to avoid inconveniences and ensure the smooth running of business operations after the launch.

6. Marketing and Launch

Effective marketing and launch strategies are the key components of a successful app launch. The marketing cost of an app like Zalando encompasses branding, promotional materials, digital marketing campaigns, social media ads, and ASO.

Such efforts are imperative for creating exposure and drawing users to the app at its launch. Efficient marketing can play a decisive role in early adoption rates as well as in the success of the competitive e-commerce environment.

After the launch, continuous marketing efforts are needed to retain user engagement and further attract new users.

Therefore, this involves the creation of seasonal promotions, adjustment of marketing content, and interaction with the users via social media and other platforms.

Sustaining the app’s growth and relevance in the market requires planning and budgeting for both the initial and long-term marketing activities.

Cost Breakdown by App Development Stages

  • Planning and Research

The first stage is one of the most crucial in creating a solid base for the app. Market research, competitor analysis, and target audience identification are involved in it.

The main expenses typically cover wages for the research team and costs for data collection. At this stage, the app idea will be aligned with market needs and users’ expectations, which will minimize any costly pivot in the long run.

  • UI/UX Design

During this phase, wireframes, prototypes, and the user interface design are all created.

The costs here come from the complexity of the app design and the level of expertise that is utilized by the design team. A proper design is a key factor in user retention, justifying this investment.

  • Backend Development

The next phase, which is critical to the app function, is to set up servers, databases, APIs, and backend logic. Expenses are determined by the complexity of the data architecture and the scalability needs of an app.

Backend development is the most vital thing for the app to work well and for users to store and process their data securely.

  • Frontend Development

This will include the actual implementation of the app interface that users will interact with, including designs approved in the previous phase.

The cost will vary depending on the technology stack involved and the platform specificity (iOS, Android, or cross-platform).

Front-end development should see to it that the app is responsive and the user experience is smooth.

  • Testing and Deployment

This step is the most crucial and may determine the quality of the app. It includes testing the app for bugs, usability, and issues with compatibility on different devices and operating systems.

Expenditures cover the tools used during testing and the staff needed for efficient QA testing. The most important thing is proper testing to avoid costly modifications later and achieve smooth operation by the user.

  • Maintenance and Updates

Following the app launch, ongoing maintenance will be needed to take care of any arising issues, enhance app performance, and keep the content up-to-date.

Furthermore, new features could be incorporated to keep the app in the game. This expense is ever-changing but inevitable to keep the app relevant and operational with time.

Cost to Develop an App like Zalando

Calculating a budget to build an app like Zalando involves grasping the different cost factors of the application development process in detail. The total budget can be anywhere between $100,000 to $300,000.

This range aims at different levels of app complexity and feature sets. This cost estimate contains multiple key factors, such as the app’s design, the number of platforms it will cover (iOS, Android, or both), backend infrastructure, and third-party integration.

build an app like Zalando

Cost-Saving Strategies without Compromising Quality

  • Choosing a Cross-Platform Development Approach

One of the benefits of utilizing tools like Flutter or React Native is that they help the development teams write once and deploy on both iOS and Android.

This strategy enables teams not only to work together but also reduces development time and costs by up to 30% while maintaining a high product quality level and native-like user experience.

  • Minimizing Custom Features

Start with essential features, then add others as users provide feedback. This way, the initial development cost is substantially decreased by focusing attention on the development of features that are essential for launching the product.

  • Outsourcing

Hiring an app development company situated in countries with lower labor costs can cut your budget by half. Countries like India, Ukraine, and Poland will provide high-quality development services at more competitive rates compared to North America and Western Europe.

  • Leveraging Open Source Tools

Using open-source platforms and frameworks can significantly lower the expenses associated with obtaining proprietary software licenses.

These tools often have extended community support and hardware capabilities which are suitable to make an app like Zalando without high software costs.

  • Efficient Project Management

The agile project management process can save time and resources through iterative processes, regular feedback, and constant improvement.

This approach ensures that the project stays on budget and that any potential budget overruns are pinpointed early on to keep the cost of the Zalando app development process under control.

Case Studies: Costs Behind Similar E-commerce Apps

Looking at case studies of other platforms in the world of e-commerce development, in particular, helps to assess opportunities and challenges on the financial side.

Let’s take for example, the development costs for e-commerce companies like ASOS and Shopify, which are quite different in scale but representative of the amount required to bring an all-inclusive shopping experience online.

ASOS, one of the key players in online retail, supposedly invested a lot in its app to improve the user experience and integrate advanced features such as AI-driven size recommendations as well as AR-based virtual try-on capabilities.

While specific figures may be proprietary, industry estimates suggest that the development of such an app will cost from $250,000 to $500,000, mainly due to the high cost of custom software development and the integration of advanced technologies.

In contrast, Shopify, a platform through which users can design their own e-commerce shops, has consistently improved its mobile app features to keep up with its growing user numbers.

Such an app’s development cost is also substantial, and it generally exceeds $200,000, with the need to take into account the regular updates necessary to support a large number of independent stores as well as a sophisticated transaction system.

These studies show that even though the online shopping app development cost seems to be high, the investment is worth it because of user involvement and sales.

To develop an online shopping app like Zalando requires equal financial investments and competent strategies so that the app can offer smooth UIs, sophisticated functionality, and uniqueness in a competitive marketplace.

To Conclude

At the end of the day, an e-commerce app’s success is measured by the level of user engagement and whether or not it offers a flawless shopping experience.

Investing in powerful UI/UX design, ensuring platform stability, and integrating advanced features like AI and AR can make your app stand out in the midst of competition.

Through the right strategy and its implementation, online store app development like Zalando is not only a financial decision but a strategic move that can launch a business to a new level in the digital retail sphere.

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Nancy Bhargava

Nancy works as an IT consulting professional with Arka Softwares. She has an in-depth knowledge of trending tech and consumer affairs. She loves to put her observations and insights of the industry to reveal interesting stories prompting the latest domain practice and trends.

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