When we buy services via a mobile app, we engage in a so-called on-demand economy. The core attribute of such economy is on-demand apps. How much does it cost to make an on-demand app? Around $91,000 with Velvetech; between $10,000 and $800,000 with other mobile agencies.

Continue reading to find out more about how to efficiently budget on-demand app development.

Why On-Demand App?

Post-Uber era has unleashed a tide of startups focused on mobile-first experience. According to a recent survey by Rockbridge Associates, the on-demand economy grew 58% in 2017:

On-Demand Economy Consumer Spending by Category

Users opt for on-demand apps for several reasons:

Instant Access

In a typical on-demand app we can order a service virtually from anywhere with a couple of taps. As long as our smartphones have the Internet connection, we can order sushi, taxi, makeup, etc. any time we want.

Sense of Control

On-demand apps usually feature an interactive map where consumers can track delivery. This functionality instills a sense of control in users and makes them feel at ease.

In-App Payments

Users can pay for services and goods with a credit card right from a mobile app. We’ve come to rely on payments within apps since there are several security layers. For starters, Apple and Google perform an audit before making an app available to the public. In general, users feel safe when paying from a mobile app.

On-Demand App Cost per Feature

Most people know Uber as an app they download from an App Store or Google Play. The app is cool and looks fancy, with all these little cabs zigzagging on the map. … It’s also around 2 millions drivers all around the world, multiple data centers, and more importantly — a driver app and a web dashboard app for Uber administration.

Here’s a very high-level representation of what Uber — or any on-demand solution for that matter — really is in practice. Click To Tweet
On-Demand App Components

The on-demand app — the “consumer app” we use every day — connects us with a service provider. Service providers need their app too to respond and to be able to deliver the service.

For the company that takes a cut off service providers’ fee, there needs to be a web-based dashboard solution — to monitors orders, etc.

Let’s take a closer look at these three components of a typical “Uber-for-X” on-demand app. We’ll focus on the feature sets in:

The sum of these components will give us a rough cost of an average on-demand app-based solution.

Consumer-Facing On-Demand App

Consumer-Facing On-Demand App Cost: $37,000

What is the essential functionality in a consumer-facing (CF) on-demand app that costs $37,000 to build, on average? Let’s take a look.

User Profile

A user profile is where customers can add info about themselves, such as their names and photos; set their preferences, etc. This section also includes registration & authentication in the app.

The profile is usually the most boring, but unavoidable part of an app. Click To Tweet
On-Demand App Development Cost - User Profile

The average cost of the profile with registration and authentication in a CF on-demand app is $3,000.00.

The cost includes:

Marketplace

A marketplace is a list of available service providers or products that you can order. Think of TaskRabbit with a list of all available plumbers in your area. This section allows the user to review their previous work, see their reviews; or read the description of a product that they would like to order.

On-Demand App Development Cost - Marketplace

The marketplace is the most complicated part of the app as it glues together two sides: consumers and service providers. Remember, there is a whole layer of logic behind these eye-candy screens.

The average cost of the marketplace feature in a CF on-demand app is $11,000.

The cost includes:

Map

It’s hard to find a mobile app these days that wouldn’t boast a map screen with lots of moving parts and interactivity. In on-demand apps, the map screen serves two objectives:

On-Demand App Development Cost - Map

Obviously, not all on-demand apps need to have a map feature, but the trend is seemingly still there.

The average cost of the map functionality in a CF on-demand app is $7,000.

The cost includes:

Chat

Integrating a readily available SDK for chatting will let providers and customers communicate directly. There are many chat SDKs available on the market. We have shared quite a few in our post about the mobile app development cost.

On-Demand App Development Cost - Chat

The average cost of the chat functionality in a CF on-demand app is $3,000.

The cost includes:

Cart

A cart is where users review and confirm or cancel their order details. The app might also ask users to approve their address details or specify another address. As one would expect, this part of the on-demand app should also allow the user to see all available order options.

On-Demand App Development Cost - Cart

The average cost of the cart and order details features in a CF on-demand app is $5,000.

The cost includes:

Order Details & History

It’s a good practice to let on-demand app users review their past orders. Users may repeat orders, leave feedback, reference a provider they worked with, etc.

The average cost of the orders history and order details in a CF on-demand app is $6,000.

The cost includes:

Settings

The most obvious section of the app where users can change their email and password, bind a credit card or other payment options to their account, etc.

The settings part of the app is even more boring than the user profile. Click To Tweet

We add to “Settings” information about the version and all legal stuff, like Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

On-Demand App Development Cost - Settings

The average cost of Settings in a CF on-demand app is $2,000.

The cost includes:

Please note that the proposed cost of the consumer on-demand app here also includes integration with the back end. The $37,000 price tag covers business analysis, quality assurance, project management, submission to App Store or Google Play, deployment — everything from A to Z — for a single consumer-focused on-demand app: either iOS or Android.

Service Provider-Facing On-Demand App

Service Provider-Facing On-Demand App Cost: $30,000

One may think that an on-demand app for service providers should be much simpler than the on-demand app for consumers. After all, the show is for the customers: with no demand, there would be no reason to start the on-demand shenanigans in the first place.

Uber thinks differently. The company has just rolled out a new app for their drivers. They even got the keynote out and stuff about how their engineering team worked with Uber drivers across the globe. The result of this collaboration is a completely revamped Uber app for drivers that features 60 something improvements.

Uber did this for a good reason: the on-demand space is becoming crowdy. You need to pay attention not only to your customers’ experience but to service providers’ needs too. See how Uber CEO tested their new on-demand app for Uber drivers:

Now, let’s break down a typical service provider-facing (PF) on-demand app into components and see what makes up the $30,000 price tag.

The big thing with on-demand apps for service providers is you can reuse some parts of the consumer app, thus optimizing the development budget. Click To Tweet

User Profile

Just like in consumer app, service providers would like to know who their customer is. The app should provide access to a customer’s profiles. Additionally, service providers should have an option to update their info.

Service Provider-Facing On-Demand App - User Profile

The average cost per user profile in a PF on-demand app is $2,000.

The cost includes:

Marketplace

The heart of a provider app is the app’s marketplace. Here providers spend most of their time in the app looking for gigs and searching for an ideal customer. The marketplace section is different for service providers and often includes live notifications and other features, like communication with the back office.

Service Provider-Facing On-Demand App - Marketplace

The average cost per marketplace feature in a PF on-demand app is $13,000.

The cost includes:

Active Order & Orders History

After the marketplace, the most actively used section in the provider app is the “Active Order” tab. Here providers can see the details of their running orders and control them: cancel, complete, etc. The access to previous orders allows service providers review how they did.

Service Provider-Facing On-Demand App - Order History

The average cost per active order functionality in a PF on-demand app is $12,000.

The cost includes:

Chat

It will be a smart idea to reuse the chat module implemented in the consumer on-demand app. However, there still will be some customization.

The average cost per chat functionality in a PF on-demand app is $1,500.

The cost includes:

Settings

Same old boring stuff that you can’t get away with: passwords, Terms of Service, manuals, etc. Again, unavoidable but necessary part of the app.

The average cost per settings feature in a CF on-demand app is $1,500.

As you can see, the cost of the on-demand app for service providers is lower. The main reason is your team will be able to reuse large chunks of code from the customer app. The $30,000 price tag covers business analysis, quality assurance, project management, submission to App Store or Google Play, deployment — everything from A to Z — for a single on-demand app for a service provider: either iOS or Android.

Web Dashboard Component of On-Demand App

Web Dashboard Component of On-Demand App Cost: $24,000

Someone has to control both service providers and customers, otherwise, things will get out of hand very quickly. You would want to give both sides an option to report abuse and be able to take action by yourself.

On-Demand App Development Cost - Web Dashboard
Web Dashboard is where a business owner has access to all customers, service providers, and jobs or products. Click To Tweet

The average cost per web dashboard for an on-demand app is $24,000.

The cost includes:

Summing Up

It will cost on average $91,000 to build an on-demand app platform with Velvetech:

We provide more details on the cost of developing various mobile apps in a separate app cost post. I think we can all agree that despite some similarity each on-demand app is unique. Get in touch for a free consultation to pinpoint your on-demand app’s budget.

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