The development process of any kind of digital product takes numerous steps: planning, designing, development, testing. These are only the basic ones that can be separated into dozens of lesser items. That is why the cost of the final product can be sensibly high. It can become even higher when talking about mobile applications with many functions.
But who wishes to develop their first digital product for a high cost if they even do not sure that the product will be useful.
With this article, we describe the most expensive steps of digital product development. And compare the areas where it is possible to cut expenses and when such cutting will bring only bigger problems.
What builds the cost of the digital product
Before starting to develop a digital product, each business should consider additional expenses that would appear. Their combination forms the total cost of ownership for a product. Hardware and supplementary software, even if needed only for the development, maintenance, post-launch support are inevitable steps of a successful launch. Though, if to get rid of all additional costs, the basic development also includes steps that require special funding.
It is difficult to bring clear numbers on the calculation of costs of digital products development. The price mostly depends on the scope of the planned product, number of functions, scalability and integrations complexity.
Generally, the most valuable part of product development is labour cost. In some cases, it can take up to 90% of the project budget. Though, trying to reduce expenses on this step can enlarge the budget in the end, instead of cutting it.
The situation when the estimated cost for the project is too low, the final product quality is too low happens from time to time. Each region of Earth has its own aggregated cost of development, which varies greatly. The task of the business is to find the compromise between the cost and quality that will be suitable for the goals of their product.
The general rule for choosing the team of developers – there is no such thing as a free lunch. The initial low price in the estimate can later go in 2-3 times over the budget. Besides the monetary losses, the deadlines will be missed, as well. In the worst scenario, the product can be so bad that it will not come to life at all. Therefore it should be rebuilt by another team from the very basics.
For example, the time needed to develop one simple mobile app can take up to 8-16 weeks. In case the time was wasted due to a weak team of developers, not every business would find possibilities to recover from harm. If to hire another team, they will have to spend their time puzzling out the old code, correcting it and only after start doing things.
Apart from the lost time, delay in digital product delivery can result in lost competitive edge, market presence and boosting capability. The launch of a low-quality product can negatively influence competitiveness and the appearance of the product among the users.
The risks hidden behind too low prices
Time and money are two basic resources for a business launching the digital product or enlarging their activities to the digital area. We already had mentioned what impact suspiciously low prices can bring to them, so now we will discover other risks:
- Undercalculation of management and planning expenses. Planning is the basis for any activity, and development requires it a lot. Similarly, the proper management of the project can timely bring improvements or reveal weak points.
- Sometimes teams can include additional fees apart from those mentioned in the agreement. As a result, that greatly enlarges the final price for a product.
- Low-priced developers are often Junior-level specialists who only start their carrier. The quality and tempo of such a developer will not be impressive.
The phantom ability to cut down the price turns out to be a headache. It is better to find the trade-off options for a team that will develop the future revenue generator. Below we describe the ways of finding positive variants in saving funds.
The ways to make the product development cheaper
There are numerous ways to make the cost of development lower without losing time and money in future.
Development of a Minimum Viable Product above all
The development of an MVP will help to save time as well as money. Such an approach allows launching the base product to the market and tests the theories in a live environment. When the idea finds recognition in the live environment with the users, that will be the right time to add features and scale the product up.
Usage of standard elements of builders – apply carefully
For a particular kind of products that do not require a unique UI or UX (e.g. simple e-commerce), it is possible to apply the standardised solutions or builders. That limits future scalability, and the product will look like the others similar to it, though it will perform its functions. The developers can use their own libraries of elements and make the development process faster and cheaper under outstanding conditions. Always note that this approach is not the best option to apply.
Pay special attention to planning
Making preliminary planning, market research, clarifying the requirements of the future product will help to reduce costs for changes that can appear in the course of development. Some changes are inevitable anyway, especially in big projects. But not to reinvent the product after its launch due to the absence of market need, it is better to make preliminary researches beforehand. The more clear requirements to the developers, the clearer the final result will be.
Choosing mid-level prices for the development
The teams who offer guarantees for their final product can not cost too cheap, though being outside the EU or USA, their rates will be lower. Lower rates result from lower living standards and salary but not the low quality of the final product.
Making sure that the team of developers works due to dev standards
Following the industry standards ensures that the team will perform their liabilities, and the final result will be of sustainable quality. Moreover, paying attention to correspondence to various standards shows the overall responsible attitude to the produced services.
Though the cost of development itself can not be too low, as it is combined from numerous price-building sources. Low price often leads to low quality. But there are several possibilities to save some funds and get a win-win situation. Get the right team of developers and start with minimum viable products to avoid losses. After the first revenues start thinking about growth, future costs and benefits.
Wish to learn more about the ways to make the development process cheaper, and the product more driving? Check other articles from our blog in the section of ecommerce.