This is a question with a thousand different answers, a bit like ‘How long does it take to build a house?’
It depends, because not every mobile app is the same.
But if we establish what features and capabilities a decent mcommerce app should have, we can get a better idea of how long one will take to build.
A good mobile commerce app needs to have, at minimum:
This all adds up to many, many hours of coding time.
Longer than it takes to build an aeroplane
As a rough guide, the company Kinvey surveyed 100 iOS, Android, and HTML5 developers, and asked them all how long they thought it would take to build a mobile app (not specifically for ecommerce).
Their answer? 18 weeks. That’s 10 weeks for the back-end, and 8 weeks to build the front-end user experience. As they point out, that’s enough time to build 1.3 Boeing 777 planes.
Making the process faster
There are a number of ways to speed up this process, but it all depends on your resources. If you have a big in-house team of developers who can all work on this project at once, and a back-end server ready to go, you can get this done faster, and without paying out large sums to an agency.
However, most fashion ecommerce companies don’t have this capability in-house. Even those companies that employ a host of developers often need them to work on other projects and not be tied up for a long time creating an iPhone app.
Here at Poq Studio we have spent a long time (over a year!) building a framework, structure, database, and integration system that lets retailers get their own mcommerce app a lot quicker.
You can see an example of an app and mobile website we made for LUCZA by visiting their website on your phone.