Apr 30, 224

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopping App Like Costco?

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopping App Like Costco?

Over the past five years, the e-commerce landscape has seen remarkable growth, with mobile commerce, or m-commerce, emerging as a dominant force in online shopping app trends. Apps like Costco have become invaluable in meeting the diverse needs of consumers. These digital platforms offer the convenience of shopping for a wide range of products - including groceries, household essentials, clothing, pharmaceuticals, housewares, cosmetics and electronics - anytime, anywhere. With easy-to-use navigation on your devices, shopping is just a few clicks away, making it easier than ever to fill your cart and check out.

Costco- A Pioneer in the eCommerce Industry

Costco is a retail giant with deep roots in the United States. Known for its membership-based warehouse model, Costco has seamlessly transitioned into the realm of mCommerce. What sets them apart is their ingenious blend of exclusive member perks with an easy-to-use digital wallet app that embodies value and transparency. By offering a digital shopping experience similar to an in-store visit, Costco has effectively addressed the needs of today's consumer. These unparalleled benefits serve as compelling incentives for customers to return, paving the way for sustainable long-term growth.

Online shopping apps like Costco have amassed over 10 million downloads on both the Google Play Store and App Store, contributing significantly to Costco Wholesale's multi-billion dollar retail empire spanning 8 countries. Leveraging a robust tech stack, Costco has effectively tapped into global markets and increased brand awareness in the process. Recognizing the burgeoning trends in eCommerce app development, Costco quickly pivoted to mobile, offering instant access to product information, inventory and localized stock availability through its mobile app.

Costco's mobile app exemplifies the latest trends in online shopping. With an extensive product catalog that is regularly updated with enticing discounts, Costco ensures competitiveness in the digital marketplace. The app features intuitive search filters, real-time inventory updates and seamless navigation for a user-friendly experience. Multiple payment options and digital billing streamline transactions, complemented by integration with the warehouse scavenger hunt.

By embracing new technologies, Costco stays attuned to evolving consumer preferences. Additionally, their commitment to sustainability is evident in this digital transformation, reflecting their responsiveness to changing customer demands.

Cost Of Developing an App like Costco

With an estimated 7.49 billion smartphone users worldwide, the retail sector has seen a significant influx of mobile shoppers. By 2023, global eCommerce sales are expected to reach a staggering $5.8 trillion, with mobile commerce accounting for more than 60% of that total. As eCommerce stocks and shares continue to soar, the potential for capitalizing on the cost of developing online shopping apps is immense.

Creating online shopping apps similar to Costco requires working with experienced eCommerce app development companies like Mars Studios or hiring eCommerce developers. However, determining the cost of building such an app isn't easy. Depending on the desired features and functionality, the average cost estimate ranges from $30,000 to over $300,000.

If you're interested in delving deeper into the process of developing mobile shopping apps for online retailers like Costco, Walmart, Temu, and Zalando, our in-depth article covers essential aspects such as cost factors, necessary features, and emerging trends. But before we explore the intricacies of digital wallet app development, let's examine what makes Costco unique in the eCommerce space. Let's dive into the specifics.

Features To Include For Online Shopping Apps Like Costco

When it comes to the mobile app development process for creating seamless online stores like Costco, Walmart, and Zalando, it's critical to integrate a range of essential features as well as cutting-edge functionality. These comprehensive elements are designed to improve the experience for both users and sellers.

1)     User Registration and Login

A fundamental function of any online shopping app, similar to Costco, is the ability for customers to create accounts and set up personalized profiles within the application. To ensure account security, users should be able to establish profiles using various authentication methods such as OTP, email verification, or two-factor authentication.

2)     Membership Scheme

When estimating the cost of developing Costco-like online shopping applications, it is essential to include a membership structure. These features facilitate instant monetization by allowing users to pay a fee for exclusive benefits such as discounts, coupon codes, and special offers. You can choose to outsource this task or hire eCommerce developers to create a custom membership strategy tailored to your brand.

3)     Product Listings

Online shopping applications such as Costco go beyond simple wholesale marketplaces to offer a wide variety of products in every category. As a result, it's critical to enable sellers to create comprehensive product listings that include high-resolution photos, pricing details, available sizes, and accurate product descriptions.

4)     Advanced Search Filters

Implementing a custom filter and search function enhances the user experience by enabling seamless discovery of products based on specific criteria such as name, brand, category, gender, or product-specific attributes. This functionality allows users to refine their search results by factors such as availability, discounts, color, and more, creating a more targeted and efficient shopping experience.

5)     Order Management

This feature helps customers view, track, and manage their current or past purchases. They can also track their shipments and easily request exchanges or returns if there's a problem or defect. Real-time order tracking technology helps users keep track of their orders from start to finish.

6)     Multi-payment Options

Including popular and up-to-date payment gateways is a key feature in eCommerce app development, as well as in any mobile app development process. Integrating these gateways not only enhances the convenience of the buying experience but also offers customers a variety of payment options such as UPI, credit/debit cards, digital wallets, pay later services, and direct bank transfers.

7) Shopping Cart:

The shopping cart is one of the most important and essential features for customers using online shopping applications similar to Costco. It should be intuitive and allow users to not only add, change and remove items, but also save them to a wish list for future reference. In addition, this feature should seamlessly accommodate discount codes and promotional offers.

8) Personalized recommendations:

E-commerce giants like Costco, Walmart, and Zalando are using AI/ML algorithms to tailor product recommendations based on users' wishlist items and purchase history. This strategy extends brand reach, increases user engagement, and converts browsing activity into sales.

9) Push Notifications:

An essential and interactive feature in mobile shopping app development, push notifications keep users informed of the latest offers, order status, discounts and upcoming changes. Leveraging a robust CRM allows users to customize their notification preferences for increased relevance and reduced disruption.

10) Security measures:

Security compliance is paramount in any mobile shopping app development process. Implementing robust measures, such as encryption and authentication, protects users' personal and financial information from cyber threats and fraud. Adhering to mandatory industry standards, such as GDPR and PCI-DSS, is imperative.

11) Social sharing:

With over 5.04 billion people - representing 62.3% of the global population - engaged in social media activities, integrating social sharing into your online shopping app is essential. This feature allows customers to conveniently share their product choices with friends, family and social networks, increasing brand awareness and driving organic growth.

12) Bulk Purchasing:

An important feature of online shopping apps like Costco is the ability to make bulk purchases. Offering specific volume discounts or tiered pricing encourages increased purchases. This feature also provides transparency around minimum and maximum order criteria.

13) AI integration:

Integrating AI features such as chatbots, voice search, image search, AI-powered visual search, and predictive analytics modernizes apps in the 21st century. AI enhances the overall shopping experience by facilitating virtual try-ons for apparel, accessories, or home decor items through features such as AR components, reducing returns and exchanges.

14) Gamification and Rewards:

Incorporating gamification elements and rewards programs significantly increases customer engagement and builds loyalty. Features such as cash back, referral earnings, and incentives for repeat purchases attract new buyers while retaining existing ones.

How to Build a Shopping App Like Costco?

There are several steps and considerations involved in creating a Costco-like online shopping application for retail businesses. Here's a checklist to keep in mind during the development process:

Market analysis:

Start by conducting thorough market research and predictive analytics to understand current trends, audience preferences, and competitors. This research will help you identify market opportunities and challenges.

Feature Identification:

Based on your market research, outline the essential features and functionality for your app. In addition to standard features such as language support, zoom functionality, and virtual try-on, consider incorporating unique features to differentiate your app.

UI/UX design:

Create a logical and visually appealing UI/UX design for the app. Prioritize ease of navigation and seamless user interaction. Create wireframes and prototypes to visualize the design of the final product. Maintain consistency in color schemes, typography, design elements, and branding to enhance the user experience.


Once the design is complete, proceed with app development. Select the appropriate technology stack and development frameworks based on your project requirements. Work with experienced developers to ensure smooth implementation of features and functionality.


Thoroughly test the application for functionality, performance, and usability. Conduct beta testing with a sample group of users to gather feedback and identify any issues or bugs that need to be addressed.


After successful testing, deploy the app to the appropriate app stores (e.g., Apple App Store, Google Play Store). Ensure compliance with app store policies and regulations.

Marketing and promotion:

Develop a marketing strategy to promote the app and attract users. Utilize various channels such as social media, email marketing, and influencer partnerships to increase app visibility and drive downloads.

Maintenance and Updates:

Regularly maintain and update the app to ensure optimal performance and security. Respond to user feedback and incorporate new features or enhancements based on evolving market trends.


To bring your mobile app development concept to fruition, selecting an appropriate tech stack is critical. This includes choosing programming languages, frameworks, and databases for both front-end and back-end development. During this phase, eCommerce developers create a comprehensive product catalog, integrate secure payment gateways, implement enhanced security measures, and ensure compatibility across different devices and screen sizes.


Thorough testing and quality assurance are essential before launching the final product. Use automated testing tools and frameworks to identify and resolve any bugs, errors, vulnerabilities, or glitches early in the development cycle to ensure uninterrupted functionality and optimal application performance.


After QA, begin the process of submitting your app to your chosen platforms, such as the Play Store and App Store. Adhere to app store guidelines and regulations to ensure rapid approval and broad distribution.

App support and upgrades:

Continuously monitor your app's speed, stability, and overall user experience to ensure long-term reliability. Proactively incorporate app development trends into your software, incorporating feature upgrades, bug fixes, and security updates to stay ahead of the competition and maintain user satisfaction.

Why Choose Mars Studios as Your eCommerce App Development Company?

Since 2022, Mars Studios has established itself as a trusted leader in mobile shopping app development. Whether you're considering venturing into the realm of online shopping app development like Costco or seeking insight into the benefits of online shopping app trends, we can effortlessly streamline the process for you. Our experienced eCommerce developers are adept at estimating the cost of developing a Costco-like shopping app and can help you create top-notch apps within your budget constraints.

With a remarkable 98% client retention rate and a proven track record in app development and software solutions, Mars Studios offers a comprehensive suite of benefits. These include transparency, budget management and accuracy throughout the development process. Every project our team undertakes ensures quality assurance, alignment with business objectives, and compliance, all while employing best practices in online shopping app trends such as those seen at Costco.

By partnering with Mars Studios for mobile shopping app development, you gain access to reliable developers and resources dedicated to bringing your e-commerce ideas to life. We are committed to providing competitive pricing for eCommerce mobile app development, offering flexible timeframes and pricing structures tailored to the unique requirements of each project. Contact our development partners to discover the benefits of creating a Costco-style shopping app or to get a detailed quote for your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much it costs to build a shopping app like Costco?

Determining the cost of Costco shopping app development involves various factors, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for estimating pricing. However, to provide a rough estimate, development prices for online shopping apps similar to Costco typically range from $30,000 to $300,000, depending on various components. Factors such as the complexity of the mobile application, desired functionality, cross-platform compatibility, UI/UX design, geographic considerations, and more are taken into account when calculating the total cost.

If you're looking for an eCommerce application development company or need to hire eCommerce developers, consider contacting Mars Studios. We specialize in providing custom mobile app development cost estimates based on your specific requirements. Our team can help you determine the best approach to bring your Costco-like shopping app to life.

How much time does it take to build online shopping apps like Costco?

Online retailers such as Costco, Walmart, and Zalando have built a loyal customer base that trusts and relies on their services. However, the cost of developing a shopping app varies based on several factors, including the complexity of features, user-friendly design, level of app development expertise, and more. Typically, a Costco-style shopping app can take anywhere from 4 months to 1 year or more to develop, depending on the complexity of the project and the desired goals.

What are the benefits of online shopping app development?

Shopping application development by a reputable eCommerce application development company like Mars Studios offers numerous benefits to both customers and businesses:

Expanded Reach: Online shopping apps like Costco allow businesses to expand their reach to a broader audience beyond their local markets and headquarters.

Increased engagement: Mobile shopping app development facilitates direct interaction between businesses and customers through features such as personalized suggestions, social media sharing, push notifications, and more, resulting in increased engagement.

Data-driven insights: A mobile shopping app like Costco provides businesses with valuable data, allowing them to gain insight into user buying patterns, understand consumer behavior, and improve marketing campaigns through analytics.

Cost-effectiveness: Leveraging emerging technologies such as natural language processing (NLP), Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) for online shopping app development helps businesses save on administrative, labor, and operating costs.

Competitive Positioning: In today's digital economy, a user-friendly app for an enhanced shopping experience gives businesses a competitive edge in the market and helps them stay ahead of the competition.

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