How Much Does Mobile App Development Cost

Many people get really excited about app development, mainly because they come up with an awesome idea and want everyone to use it. What happens next when they look into getting it designed and developed is they realize wow there is a lot more to this mobile app development thing. Then, they see the app development cost and flinch.

The first thing you have to understand is every app is different, even if they are similar there are differences that affect the cost. Some of the main items that can affect the app development cost are:

1. Number of screens

2. Number of API’s to be integrated, if any

3. Custom or using a template

4. How many primary and secondary functions the app has

5. How complex or simple each function is

6. Platforms you want to build on

Simple vs Complex

The app development cost of a simple 5 screen app is most likely going to be less than an app with 20 screens. If you have a big app that needs to have various API’s integrated with it because it must communicate with other items outside the app, it could get a little pricey. If you decide you want a template to be used to cut costs, you can and some people do that. However, a template limits your ability to do certain things which is why people tend to want custom apps so they can do what they want.

You always want to keep your app simple and easy to use but you also want to make sure it has everything they need. If you only have 1 function in the app it’s going to be pretty inexpensive. On the other hand, if that one function requires a massive backend and various other needs to make it work properly then it won’t be cheap.

Every function in the app requires a certain number of things to be done in the backend. While the front end may be very simple the backend may require a number of things to ensure that it works. For example, let’s say you have a list of options you want a user to choose from then click done. What the user sees is just 1 simple screen with a list of items to choose from.

However, in the backend, the system needs to have a profile created for every single user that knows what that user has chosen and what needs to be done because of it. Each selection requires a different action. That right there requires a lot more in the back end then the front end.

Another item that affects the app development cost is the platforms. There are 2 main platforms; iOS and Android. There are also various devices which you can build on as well. iOS you have various mobile devices and the different iPads. Android is the complicated one because there are hundreds of devices you can build on which is why many usually start with iOS because there are not a lot of different devices. If you decide I want to build on the latest iPhone and the most popular Android those are 2 different costs. The same goes with building on the iPhone and iPad or Android phone and tablet.

Design

App design is very important if you want to gain and keep users. Depending on how simple or how complex you want the design to be, it’s going to change the cost. If you want major effects versus simple little icons you’ll pay more.

Do you need the mobile app development company to create a logo and/or app icon image? That will be taken into account too. Design plays a very important role in any project. You want to do it right and make sure users find it appealing otherwise they won’t use it.

The Cost

Now, let’s break it down for you. You will see average costs for different size of apps. Of course, that is an estimate. Once you contact SDI to discuss your exact needs you will be given a precise cost but this will give you an idea.

Here is a quick breakdown of basic app development costs:

2 Screens, 1 core function is $5,000

5 Screens, 1-2 core functions is $11,000

10 Screens, 2-3 core functions is $17,000

15 Screens, 3-4 core functions is $29,000

That is the starting point. Depending on how complex the core functionalities are those prices will go up and vice versa. Now keep in mind your app may only have 15 screens tops but if those functions require a huge complex backend the price could be $100,000. If you are trying to build Facebook or Pokemon Go then we’re talking millions.

App pricing is not simple. When you explain what you are looking for a solid mobile app development company will review and give you a cost. If you are on a budget, companies like SDI can work with you and come up with a solution that works for you and decrease your cost.

There are companies that provide you with a very low app development cost, but be careful. Make sure they can provide you a lot of information, references, and ideas. If they say yes we can do it here is the cost you may want to look around at other companies. Sometimes if the price is too good to be true it probably is. Be smart when hiring a mobile app development company.

There are also companies that will charge you $10,000 just to do a specs document. A simple app could cost you $100,000. They go through a whole list of what they will provide and it sounds all great but you may not need all of that, plus many times their price just isn’t realistic. You will usually find good pricing and proper development from companies in the middle. Mobile app development is a crazy industry but definitely worth doing.

Maintenance and Marketing

Beyond just the design and development there is also app maintenance costs and app marketing costs. It’s not just about getting it created but also about what you need to maintain the app. The kind of server you need to make your app work properly will have a cost to it as well.

How much marketing do you plan on doing to get the word out there? There are a lot of things you can do for free yourself. If you want to push further or have someone else take over the marketing reigns you have to think about your marketing budget each month.

If you have a $2,000/mo app marketing budget we’re talking very basic marketing materials like blogs and social media. A good marketing budget is $25,000 /mo. Don’t get discouraged though, spending a lot of money doesn’t necessarily mean results. You can have a small budget and still make some headway. Sometimes just knowing where to place the right marketing materials can yield high results so that $2,000 budget could work out in the end.

You can’t really think that an app can be designed and programmed for $2,000. Many people think that’s a thing. It’s not. Just designing a few pages will cost that much. There is a lot to take into account when it comes to app development. It’s not a simple process and requires a lot of effort and time. Make sure you are serious about it. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg but remember if you are on a certain budget you may want to be prepared to cut back on some things. You can always have a version 2, 3 and 4 where you add in other features.

If you are ready to discuss mobile app development with a professional company who can do design, programming, maintenance, and marketing then speak to one of our specialists today at 408.621.8481 or email at team@sdi.la.

7 Reasons Why You Need To Update Your Website

There are over a billion websites on the internet today. People from all over the world create websites for many different reasons. The moment that website goes live is exhilarating. You do your best to keep current customers and draw in new ones. Unfortunately like with most things as time goes on it gets older and doesn’t work as well and the design isn’t as interesting as it once was.

You may be thinking will it really be worth it to change my website. Will your current customers get annoyed with the updates or will new customers really decide to sign up just because you made some updates? Those are important questions, ones we will answer here for you so you can make an educated decision on whether you should move forward with updates or not.

1. Safety

Hacking has become a serious issue over the years. Some of the largest companies in the world get hacked. There are many different ways and reasons why people hack sites. There are so many problems that come with this whether that be stealing credit card information, personal information, installing spam, and more. If you have an older website you are more vulnerable to these attacks. Your software should always be up to date. This can be a pain but every website should make sure they take precautions.

2. Speed

People don’t have as much patience as they used to so if it takes longer than 1 second for your website to load people get irritated. You have to get users on your website right away to keep them there. If your website speed is slow, there are many reasons this could be. Who you host with is a major factor as well as the number of images and videos, caching, how many daily visitors, and more. Older websites usually have problems in many of these areas that is why updating everything helps greatly with speed.

Your website code is very important and as time goes on it has to be updated to keep up with technology advances. You always want to check with your website development company about increasing your website speed as this is incredibly important for keeping visitors from bouncing.

3. Content

Your content should be completely updated as well. Everything on every page, yes even the about us page. Many older sites lack calls to action. This entices someone to read on or look at other pages. It goes hand in hand with beautiful relevant images. These calls to action items can be the simple sign up now buttons or quick witty lines of content that spark an emotion. Everything you say needs to be informative and interesting. Find a story about yourself and your team and put that on the about us page. When you talk about your products think about why your customers need and/or want this product. Then use that to fuel your content creation. You will want to update your website content regularly.

4. SEO

Like most, you probably want to rank well on Google. After all, that is how most people are going to find you. If you have an outdated website and/or haven’t updated anything in a long time, you will rank really low. It will be hard for anyone to find you. Google is constantly updating its algorithms to look for websites who make constant updates to their website. The newer the content the more relevant you are and therefore the higher you rank. Once you do make design and content updates to your website you then need to update all your tags and various other SEO data in the code. SEO is one of the most important pieces for website marketing and getting people to find you so take it seriously.

5. UI/UX

When people land on your website what do they see? If they see old images and old content it gives off an unprofessional feel. You should make them want to learn more about you and find interest in your services or products. If you haven’t touched your website in 10 years they probably won’t feel like looking around long. Remember everything you present on your website tells a story about who you are as a company. This is called your user interface (UI).

If you have old photos, they need to be updated with brand new ones. There are so many stock photo sites out there. Some of them you pay per photo and some provide photos for free. Either way, you don’t have to take them or edit them yourself.

Visitors should find it easy to navigate and find what they want. How they get from point A to point B is the user experience (UX). Many older sites didn’t take this into account and therefore tend to be a little complex to navigate. Although, on the other end they can be too simple by not providing customers with the option to do certain things that could yield you more results. Both ends of the spectrum are important and should be looked at when considering a website re-design.

6. Statistics

Do you know how many visitors you get each day? If you don’t know you are missing out on important information. You should also know what pages users spend the most time on, how they are coming to your website, which devices they are using, where they bounce off at, and more. This is so important to help you decide what changes you need to make not only on your website but also in your business itself. You can talk to your web developers too about this.

7. Responsiveness

If you search your website on your phone and images aren’t coming through and/or content goes past the edges of the phone, or in general, it just looks messy, then you don’t have a responsive website. When you decide to start the website re-design process your website development company should know to make it responsive and talk to you about doing it. This way people can view your beautiful new website on any device.

Keep in mind you don’t just update your website 1 time. You have to do it regularly. Content should be updated every week. That doesn’t mean you have to update all your main menu pages every week but if you have a blog you should add one at least weekly. You can also have a news page or updates page which has new information about products or anything else you want to say. As far as page content updates, that should be once a year. The design of your website should be updated every few years. However, updating little things here and there are also recommended.

There are many more reasons why you should update your website besides what was mentioned but this should give you an idea if you need to look into it. If you are thinking about updating your old website or are unsure if you really need to, contact the team at SDI or Sakshi Sharma at sakshi@sdi.la for a free website review.

Implementing AI into Your E-Commerce Website

It’s pretty obvious that many e-commerce websites are incorporating some kind of artificial intelligence and/or machine learning to help with ROI and improve customers experiences. The entire buying and selling process has drastically changed for the better. Companies are increasing their profits while customers are receiving better customer service and a much easier time finding the products they really want.

How does this all come about though? How do you as a new or older e-commerce company integrate this into your business? Well, there is a lot to think about before you jump in. The following are different ways you can implement it, also known as use cases.

1. Customer Service

One of the largest uses of AI in any e-commerce website is through customer service. You no longer need to have a huge team of people answering calls. Everything can be done through automated chatbots. Throughout all pages of your website, you can have the chat boxes appear so customers can ask questions at any time and from any page. There is a long list of items that these bots can help customers with. Some of them include finding certain products, ordering them, or even login help.

Some limitations are specific problems customers are facing. When a chatbot is unable to assist with these sort of problems they will direct them to a real person. You don’t want to rely 100% on these chatbots as there is still a need for real people but not as many.

On the flip side, these chatbots don’t just help the customers but it can also help your personnel as well. They can find answers faster and get specific details about a customer’s account so that they can help the customer better. Many e-commerce companies have implemented this which has been pretty successful so far. These bots are quite good at personalization which helps increase engagement.

2. Sales

AI algorithms have the ability to take massive amounts of data and use it to predict certain patterns in customer behavior. This allows e-commerce websites and any business for that matter to make changes in their marketing to essentially get more sales.

This leads to making the right product recommendations to each individual person. By tracking and collecting certain types of data e-commerce companies can understand and predict purchasing behavior. There are many ways companies can gather this information such as; through social media, purchasing history, web search history, online reviews of products, and more. The data that is gathered from this will help you create an effortless user experience on any device.

If you have ever bought or searched anything in Amazon, they do a great job at suggesting items to people that make sense to them personally. This level of personalization can make it easier for customers to purchase the product, gets them more engaged which in turn will increase conversions.

3. Warehousing

All of the AI predictive capabilities and sales algorithms help with warehousing as well. Having the right products stocked up at the right time. If you know that soon you will have a spike in requests for a certain item, you have time to get it stocked up. As AI and ML technology gets better this type of feature will only get better as well.

Besides just being able to stock up on certain items, how the warehouse operates is also essential.

How an item gets sorted and categorized

How it is grabbed for shipment

How the item is then packaged and shipped out

The efficiency of all of those items is key to ensuring better accuracy, speed, and delivery of products in the warehouse. Many e-commerce companies still rely fully on humans to do all of this manually. Again, let’s circle back to Amazon. They are the kings of warehousing and product delivery perfection. Well, almost perfect. Of course not every e-commerce website can implement their level of tech for every department of the company but it gives you an example of what can be done on a larger scale so smaller companies can still do amazing things on a smaller scale.

4. Pricing

If there is a higher demand for a product you increase the price right? Especially if that item is close to selling out. Dynamic pricing that’s enabled by AI is a newer type of technology that e-commerce companies are starting to try out. You may be thinking, wait, increasing prices during high demand isn’t new at all. You would be right, but the information that is gathered to determine when to increase it and what that new price should be is.

This lends not only to increases but decreases as well. Knowing when you should discount an item and by how much to ensure more people purchase it is something new. The accuracy of this is improved through AI algorithms. Since this is something newer, you should think seriously about being one of the first ones to integrate this into your e-commerce website. It’s a risk but it’s one that could pay off big time.

The Big Picture

You may be wondering where to start and how to do all this. First, think about your customers and what you currently know about them. What is your target audience, could you increase the audience through marketing. What does your current audience like the most? What pages of your e-commerce website do they linger on the most? Take the data you do have and analyze it to answer all these questions. Once you have this information you can make a much better decision about the type of AI you should be implementing. AI is only as good as the inputs you provide it. If you don’t provide it with proper information, it won’t be able to provide you with proper results.

You, like many other companies, may not have the proper team of people to implement it yourself. AI professionals are needed to be able to help you create the right algorithms and use them in the right areas. You need to reach out to companies like SDI who have experienced AI personnel who can work with you to determine exactly what you need.

Before you jump right into implementing AI to increase sales, make sure your warehousing and shipment can handle it. You may want to think about starting with sorting and shipping and how you can make it more efficient. AI can not only do that but if something changes AI is there to account for those changes.

Once you have that settled you can move on to converting more customers. The ability to recommend products for each individual is important but so is allowing them to use images and talk with chatbots increasing the level of personalized customer interaction. Other e-commerce websites have seen sales improvements of approximately 10% just with personalized marketing strategies.

What It Does For You

In the end, your e-commerce website will make huge innovative strides in saving and earning you more money by identifying new markets to find new customers, automating many parts of the logistical process, creating new products that are in high demand, and making current products better.

Keep in mind that this technology is not going to be implemented overnight. It takes time and patience to get this done. Once it is done you can’t expect everyone to just jump on right away. This is a serious process that needs time to grow. Make sure you know what use cases you should deploy and do this on a small scale to see what works and what doesn’t. Only then will you realize how AI can seriously change your business for the better.

To learn more about how AI can be implemented into your e-commerce website contact Sakshi Sharma at 408.621.8481 or email her at sakshi@sdi.la.

Financial Algorithms And What it Means For Your Business

What Is An Algorithm Most of us have become familiar with the word algorithm and that it has to do with technology, making things work and providing information. That is true, but let’s break it down. 1 single algorithm provides the same info that it is given, so as you combine algorithms they can then perform more complex tasks that provide more useful information.

Computers help us by providing programs which allow us to complete tasks. In order for us to do that the program has to create and be given instructions on how to do something for each scenario. An algorithm is what tells the computer exactly what it needs to do in order for you to get the desired task completed.

For example, an algorithm will ask for a piece of information from you and then it takes that information and dictates what needs to be done with it. Algorithms are different than codes so don’t get them confused. For one thing, algorithms are much easier to understand than codes are. They are pretty much like a flow chart which shows all the steps from start to finish and all the different paths that can be taken.

Financial Algorithms for Business

As a business owner, you can use financial algorithms to perform many different tasks to help improve your top line and bottom line. Imagine being able to pinpoint the creditworthiness of future customers. It can even go as far as making predictions of whether or not something could go wrong in the future. Technology has made it possible to do a lot more than ever before, creating a better, more accurate decision-making process.

Although there are many different ways you can use algorithms, using it for finance is one of the best ways. There are definitely some ways your business could be implementing them to help with your business goals.

The Digital Footprint

Most businesses have a system in place which helps give them an idea of which amount of credit to extend to customers who fall within a certain category. Everything a person does in the digital world can be taken into account. We are so used to gathering a certain list of basic information to determine this but you will be surprised with the right financial algorithms how much more information can be used to provide you with more accurate answers.

Traditional methods can’t quite measure up to big data anymore. Consumers must understand that everything they do digitally is recorded and used for data purposes. You may notice those cookie pop-ups when you go to a website. The data that these algorithms use isn’t going to give perfect results of course which is why more information is key. Whether you are on the consumer side or business side these are the items being tracked to determine financial stats:

1. The brand of phone you buy

2. The type of car you own

3. The type of device you use to make your purchases

4. Your internet path to get to a particular website

5. The time you make your purchases

6. Your email address

All of this information which is very common whenever anyone makes a purchase can be tracked and used to help businesses makes decisions about their potential customers. It’s easy to find this information because all of these websites ask for basic information to register when you make a purchase. They can track how you ended up on their website, if you came onto the site using a desktop computer, if you made the purchase in the middle of the day, what your email is and more. All of this data gives us insight into who that person is.

There are specific statistics to determine the likelihood that potentials customers could default and that all has to do with that information. If you combine the data you find here with their credit score you will get much more accurate results.

The Downside

There are many arguments that this is unreliable data and can be used the wrong way. For example, maybe you are great with money and don’t have any credit issues but your online footprint tells a different story. This is likely to happen because people don’t always follow the typical pattern. Variables have to be taken into account because if they are not your data will end up being inaccurate. Our activity online isn’t usually given much thought so the statistics gathered can be somewhat misleading. As a business, this has to be taken into account.

The other downside is this type of data gathering can end up basing things on age, race, and gender which can cause serious problems. This needs to be taken seriously because letting these financial algorithms determine someone’s creditworthiness based on those details means not only discrimination but also accuracy problems.

The Upside

There are some serious downsides businesses need to understand before implementing these financial algorithms. However, if done correctly it can provide amazing results. With that in mind, it doesn’t just help business with results but also helps your customers too. Those who may not have gotten approved could actually have a better chance of getting approved.

The Realization

It’s not just about creditworthiness but so much more. This kind of data if gathered correctly can make it easier to determine loan amounts, credit approval and the interest rate amounts, who to hire, insurance approvals and amounts, and much more.

These algorithms are far from perfect. There are still many problems that need to be fixed. The accuracy of the data can easily be called into question. People don’t necessarily know why they get denied for something and the creators of these financial algorithms can’t always figure it out either or why the data may not be accurate.

Now is the time to create useful financial algorithms that can do things correctly. This is the future and we are just at the beginning of what this technology can do for not only you personally but your business as well.

If you have more questions about building algorithms into your business contact Rob LaPointe at 408.802.2885 or email him rob@sdi.la.

The Use of Modern Technology in The Sports Industry

When it comes to the sports industry there is no shortage of teams, fans, gear, and anything else you can think of. The amount of money and effort that gets put into sports teams is vast. People dedicate their lives to knowing players stats and cheering their team on. It’s an industry where technology can truly thrive.

Reducing Player Injuries

Over the years it’s become very apparent that player injuries need to be taken more seriously. For a long time, both players and fans were unaware of what long-term effects the sports injuries have on them. Fast forward to 30 or so years later those same players exhibit serious mental and physical disabilities. If properly diagnosed and or caught early these life-altering problems could have been avoided.

A sport that causes more issues than most is football. Right now the NFL is testing out smart helmets which allows them to determine how a hit has impacted the players head allowing them to make smarter choices about whether to keep them in the game or not and what care to provide them. Those helmets can also take more of the impact which keeps the players from sustaining more serious injuries. This is a real game changer, especially with this sport.

The data we receive from these types of technologies can help alter the game itself. Understanding what and how these injuries are happening can allow the rules of the game to change to keep those injuries from happening.

Player physicians and doctors can help these players better by providing them with more accurate details about their injuries and how they should go about treating them. There is already a lot of healthcare that is implementing more advanced technologies which help doctors and patients so why no diagnose and treat patients better.

Fans Involvement

People can’t get enough of sports apps which allow them to manage their fantasy games. Social media gives them the ability to stay connected to their favorite players. They can gamble, play games, be involved in contests, and more. Let’s be honest, fans can be really intense and want to be involved in as much game interaction as possible.

Now, we even have Virtual Reality (VR) which gives fans the ability to feel like they are practically in the game. It can be pretty expensive and difficult to get a ticket to a sports game but with VR you can watch the game as if you were standing right next to the coaches. Heck, it can be better than actually being at the game. This is especially true when you are sitting in the nosebleed seats barely able to see the ball and paying $15 for a hot dog.

There is so much more that can be done with VR besides the fans ability to watch a game. It can help players train, the medical staff treat the players, and even coaches coach. There is still a lot of room for VR apps in the sports industry when it comes to making improvements as well change the way fans enjoy viewing the games.

Game improvements

The judgments made during games are another serious issue that has been talked about for years in just about every sport. Judgement calls can be wrong because after all we are human and we make mistakes. Therefore, the right technology can help them make more accurate decisions.

There have way too many problems in the industry due to a lack of accuracy and sometimes even biased opinions that can sway someone’s judgement. We don’t necessarily do it on purpose but it does happen. Fans, players, coaches, and media don’t waste any time talking about how ridiculous a judgement call is.

We’ve seen sports adopting tech to double check calls such as football referees can look at replays to see something from many angles in slow motion. That is in its simplest form of course. A more advanced approach is sensors around the field gathering data and providing answers within an instant of what happened.

A slight negative is sometimes having to review the data to make more accurate decisions means spending more time which slows down the game a bit. Although, that is the downfall, in the end having the right decisions being made makes it worth it. As technology grows and becomes more advanced, those decisions will get faster.

Data Collection

The amount of data that we can gather from practices and games allows all involved to learn about players and every other aspect of the game. It can help everyone make more accurate decisions like never before. The internet of things (IoT) is the best example of how data can be gathered from almost any angle. Cameras and sensors can be placed almost anywhere to gather information.

Even sports reporters benefit because they can provide more accurate data for improving their job as well. Rather than simply looking at the game footage they can actually receive real data about every part of the game and why certain plays happened the way they did.

Colleges and pro scouts can make better decisions about who to take because again the data on each player is more accurate. Of course, scouts still need to watch the game footage to truly grasp the type of player they are considering but the extra data makes the decision-making process easier.

Let’s look at technologies like Hawk-Eye, no not the Marvel superhero character, but this tech is a superhero in the sports industry world. It takes 600 frames per second. This can be used in any sport. Hawk-Eye then takes that data, analyzes it and provides the results. Referees are using it to get accurate results to show if a player or ball has actually reached the goal line. Many sports are now changing the way they view this. A few examples of this are

Baseball: This sport has now put a system in place to replay certain plays to keep or reverse some decisions made by the umpires.

Tennis: When a ball is close to the line a call can be reviewed to make sure that the call is accurate and is reversed if it isn’t.

Basketball: Last touch results and ball releases can be reviewed within the last 2 minutes of the game to ensure decision accuracy.

There is so much room for technology in the sports industry. We are only at the beginning of using it to improve sporting results and more. Fan participation is being reshaped into something that years ago we never thought possible. Apps, AI, Machine Learning, and IoT technologies are completely reshaping the industry and for the better.

Do you have an idea which could help improve the sports industry through technology? Contact Rob LaPointe at 408.802.2885 or contact us here to start the discussion and see what advances you can make to the industry.