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How Much Does it Cost to Develop Online Travel Apps like Hopper?

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2876 Views | 8 min | Published On: June 2, 2022 Last Updated: January 25, 2023
Apps like Hopper

The modern era is all about precision and personalization. You add value to customers’ everyday lives and get millions in return – it is that simple. But, is it really that easy?

Well, apps like Hopper are proving that scaling in this startup-led and customer-oriented world, is not difficult. Now, imagine an app telling users not to book a flight or not to hire that cab. And making millions of dollars doing this. Isn’t it unbelievable?

Up until now, you must have heard about apps selling products or services but today you are going to study about an app that asks customers to not spend.

That’s Hopper and its investors call it an anomaly.

Built specifically for the leisure travel market, it is based on a sophisticated algorithm that predicts the best deals for users to buy and fly. More than 70% of the time, it tells users not to buy the listing and save money. But, it was the most downloaded online travel app in the USA with 15 million downloads in 2021, a 183% increase as compared to 2020 figures, according to a research by Apptopia.

Now, if you ever cared about building a travel app or want to know more about how hopper works and how to develop such an app, this blog is for you. Here, we are going to discuss everything about the online travel market, how apps like hopper work, and how much it would cost to develop such an app. So, let’s get started.

Why Does it Make Sense to Develop an Online Travel App in 2022?

The travel industry was one of the hardest-hit industries during the COVID-19. Some of the travel apps even reported 70% less traffic and bookings in 2020 as compared to 2019.

The situation continued in 2021 and some of the key players in the online travel industry relied on the acquisition of competitors to maintain their market share. However, in 2022, when the pandemic is almost gone, people are traveling more than ever before. The traffic on these apps increased drastically and major players are geared up for all the advantages they could get.

Let’s see some stats to find out what’s driving entrepreneurs crazy for investing in online travel app development in 2022:

Travel and Tourism app market trends

Now that you know that the travel industry is much bigger than what one could imagine, it is time to set up a strong game if you are passionate about acquiring some of the market share of this flourishing industry.
For that, you need to make use of emerging technologies to develop a solution that drives travelers insane. One such solution is Hopper. Let’s discuss it more to find out how it works and how you too can create such a solution to earn millions of dollars online. All you need to do is find a team of reliable travel app developers.

Also Read: Why a Popular Travel App like Airbnb Got Smashed in the Stock Market?

What is Hopper and How Does it Work?

Hopper is an AI-based travel application for iOS and Android users. As it is clear from its name, you can hop from one destination to another using the Hopper app. It lets you book flights, cabs, and hotels at the best prices.

Basically, it uses its smart AI-based algorithms for predicting prices and suggest users whether they should book instantly or wait to save some bucks. Here is how it works:

  • The app asks users to enter their present location, destination, number of people traveling, and what all they would like to book during the trip.
  • Users need to enter dates and their preferences like whether they want to book a one-way or round-trip.
  • The app then works on searching for the best deals as per user’s preferences and lists all the options with exclusive discounts.
  • It also notifies users about the best time to travel with the help of color-coded calendars to save money. Users can also access the app’s predictions regarding when and by how much prices can increase after a certain date.
  • The app keeps sending push notifications to let users know when the prices fluctuate or if there are new price predictions.
  • You can rebook your hotels and flights without any cancellation fee under certain terms and conditions.

Air travel pricing can be complex and users never get the information they need to secure the best deals. However, with an app like hopper, users can eliminate half of their travel-related problems and that is one of the reasons why travel applications are becoming much more popular. If you too want to develop such an app, read on!

A 3-Step Guide to Build Profitable Travel Apps like Hopper from Scratch

If you want to create your own brand in the travel industry, cloning an application won’t help. So, we suggest that you start from scratch and develop something unseen for the global travel industry to stand out. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Research About Your App Idea and Target Audience

Hopper is a unique idea and its USP is that it helps customers save money on traveling in a creative manner. Similarly, you need to have an idea before developing an online travel app and it should be unique.

Think about what you can do differently? It should be something new and innovating.

Then, you need to find out who your target audience is going to be. Understand their needs, incorporate the solutions in your development process, and then release the final product. You can invest in developing:

Customer Personas: Find out who your customers are, and what they do, and divide them into several groups to cater to their needs in a personalized manner.

Behavioral Trends: Find out how customers behave when they use your product, what are their desires, and what features they do not like much.

Now, you can use this data to develop the foundation of your application. You can also create a Minimum Viable Product to test your idea and acquire feedback from early adopters.

Step 2: Create Your Travel App Monetization Strategy

Once you are clear about your app idea, it is time to find out How Your App will Make Money. Now that you know several details about your users, you can easily predict the features for which they will pay and capitalize on their needs by providing them the convenience.

For example, apps like hopper make money using commissions. The hopper app generates $5 per ticket and also 1-4% commission from the airlines. Thankfully, there are several monetization strategies that you can use for your online travel app and some of them include:

Step 3: Hire a Team of Reliable Travel App Developers

Once you are done with the above two steps, your work is almost over. Now select a reliable outsourcing partner having prior experience in developing solutions for the travel industry.

You can hire remote developers or set up an in-house team of developers to work on your dream project. However, you need to make this decision very carefully. The team of app developers you hire can make the difference between the success and failure of your project.

So, make sure you check their portfolio, talk to their past clients, interview their team members, meet them in-person, check their coding standards, and do due diligence before hiring.

Let’s now see how you can make your travel app loved by consumers.

How to Make Your Travel App Standout?

As of 2021, the 30-day retention rate of travel apps was 50%, meaning that only 5 in 10 users continued using the app after installation. In addition, just a few installs survived after 30 days of use. So how to make a travel app that won’t get deleted?

Setting up a seamless customer experience and providing a feature set that makes the tasks of your users easy is the key to surviving in the industry.

Depending on your app’s business model and type, the features may vary. But, here are some of the must-have features of a travel mobile application:

Features of apps like hopper

Now that we know what are the must-have features of apps like hopper, are they enough to drive the traction? No! There are many travel apps in the market, but some things that you need to take care of to thrive in the online travel market include:

1. Personalized Booking Experiences

Modern travelers demand personalized online travel experiences, which as of now very few companies are delivering. As a result, travel applications face low conversion rates and less revenue. But, giants in the travel industry are trying to adopt new technologies fast to provide their consumers with seamless travel experiences and stand out in the market.

For example, the Hilton app provides consumers with a “choose your own room feature” using which they can select the room depending on their preferences before they check in.

Customers get to choose the floor they want and whether they need a poolside room or a room near the parking. Many travel applications are also taking this personalization a step further by allowing consumers to select what they want in their rooms.

So, if you are planning to enter the travel industry, you must pay attention to personalization and use emerging technologies to provide the same.

2. Economical Traveling

Consumers these days are time and cost-savvy. Therefore, they prefer economical travel options over expensive ones. In addition, solo traveling is on-trend as well so apps like hopper have to take care of the needs of every type of traveler. To do so, you can allow your consumer to:

  • Find reasonably priced transportation and accommodation options
  • Connect with other backpackers to find suitable options together
  • Find local delicacies and places to visit
  • Translate local dialects into other languages
  • Know about the weather conditions of the destination

3. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence

To make your app stand out, it is going to be essential for you to use technologies like Artificial Intelligence, ML, AR/VR, and others. For example, you can use AI for chatbot integration. These bots will be responsible for providing round-the-clock assistance to your consumers. You can use a pre-built bot or invest in building your own bot.

AI and Machine Learning are two powerful technologies that can help travel applications stand out among their competitors. You can implement these emerging technologies for fraud detection, recommender systems, cost optimization, and sales optimization as well. All of these things will help you improve your marketing and sales efforts immensely.

Similarly, with push notification and beacon technology, travel businesses can create powerful marketing campaigns and experience more conversions. AR and VR can help customers go through a virtual tour of the destination or hotels they are planning to visit.

It is not necessary to implement all these technologies at the same time or when developing your app. You can take baby steps towards building and scaling a product that stands out.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Travel Mobile App Like Hopper?

While it is not possible to give you an exact number on how much developing apps like hopper would cost, we can help you with an estimate. The amount of money you spend depends on several factors, let’s look at the most important ones:

  • What features do you want to add to the app
  • You develop a native or cross-platform application
  • The app development model you choose – Waterfall or Agile
  • You hire in-house developers, freelancers, or outsource your project
  • The platforms you target – Android/iOS or both
  • The technology stack that you select (Objective C or Swift and Java or Kotlin)
  • The location of your developers

So, until we get to know all these things about your project, we can not depict the exact price. Let’s now have a look at the basic features and time required to develop the same to provide you with a ballpark number on travel app development cost:

App Features Approximate hours required to build
App Onboarding 50
Booking and Reservation 100
Payments 60
Price Predictions 80
Search and Filters 50
Push Notifications 70
Navigation and Geolocation 90
Customer Reviews 25
Social Media Integration 30
In-App Purchases 90

Now, depending on where your app development team is located, their rates per hour will vary. Here is how developers in different parts of the world charge for app development:

Travel app development cost around world

When you are done deciding the features of your app, the location of your developers, and the time that they will need to complete your travel app development project, you can calculate the approximate cost of development. Here is the formula we can use for the same:

Travel App Development Cost

Development Time X Hourly Rate

645 Hours X $50 Per Hour = 32,250

Please remember that this number is an estimate and we considered several variable factors to calculate it for your project. However, we are always open to discussions with our clients to find a model that fits their needs and budget. So, do get in touch with us if you want an exact number and some suggestions before embarking on your travel app development journey.

Happy development and all the best for your project 🙂

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