Global app downloads are projected to reach a staggering new high of 299 billion per year in 2023. However, while the number of mobile applications downloads greatly increases, 25% of apps are accessed only once after the initial download.
This highlights the importance of building an engaging mobile app that actually keeps users coming back. Only an effective mobile app development process can help you get there. And the first step into reaching this goal is outsourcing the best mobile app development services for your specific app goals.
This is where the mobile app development request for proposal (RFP) comes into play.
You need a clear and concise roadmap for your project as a whole, from collecting and summarizing your project requirements to reaching out to potential providers. A properly structured mobile app development RFP is critical for your future project success.
In this article, we will break down the importance of making a proposal for app development, its core components and how to write a precise procurement document when contracting a specialized company to deliver your app project.
We also provide a free, downloadable mobile app development RFP template that you can use for your purposes.
Table of Contents
- What is a Mobile App Development RFP?
- Why Do You Need a Mobile App RFP?
- What Does a Mobile App Development Request For Proposal Include?
- How To Write A Request For Proposal For App Development in 7 Essential Steps
- Mobile App RFP Template
- Best Agencies to Send Mobile App Development RFPs to in 2022
- Takeaways on Mobile App Development RFP
What is a Mobile App Development RFP?
A mobile app development RFP is a procurement document that a company has to create in order to find right the app vendor to develop their mobile application according to their business needs, unique requirements and budget.
The mobile app development proposal covers the essential details about your upcoming project, including specific project description and requirements, project timeline, company information and more (you will see all the components listed in the section below).
To find the best app development company to create your coveted mobile app product, you should have a well-crafted RFP in place which will serve as the backbone of your project and your bargaining card for evaluating prospective vendors’ resources and capabilities.
In return, app development providers will put forward their bids and offerings based on your RFP. This is also the point where negotiations begin between you, the client, and the mobile app provider.
Why Do You Need a Mobile App RFP?
Releasing a mobile app development RFP will help you find the most suitable vendor for your app project, minimize the trial and error and mitigate the risk of weak ROI.
An accurate request for proposal increases your chances of identifying the best provider based on your needs.
Here are a few additional benefits of a well-done mobile app RFP:
1. Get the Best Project Pricing
Issuing your RFP to various vendors will help you receive more competitive proposals in return and thus get the best pricing for your app project.
Your RFP will allow you to compare costs and value metrics to ensure you’ll choose the best fit for your goals.
2. Make a Well-Informed Decision for Your Business
Easily comparing the many different bids will enable you to determine:
- The strengths and weaknesses of each vendor
- The vendor that can bring your business the most value
- The one that you best connect with in terms of professionalism, vision, creativity and company culture
- The vendor that can demonstrate transparency regarding planning and deadlines
- Which vendor brings you the highest ROI
These insights will help you make the best procurement decision for your organization.
3. Save Time, Resources and Energy
Thanks to the RFP’s rigorous format and unambiguous project guidelines, your in-house procurement team will save valuable time researching bidding mobile app development companies.
This document will help your team find and compare data from each response in a timely manner, thus streamlining the research process for the best app development company.
What Does a Mobile App Development Request For Proposal Include?
As mentioned above, and similar to other RFPs for various specialized fields and services, a mobile app development RFP is an official document with specified requirements that a procuring firm drafts and sends to potential app development vendors.
The essential components of any mobile app RFP are:
- Your company information and executive overview
- Mobile app development project description
- Mobile app product functionality
- Use cases
- Target audience
- Project requirements
- Services needed
- Operating systems and platforms
- Backend requirements
- Analytics requirements
- Available budget
- Project timeline
- Proposal timeline
- Vendor questions
How To Write A Request For Proposal For App Development in 7 Essential Steps
Every mobile app development RFP varies according to the issuing company’s unique business needs and requirements. However, each request for proposal incorporates, more or less, these same essential steps:
1. Executive Brief
The opening of each mobile app RFP contains:
- A brief introduction about your company
- The business case for developing a mobile app
- The description of a required app solution
2. Company Background
Here, you continue providing additional information about your organization, what you do, your target market and audience, your leadership. You may also explain how your pending app development project fits into your larger business goals.
Include details such as your:
- Organization’s story (birth and growth)
- Existing product/services offerings
- Brand positioning and brand image
- Target audience and customers
- Industry and market
- Competitive landscape
- Main stakeholders
- App project’s leader
3. Project Overview
This is where you dive into the details of your app development project. You should provide in-depth information about the key business problem your organization wants to solve with the required app.
Be explanatory and outline the specifics as clearly as possible so that prospective vendors can easily understand your desired solution. Follow these steps to nail your project synopsis:
Step #1: Summarize the core problem
Every mobile app solution is developed to solve a business or a customer issue. Give a summary of the core problem you’re addressing by touching on these important points:
- Your business objectives
- Product vision statement
- Mobile app’s target users
- User persona/ideal customer
- Demographic info (gender, age, location, education, etc.)
- User behavior (their goals, their pain points and challenges, the scenarios that prevent them from converting like struggling to understand or navigate the app, etc.)
- The intention (if any) to include your mobile solution in a larger project
Step #2: List your success metrics and goals
Enumerate your criteria for measuring the success of your future mobile application, such as:
- Measurable business goals
- App’s download/user target goals
- Timeframe for your app goals (short, long-term, after launch goals)
Step #3: Describe the key functionalities your mobile app needs
Be as informative as you can about the app solution you’re trying to develop by including all the core functionalities it needs, such as:
- Number of functions needed
- List of features required
- User journey
- Wireframes and mockups
- Mobile app prototype
Step #4: Provide a use-case
Present a use-case of your mobile application to exemplify how a user would interact with your app, their entire flow, intention and purpose.
4. Project Requirements
Write down your project scope and specific requirements, including:
- The services needed: List the services required for your entire development process as well as for particular stages of the project, if needed. These may include:
- Mobile app consulting and strategy
- Mobile app development
- Mobile app UX and design
- App testing and QA
- Maintenance and support
- And more
- The platforms required: It’s also key to specify which platforms your mobile application should be made for. Considering that each platform requires different programming code (and thus developers with different expertise), name the platform you want to focus on first. These platforms include:
- The backend requirements: Cover everything about your backend situation and future requirements, including your existing systems (CMS, web services, APIs) and current database (Salesforce, Oracle, MySQL, etc.)
- The push notifications feature: Indicate if you want to implement push notifications, whether you need to personalize the content and how frequently you want to send notifications.
- The type of analytics needed: It’s also important to note what type of data you need to garner and track for your mobile application.
Your intended budget for the development of your mobile app should be presented in a transparent way alongside your openness to price negotiations. Apart from the sum of money you want to invest in your project, it’s advisable to express any constraints you may have in this respect.
Including a realistic budget plan into your mobile app development RFP is critical for getting punctual responses from providers and making them understand precisely what services they will submit to help you reach your business objectives.
Take into account that the cost for mobile app development services vary greatly and depend on a few factors such as:
- The app development company’s reputation and size
- The number of specialists involved in the project
- The scope and complexity of your project
- The number of features and functionalities
- The number of platforms required
- And more
6. Project Timeline
Include details about your project deliverables:
- Proposed dates for project start and completion
- Deadlines for separate stages of the project
- The launch date of your mobile app
- The duration of your project
7. Contact Information
Last but not least, finalize your mobile app RFP by informing prospective vendors on who is the main point of contact of your document. This is yet another opportunity for you to communicate the deadline for your mobile app project.
Mobile App RFP Template
Mobile app RFP template is useful for creating your own request for proposal from scratch, because it already contains all the essential fields and questions that just need filling out by the agency.
You can also download your copy of a free mobile app development RFP template to the right on this page.
Here is an example of what a well-rounded app proposal template should contain:
Proposal Due Date
Describe the scope of your app project in great detail
Project Scope Requirements
Project Proposal Timeline
Best Agencies to Send Mobile App Development RFPs to in 2022
- Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
- Average Hourly Rate: $140/hr
- Expertise: Mobile App Development, UI/UX Design, Digital Marketing, Software Development...
KDG is a reputed mobile app development company. The company specializes in custom software development, state-of-the-art cyber security, and award-winning UI/UX design to enable businesses to leave a lasting impact on both online and offline audiences. You can submit your RFP to KDG.
KDG is also known for its services in digital marketing, business planning and strategy, and data and software integration. Its mission is to let its clients use technology effectively in solving complex business problems. The team believes in balancing the technological and human elements that sustain businesses.
- Location: Wroclaw, Poland
- Average Hourly Rate: $45/hr
- Expertise: Mobile App Development, Android App Development, iPhone App Development, Windows App Development...
Applover is a full-stack digital agency founded in 2016. The company comprises a team of 100 experts who have developed over 180 projects. You can consider Applover for submitting your RFP.
The company’s mission is to work with technologies for the most recognizable and dynamic start-ups in the domestic and worldwide markets. The team adheres to the industry best practices using agile methodology and test-driven design and development processes.
Applover specializes in website development, creating mobile and web applications, and designing digital products. They work with technologies that include iOS, Android, Swift, Objective-C, Java, Kotlin, Android, Node.js, AngularJS, Vue.js, Ruby on Rails, and WordPress.
3. Vlog Box
- Location: Kent, Delaware
- Average Hourly Rate: $200/hr
- Expertise: Educational App Development, Android App Development, iPhone App Development, B2B Digital Marketing...
VlogBox is a leading CTV app development and video monetization platform. The company helps brands expand their audiences through the CTV ecosystem by going beyond ordinary inventory.
Founded in 2019, VlogBox started by developing screensavers and now owns over 1000 apps and channels, including some virally popular video creators.
You can submit your RFP to VlogBox. The company works with animation studios, YouTube/Instagram vloggers, movie production, distribution, reselling companies, Indie game developers, and other streamers with significant CTV potential.
- Location: Norio Street, Tbilisi, 0162, Georgia
- Average Hourly Rate: $35/hr
- Expertise: Mobile App Development, Android App Development, iPhone App Development, Windows App Development...
Founded in 2009 with the desire to build software solutions using cutting-edge technology, Turbomates Soft houses a team of over 30 high-performing creative experts in custom software development.
The Georgia-based company has completed more than 120 software dev projects. It has a whopping 94% customer retention rate. Turbomates professionals guarantee transparency across all stages of the development process, from analysis to extensive after-sales support.
Turbomates Soft includes TenderScout, Flexigaming, and iMarket Communications on their roster of clients.
5. TopDevs Inc.
- Location: 560-568 High Rd, London, Exeter, N17 9TA, United Kingdom
- Average Hourly Rate: $30/hr
- Expertise: Mobile App Development, eCommerce App Development, Android App Development...
TopDevs is a highly-credible digital transformation company helping build startups and empower established brands through game-changing solutions.
Made to solve complex challenges, it has a vision for innovation and simplifying technological processes for businesses. It banks on expertise, flexibility, trust, and communication in collaborating with clients.
With a financial operations center stationed in Canada, UK-based TopDevs has deployed more than 200 projects since its inception in 2009. Its client base spans across the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, Finland, and Switzerland.
TopDevs has a rich portfolio, including mobile app development work for Beauty Streaming Service, AutoDeal, Qliq, DanceBug, EventApp, EasyPhone, and Calibre.
- Location: Sicheslavska Naberezhna St, Dnipro, 49000, Ukraine
- Average Hourly Rate: $40/hr
- Expertise: Mobile App Development, iPhone App Development, Android App Development, Wearable App Development...
You are launched is home to professionals equipped with an entrepreneur’s mindset. This is how they generate ideas, approach challenges, bridge technological gaps, and arrive at viable solutions for businesses to profit.
Urlaunchers provide mobile app development services that come in prepared packages. You can select the most suitable deal based on your company's requirements, growing demands, and budget.
The Ukrainian app developer has helped launch 70+ startups and offers a success probability of 95x more than the average number on the market today.
- Location: 303 Fifth Avenue, Ste 1101, New York, New York 10016, United States
- AverageHourly Rate: $49/hr
- Expertise: Mobile App Development, iPhone App Development, Website Development, Software Development, Artificial Intelligence
Abto Software is a full-cycle custom software engineering agency powered by 250+ engineers with expertise in creating modern, sustainable solutions. It is a trusted long-term partner for North American and EU-based companies whose goal is to set their businesses up for success through the innovative power of software.
Having served 250+ customers and counting—and a 94% client recommendation rate, multi-awarded Abto is a proud Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with ISTQB Certification for its QA engineers.
Delivering unique high-level software dev solutions, Abto serves enterprises in a variety of industries, such as retail, construction, real estate, government, FinTech, and telecommunications, among others.
- Location: No13 Daniel Amokachi Street, 69 Road Behind Cocin Church, Abuja, 900108, Nigeria
- Average Hourly Rate: $30/hr
- Expertise: Mobile App Development, Enterprise Mobile App Development, Enterprise Software Development, Software Development...
Techvantage has the professional experience and skills to help give your business a boost and keep you ahead of the competition. Its specialists take on and solve challenges using the most advanced technologies.
They fuel your business with well-constructed mobile applications that increase your customer engagement. Their precise SEO strategies drive larger web traffic and more online visibility.
Turning data into actionable insights, Techvantage Innovations has dramatically contributed to the success of its clients, including Oncopadi Arc, Joke Silva, Wetherby Real Estate, Kunle Laniyan Photography, and Hapicom Book Publishers.
- Location: 85 Delancey St, New York City, New York 10002, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: $30/hr
- Expertise: Software Development, Mobile App Development, Android App Development, iPhone App Development, Website Development, SEO...
Cloudester Software is dedicated to helping with the digital transformation of businesses. The company has made breakthroughs in mobile application development and SEO within its 10+ years of professional experience in the IT industry.
It has a strong presence in the US, UK, and India. Cloudester delivers cost-efficient intelligent solutions to evolving enterprises, like Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Wockhardt, CBCC Global Research, Scitus Pharma, Nectarsense, Salvus Bioresearch, Crazy Wanderer, and Sanskruti Salon.
- Location: 5640 Nicholson Lane, Suite 220, North Bethesda, Maryland 20852, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
- Expertise: Mobile App Development, Android App Development, iPhone App Development, Educational App Development, Social Network App Development...
Simpalm expertly turns concepts into viable digital products. Consisting of the best-in-class designers and developers, the Maryland-based company aims to facilitate the digitalization of startups, seasoned enterprises, and NGOs.
Its dedicated teams combine design and technological proficiencies with business acumen to deliver services and build products that effectively fulfill client needs.
Established in 2009, Simpalm has released 350+ apps and has an impressive 95% returning customer rate.
Takeaways on Mobile App Development RFP
A mobile app development RFP is determinative in gathering valuable offers from different vendors so you can select the partner that best fits your business goals.
The checklist in this article will provide you with the required formula to write a detailed RFP that suits your unique app needs and requirements. It goes without saying that you can alter the document to convey precisely what your organization needs.
Basically, a similar model can be used for issuing requests for proposals for various types of services a company might need, including:
- RFP for software development
- Digital marketing RFP
- Website design RFP
- RFP for SEO
- Branding RFP
- Web development RFP
- Social Media RFP
- RFP for IT services
- eCommerce RFP