Did you know in 2020, over 2 billion people purchased goods online? When no shops were open, and people were battling long queues, eCommerce became the sole savior. People bought everything from groceries to their clothes from online stores.
It disrupted the already powerful industry in various ways. Newer opportunities knocked on the doors, and more people were ready to embrace this change. The shift in customer preferences led to digital transformation in the retail segment.
Going online with your retail was a mere option for a long time; today, it is a way to survive. Your presence on the Internet matters in more ways. Online shopping has moved from website to mobile app while including a lot of channels like Whatsapp and social media along the way. It is distributed with a seamless and unified user experience.
Reasons you Need an eCommerce Mobile App
Many of you have contemporaries with a beautiful app. However, you are not sure if you need an app. The profits aren’t going anywhere, and people are still visiting your store. So, here are all the reasons to move up the ladder and embrace hybrid or online Ecommerce App Development.
1. Improves Customer Retention
The world is heavily reliant on the 5% of customers you can retain against the 95% you keep acquiring. The retained customers will spend more, thus increasing your profits in the long run.
The convenience a mobile app offers with saved orders, recommendations, and past purchase records makes it easy for the customer to shop again. As a result, it improves loyalty.
2. Shifting Mindsets
We have observed a shift in the consumer’s mindset during the post Pandemic period. More people are looking at online shopping as their go-to way.
As customers prefer online shopping, businesses need to establish their presence on this platform. The user has better access to products with mobile apps. The push notifications ensure the customer knows when a new product is added to the catalog.
3. An Upward Sales Graph
When you are on the medium customer uses most, the chances of purchase increase. For example, your customer may suddenly remember they have to shop for vegetables for the evening meal while surfing social media sites. They will open the app, complete the purchase and wait for the delivery.
As a result, it increases your chance of improving profits and gaining more customers.
4. The AOV increases
Average Order Value is the metric that helps you know if your shop is doing well. When people see the convenience of shopping for everything from a single place, they are likely to purchase more. The Average Order Value subsequently increases and helps you get more money into the business.
A small increase in the AOV can help multiply your business earnings.
5. Personalize the Shopping
When people enter the store, they are more likely to be greeted by a salesperson who would ask them what they want. After that, they would show them the items and even try to recommend similar things.
Mobile commerce will replicate this model for regular customers and help personalize the shopping experiences. The user will get recommendations and an interface that suits their needs.
Factors that Impact eCommerce App Development
Let’s talk about the pre-requisites for a successful eCommerce mobile app solution. It will help define the blueprint for mobile app development. With these five factors considered, you will be ready to develop your mobile app for the retail idea.
At this point, we will be answering the crucial question of what it takes to convert your idea to an app model.
#1. Know who are the users of the app
If you move from a physical store to an online app, you already have a lot of data suggesting your typical audience type. However, people shopping from stores differ from online shoppers.
Check if the people who shop in-store also shop online. Would they be interested in buying from you when you are online?
Demographics, geographical segmentation, purchase behavior, shopping instincts, and purchases help define your audience better. If you are starting your first-ever store, secondary research will help you define the target market better.
When you are aware of the people for whom you are designing the store, it becomes easier to create the application.
#2. The budget for your mobile commerce app
The cost of developing a mobile application depends on several factors- features, complexity, and development team expertise.
Do you want an advanced mobile application for your eCommerce needs? Would you like to take it slow by developing the application, checking the pulse of the end users, and then building advanced features?
The budget will go up as you add advanced features to the application. The platform choice will also impact your budget.
If you plan to deliver an MVP, a basic app followed by an advanced app, the cost will be lower. If you go native with your approach, you need a higher budget for development.
#3. The look and feel of your mobile application
User experience is key to mobile application development. As a business owner, if you don’t unravel brilliant experiences, you are less likely to convert the customers. Retention will be more challenging for your business.
That’s why it is very important to plan the look and feel of the application. If you see Amazon, the app movement is intuitive. You already know where to go to manage subscriptions. Purchases move through pages instantly with minimal effort.
This experience makes the user want to come back to Amazon. Even browsing is efficient with this application.
#4. The list of must-have features
What features do you want for the application? Which features will be part of the first phase? How many features will be introduced in the next phase?
Phase-wise planning of all the features that can help your customers shop using your application is a must if you want to increase the usage and retention of your mobile commerce.
For example, an easy checkout cannot be avoided when planning your mobile app. Similarly, a search bar is essential to make finding things easy.
You can release a feature every 15 days after the first look of the app is launched. Planning the feature releases is as necessary as identifying the functionality.
#5. The Development Process
When you partner with a mobile application development company, the first question you might discuss (post requirements) is the process. Do you want to clone an existing app to get started, or do you want to build an app from scratch?
For example, if there is a 10-minute grocery delivery app, you can clone it to release your first look. Building on it is easier and accelerates deployment. However, if you plan to build from scratch, you should know the technology, the approach, and other details that can help.
Planning this before going ahead with development will save a lot of time. If you are a non-tech entrepreneur, partner with the right company so that you can together pull this off.
How to Build your First eCommerce Application?
Here we will take you through the seven-step process to develop your first eCommerce mobile application. It would help if you partnered with a tech-savvy mobile application development company in India. The partner company will help keep the costs low and increase the effectiveness of the application.
Step#1: Define the Purpose
If you keep walking, not knowing where you want to go, everything is a destination. You may not get to the actual goal.
This applies to eCommerce mobile app development as well. Define the purpose of the application before getting started.
- Do you want to use it as an alternative to your physical store?
- Are you extending your geographical boundaries for delivery?
- Would you like more retention with this application?
The purpose will help you build the ideal app for the idea. Say you want to be able to deliver to every house in the city, a mobile application can help boost the convenience. People may not prefer coming to the location; however, they may want to order on the app.
Step#2: Research your Market
What will make your application attractive for the market you are considering. Are there people waiting for your application?
For example, the 10-minute-delivery apps are a success owing to the instantaneous on-demand services they offer. This was a suppressed need that an eCommerce marketplace owner observed and created the application.
The research will help know what your audience needs, the level of convenience they would prefer, and how you can bring the same to the table.
At this point, study your competition so that you can close gaps that exist with your mobile app.
Step#3: Choose your Development Approach
You need to consider two aspects at this point:
- The technology stack
- The development approach
Let’s start with the development approach, as that will help decide the tech stack. If you plan on native approaches, you need to choose tools or frameworks that can support the same.
So, your tech stack will include iOS-specific tools (XCode, Swift programming language) or Android-specific tools (Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA).
If you go for cross-platform, you can choose between Xamarin, React Native and Flutter to develop a mobile application.
Step#4: Must-have Features
The features play a pivotal role in eCommerce app development. Here are some of the must-have features for a basic eCommerce mobile application.
- Profile Creation and Login: Allow users to create an account and log in using the credentials (must for merchant and customer-facing apps)
- Search: Make finding products easy on your mobile application
- In-app Payment: Integrate as many payment methods as possible to improve transactions
- One-step Checkout: Make it easy for the user to move from the cart to checkout
- Push Notifications: Allow users to know what is new on the website/app instantly
- Feedback/Ratings: Get users to share their feedback on the product for better conversions
Some advanced features include:
- Chatbot on the Application
- Personalization with Artificial Intelligence
- Voice Assistants
- Social Media Integration
- Augmented Reality based Product or Brand Experiences
- Dynamic Content and Promotions
- 360° Product Views
- Live Commerce
- Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) Integration
- Headless Commerce
Step#5: Define the UX for your Application
As part of your UX research, here are some questions you may want to ask.
- Know how users will use the product application?
- Will they use two hands to type in the search bar?
- Would they want to hold it in cradle form to purchase their favorite products?
- Where should the buttons be placed for ease of access?
- How would the user move from one page to another?
- Should you have a back button for all pages?
After every question, you would learn more about your customer, and build a persona. This will help you design your app for intuitiveness, accessibility, usability and usage.
Step#6: Build the First Version
You have the features, approach and entire plan. Build the first version of the mobile app. It should contain the basic features, define the movements, and help users complete the purcahses.
The first version will take a while as you need to integrate payment methods and other APIs as needed.
Step#7: Feedback & Changes
Once you have launched the app (beta version), you will start receiving feedback on your attempt. Start incorporating the ones you believe will help maximize downloads of your application.
Keep iterating the mobile application to match the needs of the user.
Let’s take a moment to answer some frequently asked questions about mobile commerce development.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the three things to consider when planning your mobile commerce app development?
There are several elements that can restrict your application development
- Data Security: Make sure to use a private cloud, secure access for transactions, and trusted measures to keep data secure inside the application
- Scalability: As your business grows, your app needs will grow. Ensure you can scale the app as needed
- Stablility: Despite the load, the application should be stable and move through transactions with ease
2. What are the eCommerce mobile app trends to consider when developing an application?
- Immersive Experiences: AR is a big deal for eCommerce applications. Make sure to find ways to integrate the technology to further engagement
- Big Data: With the data explosion, comes the responsibility to manage the data well. You can use this technology to structure and analyze the data to build insights
- Artificial Intelligence: This technology along with its subsets Machine Learning and Deep Learning can help you offer better experiences, relevant recommendations, and products to the customers
Getting Started with eCommerce App Development
We took you through the different reasons to develop a mobile app for your eCommerce needs. The shifting mindset and the changing trends are the top reasons to make this happen. Before you develop the mobile app, you should know your audience, budget, and features that are intrinsic to development.
It is important to integrate the correct trends that can improve the usage and usability of the application.
At Expert App Devs, we are proficient with eCommerce app development Services. Our team has delivered successful projects that have maximized downloads and increased conversions for retailers. Irrespective of the business size and type, we have devised a capable solution.
If you have an eCommerce mobile app idea, our team will help translate it with the right features and approaches.