5 Main Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Mobile eCommerce Application
Mobile eCommerce has become an increasingly popular way of conducting business online. This can be attributed to the fact that mobile devices have become increasingly powerful, allowing them to handle complex tasks such as purchasing products and managing inventory.
There are many advantages to choosing a mobile eCommerce platform over traditional web-based solutions. This article will discuss how mobile eCommerce can benefit your business by increasing conversion rates and improving customer experience and sales volumes while reducing costs associated with traditional web development.
Table of Content
- What is an E-commerce App?
- What are the Features of an E-commerce App?
- Types of E-commerce Apps
- 5 Main Reasons Your Business Needs a Mobile eCommerce Application
- How to Build an eCommerce Mobile App
- How Much Does It Cost to Build a Mobile eCommerce App?
- Challenges of Developing an e-commerce App
What Is An E-commerce App?
An e-commerce app—sometimes called a mobile commerce app — allows customers to browse and purchase items from an online store using their smartphones. E-commerce platforms like Shopify and Ecwid, powered by Lightspeed technology, can help simplify app development.
From a business perspective, mobile commerce apps allow brands to communicate directly with their customers. From the customer’s point of view, these apps offer personalization and convenience; they can shop anytime and anywhere while on the go.
E-commerce apps are different from social commerce — creating sales channels via social media, i.e., selling on Facebook or shopping via Instagram. While social commerce is a growing and valuable trend, e-commerce app refers specifically to dedicated software associated with a specific brand.
What are the Features of an E-commerce Application?
The features of an e-commerce app can vary widely depending on the type of business and how the retailer has set up their store. While presentation and design go across e-commerce platforms, all mobile commerce apps have certain features in common. Some are essential; others are nice to have.
Features essential to an e-commerce app
Registration and Login
Make it easier for users to sign in by allowing them to use their email address as the login, log in to an external account such as Facebook or Google, or use a passcode. If users can access the app quickly and easily, they will be more likely to convert.
Display of Products
A display allows clients to study a product from many perspectives, creating an experience comparable to that of buying in a typical store. Online sellers should feature at least multiple images of the item on their product page to boost purchases.
Some customers are afraid to buy products they can’t touch or see in person, but a decent gallery can help relieve this fear. Your product pages will be more appealing to potential customers if you include multiple views of the same item.
Search and Filter
This feature allows users to easily find products they’re interested in by generating a list tailored to their preferences. Offering a product range that is too broad may reduce sales as customers need help finding what they are looking for.
By providing search and filter options, you can significantly increase the chance of finding what people want—and building customer loyalty along the way. The purpose of an e-commerce app is to make it easy for shoppers to find what they want.
One of the top features of mobile commerce apps is a shopping cart. This feature makes it easy to purchase multiple items and continue shopping in-store or on your way home.
When a customer wants to purchase several things at once, they can add them all to the shopping cart and then go through with checkout when ready. This saves customers time by eliminating the need to add products to their shopping carts when they visit your app.
Building a shopping cart into your store provides users with a positive experience, allowing them the flexibility to make purchases. Adapting your mobile commerce application to reflect the preferences and behaviours of users is critical for its success.
The business has made it easy for customers to get in touch with them if they have questions about products, shipping, payments, or any topic. Shoppers can make mistakes that lead to returns, exchanges, or refunds, no matter how easy an online store’s mobile app is.
If customers have a way of contacting your company through this channel, they’ll be more likely to opt for the hassle-free route over leaving positive feedback—which won’t help you attract new business. Try experimenting with different ways of communicating with customers—from real-time online chat and messaging services to telephone or email support—to see what they prefer most.
Optional features of an e-commerce app
By enabling push notifications, you can notify customers about restocked items and remind them about items in their shopping carts. You can also use push notifications to send customers coupons, offers, and discounts for products they’ve added to their carts but have yet to purchase. This will help you increase sales and improve the customer experience.
Comprehensive product descriptions
Customers prefer brief paragraphs of text in product descriptions, whether they are on a mobile device or a desktop computer. By providing customers with all of the facts before making a purchase choice, you can lessen the chance of returns and complaints. Long product descriptions can be overpowering and difficult to read.
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Keep your product descriptions brief, with simply one or two sentences in each paragraph. Include product characteristics and benefits in your description. Customers will be able to see how they can utilize it and why they should choose it over similar products from competitors.
Customers may easily access specific details about a product, such as its dimensions, weight, color, and material. This way, consumers won’t have to worry about overlooking any vital factors when making their buying selection.
One of the essential mobile commerce app features is a wishlist. Most online shoppers are used to adding items they like while browsing, so your app should make it easy for them to do that on their phones and tablets. Customers can use this feature to mark the items they like without adding them to their shopping cart.
The number of things that users see/leave on the list
This feature improves the user experience by allowing customers to quickly determine how much of a store’s inventory is still available. Shopping sites with extensive catalogues frequently categorize their products into lists. Indicating how many things are on each list and where clients stand in respect to the end of the list is good design practice.
Because mobile apps take time to load, providing a great user experience can be difficult. You can reduce the likelihood of users abandoning your offer by demonstrating that there is something worth waiting for, such as a coupon code, discount, or prize. You can provide 3D product representations so that customers can see the things from every angle.
Multiple payment options.
E-commerce apps today often offer the option of making purchases within an application rather than launching a browser to complete the transaction. This gives you greater control over your customers’ shopping experience and lets them pay for goods and services more efficiently.
Payment gateways offer customers many ways to pay for their orders, such as online transfer and credit card payment. You create an easy and seamless customer checkout process by providing multiple payment options. Offering a choice between credit cards, PayPal or Affirm can also give them flexibility when paying for their purchase.
Types of E-commerce Apps
The use of smartphones for shopping has propelled e-commerce to a platform that is proving crucial to businesses, which are seeing revenue increase. Different companies have developed other models for successful operations, and the applications that support those operations are often tailored to fit a specific business.
When it comes to selling to consumers, mobile commerce apps fall into two categories:
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
B2C mobile apps, used by businesses to sell goods and services directly to consumers, are the most common form of e-commerce today. Companies using a B2C model often develop applications that serve as channels to market. Sales happen directly through these apps rather than via the company’s website or customer service line.
Dominoes and Nordstrom are good examples, although they offer more traditional sales outlets. These applications give consumers easy access to a company’s products, whereas retailers might limit their stocks and selection when dealing with multiple brands.
C2C (consumer-to-consumer) e-commerce apps connect two or more consumers so that they can exchange goods with each other. Examples include Poshmark and OLX.
When consumers exchange products, offerings or services amongst themselves without any business or company involvement, a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) model functions through a mobile app. For example, applications like Poshmark and OLX—which allow consumers to sell their products to other people within their community or network to avoid the expense of traditional marketing and advertising campaigns—can be used as a platform for selling goods by tapping into consumers’ desire for reciprocity.
5 Main Reasons Your Business Needs a Mobile eCommerce Application
Mobile e-commerce is rapidly growing, and if you want to build a successful trading enterprise focusing on attracting customers and increasing sales. E-commerce apps can complement a variety of business models, and these apps are beneficial for both the businesses that create them and for consumers who use them.
There are many benefits of having eCommerce apps for your business. These are some of the advantages of developing an e-commerce application.
Brand Recognition and Loyalty
Mobile apps provide a vital outlet for brands to connect with their customers. For example, users will happily share links to their favourite sites and ask for feedback whenever given the opportunity. E-commerce apps can help business owners retain customers, boost brand loyalty and increase revenue.
According to eMarketer, app users are three times more likely than other shoppers to make a repeat purchase and account for over three times their share of total revenues. You can integrate popular social media platforms into your application, allowing customers to discuss or ask questions about what you offer.
Push notifications are a great way to encourage app users to return and engage with your product. Airship found in its 2021 study that early-stage push notification adopters had 3x higher retention rates than nonadopters.
These tools can help you promote your business, build your reputation and attract new clients. This means mobile users can receive special offers, discounts and giveaways directly on their devices. As a result of this added benefit, they are likely to interact with such shops more often than those who do not get push notifications.
Despite its similarities to a website, a mobile app is highly optimised and personalises the user experience. This makes it an effective way to attract new customers and retain current ones. People find it convenient to purchase goods online, where they don’t have to fight crowds.
Mobile shopping apps offer more convenience than responsive websites because they are easy to use and can be accessed anywhere. A site that loads quickly will attract more clients. In the retail business, seconds count: most visitors will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load—and they’re likely to turn elsewhere.
Users’ shopping preferences and previous orders can be saved in the app, making personalised offerings possible. Because of their ability to ensure that a user always has access to the essential functions (comparing products, checking prices), eCommerce applications can create loyal customers and boost your company’s image.
Increased efficiency and higher revenues
Mobile applications’ flexibility and ease of use can quickly pay off through increased sales. A good app with the right concept and functionality brings in more clients; having more clients results in getting more orders, which translates into higher revenue.
Besides boosting sales, push notifications are an effective way to maintain your brand’s image. By instantly delivering important information and inspiring people to act on it, you can keep customers coming back for more.
Access to customer data.
E-commerce apps allow consumers to personalise their shopping experience, whether it’s saving their sizes or adding items to a wish list. In exchange, business owners can get greater insight into customer preferences and tailor real-time communications accordingly.
E-commerce apps give businesses access to customer data, which can be used for personalisation and improving the shopping experience. It allows companies to track customers’ purchasing history, which can help with future marketing efforts.
Speed and Analytics
The application’s mobile functionality allows you to monitor users’ interactions and gather useful information about them, such as responsiveness to particular content and features. Ecommerce apps tend to store their data locally, making them speedier and more user-friendly than mobile websites.
Faster load times result in higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates and increased revenue potential for business owners. Using mobile analytics, companies can develop an advanced marketing strategy and efficient promotional campaigns. They may also deliver improvements and updates through this process.
How to Build an eCommerce Mobile App
Mobile app development involves input from multiple experts working in diverse disciplines, including a subject matter expert who understands the business domain. Entrepreneurs and new businesses often find themselves at a loss, trying to figure out which technology they should use, what features their product should have and more.
All these questions need to be answered well in advance before moving ahead with app development. Here are steps that will help you develop a mobile app without stress
Identify App Goals
The success of an ecommerce app depends on how effectively it can meet its business objectives. If you don’t know what the application is meant to achieve, its development will simply flounder.
Before you start developing your app, define what it will do. Prepare a short version of the description that explains this to the development team and be sure to describe any special features in detail so they can incorporate them easily into your project.
When defining project objectives, be as specific as possible. That will make it easier to develop the app’s functionality and collect data that can help improve your business—by improving its services or products.
Be sure to define your goals and target audience before telling the app-development team what you want. This will help them visualize what they should create for you, which functions are essential and how their product can match your needs in a way that meets both parties’ expectations.
Determine the Target Audience
The people who use the ecommerce app will determine whether or not that business succeeds. So it is crucial to understand what customers are looking for in an app like this and make sure they get it.
Understanding the nature of app users will help you develop user journeys and stories that leave a lasting impact, drawing customers back to your product. This helps shape the process of ecommerce app development.
One way to do this is by conducting user research. You can also create personas, which are fictional characters that represent different types of users based on their behaviors and preferences. This will help you understand what they want from an ecommerce app and make sure it fits their needs.
Choose the Right Technology
After determining the type of app we are developing, it’s time to decide on its format. For e-commerce applications that need access to a user’s address book and camera roll, two formats exist PWAs (Progressive Web Applications) and Native Apps.
PWAs or Progressive Web Apps
Progressive websites operate with the agility and performance that many mobile applications boast but without the hassle of having to download them. If your e-commerce platform’s traffic is already good, and you have a limited budget for development, then PWAs can be the choice.
There are two primary types of mobile applications: Those made for Android operating systems and those made for the iOS operating system. Native apps provide the greatest scope for playing with user interface and user experience.
This allows users to enjoy premium features offered by mobile phones, such as access to photos and camera interaction. They help to increase the sales of e-commerce stores and also allow a great deal of information about customers’ preferences to be collected in order to improve future products/services.
The path you choose with your app will depend on the kind of offer customers get when they visit your store and how customizable and scalable that offer is. Custom app development can be a valuable tool in helping businesses achieve their goals.
Determine Requirements and Features
After deciding what to develop, for whom and how it is now time to brainstorm on the features that will be included in your e-commerce app. You’ll identify some essential features that your app will need to have.
The features and requirements of your e-commerce app will depend on the type of business and customer base you have. For example, if you are developing an app for an electronics store, then your customers may be interested in features such as comparing different products based on specifications, pricing, and customer reviews.
Before the development team begins working on an app, the business owner and team should meet with them to discuss what will be included in the final product. A list of specific features that are important for a business—and only for a given type of customer or user group—should then be created after thorough planning. Before you begin the development of an application, it is important to know what features will be integrated and developed in order to make the app-building process efficient.
Budgeting and Process Planning
For any business, it is important to plan ahead and consider a budget when deciding what features or functions you want for your e-commerce app. When planning for the integrations and development, consider what kind of app is being customized—one that’s been developed specifically to fit with your company or one designed as a generic solution.
When discussing these points with the client, an appropriate budget can be developed. When hiring an app development company for the first time, business owners should be sure that their requests do not exceed original budget estimates.
Quality Control and App Release
There are sure to be flaws in any development process, no matter how solid it is or how experienced the minds behind it are. A thorough load, regression, and device performance responsiveness testing methodology must thus be included in normal app development practices.
One of the most critical aspects of deploying your software is testing it. You should test on both the iOS and Android operating systems and include certified testers to provide properly-written documentation following testing. When an app is released on the Play Store, a suitable collection of these documents might help it get a reputation.
Promoting the App
The release of the e-commerce business app will help generate business leads through marketing. You can use SEO tools and a series of marketing strategies like content, social media, and loyalty programs to popularize the name of your e-commerce brand.
The most effective way to do this is by integrating these tools into your app from its inception. This helps the business owner establish a solid marketing foundation, which allows him or her to build an entire team dedicated specifically to marketing.
The steps above will significantly improve the quality and efficiency of app development. Once these techniques have been mastered, it will be possible to create a professionally-developed application that meets current market standards for quality.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Mobile eCommerce App?
Though the average cost of building an e-commerce app is $21,799, it can be anywhere from $7,500 to $30,000. An MVP with minimum functionality will be more affordable than an application that contains all intended features.
Factors that determine the cost of e-commerce app development
Developing an E-commerce app that can be easily accessed through mobile devices is a complex process involving many factors. The cost of creating an application varies based on its complexity and purpose. However, in general, the major factors influencing the price include the following:
E-Commerce App Size and Design
A well-designed layout and icon make your app more attractive to customers, helping you keep them around. Modern technology’s rapid adaptation helps enhance the entire aesthetics and coding standards.
The size of your app depends on what features it incorporates. If you use fewer features, then the overall cost is likely to be smaller; conversely, more advanced functionalities will result in a larger application and increased cost.
When estimating the cost of an e-commerce app, you should think about which platform best targets your user base. In order to succeed, you must understand your user base and research market trends, then choose the platform that will provide long-term benefits for your company.
Android has been dominating the app platform game compared to iOS and windows. If you look at their profit margins, Android’s are higher, and if you consider statistics about customer bases, the numbers speak for themselves.
When developing an Android app takes more time to develop and test than an iOS app. You should consider this when deciding which platform will be best for your current project.
Cost of App Design
The design and functionality are vital in grabbing your potential audience’s attention. It must be pleasing to the eye, and pay attention to every feature—from its cutting-edge technology to precise details like font size and color.
If you want the app to support a variety of operating systems, then naturally, the cost increases. Furthermore, an App design cost Estimate ranges between $2,500 and $40,000 depending on which platform you use—the Play Store or the App Store.
Cost of Wireframing
Wireframing is a visual way to plan out the layout of an application. A mobile app development company may start with multiple wireframes and test them all until they find one that works best.
The creation of a map, including layout and physical makeup, is done on various pages. The price depends on the number of pages in an application. The cost estimate is between $600 and $2000
Cost of Maintenance
Most businesses don’t consider maintenance costs when planning to develop a mobile app, but they should. The Android or iOS operating systems require frequent updates, contributing to the cost of E-Commerce app development. The maintenance costs are also high (20%–30%) because app developers must keep their applications compatible with new releases of these OSes.
Cost of Developers
The cost of a developer is dependent on many factors, including the developer’s hourly rate and experience level. Location and the development company’s billing policies also affect the overall price tag.
The cost of a developer is just one part of the equation. You also need to consider the cost associated with hiring a QA manager and app designer. Therefore, instead of selecting an individual, it’s better to opt for an entire team that will take ownership and responsibility for your project from start to finish.
Challenges of Developing an e-commerce App
The same legal limits and standards apply to e-commerce apps as they do to any other online store. You must guarantee that your app has the relevant permits and follows the tax rules of its intended market.
E-commerce apps are also subject to the same data protection regulations as other online stores. You must ensure that your app complies with these regulations and ensures that user data is kept safe at all times.
Denial of service attacks on e-commerce systems can expose user data and result in financial loss. Always include fault tolerance methods in your program to handle server outages, as well as safeguards against efforts to overrun resources by flooding them with requests or malicious code.
The best thing about mobile e-commerce is that you may save a lot of time and resources by creating a mobile web store, especially if your business relies on speedy consumer transactions. Because mobile commerce apps typically include extensive inventory systems, you’ll always have things to sell because the system will automatically replenish when it senses a shortage. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about spending money on retail space because your app will allow you to sell anywhere without needing actual shops.