eCommerce App Development : A complete guide!

Are you thinking of opening the doors of your store to the world by bringing it online? It might be a great idea right now, Without wasting time start your online store through eCommerce App Development.

In 2022, the global eCommerce market sized at a whopping $16.6 trillion. Experts predict the proportion of total retail sales made through e-commerce will reach 24% by 2026, with global eCommerce sales surpassing $8.1 trillion by that year. Don’t believe us? Look at the graph below:

 

Global-ecommerce-sales

 

If that doesn’t appeal to you, get this: online shopping is projected to account for 20.8% of all retail sales in 2023 and 24.0% by 2026. 

You shouldn’t even be questioning why people are shifting to buying products online over going to the reputed traditional brick-mortar stores after the last global pandemic of COVID-19. But it rose to popularity even before that since the worldwide eCommerce industry provides availability to stores 24 x 7 and a large selection of items at customers’ fingertips.

How can you do that for your customers when you go online? Easy – offer a great eCommerce mobile app so they can get what they want from your store anytime and anywhere!

We understand that it’s not easy to develop an application of eCommerce without understanding its process. So, to help you know what makes a great eCommerce mobile app and how you can create one, we’ve compiled this detailed guide for your success. 

Let’s jump right in to get started.

What is an eCommerce application?

 

What-is-eCommerce-mobile-app?

 

Ever since the advent of the smartphone, shopping experiences have constantly been evolving. At first, people used web browsers to buy items from online stores. But then the launch of the App Store and Google Play (previously known as Android marketplace) in 2008 initiated the emergence of a subset of eCommerce – eCommerce or mobile commerce.

Now different vendors provide their own personal store mobile application that lets buyers pull their phones out of their pocket and place an order from ANYWHERE! All the big names have their own app: Walmart, Target, Amazon, Sephora, and you name it!

So to answer the question posed above, eCommerce mobile app is a smartphone application that provides the store’s catalog and the ability to purchase on phones. Now let’s understand why you need an eCommerce mobile app. 

 

Why should you have an eCommerce mobile app?

 

Reasons-for-developing-an-eCommerce-app

 

With thousands of products from countless businesses at one’s fingertips, mCommerce is growing in popularity that shows no signs of slowing down. So if you want to thrive in this industry and drive your sales through eCommerce, developing an eCommerce app is a must. 

If this itself is not enough to convince you, here are three main reasons why you should have a personalized eCommerce mobile app:

 

1. Nearly 7 billion people use a smartphone

That’s 86.34% of the global population! In the United States alone, mobile commerce statistics show that eCommerce sales made through smartphones were $360 billion. The experts think it’ll reach $511.8 billion in 2023, a whopping $604.5 billion in 2024, and an unimaginable $710.42 billion in 2025. We don’t understand why anyone would not want to be a part of those sales.

Having a mobile app that clients can easily download will also definitely increase your company’s exposure and reach. And more customers simply means better brand recognition. Paired with when you provide great user experience (UX), this will translate to greater loyalty over time. And how can we forget that mobile applications could also allow you to remind your customers to buy things from you with push notifications? You can easily reach them by sending them relevant information, such as tailored offers, news, and more.

 

   2. It will increase convenience for your customers

When you have a mobile app, you tell your customers that you’re open to offering them your products around the clock, every day, and from any part of the world. So that means they can browse through the catalog and pick what they like with a few taps on their smartphone. You’re literally making use of people’s time on the phone to make sales.

   3. You will get detailed analytics to serve better

By understanding the needs of the business, you can build a mobile shopping app with a wide variety of specialized features to track and analyze customer activity and behavior. We’ll discuss some later in this article. 

These valuable insights can help you improve what the app and store offer to your customers, tailored to individual users’ needs, and inspire cutting-edge advertising campaigns. 

Now you’re already wondering how that could be done, aren’t you? Well, there’s no limit to creativity here, but positive advertising could include adding time-sensitive pop-ups with special discounts to targeted users and coupons for repeat visitors.

 

Steps for the “ecommerce app development” process!

 

How to build an eCommerce app in 2023?

 

Since we’ve already outlined why you should bring your store not only online but also on smartphones via an eCommerce mobile app, should we get to the part on how to build an eCommerce app in 2023

 

Great, let’s go over it step-by-step! 

 

Step 1: Research and Plan

We know that every mobile app development requires research and planning, and developing an eCommerce app is no exception. We always conduct thorough research with our clients about the following:

  • The competition
  • The user base
  • Customer needs and behavior.

 

Why? Because we want to: 

  • Stay ahead of the competition
  • Reach every bit of our client’s target audience
  • Bridge the gap between customer demands.

 

This process has worked wonders for us and allowed us to plan the design of the app and the features and functionality it will offer. 

We suggest YOU do this too and have a structure in the development process to tell your partnered eCommerce app development company what you need from them. A solid plan for eCommerce app development can include the following:

  • The objectives of developing the application
  • An overview of the development project
  • Your research summary
  • Features that you wish to include
  • Design details
  • Recommendations and what-not-to-do

 

Step 2: Choose the right “ecommerce app development” company

We think that the job of eCommerce mobile app development is better left to an expert. Experimenting with yourself will be a lengthy process, which can also prove costly if you have to purchase various tools. 

Since eCommerce mobile app development service providers have all the experience and resources, they can leverage a team of professionals to bring your project to life in minimum time and cost without compromising on quality on efficiency. 

 

You can vet mobile app development companies by asking various questions about their workflow and deliverables. An expert eCommerce app development company can show that they can work with various platforms based on the needs of your apps. To find yourself the right mobile app development partner, we suggest you do the following:

  • Ask around within your network
  • Check with the top-ranking services
  • Get reviews from past clients
  • Ask them questions to vet their expertise, such as questions regarding:
    • Their tech stack
    • Workflow processes
    • Timeline
    • Preferred communication channels
    • Common challenges they face
    • And how they overcome them

Once you know who you’ll work with, you’ll move on to step three of our eCommerce application development process.

 

Step 3: Determine the features you’ll include

This is where your research about your competitors, user base, and their needs prove to be fruitful. With all the data collected, you can construct high-quality, financially rewarding applications rapidly. 

To do so, make sure that you communicate your expectations and goals of your app with the eCommerce mobile app development service provider clearly. You can sit down together and discuss:

  • How your app will meet the needs of the industry.
  • Determine eCommerce mobile app features that satisfy those needs.
  • Put dates on the development process depending on requirements and complexities. 

Remember, your goal is to provide attractive features that make the user experience (UX) as smooth as possible but do not complicate the application at the same time. 

We know you need some recommendations on some essential eCommerce mobile app features to include in your application. Don’t worry; we’ve given you a whole list. Just wait until we go over the process of developing an eCommerce app first!

 

Step 4: Work on UI/UX design

Now you have a list of features, so let’s get to two of the major eCommerce app requirements: an attractive user interface (UI) and a smooth and convenient user experience (UX). Therefore, to stay ahead of your competition, you must offer a UI/UX design that stands out. 

UI/UX design will be the deciding factor in whether or not people like anything from your brand’s catalog at first glance. It is essential that you put your attention here to get optimal performance in the application. What you show consumers in the end through your application of eCommerce is the design. It will set the tone and voice of your brand. 

An easy-to-navigate interface with enticing images and slick animations is one way to catch the eye of a consumer who has just landed on your app. 

 

Step 5: Develop an MVP

The minimum viable product (MVP) of an app is the version that uses the minimum essential features that allows it to function and deliver its main purpose. So before you put the complete application with various features out to your target audience, this version simply ensures that your application of eCommerce can function.

We genuinely believe that any mobile application reaches its full potential after a series of trial, error, and reiteration, and MVP is the start of that process. 

The step of developing an MVP will help you to get a sense of the features and functionality of the final mobile app. That way, you can add crucial features or remove unnecessary ones that may harm the end-user experience.

If you’d like to learn more about developing an MVP, read our article MVP Software Development 101: A Complete Guide To Minimum Viable Product.

 

Step 6: Test and get user feedback

When a minimum viable product (MVP) is ready, it is time to test and receive user feedback. Gathering user feedback is crucial in the eCommerce application development process since it will tell you what you need to do to enhance the UX. 

This step is all about observing how people use your app, and you will have to come up with creative ways to collect their comments. We often rely on the following to get some data:

  • Sending out survey forms
  • Reaching users to try the app via various communication channels like social media, emails, or even calls
  • Getting feedback by incentivizing reviews with giveaways
  • Leveraging social media to call for beta testing

You can do what we do or come up with your own set of creative ways to get people to test your eCommerce mobile app and give feedback.

 

Step 7: Launch and maintenance

If you’ve heard from the users who tested MVP, it’s time to incorporate their suggestions and continue the ecommerce app development process

You may call this the last step, but in all honesty, it will be a continuous process. We want you to remember that app development is reiterating process. We already know that the most popular eCommerce apps constantly work on their design and provide updates to better the experience, and we think you should too! 

Once you launch your app to the market, you’ll continue to make changes based on changing market demands and needs of the users. This will not only benefit the functionality of your app but also guarantee to attract a growing user base over time.

 

Essential eCommerce mobile app features 

We want you to include the essential features in eCommerce mobile app to help you succeed in this project. So as we promised earlier, here’s a list of ten features we think you must include in your mobile application for eCommerce: 

 

   1. One-step registration

Do you want customer loyalty? Then you have to make sure visitors sign up. A lot of times, people don’t sign up because the process involves a lot of steps. So we suggest you make the signup process as easy and quick as possible. Our suggestion – is one-step registration, where users can:

  • Input their phone number and signup with an OTP 
  • Sign up Gmail account
  • Use a Facebook account
  • Use an Apple account with face recognition on apple devices.

   2. Reviews and ratings

Let’s be honest; we all look at the ratings of a product before we buy it. And in an application of eCommerce, this feature is a must because your new customers want to know about the experiences of existing clients. Additionally, we know that feedback is an essential part of growing your business. So, enabling this feature will also help you to understand where to work to satisfy your customers.

  3. Multiple payment methods

Did you know that 84% of people who shop from mobile phones tend to abandon their cart towards the end? Not having your usual payment mode to pay for a product online can be a huge turn-off and can be a reason for a significant bounce rate of your application. We’ve noticed that offering more payment options increases the convenience of the users and hence their experience. If you’re planning to make sales internationally, you can even consider supporting different currency payments.

  4. Cash-on-Delivery

When a brand is brand new in the market, it takes time to build trust and credibility. We all know that card details and other payment methods provide sensitive information that customers often irk providing if they don’t trust the brand. For this reason, providing an option to pay after the purchases are delivered, i.e., cash-on-delivery or COD is a great way to encourage sales. It also builds trust and credibility faster. 

   5. Personalisation

Who doesn’t love it when they feel like they matter? This is why personalization of customer experience is crucial for success in the eCommerce industry. Intelligent recommendation engines are used by many stores to power personalization initiatives today. Customers may be easily enticed to check out the offers, deals, and specials tailored to their preferences.

   6. Checkout progress process

Sometimes, customers are so close to purchasing but leave because they’re tired of filling up steps in the checkout progress. For this reason, we always tell our clients that displaying visitors’ checkout process progress will benefit them beyond their imagination. Customers are far more likely to go through a multi-page checkout procedure if they are kept informed of their progress and the number of steps remaining. So make sure to include this!

   7. Estimated time for delivery

When a customer makes a purchase, they want to know when their package will be delivered. A feature that shows the delivery progress builds anticipation around the package for customers, which keeps them excited. Additionally, if they know a package will arrive on a specific day and they have travel plans, they can prepare for it. This feature will simply add to customer satisfaction for your business.

   8. Customer support

A business is defined by the quality of customer support they provide. So why not make it accessible to your users by adding it as a feature to your eCommerce app? It can be an on-tap call feature or chat support, but we surely know it will enhance the UX. 

  9. Google Analytics

This feature is more for your business than the users of your app. It will help you to track the customer journey and understand how users interact with your mobile application for eCommerce. This way, you will know which products are doing better than the others or when is the best time to send a notification of many other things.

 

Some Additional Good-to-Have Features

The above features are must-haves, but to give your application an edge over the others, we have some additional recommendations:

   1. Wishlist

This is very common but a must-have feature for eCommerce applications. Allowing users to make a list of their favorite products would ensure that they come back to your app. Why? Because when customers aren’t sure they should buy something, they prefer to keep it as an option. Additionally, you can help yourself by getting insights from people’s wishlists about the type of things they’re interested in. Maybe even send them notifications with deals on their wishlist items to encourage a purchase. 

   2. Voice assistance

Isn’t it fun to dictate something and get an instant answer to it? Well, we know the consumers love it, and Siri and Google Assistant are just pioneers of a trend that’s only going to evolve over time. Voice assistants powered by artificial intelligence (AI) allow users with limited accessibility to have a positive app experience and make purchases. It’s a major plus when included in your eCommerce mobile app features.

   3. Advance Search

When you offer too many products in your catalog, you want people to navigate easily. It’s no fun struggling to sort through your app’s catalog, just as you hate sorting through an unorganized store with items dumped over one another. So give your customers the benefit of filtering and sorting through their search. We’re sure that this will boost your conversion rate, and customers will much appreciate the service too. 

   4. Buy now, pay later

Buy now, pay later is the trendiest feature of the eCommerce apps of this age! From now until 2026, BNPL deals are anticipated to grow by more than $450 billion. Don’t be surprised, because who wouldn’t like to buy something they can’t afford now but get time to finance it? In our opinion, it’s pretty beneficial for businesses too! You will not lose clients because they think their budget can’t accommodate making your payment. 

 

What will it cost to develop an eCommerce mobile app?

We’ve covered a lot of whats and hows of the eCommerce application development process, and you must be wondering how much all these costs. Well, we’re here to tell you that there we can’t put a specific digit on the entire process. The cost of developing an eCommerce app varies as per your goals and needs. Here’s what will determine the cost:

 

  • What do you wish to achieve from developing an eCommerce app
  • The number and type of features you want to include
  • The mobile app development platform that will be used
  • The complexity of the UI/UX design
  • The geographic location of the app development services

 

We understand that you need to set a budget, as you do for every expense in the business, which is why we suggest you discuss this openly with potential partners of eCommerce mobile app development services. At Anglara, we’d be more than happy to break down our costs and inclusions over a free consultation. 

 

End Note

We curated this article to cover all the basics of eCommerce mobile app development. As we mentioned above, the development platform you choose to work with will play a crucial role in determining your budget and the eCommerce app development company you work with. 

There are several tools in the market to choose from, and choosing the right one for your needs should be a top priority. To help you with making the right choice, we’re going to publish a detailed study on our top choices for tools for developing eCommerce mobile apps. You just have to wait for a week’s time.

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