The past 10 years have put mobile ecommerce on the map, with a huge increase in online shopping using smartphones. Even though millions of apps are uploaded from the Apple Store or Play Market every day, only a few of them actually stay on the market. Lots of promising business ideas fail, either because some of the essentials of mobile app development are ignored or because a popular feature is missing. Thus, when developing a roadmap for your mobile ecommerce app, focus on these top 5 essentials to make your app successful and sustainable.
Ecommerce App: Is It Worth It?
Currently, there are two main routes a mobile ecommerce service can go: a web app, sometimes referred to as a website, or a native mobile app. The first is a relatively simple and accessible option perfect for making the first purchase. Its advantages are:
- Availability from any browser
- No need for installation
- Easy to maintain and update
- Relatively inexpensive to develop
The second one requires a bit more effort on the user’s part, which is perhaps its biggest drawback along with development complexity. However, these are outnumbered by numerous strengths:
- Advanced UI and functionality
- Stronger security
- Ability to work offline
- Better selection of features
- Use of device’s capabilities
Behind every successful e-commerce mobile application, there is a well-developed strategy. First of all, it needs to define the idea behind the product, that is all the reasons for developing it and customer pains it will help to resolve. Then, the strategy needs to specify a target market and a customer persona. This will provide insight into what features should be developed first, and what featured may be added in further iterations of a product.
An important component of a mobile app strategy is a marketing strategy and budget estimates. Here, it is important to conduct thorough market research, analyze your competition and market influences, define your unique value proposition, set a release date and the date of starting pre-launch marketing. Unless you are turning an e-commerce store into an app, your strategy for mobile app development should also define your branding style and messaging.
Mobile app design is vital to the app’s success. Period. To generate views and orders, your e-commerce mobile app should have intuitive navigation and provide an enhanced user experience. Needless to say, you need to adopt a mobile-first approach to developing a winning design for your app. The images and their transition should awe the consumers, while the calls to action need to be simple and easy to click regardless of the dimensions of a mobile device.
Remember, a guiding principle here is to keep it simple. Mobile screens are small and users still need lots of white space to feel comfortable buying through your app; thus, do not try to stuff your app pages with too many offers, features or menus. Think of the main action you want your user to perform and make sure the app guides the user to do it in a flawless and elegant way.
Every great idea needs a great realization to fulfill the expectations of the stakeholders. This is why the choice of a mobile development company should bever be underestimated. First, an experienced mobile development company can provide a valuable critique of your strategy and suggest improvements. Second, choosing developers with the necessary expertise, you safeguard yourself from performance and security issues that may eventually ruin your business.
Other aspects that make the choice of a development company so important are the development cost and apps’ time to market. The lower the cost of development, the larger ROI you can expect. Timeliness of software development plays a huge role too, especially if you have engaged the investors o your project, as a timely achievement of milestones and release of iterations is critical to building trust with stakeholders.
The essential principle, which is unique to e-commerce mobile app development, is setting up a great mobile payment experience. Mobile payments are now one of the most distinguished e-commerce application trends that revolutionize the way people check out both online and offline. It is important to act upon this trend by offering a wide range of payment options in your app, instant payments among them.
Adding payment gateways in your app, remember that it calls for advanced security since leaks of the credit card information are unacceptable. And it’s no longer a matter of brand name damage. The shift in legal liability affecting the US and GDPR, which has been a real game-changer regarding the protection of EU citizens’ data, clearly speak to the point.
An essential thing many mobile app owners underestimate is the maintenance of the app. The lifecycle of a mobile application doesn’t end with the launch. While you concentrate on marketing your app and increasing in-app purchases, do not forget that you will need to release timely features and operating system updates, make bugs fixes and ensure code maintenance.
The best practice is to include maintenance costs in your initial app budget and partner with reliable mobile app developers that guarantee continuous maintenance of their products.
Features Every Business Mobile App Must Have
Ecommerce app development is a tricky thing – even when the application is made by the book, there’s no guarantee it will become successful. Occasionally, it is literally a matter of a single killer feature people are used to. In fact, some of those have become so commonplace that missing any one of them can make all the difference. Below is a list of ecommerce mobile app features developers wouldn’t want to miss.
Seamless Registration Process for Better Ecommerce Experience
Any ecommerce app starts with a login screen. While it is critical for customer security, it should feel as simple and unobstructive as possible. Long registration forms with lots of fields will scare away even the most patient customers, so come up with an intuitive mobile app login screen design. Besides, don’t forget to provide flexible registration options like an easy sign in through social networks.
Exceptional Ecommerce Customer Support to Improve Brand Image
Having exceptional functionality and usability may solve many issues. Still, in the absence of support, a single slip is enough to cost your service a customer. On the other hand, having the help nearby will not only increase the ecommerce app retention rate in the short term but actually show your brand’s care for the audience.
Push Notifications to Boost Customer Engagement
Push notifications have a somewhat controversial reputation for being nothing but distractions. Nevertheless, when done right, they become a great quality-of-life improvement that can enhance customer experience. Instead of showering customers with annoying promotions, make sure your app’s notifications bring as much value as possible.
Multiple Payment Options for Added Convenience
One of the main strengths of mobile ecommerce is its flexibility. Not only does it allow to shop from anywhere in the world, it also offers the unprecedented level of convenience when it comes to transactions. That is, as long as the desired payment method is on the mobile app features list. To avoid frustrated users, understand your audience and include the most popular options, both traditional and digital.
Smart Recommendations to Increase Ecommerce Sales
Consumer behavior studies show time and time again that people rarely know what they want and will happily accept any help in making a choice. And, while this can be achieved through a simple algorithm, it is with the addition of AI where ecommerce apps really shine. Today, the market offers a variety of AI-powered smart recommendation and product discovery solutions that produce exceptional results, so don’t skip on the opportunity.
Shipment Tracking to Gain Customer Trust
Winning customer trust is easy when the ecommerce app is backed by a well-established brand. For a newcomer to the market, this is a lengthy and elaborate process. Delivering on the promise will do it sooner or later, but there are many small things that can speed things up. Small mobile app features like the ability to track the delivery in real time will feel more reassuring than any formal document that warrants order completion.
Ecommerce App Design: Concluding Ideas
Whether you are a startup or a mature brand, investing time and resources to design a beautiful, secure and user-oriented e-commerce app is sure to pay off for your business. To ensure the success of your e-commerce app, take care of the following mobile app essentials:
- A well-thought product strategy
- Great UI and UX design
- Partnering with a professional and reliable mobile app development company
- Adding secure and diverse payment gateways
- Continuous maintenance of the released product