Comprehensive guidance on eCommerce App Development For the Retail Sector

Comprehensive guidance on eCommerce App Development For the Retail Sector
ecommerce app development company
eCommerce apps have become an integral part of our lives these days. And, in this era of smartphones, the most recent trend is mCommerce – online purchases via mobile apps.
Take a look at the statistics provided below to understand the importance of eCommerce applications.
The online portal wpforms says that: “93.5% of the internet users across the globe have made online purchases.”
The renowned online research portal “BusinessofApps” stated that: “In the US, mobile eCommerce sales accounted for 7.3% of the total sales in the retail sector, the total eCommerce sales being 53%.”
As per research conducted by “Similarwebbased on the e-commerce data collected from the top hundred websites of the US, in the year 2022 there were 14.6 billion visits including 131.9 unique visitors on ecommerce sites.
As the concept of online marketplaces gains traction, eCommerce mobile app development is in full swing. Even small businesses are considering building eCommerce apps for expanding their customer base.
This post throws light on all the crucial aspects that you need to know for eCommerce app development.

Let’s have a look at the eCommerce App Architecture sketch:

ecommerce app development

eCommerce App Development: Key Steps

Business Strategy

Conduct extensive research to know the requirements of your target audience. Analyze competitors to get an idea about the most popular eCommerce app features and the commonest mistakes to avoid. Identify some unique setting points that will make your app stand out. Also, consider the project expenses and your budget.

Platform Selection

Pick a scalable app development framework, CMS, and database. Decide whether you will build a native app for Android or iOS or would like to build an app that caters to both of these platforms. It is important to select suitable technology stacks for back-end; front-end; platform, libraries, & interfaces for development; and supportive technologies for performance and security practices.

Feature Set

Select the feature set as per your budget and the requirements of your target audience. The popular features for eCommerce apps include user profiles, authorization, home screen, smart search with filtering/sorting, product lists, product screens with images & description, shopping cart, wish list, instant checkout, barcode scanner, payment gateways, order tracking, push notifications, consumers support, and consumer ratings and reviews.

UI/UX Designing

Create a captivating UI/UX design with attractive visuals, apt color schemes, and smooth transitions.

App Development

Now it’s time to convert your app idea and wireframes into an actual app by doing the development and consider the necessary integrations like payment gateways, app builders, etc.

API Integration

API integrations are necessary for promoting data exchange between different frameworks and implementing certain necessary app features. For example, eCommerce apps need APIs for integrating payment gateways, shipping prerequisites, marketing automation, and consumer data analysis.

Maintenance

Maintenance and support services post-deployment is necessary to resolve bugs and roll out periodic updates to stay relevant and accommodate customer needs.
Important Tip for successful app development: It’s a good idea to partner with an experienced eCommerce app development company in USA that offers end-to-end services right from app ideation to deployment and maintenance post-deployment.

eCommerce App Development: Crucial Aspects to Consider

ecommerce application

User-friendliness

Ease of usage and user-friendliness are important aspects to consider while eCommerce app development. Create a user interface that is intuitive and easily understandable. Users must be able to effortlessly navigate to product categories and your home screen should display popular products and lucrative deals. A considerable amount of text and animations should be avoided as this can add to the app’s complexity.
Simple registration and checkout process are key factors that minimize the chances of cart abandonment. This is because, time-consuming and complex login or checkout processes will repel customers away from your app. Also, offer facilities like logging in via social media, shopping as a guest, etc. Enable users to save some of their details for future purchases so that they do not have to re-enter the same information next time. Also, your “add to cart” button should be prominent enough to be easily noticed by online shoppers.

Clarity of images

Several consumers may be reluctant to make expensive online purchases without testing the product properly. To mitigate this challenge, retailers these days provide visual clarity of product images. It’s a good practice to post several pictures of the same product clicked from various angles so that consumers get a clear idea about the product before making a purchase decision. The image resolution must be high and users should be able to zoom the images for better clarity. Some retail brands offer videos displaying their product.

Speed, Responsiveness, and Stability

New-age consumers are impatient and easily frustrated if an app is slow. Hence, your app must load speedily and allow users quick navigation while browsing through product categories. Moreover, the app must be responsive across all kinds of device screens. For this reason, it is necessary to conduct usability testing on all kinds of device screens while eCommerce app development.
You need to make sure that your app is stable, consistent, well balanced, and has minimal incidents of app crashes and other related issues. Or else, your eCommerce app will poorly perform and may be abandoned by users. To ensure stability with regard to app performance, it’s important to develop your app in iterations and conduct extensive QA testing. Do not forget to collect user feedback, resolve issues at the earliest, and roll out periodic updates to stay relevant.

Pay Attention to Scalability

Scalability is an important consideration for an eCommerce application as the app needs to adapt to greater load when the user base grows. Therefore, one must plan the app’s architecture in such a manner that the app is equipped to process increased user requests per second during high load times. Scalability aspects need to be planned at the eCommerce app development stage itself. Several eCommerce apps have pre-set scalability limits for certain proportions of user load to avoid a frozen application at the later stages.

Secure your App’s Data

Users need to furnish personally identifiable information like names, addresses, contact numbers, credit card numbers, CVV codes, etc. for registering into your app and using online payment modes. Why would users trust your app with their confidential information if you don’t ensure data security? So, you must necessarily adopt security measures during eCommerce app development to protect the privacy of users’ personal and financial data.
It’s advisable to restrict user access to all app data by pre-defining access rules, encrypting data in transit as well as storage, and using a private cloud network for storing user data. Also, have an alarm system in place so that you are notified as soon as there are any data threats and can take timely actions to prevent unauthorized access.

Trending Technologies for eCommerce App Development

Some may argue that online purchasing lacks visibility, clarity, and transparency as compared to offline purchases. However, emerging technologies have helped to bridge this gap as well. Modern-day eCommerce apps are utilizing technologies to offer online shoppers in-store experiences. Check out how technologies are elevating consumer experiences to the next level.

Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR)

Certain eCommerce marketplaces are utilizing Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to showcase their products to online buyers. AR superimposes digital elements while VR creates an artificial simulated environment for offering an immersive experience to consumers. This way, online shoppers can enjoy a virtual in-store experience. Customers gain clearer visual insights into the product and can make better purchase decisions.
This novel concept has been successfully implemented by some retail brands. Take a quick look at the use cases.
The IKEA catalog app offers virtual rooms displaying furniture. Users can also virtually place the desired pieces of furniture in their rooms and get an idea about what the product will look like there. The Taobao App by Alibaba offers 3D product displays. The cosmetic brand Sephora has included the “virtual artist” feature within their app so that their consumers can test the products through the app by using photos or even in live mode. Sephora’s makeup items and hairstyles are applied over a digital overlay of the app users’ faces. The Patron app offers customers a friendly bartender and a virtual tour to explore the distillery to the fullest.

Chatbots

Integrating chatbots into eCommerce apps is a great idea to stay connected with your customers and provide them round-the-clock assistance. Chatbots automate customer services and are equipped to interact with customers via online messaging, calling, etc. just like a sales assistant. This way, customers’ queries, and concerns can be addressed at once, at any hour, without having to hire additional customer assistance staff.
Chatbots can also gather data on eCommerce app visitors and process this data to offer them personalized purchase suggestions. This strategy works wonders in promoting customer satisfaction and loyalty. The other offerings of chatbots include notifying consumers when a specific item is out of stock, suggesting an alternative product, providing information on the expected delivery dates of products, reminding users about their abandoned shopping carts, obtaining consumer feedback, and so on.
Spotify, PizzaHut, Lyft, and eBay have leveraged the potential of chatbots to their advantage. For example, eBay’s ShopBot guides consumers to find the desired product, asks them questions to identify their exact requirements, and recommends products based on their preferences. The chatbot of the H&M app questions consumers on their choices and suggests products accordingly.

Voice Assistants

Today, consumers prefer quick, intuitive, and convenient browsing, and what can be a better tool than a voice assistant. Voice assistants make things easy for customers as they search for the desired products. Customers have a satisfying experience as they receive real-time responses and personalized attention, and most importantly can save on their precious time.

Big Data Algorithms

Big data has become a valuable component for retail brands to offer personalized purchase suggestions to their consumers. This is how it works! Retailers track users’ actions and their interactions with the eCommerce application. Thereafter, Big data algorithms are used to analyze consumers’ details like demographics, age, etc., and their behavior to predict the products they are most likely to purchase in the future. That’s how Amazon can recommend relevant products to consumers. Data-driven insights help businesses to devise profitable marketing strategies and implement the necessary modifications to fit into consumer needs.

Geofencing

The geofencing approach is used in eCommerce mobile apps to promote products based on the users’ current location. Here’s how this strategy works. Technologies like GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, and Beacons are used to track the customers’ location every minute. If a user searches for a product and is within close vicinity of your store, an automatic notification is sent to the user stating the availability of the item in your store. In this manner, eCommerce businesses can utilize the perfect timing and the consumer’s location to convert a user’s buying intent into an instant purchase decision.

Concluding Thoughts:

Today, retail businesses that intend to expand customer outreach, serve customers 24X7, provide an unparalleled experience to consumers, and boost sales, must possess an eCommerce mobile application to support their website. The aforesaid tips and best practices will help you to develop a best-selling eCommerce application for your business.

Key Considerations for building your dream eCommerce app!

Key Considerations for building your dream eCommerce app!
ecommerce app development services
Call them Fashionista or Shopaholic or whatever! People love to shop on the go! Irrespective of the time and place! At the very comfort of their homes or during the office breaks or while traveling back to their home from office! And that’s why eCommerce apps have been one of their favorites. Amazon, Flipkart, Shopify, eBay, Walmart, Groupon, Aliexpress, just name them! They have already created their success stories.
ECommerce solutions have literally been the game-changer for both, customers as well as business owners. It’s no surprise that businesses are increasingly investing in eCommerce app development. But the question is how to go about it?
In this blog, we have outlined essential steps needed to architect an alluring eCommerce app. Read along for detailed information.

Essential Steps to Create an Amazing eCommerce App

Before understanding the steps to build eCommerce apps, business owners must conduct extensive market research on multiple factors that are mentioned below. Market research will help you to set better business goals, lower business risks, boost customer satisfaction, improve decision-making, outsell competitors, and ultimately make more sales.
Now, let us have a look at the crucial steps that must be followed to create an impeccable app.
ecommerce mobile app development

Come up with an idea

The first step in this process is to decide the idea and the goals for the app. What do you want your eCommerce app to look like, what should be the overall concept of the app? How will you measure the progress of the app? What are your KPIs? Do you first want to develop a Minimum Viable Product? Using a Business Model Canvas (BMC) can help you understand some important aspects like value prepositions, revenue, customer segments, etc. So having a well-thought-out idea in place is very important to avoid unnecessary expenses later.

Descide your target audience

  • For whom are you creating this app?
  • What is their average age?
  • What are their interests and preferences?
  • Which products do they like and have already bought?
  • How will they find us?
  • Is your service B2B or B2C? Accordingly, the choices of the target audience will change.
  • Look at which mobile and web eCommerce platforms are being used by your target audience.
Answers to such questions will help you to streamline your development process, shape your eCommerce app correctly and even improve the app marketing.
Also, studying the buyer persona is essential to knowing your ideal customers. It includes the needs and preferences of the potential customers, their motivations, and similar data which will influence every factor in the eCommerce mobile app development journey.

Know your Competitors

List out your competitors and do a thorough analysis. Look at their products and services and see what attracts the buyers. Study their business model. However, don’t duplicate their features, business models, etc. Competitor analysis will help you to enhance your research, navigate different challenges in the market, improve your products and services and stand out amongst them, giving a competitive advantage.

Must-have app features

The next step for an eCommerce app development company is to determine the feature requirement of your app. A few of the must-have features that you should include in your app are:
  • Product List and categorization
  • Search Bar and Filters
  • Push Notifications
  • Multiple Payment Options
  • Wishlist
  • Look-books
  • Easy Checkout
  • Social Media Integration
  • Review and Ratings
  • Business Intelligence Tool
  • Synchronization across apps and websites

Decide technology based on budget

To determine the process and the budget, ask yourself the following questions:
  • How much time and resources are you willing to invest in?
  • Do you want to create an MVP model with the least features or want a feature-packed full-fledged eCommerce mobile app?
  • Do you want to develop native apps for both Android and iOS platforms? Or want cross-platform development? Do you also want a PWA?
  • Do you want an expensive backend development with low maintenance or high maintenance third-party APIs having a comparatively low budget?
  • Do you want an expensive backend development with low maintenance or high maintenance third-party APIs having a comparatively low budget?
  • Do you want an expensive backend development with low maintenance or high maintenance third-party APIs having a comparatively low budget?
Once you decide on the above questions, there are different pricing models available to choose from. They are scope-based, time-based, fixed-price models, or you can opt for dedicated resource hiring.

App development

After conducting thorough research on the aforementioned points, you can now start the design and development of your dream eCommerce app.
Follow these tips for a good end result and unparalleled experiences for the users:
  • Ensure that the eCommerce app has user-friendly navigation
  • Remove the excess clutter from the app
  • Incorporate app templates to speed up and streamline processes
  • Incorporate app templates to speed up and streamline processes
  • Give a personal touch to the app with Live Chat support.
  • Use alluring images and animations for better impact
  • Avoid using contrast color combinations, fonts, layouts, etc.

Market your app

Marketing the eCommerce app is equally important as it is to develop it. After all, getting more downloads, views, purchases is the final aim of the app development process. One can create buzz about the app even before its release. Some of the strategies used for successful app marketing are content marketing, SEO optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, paid advertisement, app marketing, etc.

Publish the app

Finally, you are all set to publish your eCommerce app on different mobile app stores like AppStore and Play Store. You can visit the app stores and sign up on their accounts, pay their registration fees, write the description and privacy policy for the app, upload the screenshots of the app interface, upload the app, specify the pricing of the app and your app will be published after it meets the set standards.

Final Words

Architecting a fully functional eCommerce app out of an idea is quite challenging. It requires considerable planning, time, efforts, finances, and most important of all, commitment. In the complete development journey, greater focus must be given to the target audience. Along with the incorporation of interesting features, optimal design, exhaustive testing, powerful marketing, etc. are the factors that can lead to a roaring success. So, for creating profitable eCommerce solutions, it’s advisable to partner with an experienced and competent eCommerce app development company like Biz4Solutions. Our proficient eCommerce app developers have created success stories for global clients.