Apr 13, 2020

How to create an e-commerce app

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Mobile commerce is growing every year. Therefore, many owners of online stores regard mobile applications as an alternative sales channel to increase profits and strengthen their brand in the market. Mobile e-commerce application helps to solve many business problems, however, development is not an easy task. Find out how to create your app and how much it will cost.

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Benefits for business

Before you begin, you need to determine your goals. What results do you want to achieve? E-commerce applications can bring you such benefits:

  • expand the target audience;
  • interested in the already formed customer audience, attract new customers;
  • will notify consumers in time about promotions, bonuses, sales;
  • will attract the attention of partners and investors that are beneficial to you;
  • increase the number and volume of sales, activate repeat transactions;
  • automate the business;
  • emphasize the prestige of the business;
  • distinguish among competitors;
  • increase revenue through monetization;
  • increase customer loyalty.
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Market analysis and customer portrait

Defining your target audience is the basis for developing a mobile e-commerce application. Ask yourself: For whom do we sell products?”.  Accordingly, conduct your research to determine the buyer’s portrait. Analyze how the buyer behaves, his preferences, what he doesn’t like, etc. This will help you create an application that will solve consumer problems as accurately as possible.

Explore competitors

Explore popular applications in this area that you will have to compete with. What are their benefits and features? How convenient is it to use them and what disadvantages do they have? Don’t repeat their special functions or adopt a business model. Competitor analysis is carried out in order to identify weaknesses and implement them better in your project.

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It is worth deciding on technology

Now you know who is your customer and what your goals are, it’s time to make another choice: the app type. For e-commerce retailers, there are two options: hybrid and native applications. Native projects are created for stores, hybrid applications also offer a web version.

Native apps are the best option for e-commerce. They fully use all the functions of the devices, such applications are fast and intuitive, have access to the database, contacts, gallery, camera. All of this will make the user experience more complete.

Also decide on the platforms: iOS, Android or cross-platform development. Don’t forget that users can download your application to a wide variety of devices.

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Features that will make an e-commerce application better

We suggest you explore the main features that will make the e-commerce application user-friendly. You can implement everything or make a list of the minimum requirements for your project.

  • Quick registration. Make registration and entry as convenient as possible, giving users the ability to log in using mail and social networks.
  • Push notifications. They inform about new products, promotions, updates and are important for any modern application.
  • Lookbooks. Actual for clothing stores and accessories. Inspire to buy beautiful photos in lookbooks.
  • Wish Lists. It is popular with both B2C retailers and B2B buyers. Through the wish list, you can quickly purchase the right products.
  • Search. Organize search by types of products, brand, vendor codes.
  • Several payment options. It is important to offer all possible payment options that are accepted for the target countries. For example, customers from the US and EU expect you to accept cards, but buyers from Asia also need mobile payment options such as WeChat.
  • Rating system. Customers rely on each other’s opinions, read reviews and look at the rating. Creating a product valuation system will be a big plus.
  • Synchronization. Speed up processes by synchronizing a mobile app with a website.
  • Integration with social networks. Let customers share their findings with friends and family, attracting new customers.
  • Easy checkout. Make ordering as quick and easy as possible. Users want to place an order in a few clicks.
  • Native experience. Functions such as scrolling, touching, clicking on icons, as well as optimal use of the screen space give users unique shopping experience.
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UI/UX design of apps in the field of e-commerce and fashion is, first of all, for turning online shopping into a pleasant pastime. Due to the limited screen sizes of mobile devices, designers have to work out a simple and intuitive interface. Here are some suggestions:

  • think carefully about which product filters are most important and visually highlight them;
  • use a visual hierarchy so that the buyer does not miss the “Add to Cart” button;
  • make the menu simple;
  • better fewer images, but larger;
  • make notifications noticeable;
  • use animations on standby screens to show users that data is being processed.
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How buyers will find your app

Think about how users find out about your application, because without a promotion strategy, you’ll go nowhere. For an existing store, this can be a download link or a banner on the site. If you promote the application through other channels, you will have to make a budget for marketing and buying traffic. In addition to classic tools like advertising and social networks, ASO (App Store Optimization) is developing in the mobile environment. This is creating an attractive page in the Apple Store and Google Play to increase organic settings in stores.

The future of e-commerce market

In a couple of years, shopping on the Internet will take us a minimum of time. For example, someone saw a bicycle on the street, took a photo on a smartphone, uploaded it to a mobile application, selected a product and paid for it with a fingerprint. Or during dinner preparation, it will be possible to give instructions to the voice assistant who will order the necessary products.

Global e-commerce has gone beyond shopping on sites. To keep up with the times, companies need to implement innovative strategies and invest more in new technologies that seemed unrealistic yesterday but becoming trends now. Among them are Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, VR and AR for online fitting, Alexa Amazon voice assistants, Google Assistant, Apple Siri.

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How much does it cost to develop an e-commerce app

This question excites everyone who plans to develop the application. However, to name the exact numbers is extremely difficult. The cost depends on the country where you will create it, the company or outsourced developers, a package of functions, etc.

The basic version of the application with minimal features for MVP and a simple UI/UX design will cost up to $60,000. If you consider a project with several special features, the price can rise to $80,000. An application that includes many innovative features can cost in the range of $80,000 to $120,000 or more.

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Now you have a rough idea of how e-commerce apps are developed and you are ready to start your project. It won’t be easy to compete with giants such as Amazon, Alibaba or Snapdeal, but by offering customers unique solutions, you can take your place in the mobile sales market. Carry out thorough analytics, study the market, think through the interface to the smallest detail and do not forget about the attractive design and the world will see a new high-quality application.