The internet and its latest offerings have revolutionized the way in which businesses and consumers interact with each other, making instant, real-time online communication and transactions possible through the use of smartphones and computers. While already a consumer favorite, the recent pandemic saw a remarkable boost in the use of software applications by businesses and customers as a platform to conduct commercial transactions. According to a Nasdaq study, 95% of all purchases will be through E-commerce by the year 2040. The e-commerce market is witnessing a robust growth, with businesses shifting towards selling products online to increase revenue and stay relevant.
Types Of E-Commerce Apps
E-commerce apps fall into the following four categories :
- Business-to-Business (B2B) ; examples include Amazon Business and Alibaba,
- Business-to-Consumer(B2C) ; examples include Amazon and Dominos,
- Consumer-to-Consumer(C2C) ; examples include eBay and OLX,
- Consumer-to-Business(C2B) ; examples include GitHub and Clutch.
Why Businesses Should Develop An App For E-Commerce
Let us take into consideration some crucial factors that point towards the importance of building e-commerce apps :
- Increased use of smartphones over the years –
A huge amount of consumers access the web from smartphones to carry out E-commerce related activities. Smartphones have already had an impactful presence in our lives, with an estimated 5.07 billion people worldwide using the device.
- The rise of social media –
Apps such as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook have taken business to the next level, with “buy buttons” that help users buy products without leaving the app. Compare this to the queues at retail stores and you have your answer.
- Millennials and gen zers –
Tech savviness, love for shopping, and a preference for quick, automated interactions are some of the traits that make millennials and gen zers opt for shopping over the web.
- Statistics speak for themselves –
According to a report by Statista, retail E-commerce sales amounted to approximately 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2021. The numbers speak for themselves.
- For increasing revenue –
A sizable chunk of American small and medium businesses still don’t have their own websites, missing out on all the fresh revenue the industry would have generated.
Most Essential Features Of An E-Commerce App
The most important features of an app aim towards creating an easy and fun interactive experience for users :
- Easy registration and log-in process –
This marks the customers’ first interaction with the brand.
- Push notifications –
If you want to keep customers updated on details such as new product arrivals, offers, flash sales, discounts, and personalized schemes to keep them engaged and hike sales, carefully developed push notifications will do the job.
- Detailed information about the product –
Reduces the risk of product returns by making the consumer fully and accurately aware of the product, what it looks like and its utility.
- Multiple safe payment options –
One of the most popular reasons for cart abandonment at the time of checkout is the lack of options when it comes to paying securely.
- Integration with brand website and social media –
This feature helps customers to compare, share and publicize products, generating brand awareness.
- Wish list –
Consumers can add favorite products and keep returning to view, compare or purchase later on, increasing app visits and consumer loyalty.
- Product filter –
Customers can efficiently search for the exact product.
- Easy checkout –
This is again necessary to avoid cart abandonment issues after the products have been finalized for purchase.
- App review and feedback option –
To help brands develop and scale app services, making the experience better for future customers.
- Rewards program –
This is a sure shot way to ensure better customer engagement.
- Efficient customer support –
For a customer facing issues, the communication process should be efficient and easy. Chatbots, email, and telephonic communication are some effective support services.
E-Commerce Mobile App Trends In 2022-23
The mobile commerce or M-commerce domain has been witnessing a lot of developments over the recent years, with the related technologies constantly evolving to bring newer, modified services. Latest trends in the field include :
- Artificial Intelligence and big data –
These technologies are being used to provide better service to customers, to prevent cybercrimes, to curate personalized experiences and to help businesses scale through data interpretation. An example would be the use of chatbots to initiate effective communications with clients.
- Progressive web apps –
These help customers to use a brand’s website as an app without taking up much space on the mobile device, as opposed to native apps.
- AR and VR –
Through the augmented reality and virtual reality technologies, shoppers can experience a product in a virtual world by superimposing real and computer generated images to help create accurate ideas.
- Voice-assisted shopping –
Convenience and accessibility have made this technology a customer favorite, with voice shopping estimated to grow up to $40 billion this year.
- Cryptocurrency –
Assisted by the blockchain technology, crypto payments are steadily replacing traditional modes, as speed, security, anonymity and low costs constitute the essential features of virtual currencies.
- Social commerce –
Integrating social media into M-commerce is an essential move since more than half of the world’s population uses social media.
- Geofencing –
Brands can create targeted marketing ads by making use of information such as the customer’s current location.
Steps To Developing An E-Commerce Application
- Set goals –
Researching business goals and understanding the target audience and their requirements through competitor analysis form the base work for any great developmental project. Identify the features you would want your app to possess, for instance as discussed above.
- Choose your platform – This will again depend on how well you know your business. The mobile platform your target customers use will decide whether you want to develop for Android or iOS or whether it will be a cross-platform development. Tech-stack selection for front-end and back-end and proper APIs are crucial to making the app work as you would want it to.
- App-building process –
Developing the wireframe for the app, UI/UX design, fixing bugs and errors are part of the app-building process.
- Make an MVP –
This is necessary to collect valuable customer feedback and insights which help in cutting risks, managing resources better, and making the app even more user friendly before its final release.
- Use the MVP –
Use the information provided by customers to identify and rectify existing flaws and fix issues.
- App promotion –
This is another crucial step that cannot be ignored. Proper marketing after the release of the app will attract audiences and boost app usage. Utilize platforms such as social media, Google ads or mails to achieve this. Regular app updation to add new and exciting features, fix bugs and offer swifter user experience is a must.
Challenges In E-Commerce App Development
Delivering a fantastic user experience is crucial to the success of any E-commerce app. Evolving technologies such as AI/ML, big data analytics and blockchain technology are making this possible, revamping the way in which transactions are conducted. Yet, the app mcommerce app development process is a complex one, with certain roadblocks that need to be overcome. Some of the challenges include ensuring round the clock operations along with some offline functionalities, guaranteeing absolute data security, and optimizing the app development time.
Build In-House Or Hire Professionals To Develop Your E-Commerce App
Developing an app is an exciting yet daunting project that requires meticulous planning, lots of research and proper implementation of every resource, to get the best out of the finished product. You could build your app in-house or you could hire a professional team for the job. While building in-house entails that you have complete control of the development process, there is a chance of costs going up and managing too many responsibilities might impact the final product. Hiring highly qualified specialists on the other hand ensures efficient use of all resources while bringing down costs.
GeekyAnts- e-Commerce app design and development studio, with its team of highly skilled developers and a substantial experience of over 17+ years in the field, has collaborated with clients worldwide to create incredibly successful E-commerce apps, including an E-commerce web app for a retail giant based in the U.S.A and a logistics app for PayPoint, UK. Keeping up with latest trends and technologies surrounding this industry, they seek to add to its list of achievements, transforming ideas into perfectly executed, successful projects.