The rise of digitization saw brick and mortar shop transform into e-commerce websites. This eliminated the need to visit stores. People were able to shop on their computers from the comfort of their home. Then came mobile shopping which further created a stir in the world of online shopping. Shopping on the go became the latest norm.
It was because of shopping apps, users were able to browse through an array of products with just a touch of their fingers irrespective of their location. It further offered e-commerce players a way to tap into customer’s social behavior and benefit from their impulse and indecision.
Over the years mobile apps have deeply penetrated into the lives of users. There is a significant number of users who prefer to shop on the go and completely rely on mobile apps for their daily shopping needs. It helps them browse and buy things anytime anywhere. That’s why mobile apps are considered central to the online strategy of e-commerce businesses. The staggering number of e-commerce apps on the app store further supports this rising phenomenon. Therefore building an e-commerce mobile app that users would want to install and more importantly engage on a consistent basis is extremely important.
The Advantages of having a Mobile Application
There are around 3.58 million internet users globally and a majority of them have a smartphone. Improvements in standards of living, rising per capita income along with increased awareness, busy schedule and the ease offered by shopping apps have pushed users towards online shopping. That’s not all. Users are more likely to use a mobile app to shop instead of browsing the website as it is more engaging, convenient and secure and can be accessed easily.
Improved user Experience
The focus of online retailers should be to provide users with a wonderful shopping experience. Users prefer shopping on the app and a good app can help improve the user experience. Discounts, loyalty programs, personalization along with a frictionless shopping experience are some of the features users want from retail apps.
Having a mobile app will ultimately improve conversion rates. Mobile phones have become an indispensable part of everybody’s life and a large amount of e-commerce traffic comes from mobile devices. The ease of use, speed, payment options and plenty of choices when browsing are some of the features that lead to a higher conversion rate on the apps.
Increased Customer Loyalty
A strong web presence is essential for any brand. However, depending solely on the website may not be enough to reach all the potential customers. Due to the rise in technology and huge dependence on the mobile a shopping app is perfect when it comes to retaining customers. It will further increase customer loyalty while helping you stay connected to the customers on the go.
Friendly notifications reminding customers on the various on-going deals, special discounts and exclusive collection etc. are some of the tactics to help customer come back.
Now that you are convinced about having a mobile app for your e-commerce business it’s time to look at some of the indispensable features that make an amazing e-commerce app
Simple yet Catchy Design
The average attention span of a customer is 8 seconds or fewer which is not enough to convert a visitor into a potential customer. The design of your store can greatly influence users behavior when it comes to impressing them. A simple, easy to understand design will help boost user experience whereas a complicated design having lots of text, animations, and features will confuse the user and they are more likely leave the app without any action.
Security is an important feature for mobile app development. Users share a lot of sensitive information on an e-commerce platform such as bank account details, credit/debit card info and address, etc. Ensuring that your app is secure from all kinds of cyber threats and other possible loopholes will help in gaining customer trust.
Social Media Integration
People don’t like filling out lengthy forms. Log-ins and registrations should be quick and easy. If the sign-up involve too many steps users may go for apps they have already registered for or the ones that allow easy signup. Social media integration will greatly ease the sign-up and login process. This may also motivate the user to share their experience or the products they are buying thus helping your app gain traction.
Cart abandonment is a major issue, especially in e-commerce apps. Some of the main reasons for this are price, search for better alternatives, shipping charges etc. A complicated checkout process will only add to this list giving the users more reason to leave without completing the checkout process. Give users a pleasant experience with the help of simple and direct checkout process. Provide alternatives to the user for completing a transaction. You can further integrate mobile wallet to smoothen the transaction process and help users get the best experience out of your e-commerce app.
The importance of visual information cannot be stressed enough especially for e-commerce websites. This is also true for mobile apps. Images work as a visual cue and can help build brand identity if presented in the right way. Poor quality images, on the other hand, will greatly harm your brand. Hence, instead of clicking images on mobile phones or downloading it from the internet hiring a professional photographer is the best option if you don’t want your e-commerce to fail.
Once you have taken all the important aspects of mobile app development into account, developing an e-commerce app may look easy but is not. Integrating it with all the features is important for its success. Hence, strategizing things in advance will help you towards the development of the app. Following is a list of steps you need to take in order to develop a successful mobile app:
Creating a user Persona
The most important aspect of developing an e-commerce mobile app is creating a buyer persona as it will help in creating an app that users would relate to. Hence, it is extremely important to know who do you want to buy your products or services before you progress with your app. Start by doing some research in order to get some insight into the buyer persona. Things such as their likes and dislikes, age group etc. will help you in the process.
Performing a Competitive Analysis
Irrespective of how great your app sounds in prospect the truth is that you will not be operating in isolation. There are millions of app out there doing pretty great which means that the chances of your app’s success may be grim. Hence, comes the importance of competitive analysis. Start by making a list of all your competitors and try to find out what is it that makes them a favorite among costumers. Then try to figure out a plan to outplay them by focusing on areas where they are lacking. Knowing your competitor’s position in the market will help you assess the viability of your e-commerce app.
Choosing the right Technology
Choosing the right technology for your mobile app is important. Find out what is it that you want from your mobile app while keeping an eye on the budget and decide accordingly. Most of it would depend on whether you want to launch an Android app or an iOS app. Determine which approach would be best for your mobile app; web, native or hybrid. Native apps are mostly preferred because they are fast and responsive whereas hybrid apps are cheaper and easier to build.
UI and UX Design
A well-designed interface is at the heart of offering a killer user experience. That’s why both UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) are important in deciding the presentation of mobile apps. A great User Interface is responsible for an outstanding design whereas an excellent User Experience will create a long lasting impression on the mind of the users. Getting both UI and UX right is important for the success of your app.
UI includes the app’s design, graphics, color scheme, and overall presentation thus helping the users easily interact with the application.
User Experience (UX) on the other hand can be defined as the emotions that the users experience before and after using an app. A lot of different factors such as the app’s accessibility and ease of use can help in improving the user experience. Doing some research into the needs of your target customer will help you create an efficient UX design.
Many apps tend to crash when the number of users grow. This happens due to the fault in backend infrastructure that fails to scale in sync with the demand. However, building a robust cloud infrastructure will rid you of this issue. Whether you are running a seasonal sale or one-day special offers embracing the cloud will help you offer users a pleasant and glitch-free experience