eCommerce Mobile App Development- A Complete Guide in 2022
Mobile Internet service providers, which offer 24-7 connectivity to almost everyone, including businesses and consumers, are the most common telecommunications touch point today. E-commerce Mobile App is quickly being replaced by mobile commerce.
The use of mobile devices such as phones and tablet computers has increased significantly, and the business value of applications that run on these devices has also risen exponentially.
As the most prominent question is how to develop an eCommerce mobile app, this blog will help you understand basic considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether to add a mobile app to an ecommerce business.
Rationale Behind App Development for eCommerce Businesses
The development of eCommerce Mobile Apps which can be accessed and used from anywhere and at any time is increasingly important for efficient and effective performance of any business. In an era when retail is mostly done online and via mobile apps, an application can add a lot of value to the chain of events that regulate business operations.
Studies show that nearly 80% of smartphone users make online purchases at least occasionally, which is a favorable reason for eCommerce mobile app development. In an era where more and more people shop over the internet, mobile-friendly channels for selling commodities become increasingly important.
A detailed analysis of the benefits of eCommerce Mobile Apps can help in the decision-making process. These are several of the advantages to businesses of eCommerce Mobile Apps:
- Online shopping is the new trend
- Benefits for small and new businesses
- Helps attract customers easily
- It is a competitive advantage
- Helps increase sales
- Everything mobile is the millennial choice
- Enables better customer service
- Create a customer-centric company by allowing customization of offerings
- Easy analytical analysis of all activities
- Enables contactless payments
- More and improved marketing
- Brand building and propagation is easier
- Customer loyalty is enhanced
Providing customers with an environment where they can get an enhanced shopping experience is sure to keep them coming back. Upon re-visiting and even recommending the shopping platform or app ahead, they will be rewarded with loyalty points and recommended benefits.
It is important for business owners to realize the significant benefits of achieving different business objectives with different types of applications. Launching an app can help meet business goals like better UX-UI, leading to better user engagement and higher conversion rates, so understanding what kind of app is needed can be a positive step.
We will briefly discuss in the section ahead what type of eCommerce Mobile App can be developed, for different business models and objectives, before we address the approach to be taken to develop an eCommerce Mobile App.
eCommerce Mobile App Types
As smartphones have become a shopping platform, mobile commerce (mcommerce) has emerged as a driving force for businesses. It is the mantra to success that has created a new revenue stream for companies. With mobile applications, customers now have constant connectivity. It is now possible to access their favorite stores anytime and place an order.
The applications that will support the operations also differ according to the various models that exist within the businesses. Applications are differentiated in terms of features and functionalities based on their use to fulfill certain goals and meet objectives.
If you are going to start your own ecommerce business, the chances are that you will fall into one of these four categories:
- Business-to-Business (B2B)
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
- Consumer-to-Business (C2B)
In addition to the above models, there are some businesses that operate on a mix of two or more models.
Choosing an app that allows convenient exchange of commodities and assets on the channel will depend on the type of transactions expected as part of the business model. As a means of communication between the parties, the application will serve as an important tool. It is critical that both the seller (the offering party) and the buyer (the receiving party) are able to complete their roles through this app.
Below are descriptions of various types of eCommerce Mobile Apps that will facilitate the various activities that will take place over them:
1. B2B (Business-to-Business) eCommerce Mobile App
Applications which enable business transactions through their interface fall into this category. Mobile channels can be used to facilitate exchanges of goods and services, accommodating large volumes of transactions.
Alibaba, Amazon Business, and Quill are examples of industries selling to retailers, who then sell to consumers. Hence, the products sold here can become raw material or items of sale in other industries in the future.
2. B2C (Business-to-Consumer) eCommerce Mobile App
Applications developed to support a B2C model will benefit both the company and the end user. The application channel will allow for direct sales. Several eCommerce mobile apps are available from Amazon and Domino’s.
In a scenario where retailers deal with multiple brands, consumers have access to all the products being offered by the brand directly, as opposed to limited stocks and variety offered by retailers.
3. C2B (Consumer-to-Business) eCommerce Mobile App
Also, businesses purchase niche domain-specific resources like content, design, and technical assets. The C2B applications like Clutch and GitHub enable subject matter experts to showcase their expertise and build relationships with potential clients.
Business owners gain unique merits from such purchases, and recommend increasing the practice of sharing precious talent through these channels.
4. C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer) eCommerce Mobile App
An app that allows consumers to exchange their products, services, and offerings among themselves, without the involvement of any businesses or companies, is called a C2C model.
Applications like OLX and eBay, which enable consumers to sell and buy products from other consumers like themselves, support such sales and purchases, enabling social connectivity between a wider audience.
5. Other application types
Ticketing Booking eCommerce Mobile App
Bookings can be made through eCommerce Mobile Apps for cabs, hotels, live shows, games, travel, and professional or social events. The organizers use the application to share details of their events, and interested attendees can purchase tickets or passes by paying through the application interface.
There are a lot of ticket booking apps on the internet today, such as Goibibo and Momondo. Another type of eCommerce Mobile App allows direct exchange of such commodities between event organizers, event managers, and end users.
eCommerce aggregator App
A group of mobile apps that connect the end customer with service providers like Walmart Inc. and Etsy Inc. are called aggregator eCommerce Mobile Apps. They provide a platform for service providers to list their offerings, items, or products, and buyers can buy or avail them directly from the application interface.
It is not the app owners who provide any of the listed services, nor do they have any infrastructure requirements, but rather the sellers who join the app for their businesses.
When developing an eCommerce mobile app, certain elements are common across the different types discussed above. Each of these elements is key to the smooth operation of the application.
Developmental Components of an eCommerce Mobile App
The development of an eCommerce Mobile App is a guided process. It is determined by the objective or business goal to be met what should be included and in what form. However, there are certain elements that are common to all eCommerce mobile apps.
Below are the essential components that help an application perform full-circle functions efficiently.
1. Multimedia Content
Multimedia content is any type of content running within an eCommerce Mobile App, such as text, images, videos, graphics, and even audio, that drives the user journeys on the application. They are the main reason why a user remains hooked to the app and conducts transactions through it.
The content was created to mimic human interactions, and is responsible for generating customer loyalty and conversions.
2. Content Storage Servers
It is necessary to install servers powerful enough to handle large amounts of diverse content. Information regarding the user’s details is included in the digital content that is distributed to them. In order to serve the user base on the app, the servers must be robust, secure, and reliable.
a. Multimedia Server Processors
Processing servers that convert raw data from various media sources into readable information require processors that are reliable and robust. All eCommerce Mobile Apps use the processor to process and store data and information that is critical from the user’s perspective.
Due to the large amount of data handled by these processors from thousands of users simultaneously using the application, they must be backed up by symmetric multiprocessors with parallel processing capabilities. Different types of data are processed for information exchange through the app interface.
b. Client Server Architecture
The majority of eCommerce Mobile Apps are built around the concept of message passing between the client/consumer and the server. The format is that of a request-response, in the sequence of events taking place.
User interfaces are usually devices that take queries from the user, which are handled by the server. The server end of the eCommerce Mobile App is responsible for storage, security, execution, and progress.
c. Servers for Videos and eCommerce
Any ecommerce application must keep in mind that video data will be fed into the system as well as received from it for various purposes. As part of the process of developing an eCommerce mobile application, video servers are vital.
These servers manage videos for telecommuting
Video chat, shopping, advertising, and multimedia for business are among the most popular services. They must be able to deal with planktonic quantities coming in from several thousand users at the same time.
3. Information Exchange for eCommerce Mobile Apps
The information exchange between an eCommerce Mobile App is mainly coordinated between three services:
- Wireless services – managing radio, cellular, and paging applications
- Telecommunication services – Local and international phone connections
- Cable services – Coaxial, satellite, optical fiber, and computer services are used to provide Internet and related services
Each of these components controls the communication channels running over eCommerce Mobile Apps.
4. Access Devices – Consumer End
Any eCommerce Mobile App’s functionality is determined by the execution or end device at the buyer’s end. Users use different devices according to their comfort levels and tasks at hand. A static computer, a television, mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches, and voice assistants are all examples of devices.
Their experience also varies depending on the device they use. In order to create a uniform user experience across different devices, the development must be robust.
Having in place the basic inclusions, finalizing the features an eCommerce Mobile App needs next is the task at hand. The following segment describes the features that will need to be developed at the MVP stage.
Essential Features for eCommerce Mobile App Development
A major factor in the success of any eCommerce Mobile App is mapping the most important features to ensure the success of the business running on the app. As people use their mobile phones for almost everything, the developer of the eCommerce Mobile App must ensure maximum convenience while a transaction occurs.
Features chosen in the feature list will determine the structure, the design, and the development costs of the application.
These are merely suggestions that can be modified according to the goals of the eCommerce Mobile App that is being created. It’s always better to develop a mobile app customized for your eCommerce business when choosing a developer.
mCommerce Trends In 2022
The interaction with customers is key to building a relationship between the company and its customers. Communication opens up channels for interactions and allows customers to feel connected to the brand. In addition to answering queries in a timely manner, this will also boost conversions in your mobile app.
Chatbots help boost customer engagement by providing a channel for answering customer questions, engaging in marketing activities, cross-selling, and more. Further, customer communication enhances brand loyalty by strengthening customer relationships.
The data collected from chatbots also offers businesses an opportunity to set analysis-based goals.
Nowadays, the faster your services are, the better the customer experience you can provide. That’s what voice assistants do. They will be essential to mobile applications in 2022 and beyond, allowing customers to browse and search faster and more intuitively.
The use of Big Data is reshaping modern-day business operations. The solution analyzes in real-time the interaction of the customer across channels, resulting in an integrated and holistic experience for the customer. The role of Big Data is maturing as businesses increase efforts to catch the attention of their customers.
An assessment of how target audiences interact across channels – based on demographics and age groups – can provide valuable information on how to develop mobile apps for a business. With Big Data, the UI/UX of the app can be tailored to better meet the needs of end users.
A company can also take advantage of Big Data when developing its marketing strategies. This will help improve their marketing results.
AR and VR
Virtual reality and augmented reality are aimed at providing users with an immersive experience. AR allows users to interact with virtual objects in real-world settings. The technology superimposes a computer-generated image on a real-life live image on a device.
Originally a phenomenon found in video games like Pokemon Go, augmented reality has now transformed online retail and ecommerce.
Many eCommerce companies such as Amazon, Ikea, and others are using AR technology to let customers see how products look in their intended space.
On the other hand, virtual reality (VR) takes advantage of technology that simulates a real-world environment in the virtual world. Using the computer-generated three-dimensional environment, the user feels as if they’re actually there. Industry verticals such as fashion and real estate have gained tremendous benefits from VR.
Integration of Apps with Wearables
Over the past few years, wearables have been picking up steam. The number of companies releasing reliable and feature-rich products is growing day by day, giving customers a good selection of options to choose from.
According to Market Watch, sales of wearable devices will increase by at least 25 million units by 2021. The need for software integration is being driven by the sale of hardware. Integration of mobile apps with wearables is becoming increasingly important, emphasizing their importance as key factors in 2022. It can give businesses an edge in the marketplace.
Businesses can customize their marketing services according to the location of their customers via geofencing, which is an integral part of personalization. By taking advantage of technology, customers can receive notifications on their app when they are near a store.
Businesses can leverage this capability in multiple ways to gain traction for their products and services. A company can use marketing strategies such as items in stock, high-demand products, and lucrative discount schemes to capture the attention of customers.
Enhanced Security Measures
The growth of ecommerce has also led to the development of malicious activities. Since the turn of the century, payment processes have been disrupted across the e-commerce ecosystems.
The threat of malicious attacks will continue to rise, increasing security concerns. Protecting data remains a major concern as well. Vulnerable data can lead to catastrophic outcomes.
Furthermore, there is still a segment of customers who are hesitant to shop on smaller devices and prefer desktops to mobiles for their transactions.
The need for enhanced security measures is not just a trend for 2022, but is likely to be a necessity that will be prioritized in the years to come as well.
eCommerce Mobile App Development: The Process Simplified
The development of a mobile app requires input from experts from different fields, including a member with subject matter expertise in the area of the ecommerce business for which it is being developed. Many entrepreneurs and new businesses find themselves at a crossroads with questions like:
- What to consider before beginning?
- Which technology partner should we partner with?
- How much responsibility sharing can be there?
- What are the essential features to focus on first?
It is essential to answer all these questions well in advance of moving forward with the app development. We have outlined below, in sequence, steps that will help you through the process without any hassle.
Identify App Goals
Any eCommerce Mobile App will be successful if it can meet the business objectives efficiently. When the objectives of the app are unclear, its development will always falter and fail.
Set specific objectives so that you can plan for integrating specific functionalities that need to be developed. The idea should be to collect relevant data through the app, so that the business can improve its services and products.
Identify the Audience
Ultimately, it is the users of the eCommerce Mobile App who will decide the fate of the business it supplements. Thus, it is imperative to map out the user base and their likes, dislikes, demographics, interests, and feedback on the app.
Understanding the nature of the app user will help develop user journeys and stories that leave a lasting impression on the customer and keep them coming back. When identifying the audience for the app and their interests, the niche for the app is also identified. This in a way helps shape the eCommerce Mobile App development process.
Select the Right Technology
We now know who will use the app being developed, and what functions it will perform, so the next step is to decide what type of app is needed. There are two formats to choose from for e-commerce: PWAs and Native apps.
- PWAs or Progressive Web Apps are progressive websites that operate with the speed and agility of mobile applications. The only difference is that they do not have to be downloaded from play stores, but can instead be accessed through browsers, which requires internet connectivity.
- When your ecommerce platform is already receiving good traffic and you are limited by a budget, PWAs may be the ideal choice.
- Typical native applications are applications that have to be downloaded from the Amazon or Google Play stores, and are designed specifically for operating systems like Android and iOS. The UI-UX of a Native app can be quite custom, and users can access premium features of a mobile phone, like photos, a camera, an interactive interface, and the ability to use the app offline.
- They add to the appeal of an ecommerce store and allow for data on customer behavior and preferences to be saved as reference to aid in refining services and products.
It will depend on the end offer made to the customers who visit the ecommerce website which path to take. The benefits of app development include customization and scalability. A technology partner offering custom app development services will be able to work in sync with your ideas and develop the product that you envision.
Identify Requirements & Features
After deciding what to create, who to create it for, and how to develop it, it is now time to brainstorm about the features that will be included in the eCommerce Mobile App. There are some essential features that should be a part of most eCommerce Mobile Apps.
It is the team’s responsibility to provide suggestions and input to the development team about what all should be included with the offering to the customers. A feature list specific to the business needs to be developed following a thorough planning process.
When the app development process begins, it will be beneficial to have a clear understanding of the features to be integrated and developed before the actual development begins.
Process and Budget Planning
The process of identifying features and functionalities that can be included in a mobile eCommerce application requires much thought, but comparing the requirements to the budget is an aspect not to be ignored.
In planning integrations and development, the following factors must be taken into account:
- Whether the app is bespoke or generic
- A SAAS solution or a one-time offering is being developed
- The pros and cons of each type of addition to the app
All these details, when discussed, will help narrow down the budget which will be justified based on the type of eCommerce Mobile App being developed.
The app owners should ensure that, even while choosing an agile software development company for the app development, none of the requests should exceed the budget estimates at any time, in order to maintain a high ROI.
Quality Testing and App Release
However robust the development process is, and how experienced the planning team, there are bound to be some inadequacies. A thorough testing process for load, regression, device, performance, responsiveness, and usability should be incorporated into app development procedures.
Having passed rigorous testing, the application is ready for distribution onto the Google Play store. It is ideal to develop an app that can be launched on both iOS and Android play stores. Make sure you have qualified testers on your team to produce high-quality documents after the testing.
Having these documents on hand while releasing your app on Google Play helps build credibility for the app.
Marketing the App
With the app released and available for download, marketing the ecommerce business with the app will strengthen lead generation.
Popularize the brand’s name through SEO tools along with marketing tactics such as social media and loyalty programs. If the marketing tools are integrated during the development process, the app is best suited to utilize them.
It helps the app or business owner begin marketing activities when the app launches, creating a scale that can implement a separate marketing team.
The steps below will definitely help create more efficient and quality mobile applications. A further objective would be to enhance and develop an application that meets the current market standards in terms of quality and technological maturity.
The online industry today is enabling businesses to pioneer customer centricity to such an extent that they are eventually becoming an integral part of people’s everyday lives. By integrating intelligent features that increase responsiveness and engagement with buyers, the entire online shopping experience has been enhanced.
eCommerce Mobile Apps have subsequently grown exponentially to meet consumers’ expectations and keep pace with their demands. Due to the convenience of shopping in a store while sitting at home, the eCommerce Mobile App developer has been forced to define standards to follow.
As a business executive in the e-commerce industry, you may be faced with figuring out how to offer new products, build, exclude, and launch to meet the new consumer on their way to technological maturity. As part of this blog, you will be provided with a basic flowchart to assist in the process of developing an eCommerce Mobile App Development.
In order to develop a mobile app for eCommerce, the ideal approach is to partner with technology providers that provide custom mobile app development. More