If you already have an ongoing e-commerce business and you want to attract more clients, the next direction for expansion you should pay attention to is the mobile market. The new generation is accustomed to working with their smartphones on the go, and paying for purchases through mobile apps is standard practice for young people nowadays.
You shouldn’t consider e-commerce apps as substitute for the main site, but they can be of great use as an organic supplement, as another channel of marketing and sales. In any case, this is quite a serious step, and in order to get positive results on the decision, you need to thoroughly think it over.
We at Lvivity have been creating websites and apps for e-commerce businesses for many years now. In this article, we want to share some tips on developing e-commerce apps based on our experience, which you may find useful.
How would the owner of an online store understand that he needs a mobile app?
As is the case with a site, this is not for everyone. For example, if you sell large items for construction in the B2B segment, it is unlikely that such a solution will be particularly useful for you. There is no point expecting sales of metal roofing or aerated concrete blocks to grow because you’ve released an app.
At the same time, there are a number of niches, especially in the B2C segment, for which a mobile app will be a good investment: clothes, cosmetics, food, books, etc. This is a working tool, but it is important to understand that it is not a magic wand that can help everyone.
It is worth considering developing an e-commerce mobile app if:
- you have a fairly large base of buyers on the site;
- the share of conversion from mobile devices is 20% or higher;
- there is a potential for repeat sales – that is, the product does not belong to the single purchase category (for example, house furniture);
- you don’t want to fall behind competitors – everything is simple here: if your competitors are already getting their own apps, then obviously it is worth considering a similar step.
If users make purchases in your store from time to time, then a mobile app is the tool that will increase the number of transactions several fold.
15 Tips for Build Successful E-commerce Mobile App
The key to creating a successful e-commerce app is to provide a good level of usability and integrating a number of mandatory functions, which are of great importance for this type of software product.
Product search. The buyer should be able to quickly find the product he needs by name or another keyword, and not have to waste time browsing the catalog manually.
Product recommendations. Based on the data on the behavior of a particular user and the audience of the online store as a whole, you can create useful recommendations for products for purchasing or adding to the order already in the basket.
Customer reviews. The ability to rate and add reviews by other users is one of the key functions of an e-commerce mobile app. They increase the level of trust, help customers make a decision on the choice of a product, and increase the conversion rate.
High-quality photo with zoom function. Customers should be able to view the product in more detail by scaling the photo on the smartphone screen.
Filters in the catalog. Advanced filters for finding products based on several criteria make it easier for customers to find the right products. If there are hundreds or thousands of products in the catalog, this is a must-have option.
Different payment methods. The most common payment methods when buying goods in online stores are bank/credit cards, PayPal and other payment gateways, and cash on delivery. Provide your potential clients with several options to choose from.
Discounts and promo codes. Bonuses can be offered for downloading and installing an app, among other things, which will quickly increase the audience of the mobile app.
Push-notifications. You can send either general information (for example, about an upcoming sale), or personalized information. This can include information about the design, dispatch and arrival of the order.
[Research by Google]
Feedback. Give your users the opportunity to clarify any information they are interested in using different communication channels. If you have a network of sales points offline, you can show them on the map.
Speaking of the user experience, when developing e-commerce apps we recommend that you stick to the following recommendations:
- simplify authorization – do not force the users to fill out long forms with many fields. Think about how to integrate the authorization with their profiles in social networks;
- take care of performance – this is even more important point than the website’s operation speed, since every additional second of waiting can reduce the level of sales;
- focus on key things – if you need to increase sales and the loyalty of the audience, integrate a product card, product recommendations, wish list and an order-processing mechanism;
- integrate order tracking – the client should be able to receive real-time information about the status of his order, the time of dispatch and arrival;
- ensure safety – this is an extremely important point when it comes to an e-commerce app; it is important not only to set such a task to the developers, but also to notify the users about it, assuring them of the transaction security guarantees;
- the cost of shipping and the time of delivery – this is plain information that can be displayed without any problems in the form of information blocks on the app’s screen, but it gives the user confidence that he will receive his order on time.
It should be noted that this is far from a full list of recommendations, but they are a very good place to start. The process of development and improvement never ends, and further decisions will need to be made based on analytics and feedback from users.
Having made a decision to work with the mobile audience through the app, you need to enter the market not with an MVP, but with a product that is basically ready: with key options for convenient shopping, product recommendations and thought-out user experience.
The development of an e-commerce mobile app as an addition to the website of the online store gives the business a number of advantages, and it’s not just about a new channel of sales and marketing, but also the opportunity to get valuable user analytics.
By collecting data on user behavior in your app, you can improve it and provide them with a better experience, thus gaining an important competitive advantage.
Lvivity’s long-term experience in software development allows us to create successful products for our customers in different niches. If you are looking for a reliable technology partner for creating an e-commerce application – contact us, and we will help you translate your ideas into reality!