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How to Build an E-Commerce App

SCAND
Custom software development company headquartered in Minsk, Belarus.
Updated on ・6 min read

E-commerce has proven to be not a temporary trend but a crucial and fast-developing element of the global economy. It’s a flexible solution for both customers and business owners.

E-commerce allows buyers to purchase goods and services immediately regardless of their location. Businesses, meanwhile, get an opportunity to expand their distribution channels and acquire a larger market share.

Online shopping continues to grow, and it seems like it won't be slowing down. According to Oberlo, the total number of digital buyers is estimated to reach 2,14 billion people in 2021. What is more, e-commerce is expanding and by the end of 2023 is expected to comprise 22% of global retail trade. Thus, to keep up with market trends, stay competitive, and attract new customers it’s necessary to consider e-commerce development services.

In this article, we gathered some handy tips on how to build an effective e-commerce app that will improve your business performance.

Key Steps for E-commerce App Development

The process of successful e-commerce application development includes several important steps.

Research

The process of app development starts with defining the goals of the project and expanding the idea. At this stage, you have to keep an eye on the competitors. Fierce market competition makes businesses come up with innovative and unique ideas that will capture a specific market niche. The poor idea that doesn’t have any outstanding features won’t stand tall and will lead to the project’s failure.

Having specified the details it’s time to form technical requirements that usually include basic information (goals, scalability, etc.), functional requirements (user roles, integration, UI/UX), non-functional requirements (security, performance, etc.), and ways of implementing.

Choosing the Technology

When it comes to choosing a technology for e-commerce app development there is an option to develop a native mobile app and look for Android app development or iOS app development services or opt for a Progressive Web Application (PWA).

Native applications, be it iOS or Android apps, are developed separately for each system and are available at a respective app store. They ensure a seamless customer experience offering an intuitive interface, a wide choice of native features, and an easy tap into device functions (camera, GPS, accelerator, etc.). Despite their advantages, native applications are usually more difficult to be developed and, as a result, more expensive.

PWA is a new type of application with native-like characteristics. Progressive web apps adjust to different platforms and devices. They offer efficient performance, native-like features, and high speed without making customers download the app from the store. In contrast to native apps, they are more cost-cutting and time-efficient on the development stage. As for shortcomings, they don’t have full integration with device features and need more battery power.

Defining Main Features

A robust e-commerce application should be feature-rich to comply with growing customer demands. Let’s look into the list of core functionalities that can be extended depending on the goals of your company.

  • Easy registration. Registration is an inevitable part of using an application. It influences customers’ first impression and their decision whether to continue using it or not. Thus, this process has to be simple and fast. Nowadays, it’s also possible to cut the registration time enabling signing in with one click via social media accounts.
  • Clear checkout. When creating a mobile e-commerce app developers should concentrate not only on building easy navigation for choosing the items but also on the clear checkout process. Well-structured checkout boosts customer satisfaction during the first buying experience and increases the chances that they will return to your platform.
  • Flexible payment options. It’s important to equip your e-commerce app with different ways of payment to meet the demands of a wider target audience. Not only should it have the support of credit and debit cards but also different e-wallets, mobile payments, cryptocurrencies, etc. A big choice of payment solutions will let you benefit from a robust user experience and an increased number of orders.
  • Push-notifications. It’s a crucial feature that brings users back to the app. Push notifications usually inform customers about the latest arrivals, sales, promotions, etc. This tool lets businesses improve customer engagement and receive higher profits.
  • Wish-lists. A wish-list lets customers mark the items they want to purchase making their buying experience more convenient. Moreover, it helps companies to achieve increased sales by informing clients about promotions applicable to the wish-list goods.

Development

Budget planning depends not only on the number of features that you want to include into your e-commerce app but also on the following aspects:

  • I/UX design. User interface design is one of the most important components that define the success of the app. By creating responsive and consistent UI the company ensures a seamless user experience and robust app performance. UI/UX development costs depend on the complexity of the app (number of screens, visual elements, etc.).
  • Location of the development company. The price for the development services can vary significantly due to the difference in the hourly rate. Nowadays, it becomes popular to outsource development services to an offshore company since it helps to receive a high-quality final product at minimal cost.
  • Testing. Testing the app helps to identify problems in the app’s consistency and efficiency. The number of hours and resources spent on the testing phase depends on the size of the project and its complexity.
  • Maintenance. When developing for Android and iOS platforms, it’s necessary to ensure that your e-commerce app will support the updates of these systems. Therefore, adding maintenance costs to the budget will help to keep your app efficient in the future. ## The Best e-Commerce Apps The process of building an e-commerce app doesn’t finish with launching it on the market. Companies have to pay much attention to their customers’ needs and preferences to go forward and stand tall among competitors.

Here are some examples of the best e-commerce applications that managed to gain a leading market position.

Amazon

According to Statista, Amazon was the most popular e-commerce app by reach in the US in 2019 having about 150,6 million mobile users accessing the app.

Although Amazon started as a bookstore, nowadays it offers customers a wide choice of goods from different categories. It allows buyers to check the details about the product, read reviews, compare the prices, check the availability of the goods, etc. Amazon works through both web and native mobile applications providing its customers with a robust and convenient shopping experience.

Walmart

In the list of top e-commerce applications, Amazon is followed by Walmart. Walmart app lets customers create shopping lists, search items with a barcode scanner, mark filters, find and compare goods, etc. This application comes up with a unique payment solution “Walmart Pay”. It allows customers to acquire any product by scanning a QR code and submitting the transaction with a pin or biometrical data.

eBay

eBay application has gained popularity due to its outstanding customer experience. It provides buyers with advanced search functions, filter options, barcode scanning, profound product description, and many other features. Moreover, the list of the products is so rich that even the most demanding customers will find what they need. eBay takes care of all of its 182 million customers making its app easy-to-use and effective.

Conclusion

E-commerce is the present and the future of the modern market. It provides businesses with new solutions to extend their product range, gain a wider audience reach, and increase profits. Thus, if you have been hesitating about creating an e-commerce app for your business it’s time to consider this option more seriously.

Following our tips and paying more attention to the selection of application core features will help you to build an effective and robust e-commerce app that will lead your company to the top of the market competition. Moreover, since there is a big choice of e-commerce development companies you will be able to find the one that will help you fully implement your ideas and achieve better company performance.

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