Today, consumers buy on the go. They want to buy and be informed in just a few clicks. Consumer behavior mostly dictates the way you’ll approach your customers and the products you’ll provide to boost your business.
Developing an eCommerce app for smartphones is a next logical step – a well-developed and user-friendly app which guides customers through your online offers and makes shopping easier than ever.
Having a mobile web presence is not enough anymore. According to a 2016 study done by Criteo, “apps close far more deals than other online shopping environments and convert three times more shoppers than mobile web”.
Building an App: Who Do I Team Up With?
You need to know what the application development process is like before you start building one. There are two ways to do it – build one yourself by using a DIY platform or outsource the job to professionals.
The three important factors to consider when making this decision are:
- App features (defines customization and app flexibility);
- Cost of development (DIY platform plan starts from $29 while professionals charge between $1000-$2,000, and;
- Time to market (DIY platform app can be ready within minutes, while app development done by developers may take 2-5 months).
What Features Should an eCommerce App Have?
Don’t try to add every single feature you can think of to your app. The most important elements of any app are Categories, Featured Products, Favorites and Cart, but also take these into consideration:
- Powerful dashboard. It will allow you to monitor the generated revenue, number of products shoppers added to cart or favorite, user behavior patterns, and number of app downloads.
- Push notifications. These notifications keep the shoppers updated. Apps with this feature have 88% higher engagement rates, and it allows you to send the updates about new arrivals, product launches, discounts and sales.
- Security updates. Protecting your app from hackers, bugs and other tech threats is high on the list of priorities.
- Auto real-time store sync. Enables the app to automatically sync with your web store.
How Should Your App Look?
The navigation should be seamless and simple, and the same goes for the layout. Google and Apple provide mobile app design guidelines that will get you started.
Maximizing the User-Experience
The online shopping experience that your app provides should make it a smooth and simple process. It should provide quality content – well-designed banners, quality product images, and easy-to-understand product descriptions. The app’s load speed should be fast, in order to provide an optimal and smooth user-experience while browsing through tens or hundreds of your products.
Also, it should have a check-out and integrated payments process. Cart abandonment will be reduced if the check-out process is optimized well, and you should offer customers multiple payment options.
Test and Promote the App
You should test your new eCommerce app to see whether there are any issues or bugs, otherwise your customers might have trouble using it. Test it thoroughly and iron out all the bugs before you launch it.
Once you launch it, promote your app by submitting to the app store, publishing a blog (to drive traffic to your website), design a separate landing page on your website for the app, submit to app review lists and sites, and take advantage of paid campaigns (Facebook Ads, Pinterest Ads, or Google Adwords).
If you automate mobile marketing activities, you can boost your conversions and service. Take self-activating messages for example – a user browses products inside your app and is automatically notified once that product goes on sale. It will boost your chances of making the sale.
Some apps can cost you nothing but still ensure efficiency and quality, while others can be expensive to design and develop. Your options depend on your needs and business requirements.
Building a great eCommerce app requires patience and commitment. Understand what your users need and implement it into your app design. Eventually, you’ll find the right formula for a great eCommerce app with features that boost your company’s sales.