Learn how to build your own ecommerce mobile app to start making more sales, improve business and more, without learning coding.
If an online store wants to acquire and retain customers effectively, it needs to give the best customer experience. The way to go about this is by connecting with customers on all touchpoints available, providing a great experience each time.
The essential point is to have a seamless mobile experience in today’s world. Mobile app traffic now accounts for over 60% of all traffic, with mobile sales quickly catching up. Furthermore, while in-store, a shopkeeper checks out the mobile site of that store as well.
With these figures, giving a quality mobile experience is not just helpful; it is paramount if you want to do business online. Retailers must prioritize and optimize shopping apps or risk leaving money on the table.
But how can you create an effective eCommerce mobile app that results in more visitors, sales, and recurring customers, without learning how to write code? You are about to find out as you read further.
To set up an eCommerce mobile app, follow the steps to understand what you need:
1. Figure out the goals for your eCommerce app
Before you start creating your eCommerce mobile app, it is essential to know what you want and how you will gauge success. Your goals and KPIs will directly impact the features you need, your development process, and more.
To determine your goals, you should know your current stance. How much traffic is generated by your store monthly? How much of it is mobile? What is your mobile conversion rate?
Like most stores, you may be losing some of your online business due to friction. An eCommerce app can help with that by optimizing your checkout process and maximizing conversions at every funnel stage.
Suppose you are a B2-B eCommerce store that wants to improve mobile loyalty and get more of your returning customers. In that case, you need to prioritize your feature requirements to achieve more commitment. Your key features will be easy re-ordering segmented push notifications.
After identifying your wants and needs, get specific on how you want to measure success. What are your KPIs, and how will you source data about them? If you can’t answer this question, it will be hard to succeed with your eCommerce app.
2. Who are you creating your eCommerce mobile app for?
Once you know what you want to achieve, think about who your audience is. B@B customers may require a different experience than B2C customers, but that is not all that there is to it. Knowing your target audience will streamline your development process and improve your app marketing.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What is the average age of my audience?
- Where do their interests lie?
- Which products do they like and will buy?
- What do they read?
- How will they find us?
The answers to these questions and your niche expertise will help shape the scope of the eCommerce app you create.
For instance, a B2C fashion retailer might feature lookbooks and market to a specific audience through App Store Optimization (ASO). A B2B retailer may focus on quick checkouts and repeat purchases. A retailer with physical stores might want to find ways to link their digital and physical touchpoints.
3. Choose the right technology
Now that you know who you are serving and what your goals are, it is time to make another choice regarding the app type. For eCommerce retailers, there are two flavors from which you can choose. They are Progressive Web Apps and Native Apps.
Progressive Web Apps are next-generation websites that give the same kind of speed, interactivity, and performance as a native app, but without being able to download from app stores. They are an excellent option if you have so much mobile Traffic on your brand website and if your budget is more limited.
Native Apps, on the other hand, are downloaded from an app store and stored on the user’s phone. Compared to Progressive Web Apps that work across platforms, native apps have to be developed separately for iOS and Android users. As a consequence of this Operating System specific development, native apps use all the features a mobile phone has to offer. They offer the best, most optimized experience possible. They are fast and intuitive. They have native gestures like taps and can access databases, contacts, galleries, and aspects such as the camera.
Although users need to download the app from the app store can pose a problem, about 500 million people visit the apple app store weekly. If you optimize your app, it is easily discoverable, and you can get lots of new visitors this way.
4. List the requirements to create an eCommerce app.
Now that you know the direction to go and ways to develop your eCommerce app, it is time to draw up a list of its must-haves. Gather your team and start brainstorming on requirements. For some ideas of what may be on your list, see a few points from customers.
- Push messages: These are critical to any modern eCommerce app.
- Easy checkouts: it does two things. First, it streamlines initial purchases. Second, it makes repeat purchases more effortless and more straightforward. It makes it paramount for eCommerce, both B2C and B2B.
- Look books: A functional popular fashion specific feature. Although, we see it used in different contexts as well.
- Wish-lists: This is popular for B2C retailers but also B2-B buyers. The reason is that B2B customers will carry out repeat purchases. You can make repeat purchases faster through a wish-list.
- Multiple relevant payment options: it is essential to give all payment options usually accepted in one’s target countries. For instance, US and EU customers expect you to buy cards, but southeast Asian businesses also want mobile payment options like WeChat.
- Custom branding and design elements: They help improve brand prestige and the overall feel of an app.
- A review/rating system: Customers depend on their opinions to evaluate buying items. It is good to create an in-app way for them to do so.
- Back end synchronization: In a perfect world, you don’t want to manage a separate back end for your app. look for ways to use your existing back end with your app through synchronization instead.
- Social media integration can be valuable, mainly if you aim at millennials and other young generations.
- Native experiences: It is the last but not the minor feature like swipes, taps, touches, and using screen space optimally.
5. Pick the proper budget and process.
Now that you have sorted what your eCommerce app needs in terms of feature requirements, it is time to look at the budget and process.
The questions here are: How much time, money, and resources do you want to invest? And how much flexibility do you desire when sending out push messages, adding new features, changing your design, etc.
Depending on the amount you are willing to invest and how flexible you need to be, you will choose one of two main options: Develop a bespoke app or use an off-the-shelf SaaS solution.
6. Create a good UI/UX design
The experience in using an ecommerce app should transcend beyond the person shopping. It is important to have a suitable UI/UX design in order to stand out. the design will serve as your voice and business identity for your target customers. Having good color schemes, visuals that are appealing and fluid transitions from one page to another are the things that make a lasting impression on your customers.
7. Gather Feedback
This is the process of checking how users interact with your app, capture feedback and seek out possible improvements. Collecting feedback is significant in ecommerce app development as it helps you to figure out what works for your target audience and what doesn’t.
If you notice the players in the eCommerce market, we see that the design is never constant. Rather, it is constantly evolving and adapting to the needs of the market and end users.
How to make a bespoke app
Carrying out this process, you will need to hire a development team to create a brand new app. This is what brands like Amazon usually do and you should do it for two reasons. First, a bespoke app allows you to be very specific about your requirements. Second, they typically need complex integrations. When money is not an issue, a customized app can meet particular demands.
With that, bespoke apps are expensive to build and maintain. If things go wrong, they can pose a problem unless you can keep developers on staff or permanently on call.
Creating SAAS solution
This option is usually the choice of small and medium-sized stores. With some adjustments, it also fits big stores perfectly. Ecommerce apps based on SAAS technology are fast and easy to launch (a matter of weeks). Their shorter timeframe is because an intelligent plugin can be inserted into a PWA or native app. with SAAS solutions, you can’t just select any feature or integration you want. You only pick the available features. SAAS solutions usually offer all the features websites need to be successful on mobile.
Market your app
After creating your app, it is essential to market your app to get frequent downloads. It makes no point building a perfect eCommerce app that does not get as many downloads.
In conclusion, it is essential to build an eCommerce mobile app so that your business gets to an audience comprised of mobile device users who are on the go most of the time. This way, you can reach a broader range of prospects that you can convert to become customers.
You may also like to read our latest article, What is eCommerce Integration And 5 Ways To Quickly Get it Done?