The ecommerce industry has exploded in the post-Covid era. And more and more of it is happening on mobile devices, as people look exclusively to their phones for shopping. This is why it’s increasingly important to have a mobile app for your online store.
Customers expect to have a fantastic mobile experience, and an app can provide that experience. It can also help you stand out from competitors that are behind the curve.
If you are ready to turn your online store into a mobile app, check out the information below to help you get started.
Definition and overview of ecommerce mobile apps
An ecommerce app, sometimes called a mobile commerce app or m-commerce app, is software designed for customers to explore and buy products from online stores. This benefits both businesses and customers.
Brands can interact directly with customers in a dedicated space, while customers can personalize their shopping experience. The right platform makes the ecommerce mobile app development process quite straightforward for businesses looking to make this.
Comparison with web-based ecommerce sites
Mobile commerce is different from web-based ecommerce sites in that they have a downloadable app.
There are many ecommerce stores that are mobile-friendly. You can use your mobile phone to shop at these stores, yet they do not have an ecommerce app to put on your phone or tablet. You can also shop the desktop sites with ecommerce stores but not with the mobile app.
It’s also important to note that mobile ecommerce apps differ from social commerce, which involves selling products through social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. While social commerce is a growing trend, an ecommerce app specifically refers to standalone software connected to a particular brand.
The Process of creating an ecommerce mobile app
App development is a big project, whether you choose to go with a native app or an in-the-box solution. In-the-box solutions are great because you can release them quickly, but unlike native apps, there is very minimal customization available.
Native apps offer a robust arena of functionality and individuality, so you can create the ideal app for your store. Let’s look at what this entails.
Research and planning
The first step to creating a mobile app that will create a good customer experience is to do your research. Define the app’s purpose, target audience, and features. Take time to understand market trends and customer expectations.
This phase sets the foundation for your app’s success, guiding your decisions every step of the way.
Choosing a mobile app development platform
Review several different mobile app development platforms. Look into what the customer experience will be like, but also see what it works like for you on the back end.
Are you looking for an Android app? iOS? Both? Is it easy to use? Does it have good integration capabilities? Is it scalable for future use? Find one that will meet all the needs of your store as it is now and what you are hoping for in the future.
Designing the user interface and user experience
Design an intuitive user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) that facilitates smooth navigation, visual appeal, and ease of use.
Your goal should be to create a seamless journey for your customers. Their interactions with your app should be enjoyable and efficient. They shouldn’t have to struggle to navigate or find what they need.
Developing and testing the app
Collaborate with developers to transform your app’s design into a usable product. Create the functionality you want for your app users. Use this time to create an app that gives your shoppers a personalized user experience.
Rigorously test the app to ensure it operates smoothly and is free from bugs or glitches. Attention to detail and patience are key during this phase as you work to meet the high standards you want for your app.
Integrating with ecommerce systems and payment gateways
Integrate your app with backend ecommerce systems and payment gateways. This allows customers to explore products, add them to carts, and make secure transactions.
A seamless data flow is crucial here to enhance user experience and instill confidence in your app.
Launching the app and marketing it
Prepare a strategic launch and marketing plan to announce your app to the world. Utilize social media, email campaigns, paid ads, and other promotional strategies to generate interest.
Make the debut of your mcommerce app memorable. A successful launch marks the app’s entry into the digital marketplace.
Key features of an ecommerce mobile app
There are certain features that shoppers have come to expect from ecommerce mobile apps. This functionality makes for a seamless shopping experience and brand loyalty.
Here are a few things your app builder should include in your app.
User registration and login
Your shoppers can enjoy a seamless shopping experience by having user registration and login. When users create an account, they can access their past purchases and current orders, track shipments, and manage their preferences and notifications.
This personalized touch ensures a smoother checkout process. It lets shoppers pick up where they left off, making your shopping journey efficient. It also gives you the option to give them exclusive discounts in the future.
Product browsing and search
Empower your mobile users by giving them the ability to explore a wide array of products. The product browsing and search feature lets you locate items and compare options. Your users can save time and find what is needed and get to the checkout quickly.
By having this feature, you save your users from having to sift through numerous pages of products they may not be interested in. This can enhance their overall satisfaction and bring them back to your store in the future.
Shopping cart and checkout
The shopping cart and checkout features need to give your shoppers a hassle-free shopping experience. Let them add products as they go, and make it easy for them to add, delete, and review their selections.
Shopping online should be easy and the frustration of difficult shopping carts turns users away from stores. Streamline this process as much as you can to avoid cart abandonment by your shoppers.
Pro Tip: This is also a good place to upsell. If there are similar items to what a user is buying, display them off to the side where a user can easily click an “add to cart” button.
Payment gateway integration
Your payment gateway is a crucial piece of your integration. Your users want to purchase items, knowing their financial data is secure.
This feature encrypts payment information and provides various secure payment options. By eliminating worries about data breaches, your shoppers can make purchases without hesitation.
Order tracking and history
Let your shoppers stay informed about purchases every step of the way with order tracking and history. Real-time updates on order status and delivery times let your shoppers feel like they are in control of their purchases.
Having easy access to order history also lets users reorder items they love, always drawing them back to your ecommerce business.
Push notifications and alerts
Give your customers push notifications and alerts to keep them in the know about deals, promotions, and order updates.
Allowing them to enable push notifications keeps shoppers connected to your store. Use it to notify customers when their orders ship or about big upcoming ecommerce store events.
Social media integration
Open up your mobile websites and mcommerce store to social media. Allow shoppers to share your store with friends and followers through your social media integrations.
Potential consumers will see their thoughts and reviews and may look to your store for future purchases. Social media allows you to get input, recommendations, and feedback from your network, so you can make informed decisions going forward.
Results and benefits of having an ecommerce mobile app
Mobile browsers can provide an okay experience for users on ecommerce websites, but they are often clunky and difficult. By building a mobile app, you’ll see a host of benefits for your ecommerce store.
Increased sales and revenue
An ecommerce mobile app is a potent tool for boosting sales and revenue. It allows your customers to shop online anytime, anywhere, resulting in higher sales and more frequency and volume.
With personalized recommendations and tailored offers, mobile apps entice users to explore more products and make extra purchases. You can drive immediate sales by enabling push notifications to alert customers about new discounts and products. An app’s ability to offer a seamless buying experience contributes to the uptick in revenue.
Better customer retention and loyalty
One major advantage of having an ecommerce mobile app is its capacity to nurture customer loyalty and retention. It provides a space for customers to engage with your brand’s products. Users can also track orders, and receive exclusive rewards. This gives them a sense of belonging.
By providing your customers with a personalized experience, you strengthen the emotional connection to your brand. Repeat purchases become normal as users find it easy to return and shop within your app. This results in enhanced customer lifetime value and sustained revenue growth.
Higher conversion rates and average order value
Ecommerce mobile apps are adept at driving higher conversion rates and elevating the average order value. Intuitive design and streamlined checkout processes minimize friction, reducing cart abandonment rates.
Features like saved payment methods and shipping information expedite the purchasing process. Your app’s ability to suggest complementary products or bundles can encourage users to add items to their carts. By increasing average order value and having improved conversion, you’ll start seeing increased revenues.
Enhanced brand awareness and reputation
Your ecommerce mobile app makes it a pivotal asset in enhancing your brand awareness and reputation. The app creates a presence on users’ devices, reinforcing your brand’s identity and values.
Regular interactions with an app foster brand recognition and make it more likely for users to choose your app over competitors. Because apps can deliver high-quality experiences, it creates positive thoughts about the business. When your customers share feedback about their experiences, you gain credibility. This helps attract prospective customers and helps you get a loyal following.
Improved user experience and customer satisfaction
Mobile shopping apps tend to improve customer satisfaction, leading to higher conversion rates. This elevated user experience stems from a user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, and the option to easily search for products on the app. These features simplify the shopping journey. Customers can find products, browse through categories, and make purchases with minimal effort.
Having saved preferences, order history, and quick reordering contributes to a smoother experience. The result is increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Final thoughts on mcommerce apps
The transformation of an online store into an ecommerce mobile app brings forth a host of tangible benefits. The ever-expanding ecommerce landscape, particularly in the post-Covid era, has shifted shopping preferences towards mobile phones and other devices.
The convenience of these apps caters to this shift by providing customers with a seamless shopping experience, driving increased ecommerce sales and revenue for the store owner. The app’s personalized features foster better customer retention and loyalty, augmenting customer lifetime value.
This transition also yields higher conversion rates and average order values due to streamlined navigation and simplified checkout processes. Since you’re offering a dedicated platform to your customer, the app amplifies brand awareness and creates ecommerce success. Customers find it easier to engage with your brand, leading to improved credibility and a broader reach.
With user-friendly interfaces, intuitive navigation, and efficient search capabilities, apps simplify the shopping journey. As the ecommerce industry continues to evolve, leveraging the power of a mobile app has become a strategic move for many businesses aiming to remain competitive and relevant in the digital marketplace.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is having an ecommerce mobile app important for your online store?
An ecommerce mobile app is crucial as more shoppers turn to their mobile device. It provides convenience, personalized experiences, and streamlined shopping, leading to higher sales and customer loyalty. With better conversion rates and average order values, it enhances your brand reputation and offers an improved user experience.
How does an ecommerce mobile app differ from a mobile-friendly website?
An ecommerce mobile app offers a dedicated, downloadable experience beyond a mobile-friendly site. It enables personalized features like order history and push notifications.
What steps are involved in creating an ecommerce mobile app?
Creating an ecommerce app begins with research and planning, defining purpose and features. Choose a suitable platform, design an intuitive UI/UX, collaborate with developers for functionality and testing, integrate with ecommerce systems, and launch strategically through other channels.