E-Commerce

E-сommerce App Development Guide: Benefits, Features & Trends to Know

12 November 2021 • 19 min read
E-сommerce App Development Guide: Benefits, Features & Trends to Know
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Slava Ivanov
Slava Ivanov
Global IT partnerships and Strategic development
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Slava Vaniukov
Written by Slava Vaniukov
CEO and Co-Founder at Softermii

eCommerce mobile app usage is increasing these days incrementally, especially after COVID-19. If you're an online shop owner and want to expand your business, you need to consider developing your mobile commerce app for your clients.

In this article, you will learn how to make an eCommerce app: design trends, key features, challenges, success stories, and much more. Article is based on Softermii’s experience with Dollar Shave Club and other mcommerce projects.

mCommerce statistics

Let's dive into some online retail insights and how a mobile shift is changing it. Keep in mind that today it's almost impossible to thrive in the eCommerce business now without a mobile solution.

According to Statista, mobile retail commerce revenue via smartphones will generate 221.2 billion US dollars in the United States in 2021. The source projected smartphone retail commerce sales to surpass 400 billion US dollars by 2024, nearly double the forecast for 2021.

Retail m-commerce sales via smartphone in the United States from 2020 to 2024

Source: Statista

Moreover, 72.7% of people in the United States own at least one smartphone and use it at least once per month. This potential is beneficial for your mobile eCommerce app.

Smartphone penetration rate as share of the population in the United States from 2010 to 2021

Source: Statista

What else you need to remember is that the eCommerce industry is highly competitive. Hence, to retain your users in your app, it needs to follow the most effective UX tips for a shopping app, be innovative, and use cutting-edge technologies. But, of course, in chasing the retail trends, don't forget that the primary purposes of your app should be to meet your business purposes, your clients' needs, and follow existing market trends.

Even if you already have an existing application, that doesn't mean your job is done. You'll often need to update the software so that it doesn't seem outdated to new users.

Hence, all the trends in m-commerce and technologies of the online shopping industry are the guidelines you should consider when developing your mobile app.

Read also: Livestream e-Commerce: Why It Transform Online Shopping

Custom mCommerce App Design Best Practices

A good e-commerce app design can help you attract more new customers. Unsurprisingly, UI and UX are key parts of creating your solution because users will see the visual first. Therefore, you need to know what to look for when building a mobile app for an eCommerce business.

So, we'll tell you about the main design trends in this direction. Some of them may seem obvious. Still, it is vital to remember them when designing an app.

Simplicity

Designers often think that the more features a mobile app has, the more likely it's to succeed. But it doesn't work like this. Users want to interact with simple and logical elements in the application. People don't like wasting time trying to figure out how things work. Therefore, there is no need to complicate things that you can simplify.

Photo zoom

Imagine yourself in your client's shoes. You go to a mobile application and find the product you need. You are happy with the price and features but want to look closer at it. And here comes the time for zooming in photos. Thus, it is crucial to use high-quality images in the application.

Easy and fast login

With the advancement of technology, users are becoming more demanding. They want to login into mobile apps quickly and easily. Think about which method you could use: Face ID, Touch ID, or a 4-digit password.

The client should be thinking about buying goods in the app, not complicated authorization. By simplifying this process, you also help your business by ensuring a customer stays with you.

Key Features of an eCommerce Mobile App

Companies worldwide create and update their eCommerce Mobile Apps every day. You can see many different functions there, but there are a few key ones. We're going to show you them using Amazon Shopping as an example.

User registration

Sign in to Amazon shopping

After downloading your app, users create an account. It allows for personalizing the user experience and making it easier for them to purchase. You need to add the ability for the client to customize the profile, manage their bank cards and digital wallets.

What's more, you can better understand your customers to offer them relevant products based on their purchase history and views. We also recommend that you add the ability to register and authorize through your social network account.

Search bar

Search bar in eCommerce mobile app

You add many different products to your eCommerce mobile app. Undoubtedly, they can all be useful to your customers. But here, it is important to make a visible search bar to find the desired product quickly. Moreover, it is worth adding filters and a query auto-completion.

Basket

Basket in eCommerce mobile app

And now customers have selected your products and added them to the cart. Then they can continue to look for something else to buy. You can even set a timer for the item's duration in the cart to nudge users to reach the end. But maybe your customers have questions about the products. What should they do then?

Customer reviews

Customer reviews in eCommerce mobile app

Yes, users can view reviews for selected products. This feature helps them evaluate all the pros and cons of a product. This approach increases the level of trust in your eCommerce mobile app.

Checkout

Checkout in eCommerce mobile app

Now, your customers are almost at the finish line. So, it's important to make the payment process as simple and fast as possible. Think carefully about all the details and margins on this page. After payment, users should see the status of their order in their online account.

eCommerce Mobile Apps Tech Stack

The technology stack is a set of programming languages, frameworks, and other tools for developing and operating various types of web applications. It consists of two key parts:

  • Front-end: HTML, CSS, JavaScript (React, Vue, Angular)
  • Back-end (Swift, Kotlin, Java, Python)

At Softermii, we're using the following popular technologies for e-commerce application development for businesses from a wide range of industries:

Popular technologies for e-commerce application development

Cost to Build a Mobile e-commerce App

The cost and time of development of an e-commerce app depend on various factors:

  • The number and complexity of the required functions
  • Number of platforms
  • Developer rates

Besides, application features are divided into three types:

  • Customer Panel: Product Comparison Tool, Product Detailing (Image & Video Gallery), Personalized Results & Notifications, Product Wishlist, Product List & Categorization
  • Vendor Panel: Active Subscription Plan, Managing Catalogue & Orders, Set-up & Management of Multiple Stores, Registration/Login, Automatic adjustment of Inventory on sale
  • Admin Panel: Dashboard Management, Manage Users (Customer/Seller), Manage Product category/subcategory, Login Input with Login ID & Password, Manage Promotions, Rewards, Points

When starting an m-commerce project, it's better to firstly develop a basic set of features that will serve as a base ground for future solution development according to a business vision. You may go with common practice or breath in new life into something new that customers have never experienced before. Challenge us with your ideas – contact Softermii.

The basic set of features for Minimal Viable Product:

  1. Security, including encryption, credential management, integration with social media
  2. Roles configuration: customer, guest, vendor, admin.
  3. Product Catalog management: Product repository and inventory, Archive, drafting Products.
  4. Admin console, including analytics dashboard, user moderation, email campaigns.
  5. Search and Filtering.
  6. Product page: description, pics, reviews, availability, buying options, etc.
  7. Product Cart: payment, delivery address, and products management
  8. Payment Gateway.
  9. Order Workflow: order processing handling through the warehouse, shipping, tracking, and delivery.

Below you can see the approximate resource costs for each stage of the application creation. You can understand what budget you need and when to plan a project launch date.

UI/UX design

Time: 280 hours for initial platform (or 35 working days); 120 to 180 hours (or 15 to 22 working days) for additional

Cost: $8 400

You also need to create an eCommerce mobile app design. Designers and developers must work together to make the most convenient and understandable solution. The interface should look equally good on devices with different screen sizes.

Front-end and back-end development

Time: 640 hours or 80 working days

Cost: $25 600

This stage is a key part of your future project in terms of time and cost. Developers create your system architecture, link databases to dataflow, create mechanisms, and much more. It takes solid expertise in building eCommerce apps.

Testing

Time: 240 hours or 30 working days

Cost: $6 480

Testing your mobile application helps show you some flaws that professionals can quickly and easily correct, even at the stage of product creation. Only after this stage can you understand the level of readiness of your project. And you will know that your customers will not encounter errors.

Creating technical documentation

Time: 40 hours or 5 working days

Cost: $1 600

The company's IT specialists create a document that contains all the necessary information about your application.

So, we figured out the approximate prices and time for each stage of development. And now, for convenience, we will present all this below in one table.

# Stages Time Cost

1

Front-end and back-end development

640 hours

$25 600

2

UI/UX design

280 hours

$8 400

3

Testing

240 hours

$6 480

4

Creating technical documentation

40 hours

$1 600

Total

1 200 hours (5 month)

$42 080

Softermii Logo

Do you want to get the precise time and the cost of an e-commerce project development? Contact our Softermii team, and we will help you.

Challenges of an m-commerce app development

It would be best to consider that custom eCommerce mobile app development is complex. Therefore, you need to analyze what challenges your solution will face. And you will understand whether you will be ready for them in the future.

Ensuring seamless operation 24/7

Will your application handle a thousand users simultaneously? What about 10 or 100 thousand? Will it work correctly and without crashing every second? Before launching the mobile application, you will need to test it a lot, answering these questions. We advise you to be very responsible about this.

Avoid making mistakes in the application so as not to disappoint your existing and potential customers. Turn this challenge into your competitive advantage.

Guaranteeing data security

We understand that users will leave their data in the cabinet of your mobile e-commerce app. In addition, customers can still add information about their bank cards to purchase your products. Think through how to ensure the safety of all these important components. Don't forget about legislation regulating private data.

Making the app market-ready

You can create an eCommerce app that has good potential for successful results. But before you start developing, you need to understand which market you target. Do people have smartphones there, and how often do they use them for online shopping? You can try to enter a market with similar applications or where the right conditions have just formed. Get a clear picture of where you plan to launch your application – and tailor it to the market demands.

Optimizing development time

Building a mobile app for an eCommerce business can be time-consuming depending on budget, the number of features, and other components. Perhaps you would like to create an MVP first to evaluate its performance much earlier. You can even test this option on the market and see if it's worth spending resources on creating the full version at all.

eCommerce Mobile App Trends to Expect in 2022

At this point, we're going to talk about some of the top eCommerce mobile app trends that you can expect in the year 2022. These trends will help you understand how to develop a mobile e-commerce app.

VR and AR Integration

A virtual showroom can allow you to "try on" any article of clothing or accessory, from glasses to sneakers. All you have to do is point the camera at the desired part of the body. Such an easy-to-use mechanism assures customers to look at products they might not have originally intended to buy. You can apply AR to clothing and furniture, interior design items, and cosmetics.

VR/AR integration in eCommerce mobile app

The integration of AR occurs through the selection and installation of a suitable SDK. Among the most popular are Google ARCore, ARToolKit, Vuforia, and Apple ARKit.

Visual Search For Goods

The technology of visual search has developed by leaps and bounds in recent years as well. Images respond to the idea of ​​a search more than keywords since they are queries in themselves. Search engines also interact better with visual components, which leads to more accurate results.

Visual Search for Goods in eCommerce mobile app

Digital Wallets

Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal are some of the digital wallets you should introduce for your eCommerce business. Besides making the payment process easy, you need to care about integrating the most common payment platforms for your targeted audience into your shop app. According to Statista, apps like Apple Pay or Google Pay in North America are believed to double between 2020 and 2025, although the Asian market size will be significantly larger.

BMarket size of mobile wallet transactions in various regions worldwide in 2020 with forecasts from 2021 to 2025

Source: Statista

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Integration

Product recommendations can be improved to an unprecedented level due to the capabilities of ML. In the future, this technology will be able to offer products depending on your plans, desires, or even current weather patterns. Your e-commerce app development should take this into account.

Data analysis is another area where ML will be useful. The peak of machine learning potential lies in prediction, which goes far beyond human capabilities. It allows us to access an astounding range of information. Because of this database on which to draw, ML can make decisions leading to sales growth more accurately than a human ever could.

Softermii Experience

Our specialists at Softermii have extensive experience in mobile app development, especially eCommerce. And we would like to share with you some of our cases.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club

Softermii development team has created the eCommerce app Dollar Shave Club. It provides men with personalized packages and delivery of razor blades, handles, aftershaves, and other male shaving products. Here we will show you all the details we faced.

The task (challenge)

The client had an inefficient and poorly designed mobile app that users didn't like. And we needed to fix that. We had to redevelop the mobile app from the ground up.

Solutions

Our expertise in mobile app development helped us set a clear action plan. Apart from creating an Android app, we A/B tested it to secure great performance results across all devices and social user groups. And our dedicated team helped boost the Dollar Shave Club's conversion rates.

Results

The results of our work appeared pretty quickly. The number of people that use the app increased from around 3,900 to over nearly 500,000. Moreover, our team helped the company get acquired for a billion US dollars.

Besides the updated design, our specialists have added several new features to the application:

  • Buying shaving products in 1 click
  • Scanning of a credit card for payment
  • Sending a gift to the user's male friends using the mobile app

Hollar

Hollar case study

Hollar is an online discount retail platform where you can buy products at a very low price. Below we will tell you how effectively we have improved this application.

The task (challenge)

The client asked us to re-create Hollar's ease of use and intuitive Pinterest-like design in the mobile app.

Solutions

Our team implemented a better UX and a more effective app platform to push mobile sales growth. Besides, we had to update the mobile catalog to feature thousands of SKUs in various products on iOS and Android.

Results

We made an emphasis on boosting the core brand experience. Our team also added various useful features:

  • Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Improved search functionality with predictive search
  • A special friend invites on mobile to get $ credits for their purchases
  • Exclusive promotions upon mobile app login
  • Easy contact options with the customer support team for assistance

Create an eCommerce app with Softermii

Now is the perfect moment to think about creating your eCommerce mobile app. Why? Pandemic, lockdowns, and fast pace of life make people want to shop quickly and easily. Besides, smartphones are increasingly becoming an integral part of our life.

These two trends open plenty of opportunities for your eCommerce business. We understand that this is a rather difficult process, and you need to consider various factors before starting work.

If you want to create a new solution or improve the existing one, turn to IT professionals. They know how to build an e-commerce app.

We at Softermii have a high level of expertise in this area. We create eCommerce web and mobile apps from scratch (not to mention their impressive designs!). Our specialists can integrate Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning into your project.

Also, we have a dedicated team consisting of Project Managers, Business Analysts, UI/UX Designers, Mobile App Developers (iOS & Android), and Quality Assurance Engineers.

We implement your creative ideas to help your company achieve high results. Contact us to develop an eCommerce mobile app for your business or update your ready application.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of an eCommerce mobile app?

Nowadays, smartphones are everywhere – we can hardly imagine our lives without them. Therefore, building an eCommerce mobile app for your business can play an important role in your future growth. By implementing this solution, you can make users happier by taking personalization to the next level. You can also make your business more data-driven. With an app, you can track the user's browsing and purchase history to offer custom recommendations. Why? Users have to log in to their accounts in the mobile application, while on websites, they can usually buy goods without authorization.

What eCommerce Mobile App Trends can we expect in 2022?

If you are going to take up e-commerce application development, we recommend that you first familiarize yourself with the trends in this area.

IT companies integrate VR, AR, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning in mobile apps. Moreover, developers add Visual Search For Goods and Digital Wallets.

What are the time and costs of an e-commerce mobile app development?

We know that developing an eCommerce mobile app is a complex process, and all projects are unique in their way because each business has its requirements, goals, and budget. The development cost usually depends on the complexity of the needed software, the features, the involved team, and the deadlines. Contact us if you want to get the precise calculation for your project!

How to hire the right Mobile Development Firm that knows how to create an eСommerce app?

First, you should prepare a list of questions for potential developers. You have to find out about the experience of a firm, the size of the team, the cost model. Besides, you should get information from companies about their technology stacks and the number of implemented eCommerce mobile apps.

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