This guide will cover the best eCommerce app development services, how much it costs, top app development features, and how you stand to benefit from using app development companies.
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eCommerce apps are a key category in the app stores. The increased usage of smartphones has led to customers turning to mobile for their shopping needs more and more.
The importance of developing eCommerce apps today speaks for itself. By 2025, mobile commerce will generate more than ten per cent of all retail sales in the US. An eCommerce app adds significant value to the chain of circumstances that manage business transactions.
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Yet building and developing successful eCommerce apps requires a number of must-have features to be implemented.
For example, push notifications allow you to send out alerts and offers to your customers. At the same time, the need for social media integration—so that shoppers can share product reviews between social accounts—is vital.
That’s without mentioning the importance of having multiple payment options, geolocation features, and an efficient search bar. In other words, it can be challenging to know where to start if you’re entering the world of eCommerce app development.
Fret not; we’ll cover everything you need to know.
What is an eCommerce app?
An eCommerce app (also known as a mobile commerce app) is software that allows customers to browse and purchase items from an online store via their mobile devices, whether that’s using their phone or tablet.
The best eCommerce apps are good for both customers and brands. Customers get more personalisation and can better control their shopping experience, and brands enjoy more engaged customers that stick around for years to come.
A few years ago, creating an eCommerce app or a mobile site was essentially a luxury, but now it’s becoming more of a necessity for retailers as consumer attitudes and behaviour continue to change.
Customers find eCommerce apps to be both enjoyable and valuable during the shopping experience, with features such as wishlists, loyalty and membership options and managing orders and returns wherever they are–within a short amount of time–highly convenient.
Top eCommerce App Developers
Types of eCommerce apps
Examples of eCommerce apps can be found in retail, finance, and manufacturing with both mobile and web apps. The apps typically fall under one of these four categories:
- B2B (Business-to-Business) — Amazon Business, Quill
- B2C (Business-to-Consumer) — Amazon, Domino’s
- C2B (Consumer-to-Business) — GitHub, Clutch
- C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer) — OLX, eBay
Some brands sometimes blend two or even more of these models together. The aim, of course, is to pick the right one for you, so take the time to get this part right.
Business-to-business eCommerce example
Source: Amazon Business
Other app types include eCommerce ticket booking and aggregator apps.
Ticket booking eCommerce apps are used to make bookings for cabs, hotels, live shows, games, and parties, while aggregator apps (Etsy Inc) group together and list offerings, items, or products by offering a unified platform for different service providers.
Why should I develop an eCommerce app?
For a start, the eCommerce app market is vast. Most people now complete their online purchases 24/7 through mobile devices–sometimes via a single tap–so there’s a lot of potential.
On a pure revenue growth level, it’s known that eCommerce apps such as Walmart and Amazon have generated more conversions. These apps have attracted new customers and increased revenue growth across the board.
With the widespread usage of smartphones, there’s increased visibility on offer for brands, with the possibility to reach out to users via push notifications, test out new features, and collect analytics as and when needed.
Simply put, having an eCommerce app will increase the visibility of your existing eCommerce store, meaning more visitors will browse your products and end up purchasing something while there.
Shopify eCommerce app example
Mobile apps can also load faster and be more responsive than websites, providing users with a better overall experience.
Visitors who have a bad experience on your site are unlikely to visit again. A well-made mobile eCommerce app provides an efficient UX (user experience), resulting in easier access for users–these users will come back time and time again.
That’s not to mention the power of one-to-one marketing, which enables you to target customers, as the name implies, one by one.
An eCommerce app allows you to roll out more features to impress customers, keep them loyal, and reward them–a unique and advanced environment for creating a more personal relationship that both parties benefit from overall.
What is the eCommerce app development process?
Brands need the best eCommerce app possible, one that loads quickly, runs smoothly, looks the part, and isn’t plagued by endless bugs.
Building a great eCommerce app comes down to following a well-defined process that ensures nothing gets missed along the way.
The process covers everything from finding a unique marketing idea to testing and maintenance. Let’s take a look at it.
1. Identify the niche
The first step to developing an eCommerce app is to select a suitable niche. You need to think about things such as the items you want to sell and, of course, who you’re aiming to sell them to in the first place.
This will be a preliminary look at everything from their age to their spending patterns and the time they spend using mobile devices.
2. Target audience research
Once that’s done, you need to determine the users who will most benefit from your app. You can do this by categorizing them by gender, age, occupation, and main interests.
The aim here is to understand which of your products will best help your consumers (and solve their problems). Once you know this, you’ll have a good idea of how you want to proceed overall.
3. Competitor analysis
Next, you’ll need to analyze your competitors. While this is an important part of many industries, eCommerce niches are some of the most competitive online platforms in general.
Therefore it’s important to analyze your competitors, find out the advantages you have against them, and research the promotional tools and how long it took them to become successful.
After that, you’ll be in a much better position to be able to list the features of your eCommerce app.
4. Planning important features
Here you need to think about the essential features of your app. The user experience is a big part of this, and really, it’s all about ensuring it’s as good as possible.
For example, almost all eCommerce apps will need authentication features, a social media login function, customer support service, push notification functionality, various payment options, and a rating and review system.
5. Preparing design elements
In this step, you need to think about a design that can effectively read the user’s mind and win them over. You need to consider everything from mapping, highlighting, working on registration measures, and more.
Here are some solid foundations to help get you started:
- Use a basic one-section structure to showcase your products
- Keep it simple when it comes to the cart, search, and wishlist features
- Create it so that individuals can get more information on a product, but only when they want it
- Keep graphics minimal and the interface clear and simple
- Ensure that you design an attractive logo that remains memorable
6. Choosing a platform and development
Now you need to decide whether your want your app to be on iOS or Android–neither platform is superior.
Before choosing, consider the region of your business; for instance, in North America and most of the EU, iOS apps perform well–in Asian countries and the Middle East, Android is a better bet.
eCommerce app developer example
From there, your developers will set up a model for the front-end coding of your app and will develop the API (application programming interface) as well as decide on the back-end design.
Testing an eCommerce app is critical to ensure users don’t run into frequent problems and ensures the app works as intended. For example, there are many scenarios where payment platforms don’t work correctly through the app, leaving users frustrated and eager to jump ship.
After conducting system integration and device testing, you need to start fixing those bugs–do this by running several rounds of testing. Be sure to check the following:
- The workflow of the application
- If the payment gateway is working correctly
- Compatibility for web browsing
- The integration of social media
Now we come to one of the most exciting parts: deployment; this is the stage where you need to ready your marketing materials. This is typically via social media but includes video ads to get the word out too.
Your eCommerce app needs to stay updated, and you need to be ready to deal with customer problems and solve new problems when they arise. Focus on the user experience, and the rest will sort itself.
Maintenance is a process that needs to happen long after the app is launched, so it’s best to have a long-term contract in place with an eCommerce app development service.
From there, keep your focus on the marketing, check which features are missing, and fix bugs as they appear. Think about and respond to users who may be finding it difficult to use your app, and where possible, respond promptly.
eCommerce app development best practices and features
Here are some of the key aspects to consider when developing an eCommerce app, including best practices and both essential and advanced features.
An important area to consider is the security of customer data across your app. When users first sign into an eCommerce app, they’ll provide personal information such as a home address, credit card number and the number of their mobile phone.
It’s critical to protect this data to avoid disappointing your customers and also to ensure you don’t face any unwanted legal implications.
Using a private cloud helps to protect this data, as does defining access rules so that only premium users have access. Another wise move is to have an alarm system so that you are quickly informed of a threat and can act quickly.
Constant crashes and bugs can significantly affect your app’s performance–users are not going to stay around long when there’s so much choice, certainly if they’re frustrated by the experience.
To reach a good level of stability in your app then, you should do the following:
- Run QA tests
- Make several product iterations
- Get prompt feedback from users
- Release fixed updates
Doing all of this on a regular basis will ensure bugs get kept to a minimum.
eCommerce app developer example
Your app needs to be scalable to deal with a growing number of users as it becomes more popular. You may think there’s no need to consider this at the outset, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, you need to forecast the growth of your app at the very beginning of your app’s development and plan your app’s architecture to accommodate it–in other words, have proper growth plans from the start.
Your eCommerce app will also need to offer a series of essential features that few apps can do without overall.
The MVP (known as minimum viable product) is the minimum standard you can showcase your product to your target audience. These features fulfil the most crucial functionality that users expect of online shops.
You can forget adding those types of filters for your users then; these are the features your eCommerce app must have:
1. Search functionality
2. Admin panel
3. The ability to filter products
4. The ability to add products to a wishlist
5. A dedicated and working payment system
6. Attractive user profiles that load quickly
7. Smart authorisation
8. Clear checkout process
9. Easy registration
10. Push notifications
In a nutshell: always focus on those features that provide maximum value to your customers. Gather feedback carefully, let your users tell you what features make sense to them, and then implement the changes.
eCommerce app developer example
Source: Konstant Infosolutions
Advanced features are more optional features, but they can make your eCommerce app shine. Advanced eCommerce app features include the following extras:
1. Voice search
2. Behaviour tracking
3. Image search
4. Role-based dashboard
5. Multilingual and currency
6. Product recommendation
7. Chatbot for customer support
8. Efficient CRM systems
9. Marketing tools
10. Business intelligence
The more advanced features you add, the higher the cost of the app’s development, as we’ll see in the next section.
How much does it cost to develop an eCommerce mobile app?
Development costs of eCommerce apps vary but below are the average hourly estimates in the following countries:
- USA: $50–$200
- Canada: $50–$150
- Mexico: $40–$120
- UK: $50–$125
- Australia: $50–$125
- India: $25–$100
- Philippines: $25–$75
A developer can take anywhere from 1090 to 1400 hours to complete an app; creating the first version of the eCommerce app may take between three to four months.
The average cost of building an eCommerce app ranges from $40,000 to $220,000, but this depends on the app’s complexity–more features will mean a higher price. It’s always worth contacting the eCommerce app development company for an estimate beforehand.
How can I benefit from eCommerce app development services?
With the increase in demand for eCommerce apps, partnering with eCommerce app creation companies allows you to create customer-centric apps that enable users to make easy purchases, which builds trust and keeps them loyal.
These developers are able to build highly-scalable B2B and B2C, as well as C2C and C2B eCommerce portals. Not only that, but they’ll be able to create customizable apps that make use of the latest tech and trends, all while being user-friendly.
eCommerce app developer example
Some of the key benefits of eCommerce app development companies include the following:
- 24/7 assistance — Even after your app gets completed, they can provide support (as per your time zone).
- Full stack development — The developers will be highly experienced and skilled in the latest technologies.
- Flexible options — Tailor-made engagement plans are designed to fit every need, big or small, and typically come with superior scalability of technology resources.
- Agile development approach — Communication and proper documentation for support and training. Requirements, plans, and results are evaluated continuously.
- Business expertise — They often have years of experience in providing apps for businesses of all sizes.
- Data security — These developers consider user privacy and data security as top priorities and are dedicated to safeguarding them with secured keys, encryption, and firewalls.
- User-friendly — User-friendly app development for both iOS and Android platforms.
If you’re planning to develop an eCommerce app, it’s usually a good idea to get a free quote from the mobile app development experts. This is particularly true if you’re a non-developer or a beginner.
Get started with the best eCommerce app developers
To recap, the most critical reasons for having an eCommerce app are the following:
- It provides a more personalized experience for consumers
- You’ll increase your engagement and conversion rate
- It encourages customer loyalty
- Customers generally prefer to shop on apps and will spend more
- It gives you a competitive edge against others
There are a number of app development companies that take on eCommerce app development projects and have app developers with experience specifically catered to these apps. Here we’ve put together for you a list of the best.