E-commerce has experienced remarkable growth in the market since the early 2000s. People worldwide now turn to online shopping for a wide array of products, whether it’s trendy sneakers, functional office furniture, or any other item they desire.
Over the past 2-3 years, lockdowns have played a pivotal role in accelerating the already thriving e-commerce sector. Which in a way gave rise to the ecommerce mobile app development. These digital marketplaces have become the go-to, hassle-free choice for consumers.
When we take a moment to observe our surroundings and daily lives, it becomes evident just how extensive the global e-commerce industry has become.
Here’s an astonishing projection that brings this concept to life: according to Statista forecasts, international e-commerce sales are expected to surge from $5.9 trillion in 2023 to a staggering $8.1 trillion by 2026. These statistics underscore the multifaceted expansion of the e-commerce landscape.
The secret is out in the open – the e-commerce market is experiencing rapid, rampant growth, and the opportunity to claim your slice of the pie exists, particularly if you consider venturing into mobile commerce (m-commerce) for your business.
You’ve come to the right place to gain comprehensive insights into app development for this purpose. Keep reading for a thorough understanding of every aspect of this exciting journey.
What is an eCommerce mobile app?
E-commerce applications, often referred to as e-commerce apps, encompass the essential functionalities required for listing items available for sale & purchase, facilitating secure transactions by accepting various payment methods, and initiating the fulfillment process for these purchases.
Furthermore, mobile e-commerce applications and shopping apps serve as potent marketing tools when they enable strategic placement of items for sale through paid promotions or leverage push notifications to promote products. The development of mobile applications for e-commerce is also occasionally known as m-commerce or mobile commerce.
How will a mobile app benefit an eCommerce business?
Developing an e-commerce application that offers accessibility and functionality from virtually any location and at any time has evolved into a pivotal asset crucial for modern business efficiency.
Given that the majority of retail activities now occur through mobile and online platforms, the integration of such an application can infuse substantial value into the intricate web of business transactions.
A glance at the statistics reinforces the compelling rationale behind investing in e-commerce app development, with nearly 80% of smartphone users actively engaging in online purchases.
As the trend of online shopping continues to gain momentum, the necessity for a mobile-friendly platform for product sales becomes increasingly pronounced.
Examining the advantages of e-commerce mobile app development can provide further clarity in the decision-making process. The following benefits underscore their significance to businesses:
- Embracing the prevailing trend of online shopping
- Offering opportunities for small and emerging businesses to thrive
- Facilitating the easy attraction of customers
- Providing a competitive edge in the market
- Boosting sales figures
- Aligning with the mobile-centric preferences of millennials
- Enhancing customer service capabilities
- Enabling the customization of offerings for a customer-centric approach
- Facilitating comprehensive analytical insights into all activities
- Supporting contactless payment methods
- Amplifying marketing efforts
- Simplifying brand building and propagation
- Strengthening customer loyalty through tailored experiences
Creating an environment where customers can enjoy personalized and responsive shopping experiences fosters retention. Such customers are more likely to revisit and recommend the platform or app to others, driven by the allure of loyalty rewards and recommendation benefits.
It’s crucial to recognize that different types of applications can serve distinct business objectives, a factor often overlooked by business owners. Whether the goal is to enhance user experience (UX-UI), drive user engagement, or increase conversion rates, the choice of the right application type can be a decisive step toward achieving these aims.
In the upcoming section, prior to delving into the approach for developing an e-commerce app, we will provide a brief overview of the various types of apps that can be tailored to meet different business objectives and models.
What are the different types of eCommerce apps?
The prevalence of smartphones in shopping has propelled mobile commerce (m-commerce) into a dynamic platform that consistently drives business growth.
This success story has introduced a fresh dimension for revenue generation, while mobile applications have become the enduring bridge connecting businesses with their customers. Customers now enjoy uninterrupted access to their favorite stores, enabling them to place orders at their convenience.
Within the diverse landscape of business models, the choice of applications that support operations can vary significantly. Tailored to fulfill specific business objectives, these applications differentiate themselves through unique features and functionalities.
When embarking on the journey of launching an e-commerce business, you are likely to fall into one of four broad categories:
- Business-to-Business (B2B)
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
- Consumer-to-Business (C2B)
- Direct-to-Consumer (D2C)
However, it’s worth noting that various hybrid models also exist, where companies may operate with a blend of two or more of these models. The selection of the appropriate app type is contingent upon the nature of transactions integral to your business model.
It’s imperative to choose an application that facilitates the seamless exchange of goods and assets over the platform, as the application will serve as a crucial mode of communication between both parties involved. Both sellers (the offering party) and buyers (the receiving party) should be able to fulfill their roles effectively through the app.
1. B2B (Business-to-Business) eCommerce Application
This category encompasses applications designed to facilitate business transactions through their interface. They facilitate the exchange of both goods and services via mobile platforms, specifically catering to substantial transactions involving large quantities.
Alibaba, Amazon Business, and Quill serve as examples of platforms where industries vend their products to retailers, who subsequently market these products to consumers. Consequently, the items sold on these platforms can serve as either raw materials or merchandise for other industries down the line.
2. B2C (Business-to-Consumer) eCommerce Application
Applications tailored for the B2C model serve as a direct link between the company at one end and the end users of their products at the other. Transactions occur directly through the application channel. Notable examples of such e-commerce apps include Amazon and Domino.
These applications grant consumers direct access to a company’s full product range, which can be more extensive compared to what retailers might offer, especially when dealing with multiple brands.
3. C2B (Consumer-to-Business) eCommerce Application
Businesses can also be purchasers of niche-specific offerings, such as content, design, and technical assets. C2B applications like Clutch and GitHub act as platforms for subject matter experts to showcase their skills and cultivate business relationships.
By making such purchases, businesses acquire unique advantages and encourage the practice of sharing valuable expertise through these platforms.
4. C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer) eCommerce Application
In C2C models, consumers exchange products, services, or offerings among themselves, without any intermediary business or company involvement. Mobile apps facilitate this type of transaction.
Platforms like OLX and eBay enable consumers to sell their items directly to other individuals, promoting such peer-to-peer transactions and connecting a broad user base within the community.
5. D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) eCommerce Application
DTC (direct-to-consumer) e-commerce represents a business approach in which companies directly offer their products or services to consumers, circumventing conventional retail avenues such as physical stores or third-party platforms. This approach empowers businesses with increased authority over their brand, customer data, and marketing strategies.
Other Types of E-commerce Applications
1. Ticket Booking eCommerce Application
These apps are designed for booking cabs, hotels, tickets for live shows, games, travel, professional or social events, and parties. Organizers use the application to share details of their events, and interested individuals can purchase tickets or pass through the app’s interface.
Goibibo and Momondo are well-known examples of ticket-booking applications. Some other e-commerce apps also facilitate the direct exchange of these commodities between event organizers, managers, and end-users.
2. eCommerce Aggregator Application
Aggregator e-commerce apps establish a bridge between end customers and service providers like Walmart Inc. and Etsy Inc. These apps offer a platform for service providers to list their offerings, items, or products, allowing buyers to make purchases or avail services through the app’s interface.
3. m-Commerce Applications
These applications enable users to shop and conduct purchases using mobile devices, offering a user-friendly experience. Businesses are increasingly embracing this trend to enhance their market visibility among customers. As a result, these apps are optimized for smaller screens and designed for touch-based interactions.
4. In-App Purchase Applications
In-app purchase (IAP) functionality empowers mobile app users to acquire additional content, features, or virtual items within the app, eliminating the need to pay for the app itself. This approach allows app developers to monetize their apps by providing added value to users.
It also fosters increased engagement and user retention by granting access to fresh content or features. In-app purchases can be completed using various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, or mobile wallets. Virtual currency or tokens, commonly used in gaming apps, can also facilitate these transactions.
5. Subscription-Based Applications
Subscription-based apps require users to pay a recurring fee, typically on a monthly or yearly basis, to unlock full functionality or content access. These apps frequently offer a free trial or a limited version for users to evaluate before committing to a subscription. Prominent examples of subscription-based apps include Apple Music, Netflix, and Hulu.
6. Marketplace Applications
Marketplace apps serve as mobile platforms that connect buyers and sellers of goods or services, akin to online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. These apps facilitate transactions and furnish users with a space to buy and sell items. Well-known marketplace apps include Uber, Upwork, Fiverr, and others.
7. On-Demand Applications
On-demand apps, often referred to as “Uber for X” apps, enable users to request and promptly receive services or products in real time. These applications are designed to simplify access to specific services or products without necessitating extensive planning.
The application owners themselves do not provide the listed services and do not require any infrastructure setup; instead, they promote the services of sellers who join the app for their business.
In the journey of eCommerce mobile app development, certain components remain consistent across the various types mentioned above, contributing to the application’s seamless operation.
What are must-have features to take care of while developing an eCommerce app?
Companies worldwide continuously develop and update their eCommerce mobile apps, each offering a variety of functions. However, there are several key features that are essential for a successful app, illustrated here using Amazon Shopping as an example:
1. User Registration
Upon downloading your app, users create accounts. This enables a personalized user experience and streamlines the purchase process. It’s crucial to include options for users to customize their profiles and manage payment methods, including bank cards and digital wallets. Additionally, offering social network account registration and authorization can enhance user convenience.
2. Search Bar & Voice Search
With numerous products in your app, a prominently visible search bar becomes indispensable for users to quickly locate their desired items. Including filters and autocomplete suggestions can further improve the search experience.
Also, having a voice search can revolutionize the way consumers interact with eCommerce applications. This technology allows users to search for products or services using natural language spoken commands instead of typing text.
3. Shopping Cart
Once users have chosen products, they add them to their shopping cart. This cart should allow users to continue browsing while keeping their selections secure. Consider implementing a timer to encourage users to complete their purchases. If users have questions about products, provide a means for them to inquire.
A wishlist feature in eCommerce apps is a powerful tool for both customers and businesses. It allows users to curate a list of desired products, often with the intention of purchasing them at a later date.
5. Customer Reviews
Users should have access to product reviews, helping them assess the advantages and disadvantages of a product. Incorporating this feature builds trust in your eCommerce mobile app.
6. Smooth Checkout Process
At this stage, customers are close to completing their purchases, so it’s crucial to ensure a simple and swift payment process. Pay meticulous attention to details and layout on this page. After making a payment, users should receive order status updates in their online accounts.
7. Customer Support
Customer support in an eCommerce app is vital for 24/7 accessibility via multiple channels, including live chat and email, as well as an organized FAQ section. It should enable efficient returns, order tracking, and feedback collection, with integration into CRM systems for personalized assistance, ensuring a positive shopping experience and customer loyalty.
These fundamental features collectively create a seamless shopping experience for users and contribute significantly to the success of an eCommerce mobile app.
7 Steps To Develop An E-commerce Mobile App
Now that you’re acquainted with the prevailing trends, let’s delve into the systematic steps involved in crafting an eCommerce mobile app.
Step 1: Planning and Requirements
Commence your journey towards an eCommerce app by outlining your requirements and crafting a well-structured plan. This initial groundwork is essential for maintaining organization and efficiency throughout the development process. Your plan should encompass:
- Key objectives and goals
- A comprehensive project overview
- Your target audience
- Required features
- Non-functional specifications
- Guidelines and recommendations
(Note: You have multiple platform options for your eCommerce application, including Magento, open-source/Adobe Commerce, Shopify, Shopware, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more.)
Step 2: Selecting Your Development Partner
With your list of requirements and data in place, the next pivotal step is to choose a reputable eCommerce mobile app development company. Partnering with a professional team is crucial for the successful realization of your project. You can identify an ideal development partner through various means:
- Utilizing social networking platforms
- Comparing services from top-ranking firms
- Scouring for positive reviews and qualified professionals
- Selecting Netweb Technologies as your tech partner
Step 3: eCommerce Product Discovery
Product discovery entails a thorough examination of your target audience, their needs, and their expectations. This information serves as the foundation for high-quality, profitable, and efficient application development. Effective communication between your team and the development company is paramount during this phase. Activities in this phase include:
- In-house team discussions to meet eCommerce company requirements
- Competitive market analysis
- Setting deadlines in accordance with project complexity and requirements
This collaborative effort involves key stakeholders, such as the product manager, UI/UX developer, solution engineer, architect, and other relevant experts.
Step 4: Crafting a UI/UX Design
In the realm of eCommerce, user experience extends beyond physical shopping. Therefore, investing in eCommerce UI/UX design is essential to stand out in the market.
Your mobile app design serves as your business’s voice, the first impression presented to customers. Pay attention to details such as smooth transitions, color schemes, and visually appealing elements to capture users’ attention and enhance their experience.
Step 5: Designing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
An MVP is a streamlined version of your application that delivers its core functionality. It serves as a testing ground, saving time and resources.
This approach allows you to identify essential features and gain insights into how the complete mobile application will function. It also provides the opportunity to make necessary adjustments based on user feedback.
Step 6: Collecting Feedback
Once the MVP is ready, introduce it to your actual audience to gather feedback. This phase presents real challenges as users encounter issues that need addressing. Correcting these issues is crucial before proceeding to full-fledged app development.
Step 7: Maintenance and Launch
The final step involves enhancing the quality and reach of your eCommerce mobile app based on the feedback received from the MVP phase. This refined version is then launched to provide users with a comprehensive and top-quality experience.
How long will it take to build an eCommerce mobile app?
The time required for eCommerce mobile app development can vary significantly based on several factors, including the app’s complexity, features, platform, development team’s experience, and more. Here’s a general breakdown of the development timeline:
Planning and Requirements (1-2 months): This initial phase involves defining your project requirements, creating a development plan, and selecting your development partner. The time required can vary based on the thoroughness of your planning and the complexity of your project.
UI/UX Design (2-4 months): Crafting an appealing and user-friendly design is a critical phase. The duration can vary based on the complexity of the design, the number of screens, and the need for revisions.
Development (3-6 months): The actual development phase involves building the app’s functionality, and integrating features like user registration, product listings, shopping cart, payment gateways, and more. The timeline depends on the complexity of your app and the size of your development team.
MVP Development (1-3 months): If you decide to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for testing purposes, this phase will add extra time. However, creating an MVP can help refine your app’s features and save time in the long run.
Testing and Quality Assurance (1-2 months): Rigorous testing is essential to ensure your app functions smoothly and is free of bugs and issues. The timeline can vary based on the thoroughness of testing.
Feedback and Iteration (1-2 months): After the initial testing phase, you may need time to gather user feedback and make necessary improvements to the app.
Launch and Deployment (1-2 months): The final phase involves launching the app on app stores like Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. It can take time to meet app store requirements and go through the review process.
Post-launch Maintenance and Updates (ongoing): After the app is live, you’ll need to allocate resources for ongoing maintenance, updates, and improvements based on user feedback and changing market trends.
In total, a full-fledged eCommerce mobile app development can take anywhere from 9 months to 1 year, depending on the complexity and scope of your project. It’s essential to plan carefully, allocate adequate resources, and work with an experienced development team to ensure a successful and timely app launch.
How much it will cost to develop an eCommerce mobile app?
The cost of eCommerce mobile app development is contingent upon various factors, including the project’s scope, development methodology, feature set, technology stack, and the chosen development team.
While the actual cost varies based on project specifics, we can provide a rough estimate, typically falling within the range of $8,000 to $90,000.
This estimate is subject to fluctuations based on project size, any customizations required, and alterations to the feature set. Additionally, the choice of mobile operating system can also influence whether the app development cost increases or decreases.
Choosing Netweb Tech As Your Mobile App Development Partner
Netweb Tech is not just a mobile app development company; it’s a partner invested in your success. With a commitment to quality, innovation, and client satisfaction we know how to bring your eCommerce mobile app development idea into reality. A robust mobile app is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for businesses aiming to thrive.
We have a skilled team with years of experience in eCommerce mobile app development, covering a wide range of industries. We can create iOS, Android, or cross-platform apps tailored to your brand.
On top of that, we prioritize user-friendly design and adapt to changes using agile methods, ensuring a reliable app through thorough quality checks. Our transparent communication and on-time delivery make us a reliable choice to bring your app vision to life.