The pandemic made us accustomed to making online purchases. People all around the world are moving towards online shopping, and this is impacting the physical shop structure. The Forbes Advisor report clearly shows a considerable growth in the retail eCommerce sale anticipated globally from 2021 to 2026.
Hence, if you are a business owner and are yet to expand your business to the digital platform, you are losing a big chunk of your potential customers.
The eCommerce store is an online marketplace where trading of commercial products or services is done from the comfort of your home. Looking at its substantial feasibility and acceptability, learning about how to build a mobile app for your eCommerce store is necessary.
And that’s our agenda for the day! In this blog, we will talk at length about eCommerce mobile apps and their benefits, along with some popular examples. We will delve into the process of building an eCommerce mobile app and conclude by outlining the necessary prerequisites.
So, Let’s get started!
What is an eCommerce Store Mobile Application?
An eCommerce store mobile application is a software application designed and developed to facilitate online shopping and transactions through smartphones and tablets. The eCommerce mobile app allows customers to purchase products or services online directly from the store or retail shop without physically visiting the place.
A digital store offers convenience to the users and, at the same time, ease of transactions while buying and selling the products. It allows businesses to extend their online presence and cater to the growing number of consumers who prefer to shop online from their mobile devices. The robust store optimization campaigns conducted within the eCommerce app enable you to monitor incoming traffic and gain a deeper insight into your intended audience.
Why is an eCommerce Store Mobile App Beneficial for Your Business?
The eCommerce app is an excellent way to expand business by catering to a wider user base. It provides numerous benefits in terms of customer experience, ease of transactions, and reachability.
Here, it is viable to quote a great example set by Domino Pizza that revolutionised the pizza industry after launching the smashing mobile app in 2010. It directly impacted the company’s sales, and profitability, whizzed up with 11.5 million app downloads.
The Domino Pizza app allows users to order pizzas from anywhere, and with its extraordinary features, like a ‘zero-click app’, customers get the captivating experience of a seamless order placement journey. Today, the company records 5.3 million active customers via its functional mobile app, which accounts for 43.9% of the total sales up by almost 20% after the launch of their mobile app.
An eCommerce app allows users to explore and compare products and services within the same category and browse the product catalogue before purchasing. It increases customer engagement and, thus, boosts the company’s sales and profits.
Having an advanced eCommerce app store directly impacts business growth. Here are some reasons why you must build a professional mobile app for your eCommerce store:
- Increased Customer Engagement – Mobile apps offer a direct and personalised way to engage customers. Through push notifications, businesses can keep customers informed about new products, promotions, discounts, and special offers, leading to higher engagement rates than other communication channels.
- Enhanced User Experience – Mobile apps are designed while keeping the user experience in mind. It focuses on providing a smoother and more intuitive shopping journey compared to desktop websites.
- Convenience and Accessibility – The eCommerce app allows customers to shop from anywhere, anytime, as per their comfort. This encourages impulse buying and enhances customer retention.
- Brand Loyalty – An equipped eCommerce mobile app can help build brand loyalty by offering exclusive deals, rewards and loyalty programs to the app users. Customers who feel valued often show dedication to buying products from your website repeatedly rather than going to the competitor’s website.
- Personalisation – The eCommerce apps can collect and analyse user data to provide personalised product recommendations, offers and discounts. It lets the analytics develop the tailored content and customise the shopping experience to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Improved Conversion Rates – The apps’ user-friendly interface and streamlined checkout processes can lead to higher conversion rates than websites.
- Competitive Advantage – Offering well-designed and feature-rich eCommerce apps can set your business apart from competitors and provide you with an edge by seeking customer loyalty.
Some Examples of Popular eCommerce App Stores in Australia
The Australian market is proliferating, opening new avenues for eCommerce shopping apps. Some examples of thriving eCommerce apps in Australia that runs with excellent features and impressive layout are as follows:
Kmart is one of the most popular online departmental stores in Australia. It offers a simple and user-friendly app layout for customers to navigate various pages. It is easy to browse through different categories and shop for the product of your choice from the convenience of your mobile phone. Kmart has a vast database of 29.3 million users, proclaiming this eCOmmerce store’s success.
Gumtree Australia is another excellent example of a successful eCommerce mobile application. With a broad user base of 24.5 million monthly visits, Gumtree is one of Australia’s most prominent classified ads sites. The app is famous for several reasons. It has a customer-centric interface, offers vivid offers to its priority clients, and provides discounts and customised offerings to enhance user loyalty.
Big W is a successful Australian discount retailer eCommerce store in the giant Woolworths Group of Business. With its strong presence in the Australian marketplace, Big W reports an 18 million monthly footfall, making it a competitive giant in the online market. The company first digitised its shopping stores in 2010, and since then, it has become a leading online store in the Australian marketplace.
How to Build a Mobile App for Your eCommerce Store?
Developing an interactive eCommerce mobile app store involves a series of steps from planning to development and launch. It requires an ongoing effort from development and launch to post-launch maintenance and updates.
Adopting strategies such as app design, secure environment, push notifications, personalised offers, and discounts enhances the user experience and boosts engagement. Below is the 9-step guide to help you build a successful eCommerce app store to scale your business:
Step 1: Define Your Goals and Strategy:
Clearly define the goals of your app. Determine the features you want to include, the target audience, and how the app will align with your e-commerce business strategy.
Step 2: Market Research and Analysis:
Research your target audience, competitors, and market trends. Identify what customers expect from an e-commerce app and gather insights that can shape your app’s features and design.
Step 3: Choose a Development Approach
Decide whether you’ll build a native app (for iOS and Android separately) or a cross-platform app using frameworks like React Native or Flutter. Consider factors such as development time, cost, and user experience. Wisely select the right ecommerce platform from the recognised tycoons, such as WordPress, Magento, BigCommerce, etc., to build your app structure.
Step 4: Plan the App Features
Determine your app’s essential features, such as product listings, search functionality, shopping cart, checkout process, user profiles, push notifications, and more. Prioritise them based on user needs and your business goals. This includes:
- Design the User Interface (UI): Create wireframes and mockups for your app’s UI. Provide an intuitive and user-friendly interface for better user interaction. Consider mobile app design principles like easy navigation, clear CTAs, and a consistent visual identity.
- Integrate Payment Gateways: Integrate secure payment gateways to facilitate users to make in-app purchases directly. Ensure that payment processes are smooth and user data is protected.
- Implement User Authentication and Accounts: Include user registration and authentication mechanisms. This great feature allows the users to create an account by signing up and signing in, and managing their profiles, seeing the order history and saving the selected items.
Step 5: Develop the App
Collaborate with skilled developers or a development team to start coding your app. The development process includes the development of front-end (UI/UX) and back-end (server, database, APIs).
Step 6: Testing and Quality Assurance (QA)
Thoroughly test your app on various operating systems like iOS and Android and multiple devices like smartphones and tablets to identify and fix bugs or glitches. Before the actual launch, it is vital to conduct usability testing. This shall ensure seamless user experience and satisfaction.
Step 7: Optimise Performance
Optimise your app’s speed and performance to minimise loading times and enhance user satisfaction. This includes optimizing images, minimizing HTTP requests, and implementing caching strategies. Mention what should be the ideal optimal processing time for the mobile application.
Step 8: Launch and Promotion
Once your eCommerce app is thoroughly tested and refined, launch it on app stores (Apple App Store, Google Play Store). Generate a well-researched market plan to promote the app through your website, social media, email campaigns, and various other channels.
Step 9: Monitor and Update
Monitor user feedback, reviews, and app analytics. Use this data to make improvements, release updates, and add new features based on user requirements and preferences. This also includes:
- Customer Support and Maintenance: Provide customer support for app-related queries and issues. Regularly update the app to fix bugs, enhance features, and keep up with platform changes.
- Gather User Feedback: Encourage users to provide feedback through app reviews, surveys, and other channels. Use their insights to enhance the app’s functionality and user experience.
With your understanding of how to create an eCommerce mobile application, it’s important to bear in mind a few key considerations before commencing the app development journey.
Points to Consider Before Building a Successful eCommerce Mobile App
You must address some crucial points to lay a foundation for a successful mobile app for your eCommerce store. Creating a fruitful app store requires careful planning and execution that meets your users’ needs and contributes to your business’s growth. By considering these five checkpoints, you will create a valuable app that reaches out to the global audience and initiates customer retention and conversions:
Features and Functionality: Define the core features your app will offer, such as product browsing, search, cart management, checkout, user profiles, and more. Prioritise user satisfaction by providing features that align with your business objectives. Include the features that offer a serene user experience, impressive layout and intuitive interface. Consider the following essential elements that enhance app feasibility:
User Experience (UX) Design: Invest in a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation. Provide a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience by considering mobile app design principles.
App Personalization: Implement personalised recommendations based on user behaviour, preferences, and purchase history. Personalization can enhance user engagement and loyalty.
User Onboarding and Education: Design an easy-to-understand onboarding process for new users. Provide tooltips or tutorials for unfamiliar features to enhance user adoption.
Performance Optimization: Ensure your app loads quickly and performs smoothly. Optimise images, minimise unnecessary requests, and utilise caching to enhance performance.
Security and Privacy: To protect user data, you must implement robust security measures, especially to secure payment information. Comply with relevant data protection regulations of your country and prioritise user privacy. Integrate trusted and secure payment gateways to facilitate seamless transactions within the app. To cater to user preferences, offer multiple payment options like credit, debit, and on-delivery payments.
Cross-Platform Consistency: Maintain consistent branding and user experience across all platforms (web, mobile, desktop). Users should recognise your brand regardless of the device they’re using.
Marketing and Promotion: Develop and incorporate a marketing strategy to promote your app through your e-commerce website, social media, email campaigns, and other relevant channels. By wisely investing in your eCommerce app’s marketing and promotion campaigns, you will get recognition, recommendations and users’ attention.
Scalability: Plan for future growth by building a scalable app architecture that can accommodate increased user traffic and additional features.
eCommerce store mobile applications offer several advantages to businesses, including increased customer engagement, better brand visibility, improved customer retention, and the potential for increased sales. By building an interactive and functional mobile app for your eCommerce store, you can reach out to a more extensive customer base across the globe while providing them with a convenient shopping experience.
An eCommerce store mobile application is a direct channel between your businesses and customers, enabling convenient and efficient online shopping experiences at your fingertips.