Due to the increased reliance on mobile devices, traditional web-based online stores have slowly taken a backseat whereas e-commerce apps are leading the industry. According to Statista, 72.9% of overall e-commerce sales are forecasted to come through mCommerce by the end of 2021.
This exponential growth is the reason why brick-and-mortar businesses are hiring professional eCommerce developers to establish a mobile presence and unlock better sales opportunities.
Easier said than done, right? Unfortunately, driving sales through an eCommerce app is not a cakewalk. Believe it or not, but e-commerce is one of the highly competitive industries right now. There are thousands of e-commerce brands that are already leading the sector with their feature-packed mobile apps.
These brands have an extensive customer base and they drive thousands of dollars in revenue every month. In such a competitive scenario, the only way to drive exposure to your eCommerce app is to make it distinct. The better features you integrate into your app, the easier it’ll get to improve your sales.
That’s why you should be extra cautious while hiring a mobile app development company for your eCommerce app. The developers you hire will have a huge impact on your brand’s success. A skilled development team can help you expand your business boundaries and acquire new customers more easily.
So, in this article, we’ll explore the best tactics to compare different eCommerce development teams and hire the best candidate to bring your retail business to the mobile.
Why eCommerce Apps are Becoming Widely Popular
If you look back a few years, retailers only needed an e-commerce website to sell their products online. In fact, many e-commerce brands started as a website and then slowly seeped into the mobile app market. The reason being smartphones weren’t a common amenity during the early stages of e-commerce. Only a few people owned mobile phones, which weren’t even as advanced as modern-day smartphones.
But, that’s not the case anymore. Today, everyone has access to a high-configuration smartphone and the number of smartphone users is rapidly increasing every day. As of now, there are 6 billion smartphone users across the globe, which means 85% of the global population owns a smartphone.
This worldwide smartphone adoption is the reason why people have started to prefer e-commerce apps over traditional websites. Since smartphones are easily accessible and portable, users can fire up the e-commerce app and place orders from anywhere they want.
The Importance of Hiring an E-Commerce Development Company
When it comes to launching an e-commerce application, business owners often struggle to choose between freelancers and development companies. Of course, the low development rates of a freelancer look tempting at first, but they can often backfire in the long run.
If you choose to work with freelance developers, you’ll also have to hire dedicated designers, testers, and maintenance experts. This would make the overall process way more tiring and you won’t have the time to focus on your core business objectives.
But, with an app development company, you can shift your entire focus towards core operations. A professional development agency has an in-house team of developers, designers, testers, etc. Moreover, a dedicated project manager is assigned to each team involved in the development process.
Another advantage of hiring a development firm instead of freelance developers is ‘extensive experience’. In general, companies have skilled and highly experienced developers who have worked on different projects in their careers. They stay on top of the latest development practices and know-how to implement them to build user-centric mobile applications.
Understanding Different Types of eCommerce Solutions – Native vs Hybrid vs PWAs
Now, before going out and looking for e-commerce developers, you’ll first have to decide the category of your mobile app. Ideally, mobile solutions can be divided into three different categories, including:
- Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Native Apps can be defined as mobile solutions that are designed for a single platform, be it iOS or Android. These types of mobile solutions are platform-dependent and written in languages that are designed to code for a specific operating system.
For instance, for many years (and even today), developers have used JAVA for Android app development and Objective-C to write codes for iOS apps. These two technologies can’t be used to write code for the other platform.
Native apps are an ideal choice for businesses that want to target an audience on a specific platform or want their app to access a few hardware features of the device. While native apps can deliver a better user experience, they are the most expensive to develop. If you want to launch apps for both iOS and Android, you’ll have to hire two separate development teams, which will escalate the overall app development cost.
In the past few years, hybrid app development has witnessed an upward spike as more and more businesses are choosing hybrid solutions over native apps. One of the reasons behind this surge is development cost.
As compared to native app development, you don’t have to hire two separate development teams to build the app. The same team can deploy code for multiple platforms, keeping the overall development cost on the lower side.
As of now, the majority of the e-commerce app market is being ruled by hybrid solutions. Reports suggest that 74% of the top 50 retail apps in the United States are hybrid apps. Since they are easier to develop, cost less, and can be integrated with all the necessary features, hybrid solutions are the right choice for e-commerce owners.
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Progressive Web Apps, commonly known as PWAs, are a relatively new concept in the mobile app development market. These apps can run on three different platforms including iOS, Android, and web. PWAs are basically web apps that deliver a native-like performance on the user’s device.
Developers can also configure PWAs to access the device hardware (including GPS, camera, and other sensors). However, PWAs are lightweight and take less time to develop. These apps are ideal for small-scale e-commerce stores that sell limited products and provide services in a specific region.
8 Tips to Hire a Reliable mCommerce Development Company
After choosing the right type for your e-commerce app, you can proceed towards looking for developers. The following 8 factors will help you compare different service providers and hire an organization that can meet your individual business requirements.
1. Start With Budget
Here’s the deal; developing an e-commerce mobile app can cost anywhere between $20,000 to $200,000. If you contact 50 development companies, each one of them will quote a different price to build an e-commerce app. So, before everything else, make sure to decide on a budget that you’re willing to spend for app development. The general thumb rule says that your budget should also involve post-development maintenance costs.
If you have a clear figure in mind, it’ll become way easier to narrow down your list to the most potential candidates. For instance, if you have a limited budget, you can instantly start looking for offshore e-commerce development companies. As opposed to onshore developers, an outsource development company has relatively lower development rates.
|#||Hourly Rates||Average E-commerce Development Cost|
|Local Developers (In USA)||$60-$100||$80,000-$100,000|
|Offshore Development Firm||$30-$50||$20,000-$40,000|
2. Take a Look at the Portfolio
After applying the first filter, i.e. cost, you would have narrowed down the list to 10-15 potential mobile app development firms. At this point, the next step would be to check their portfolios. A company’s portfolio is the biggest insight into deciding whether it can meet your business requirements or not.
The idea is to look for developers who have worked on similar projects in the past. Why? Because they are already familiar with the specific market and know how to implement the best practices to build a sales-driven e-commerce solution. You can either ask for the Portfolio or explore it on the company’s website.
Time-to-market is another deciding factor that every e-commerce owner should consider while looking for an app development company. How rapidly do you want to launch your e-commerce in the market?
If you have a strict deadline, it would be better to look for companies that follow a time-tested approach and have the expertise to meet tight deadlines. Ideally, a professional development agency will analyze your app objectives and share an estimated time span they need to develop the app. This will make it easier to decide if a development firm can deploy the product on time or not.
4. Check Client Testimonials
Sometimes, it can get pretty challenging for business owners to identify if a development firm is as good as it’s portrayed on the official website. Of course, every organization writes great things about its services on the website. But, if you want to identify the reality, it would be better to check client testimonials and online reviews.
No one could explain the expertise of a development team to the brand owners who have worked with it in the past. In the majority of the cases, you’ll be able to find testimonials on the website itself. But, you can also expand your research by going through reviews on platforms like Clutch and UpWork.
5. Compare the Communication Channels
While evaluating different mobile app development firms, communication should also be one of the deciding factors on your list. This would become more crucial if you are planning to hire a remote development firm because you won’t be able to conduct personal meetings at all. In such a situation, the communication channels that you use will help you bridge the distance.
During the interview, make sure to ask the development firms what type of communication tools they use during the development phase. In many organizations, you’ll see developers using professional tools such as BaseCamp, ProjectManager, ProofHub along with traditional tools like Skype. All these tools will help you establish a strong communication channel with developers and ensure everyone is on the same page.
6. Development Tools and Technologies
Before signing the final agreement, you must evaluate the tools and technologies developers will use to develop your app. The world has moved beyond Java and Objective-C. Today, skilled developers use advanced technologies such as Flutter, Dart, Swift, etc. to build scalable mobile solutions at a better pace.
For e-commerce development, many developers choose Magento or Shopify as well. Make sure the company that you’re planning to hire has expertise in such development technologies. Ideally, you should hire a professional Magento development company or Shopify development company to launch exclusive e-commerce stores. This will help you deliver optimal performance to the end-users.
7. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
During the evaluation phase, you’ll have to interview several development firms and share your app idea with them. If you are planning to enter the market with a unique e-commerce product, it would be better to sign dedicated Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) before starting the communication process.
NDAs are legal documents that’ll protect your intellectual property against theft. Moreover, signing the NDA will also give you relief as the developers won’t share your business information with any third party at all.
8. Post-Development Maintenance Support
At this point, you’ll be left with 2-3 candidates. To make the final decision, ask each organization about its post-development services. You would not want to hire a development team that turns their back as soon as the app is deployed in the market. Post-development is a highly critical phase because this is when you’ll get to understand how your app performs among the masses.
Based on the user reviews, you’ll have to modify the source code to optimize the app for better performance. But, this will be only possible when the development team is still by your side. In general, all professional app development agencies offer post-development support. So, if someone refuses to provide maintenance services, pack your bags and start exploring other available options.
Hiring an app development company is always a nerve-wracking experience. Due to too many available options, business owners often find themselves standing at the crossroad. However, with the right approach and a clear vision, you can easily find the right development team for your ecommerce mobile app. So, go to Google search, type mobile app development company, and follow the above-mentioned tips to find a reliable app development partner to build a feature-rich e-commerce solution.
Looking for professional e-commerce app developers? At RV Technologies, our developers have helped many retailers relish the benefits of active mobile presence through a dedicated mobile app. Share your business objectives at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll devise a custom development strategy to build a bespoke e-commerce solution for your brand.