A decade ago mobile ecommerce was a fancy terminology many businesses didn’t care about.
Small e-commerce businesses focused on driving sales via their websites and multi-vendor stores like Amazon and eBay were the sole leaders in the industry.
At that time, small businesses didn’t need an e-commerce app because they generated enough revenue from their online stores. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in 2023.
Today, e-commerce businesses cannot take the competition head-on without an e-commerce app.
Even if your e-commerce business generates enough sales and revenue through its website, we recommend investing in e-commerce app development.
Because an e-commerce app will expand your business horizon and help you reach more customers.
It’ll also give your brand a competitive advantage, thus allowing you to acquire a recurring clientele.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of launching an e-commerce app and how you can start building an e-commerce app from the ground up.
Understanding the Importance of an E-commerce App for Your Businesses in 2023
As an e-commerce owner, your eventual goal is to get more sales and establish a recurring sales channel to maintain consistent revenue. Right?
Of course, your conventional e-commerce store can help you achieve this goal, but you can’t unlock new growth milestones without an e-commerce app.
In this mobile-first digital landscape, a dedicated mobile solution will provide customers with a better shopping experience and help you establish a strong digital presence.
Simply put, if you don’t invest in e-commerce app development, you’ll most likely miss out on new sales opportunities.
Let’s understand the significance of a commerce app in this digital landscape with a few more market statistics;
1. According to Statista eCommerce sales are projected to surpass $415.93 billion by the end of 2023
2. According to a report by CNBC.com, 27% of millennials prefer using dedicated e-commerce apps for online shopping.
3. A Report from Colorlib says by the end of 2024, the US market is expected to have more than 187 million active mobile shoppers.
4. A study conducted by BusinessofApps suggests that e-commerce apps are responsible for 54% of all e-commerce sales.
These statistics are clear evidence of the fact that mobile e-commerce is transforming conventional online shopping.
Shoppers are more than happy to use mobile apps to shop from their favorite online stores.
It means retail businesses can easily 10x their overall revenue by simply hiring a mobile app development team to build their e-commerce app.
Different Types of E-commerce Apps
If you’ve come this far, it’s safe to say that you’re serious about launching your e-commerce app. Kudos!
But, before we move any further, it’s important to identify the type of e-commerce application you want to launch.
Make sure to analyze your business objectives carefully and identify the most suitable app type accordingly. The business model you choose will heavily influence your business growth in the long run.
Based on your target customers, business model, and overall business objectives, your e-commerce app will fall under one of the following categories.
1. B2B E-commerce Apps
As the name implies, in a B2B business model, the transaction occurs between two businesses. It means a company sells its goods (or services) to another company.
In the recent few years, B2B e-commerce brands have encountered a sudden growth spurt, thanks to millennials (the younger generation) launching their own startups.
In many cases, millennials buy products from a B2B store and resell them to the end consumers at a spiked price.
Due to this unique proposition, B2B businesses often have to deal with large bulk orders and returning customers.
Consequently, your app needs to be integrated with a full-scale inventory management solution to process such heavy transactions.
2. B2C E-commerce Apps
B2C e-commerce solutions are designed to sell directly to consumers.
Amazon, Flipkart, and even Apple’s shopping app are a few examples of B2C e-commerce models.
A B2C e-commerce business usually partners with wholesalers and local retailers to run their operations.
Usually, such business models have a larger customer base and a comparatively larger inventory as well.
If your business model falls under the B2C umbrella, you must prioritize the shopping experience over everything.
Because, unlike a B2B business, you aren’t selling to a business owner.
So, it’s crucial that you don’t compromise on the sales experience because your customers will move away to a different store if your store fails to deliver an engaging shopping experience.
3. D2C E-commerce Apps
D2C or Direct-to-Consumer is an e-commerce business model where the merchants directly sell goods to the shoppers.
While this business model may resemble the characteristics of a B2C setup, there’s one huge difference that makes it unique.
In the B2C business model, the business doesn’t partner with any wholesaler or third-party retailer.
Instead, it sells its own goods via the app. If your business belongs to the D2C category, you’ll be responsible for manufacturing, storing, and dispatching the products as well.
So, entrepreneurs usually have to hire a dedicated e-commerce app development company to build a separate inventory management solution to streamline daily operations.
4. C2C E-commerce Marketplaces
C2C businesses are usually categorized as full-scale marketplaces that allow consumers to exchange goods and services with other customers.
A business entity may not have a significant role in managing the operations of a C2C store.
You may overlook the entire operations, customer acquisition, and monthly revenue with a bird’s eye view without interfering substantially.
E-commerce App Development Trends for 2023
It’s no secret that mCommerce is a rapidly growing industry. New trends are always around the corner, which businesses must adapt to stay relevant in the industry.
Incorporating the latest features into your e-commerce app will not only give your brand a competitive advantage but also make it easier to engage shoppers.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the e-commerce app development trends that’ll most likely transform mobile e-commerce in 2023 and beyond.
1. Chatbot Integration
AI is here and it’s here to dominate the digital landscape.
From the introduction of tools like Chat GPT and Google Bard to influencing marketing decisions of big firms, Artificial Intelligence will play a significant role in shaping many industries.
The same goes for e-commerce apps and marketplaces.
In 2023, the lack of chatbot integration can easily ruin your company’s customer support and make you lose valuable customers.
You can’t risk that, right?
In 2023, great customer support is a significant factor to retain long-term customers. If shoppers find an open communication channel on your e-commerce app and get their queries answered instantly, they’ll most likely revisit your store in the future.
Chatbot integration is an easy and effective way to provide great customer support.
With chatbots, you can easily address the most common user queries and provide relevant answers instantly.
Since customers won’t experience any downtime in getting their queries addressed, they won’t feel frustrated and become loyal consumers for a longer duration.
2. Voice Search
Artificial Intelligence does not only cater to customer support but has also transformed the way customers search for products.
A report by oberlo.com shows that around 51% of online shoppers in the US use voice assistance for product research.
In this fast-paced world, consumers don’t have the time to manually type in the product name to find it. Instead, they use the voice search feature to look for the desired products on an e-commerce app.
With a voice assistant, your consumers will experience faster product searches and a better shopping experience.
Voice assistants will become more relevant if millennials are your target customers.
The same study showcases that 77% of consumers aged between 18-34 use voice assistants while shopping on their mobile devices.
3. Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented Reality (AR), as a technology, has gained immense popularity among developers and technology experts.
E-commerce apps incorporated with Augmented Reality can elevate customers’ shopping experience. Let’s understand this with an example:
The IKEA House app uses Augmented Reality as one of its core elements to engage customers.
Shoppers can use the app to virtually place pieces of furniture inside their houses. They can scan different corners of their home and check how a chair, table, or couch would look there.
Thanks to this AR integration, IKEA has managed to triple-fold its sales in a relatively short time span.
Like IKEA, several other e-commerce apps are using AR to assist customers in making better shopping decisions.
Understand that AR integration is no longer a luxury e-commerce businesses can skip while building e-commerce apps for their brand.
As of 2023, 57% of customers say that they prefer buying from online stores that let them test products using Augmented Reality.
4. Single-Click Order Placement and Guest Checkouts
Your customers don’t have the time to manually enter details in the checkout form every time they want to place an order.
If you want to engage long-term customers, make sure that your e-commerce app lets them save necessary information to save time in the future.
This information can include credit card details, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, etc.
Once shoppers have saved these details, they’ll be able to place orders with a single click.
Like single-click ordering, you can also enable guest checkouts to let shoppers shop without having to go through the lengthy checkout process.
With guest checkouts, they’ll be able to place their orders within seconds and continue with their online shopping.
How to Develop an E-commerce Store in 5 Easy Steps?
E-commerce app development is a strategic and time-consuming process.
To build a successful e-commerce solution, you must build a roadmap with all the development loopholes and the best ways to tackle them.
Of course, hiring an e-commerce app development company will make the experience less hectic because the offshore team will manage the entire development cycle.
But, to make your job much easier, here’s a step-by-step guide to building an e-commerce app from the ground up.
Step #1. Hire a Reliable Mobile App Development Company
You need a reliable mobile app development partner to successfully deploy your e-commerce app, period!
A professional development team will implement a step-by-step development process and implement the best practices to build a personalized mobile solution for your business.
They’ll utilize the most suitable development technologies to align with your business requirements.
The development team will also emphasize enhancing the user experience that’ll automatically result in better user retention and conversions.
In saying that, however, hiring a reliable development partner is not easy.
As of 2023, there are thousands of mobile app development companies pretending to offer outstanding services.
In such a diverse landscape, it can get tricky for entrepreneurs to find a development team that understands their vision and has the necessary technical expertise as well.
But, there are a few ways you can tackle this challenge. Here’s a quick guide on how to hire the best e-commerce mobile app development company for your business.
1: Start your hunting process with platforms like Clutch. Here you’ll find multiple reliable app development agencies along with the details about the services they offer. You can compare different service providers, check client reviews, and contact each firm individually to narrow down your results to the most suitable development partners.
2: Once you have a list of development teams, start scrutinizing their official websites to get a deep insight into their expertise and previous experience. You would want to partner with development firms that have built e-commerce apps in the past.
3: Going through the company portfolio and client testimonials is another effective way to validate if a development team can meet your business objectives or not. Companies with positive client testimonials can be trusted for your project as well.
Finally, make sure the development team you hire uses a dedicated communication channel to keep clients informed about the development process.
Step #2. Implement Product Discovery to Identify Customers’ Shopping Patterns
You can execute e-commerce app development in two ways:
1. Conduct comprehensive market research to validate customer preferences and shopping patterns
2. Launch your e-commerce app without any planning whatsoever
It’s safe to say that if you want to avoid failure, you should choose the former. Identifying customers’ shopping patterns can help you avoid unwanted roadblocks during the development cycle.
This phase is known as product discovery, during which you sit with your development team to evaluate the target audience, and market trends, and analyze competitors. All this research will help you lay out a result-oriented development plan.
Here are a few steps to execute product discovery for better execution.
1. Identify existing e-commerce apps in your niche and their business models to understand how existing businesses operate.
2. Analyze the revenue models of these existing businesses and layout revenue streams that’ll suit your company’s business model
3. Understand what customers expect from online stores and build strategies to match these expectations
Step #3. Build a UX Design for Your E-commerce App
The next stage in e-commerce application development is crafting the user interface.
The primary objective of designing an e-commerce app is to deliver a user-friendly shopping experience to customers on mobile.
Don’t forget to test the user interface because user engagement will play a critical role in growing overall sales.
Step #4. Be Cautious With the Testing Phase
Consequently, you should construct your e-commerce app in such a way that it lets users quickly navigate between different product pages/categories and place orders without any hassle.
During this phase, your e-commerce app development team will devise different prototypes to decide the final user experience.
After the developers combine multiple UI modules and integrate the necessary APIs, your e-commerce app will move to the testing phase.
At this point, the QA team will implement different testing methodologies to validate its functionality.
However, staying involved throughout the testing process is critical for entrepreneurs as well.
Be a part of the testing cycle and understand what testing practices your development team is using.
Our experts suggest that both automated and manual testing are ideal to test the functionality of an e-commerce app as you can test the app through multiple testing scenarios.
Step #5. Launch and Build a Maintenance Strategy for Your E-commerce App
Finally, your e-commerce app developers will help you deploy your app across different platforms, i.e., iOS and Android.
You’ll move to the final deployment phase when the QA team approves the app and gives it a thumbs up. You can test the app’s functionality by yourself as well to ensure it doesn’t contain any bugs.
After you release the app on the App Store, you’ll have to constantly monitor its functionality to ensure it meets the necessary user expectations.
Some app development agencies offer post-development maintenance services to help their clients smoothly transition into the industry.
How Much Does it Cost to Develop an E-commerce App?
As a retailer or an e-commerce entrepreneur, it’s also important to devise a rough budget before you go out and hire e-commerce app developers.
Ideally, the cost to build an e-commerce app is different in each case and depends on different factors.
These factors usually include the platforms you want to target, your app’s overall complexity, third-party API integrations, expected features, etc.
In general, however, the cost to develop an e-commerce app can cost anywhere between $30,000 to $140,000.
Now, you have a rough idea of what it takes to build an e-commerce app from scratch and successfully release it in the market.
It’s important to understand that building an e-commerce mobile solution isn’t a straightforward process.
You need to conduct in-depth market research, build a personalized roadmap, and implement the best development strategies to build a sales-driven e-commerce app.
At RV Technologies, we offer end-to-end e-commerce app development services to help retailers launch dynamic e-commerce apps that provide them with a competitive advantage.
Contact our developers and share your project requirements to get a personalized development solution.