To ecommerce app or not to ecommerce app? In our world, speed, concision, and convenience are of utmost importance, and if you’re not making sure that however you sell your product or service is all three then you’re doing something wrong. As it turns out, apps are easily all three, and now is the best time to create an app. In fact, recent studies suggest that people spend most of their time in apps, and approximately a tenth of their time in the mobile browser.
Ecommerce apps have the unique advantage of being able to save one’s data, including payment methods, in a safe and secure way, while also maintaining an edge of personalization that keeps people coming back. Plus they don’t need to remember lengthy URLs or have to log in each time.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t plan to have a mobile optimized ecommerce site. That’s a necessity, of course. But an ecommerce app can help seal the deal. It’s important to remember that many people still engage with ecommerce retailers through their mobile website, as apps can take up storage space and ecommerce apps are usually sacrificed in favor of certain mobile experiences they can only get through an app.
But never fear! We’ve developed the go-to shorthand guide for developing an effective and often-used ecommerce app, whether standalone or as a component of an app that has other functions.
How do I get started?
We won’t cover in great length what you already know: to sell a product, you first need a product. If you’re still in the idea stage, we’ve got some handy tools for you to find your niche. Afterwards, you’ll need to develop your product, evaluate your idea, and obtain the actual product or service. Run a few beta tests, work on viral marketing, and get the word out. You’ll also want to develop a business plan evaluating the metrics you’ll use to measure your success. Remember that sales are about just that: sales, and revenue, and profitability.
The biggest challenge you’re going to face in creating a mobile ecommerce app is creating one that stands out against the competition. Need some tips for that? Check this out.
Once you’ve gotten enough momentum to start pushing your product, your very first step should be to get a mobile optimized/mobile-ready, clean and pretty ecommerce site. This is an absolute must. The website is going to serve as a roadmap for your ecommerce app, answering questions about what you’re going to sell and what your brand is going to be.
Now you’re ready to start thinking about your app. What do you need to make an effective ecommerce app that will become a mainstay of peoples’ everyday app usage?
1: Create a Stunning Graphic Journey
Brand loyalty is crucial, and having a stunning visual experience through your ecommerce app is important for loyalty and enjoyment. For instance, having a stunning icon will help people see your app every day on their screens, and they’re much more likely to remember your brand and click on it more often. The best icons right now are typically simple and minimalist with colors that match the website. Once in the app, make sure you maintain that color consistency, and have your navigation draw eyes to the checkout (think Amazon). Attempt to have graphical signposts everywhere pointing people consistently either to the cart or to related items or a wish list section, or have pop-ups pointing them to new deals.
2: Integrate with Users’ Smartphone’s Features
Make sure your app is enabled to integrate with location/GPS systems, the camera, the microphone, the gyroscope, and the Touch ID (if applicable) for easy logins. Knowing their location is going to be crucial for sending them regional-specific deals that will make them feel like their product is specifically for them. In short, you need to take advantage of everything that the smartphone can do. Push notifications are also absolutely crucial for reminding your users about your app and about special deals, which brings us to…
3: Incentivize App Usage through Special Deals
Offer coupons or special deals on your ecommerce app that users simply don’t get when using the mobile website. Make sure you provide these special deals once they engage with your app and reach a certain milestone (for instance, opening it up for the fourth time). It’s also a good idea to offer something upfront so they know they’ve got a good app on their hands. Special deals incentivize app usage over your mobile site, and gives you a leg up against the competition.
4: Have Security Measures
Consider integrating with Apple Pay or Google Wallet, or any other security measures, so that users know you take their security and safety very seriously. If you don’t want to integrate with those services, then make sure you have another method of keeping their information safe, especially from hacks, so they feel more comfortable using your app to buy something.
5: Provide an Easy Onboarding Experience for your Ecommerce App
Make sure your users know that your app is easy to use and intuitive by modeling it after apps that work upfront so they can keep coming back. If your app is convoluted and confusing, they’ll likely not want to use it again. Make sure navigation is simple, search functions work, and that your app is speedy (by limiting it to mainly essential functions and saving yourself from a bogged down, slow app).
6: Utilize Mimesis, and Provide Personalization, Wish Lists, and Related Items
People get a rush from seeing something just for them and knowing the experience they’re having is specifically built for them. Additionally, they get a rush from knowing other products are popular with other people. Make sure you provide plenty of opportunities for them to see related items, keep a wish list for things they want in the future, and push products or services through social proofing. Link up with social media so people can share with others what products they’ve bought, or can see your product on their friends’ timeline.