eCommerce app
eCommerce app

Developing eCommerce apps: a step-by-step guide

Over the last few years, the world of eCommerce apps has undergone a major change. The main driving force of the market was online shopping caused by the pandemic.

As customer behavior settles in, the retail landscape is undergoing a major transformation. Mobile has thus become one of the main points of contact between customers and retailers. By 2025, mCommerce is expected to account for up to 67.6% of total eCommerce apps sales, which will be 16.0% of total retail sales.

Another report from Data.ai confirms the increasing traction of mCommerce applications. In 2022, time spent on shopping apps reached a record 100 billion hours with 18% year-over-year growth.

Today we will look at the technical side of eCommerce apps development. This blog post will tell you about the main features and trends of mobile eCommerce app development and how much it costs to build an eCommerce app at Orangesoft.

What’s trending in eCommerce apps development right now?

Like any digital product, eCommerce apps mimic general technology trends. Currently riding the wave of mobile eCommerce apps is the powerful trio of automation, absorption and connectivity. These three technologies are in turn manifested in a number of technological solutions implemented in mobile shopping.

Augmented Reality: Try before you buy

Unlike virtual reality, which resides solely in the virtual world, augmented reality (AR) enhances the real-world environment by superimposing digital images onto the physical world. The development of eCommerce apps uses augmented reality as a complementary technology that facilitates immersion and allows shoppers to try a product before purchasing it.

According to Insider Intelligence, more than one-quarter of the US population will experience AR at least once a month by 2022. In addition, 35 million users in the US regularly shop with augmented reality. IKEA Place, Amazon’s Room Decorator and Sephora’s Virtual Artist are prominent examples of AR-based shopping solutions.

Big data

It is the lifeblood of most B2C businesses that need useful customer insights to analyze user behavior and improve conversion rates. Big data and its analytics support personalized recommendations, dynamic pricing, demand forecasting and trend forecasting. Together, these techniques put retailers at the forefront of supply chain management and enable them to sell effectively.

Geofencing

Geofencing is a popular technique that is expected to reach more than $3 billion by 2026. It using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or Global Positioning System (GPS) allows retailers to send in-app notifications based on a customer’s location. Known as geo-targeted advertising, this technology supports more detailed marketing messages and increases local spending.

Live shopping

Real-time shopping is another trend that is growing at a frenetic pace. By 2024, this trend is expected to reach a value of around 35 billion dollars. Live shopping originated in China and has emerged globally as a combination of video, influencer moguls and eCommerce apps.

Live shopping apps allow users to shop in real-time while still watching a live event or stream. This phenomenon is also based on enhanced interactivity, as users can comment and react to streams in real-time. Brands can host a live event on dedicated platforms such as TalkShopLive or on their mobile apps or websites through built-in shopping features.

Chatbots

The virtual assistant has become a common fixture in the competitive retail environment. Powered by natural language processing, chatbots assist customers throughout the customer journey, reducing customer support time and effort.

Thanks to the robust data processing capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms, bots can acquire customer data almost instantly. They can thus anticipate the next customer question or the product they will order later. These insights can then help companies deliver personalized shopping.

Be it complain resolution, managed checkout, or assisted purchase, chatbots support speed, convenience, customization and 24/7 availability for online shoppers. By 2024, consumer retail spending via chatbots is forecast to reach $142 billion worldwide – up from $2.8 billion in 2019.

Voice assistants

Unlike chatbots, which are fully focused on text communication, voice assistants like Alexa or Siri use speech recognition, natural language processing and speech synthesis to communicate with users based on a predefined scenario. This trend is especially evident in voice shopping apps that accept complex queries for better search results and conversational interactions. So shoppers can find and buy items using just their voices.

In 2022, more than 45 million US consumers used voice technology to shop online, increasing the global value of voice commerce transactions to approximately $5 billion. Voice interaction can also satisfy retail staff and enable faster hands-free inventory management and searches.

Omnichannel shopping

The omnichannel strategy has become front and center for retail practices due to pandemic in-store restrictions. Thus, approximately 60-70% of US consumers research and buy in-store and online across categories. So it only makes sense that in 2022, mobile commerce app development is seamlessly integrated into a unified customer experience that connects physical and online channels to engage customers.

Mobile shopping apps now function as an important part of the entire shopping ecosystem that includes brick-and-mortar experience, social channels, marketplaces, and other distribution channels. From a technical perspective, this means mobile solutions should support cross-channel purchasing through data management capabilities, process integration and branded user interfaces.

One-click purchase

At the time, it was Amazon that pioneered and patented a reinvented shopping cart form without the hassle of entering billing and address information over and over again. Today, users can place an order through one-click shopping. This means users only enter their billing, shipping and payment information once and continue shopping without re-entering it.

Since the patent expired in the fall of 2017, one-click checkout flows have become a popular method for all retailers to reduce cart abandonment and increase convenience.

What to consider when building an eCommerce apps

There is a lot on one’s plate when it comes to eCommerce development. However, the holy trinity of scalability, security and stability is what should be placed top and center in your mind.

Data security

As cyber-attacks have increased in frequency and ingenuity, merchants must implement robust security measures to make their applications bulletproof. Not to mention, shoppers leave a lot of sensitive data in the app, including card numbers, CVV codes and other details.

The most common eCommerce apps security measures include data encryption, security plugins, authentication, two-factor authentication, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and more. Although no one method alone can defeat a hacker, a combination of them will increase the overall security posture of your solution.

In addition, an eCommerce solution may need to comply with compliance regulations that impose a set of specific data security measures. These may include the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) PCI-DSS requirements and guidelines, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and more.

Stability

Bugs, glitches, and crashes are common reasons for app crashes and overall user frustration. To ensure the stability of your solution, the development team should conduct rigorous testing in various environments before releasing the application to the market. Otherwise, insufficient testing causes problems with the stability of the application.

In addition, mobile developers should opt for stable and time-tested infrastructure like Swift and Kotlin when building their apps. Your engineering team should also make sure that the solution works seamlessly across multiple devices without eating up excessive amounts of CPU or memory. Finally, an uncluttered design is what keeps your solution blazing fast on users’ smartphones.

Scalability

Security and stability are not enough to make your app top. Without scalability, your solution will not be able to accommodate new users or handle increasing transaction volume. Therefore, the scalability of your application architecture is key to the long-term success of the product.

Your mobile app development company is responsible for ensuring the scalability of your app. Mobile coders and testers perform scalability and load testing, intentionally subjecting your app to more demands to gauge its responsiveness and test its scaling limits. Mobile app architecture should also allow developers to easily add new features without major disruptions.

How much does it cost to create an MVP eCommerce app?

App development pricing does not have an exact formula written in stone. The number is dynamic and depends on a wide range of factors. Major cost drivers include team location, application complexity, timelines, and engagement model. With these factors in mind, we have provided a rough breakdown of MVP development costs at Orangesoft.

The approximate cost of creating an MVP for an eCommerce app is around $69,000. Keep in mind that this is only a rough estimate for the development phase and does not take into account your unique application needs, but provides an overall understanding of the investment required. We also only included a set of basic features. You will also need a project manager, UI/UX designers, QA engineers and other specialists to develop your mobile app. Their services are priced separately and are not included in this estimate.

To reduce your development costs, our team uses an agile methodology that divides the entire development process into short sprints. Each sprint is run with a specific set of deliverables in mind, so at the end of each sprint, you have a fully functional application component. In this way, the development process remains customizable at all times and minimizes the risk of rebuilding or user dissatisfaction.

 

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