Eager to make an e-commerce app that will raise brand loyalty and increase customer databases? Well, that’s a commendable ambition. The whole world goes online; people prefer buying things or services on the web, and your e-commerce app might help them tackle that challenge.
Keep reading to learn how to build an e-commerce mobile app, the latest trends in this niche, tips on how to calculate the budget of your product, must-have features of the mobile app, etc. You’ll be no stranger to all the information related to e-commerce app development and able to deliver the best experience for your customers. Get comfortable and have a look at these guidelines.
Let’s begin with the basics and analyze the current e-commerce market. When it comes to deciding whether you need a commerce app for your business or not, your first and foremost task is to analyze the statistics. In 2020, retail e-commerce sales worldwide reached $4,28 trillion, and the general revenue is expected to grow in 2022.
Overall, online shopping has become extremely popular over the last five years as this option is faster and more convenient compared to visiting traditional stores.
Let’s move on to the sales overview by country. According to updates from Statista, Brazil is expected to be the country with the highest growth in online retail sales by the end of 2021. Russia goes second in this list with an expected growth of 32%.
As you can see, this industry is trending up. More and more people prefer buying goods and services online as this option is much more comfortable. But before we take a deeper look at the peculiarities of building e-commerce applications, let’s dive deeper into the phenomenon of mobile commerce.
M-commerce is a widely-used term for mobile commerce. It’s not a new trend or technology; it’s an addition to e-commerce, the niche that has been around for more than ten years. It demonstrates the natural progression of technology as modern users use mobile devices today more than any other one. So far, mobile commerce includes mobile banking, mobile shopping, and digital wallets or online payment options.
The main benefits of mobile commerce are as follows:
Statistically, around 46% of users stated that they use a mobile e-commerce app to discover more information on products and services. In a more particular case, popular flash sale retail company Rue La La managed to get a 60% boost in user message open rates by experimenting with the design and messaging of their notifications.
Let’s get back to figures. Statistically, around 79% of smartphone users buy things or services online using mobile devices in the past months. For instance, by nailing the utterly accessible approach to user experience in their app, Uber has been able to gain around 82 million(!) users only in 5 years, having boasted only 11 million users in total in 2015.
Good customer service means a lot for businesses. To enhance sales, you need to establish proper communication between users and the store. A mobile app allows business owners to provide 24/7 customer support. Responsive customer support results in higher brand loyalty rates, which brings companies 4%-8% more revenue on average.
Modern companies utilise mobile apps to raise sales. Moreover, some of them even manage to improve online and offline sales. For example, Domino’s Pizza has invested in building a mobile app. The resulting product has been downloaded 10 million times and improved e-commerce sales by 25%. Globally, m-commerce sales already cover about 50% of all e-commerce sales in the world.
Consider investing in e-commerce application development. Contact EPAM Anywhere Business and get a free consultation on app development for your business.
As well as any other industry, this one also has some pace-setters, companies that have already achieved success in this niche and boast an impeccable reputation. Let’s list a few most successful brands:
We guarantee that each of us has already used at least one of the above-listed apps. All of them have millions of users and boast a high rating in the app stores.
When you leverage customer segmentation, you’ll build a framework for running well-hypothesized experiments. And the primary goal of this data is to provide a more engaging experience. To portray your target audience, you can use such categories as their place of living, gender, age, interests, profession, etc. Beyond this, you should also think about how your product might help them in their everyday life and write down detailed use cases.
The major mobile consumer categories right now include:
To take the US market of mobile shoppers for a generalized example of segmentation by age groups, here’s how many people of different ages prefer to shop online via smartphones:
It’s apparent that the younger and more self-conscious a person is, the more hang they have on smartphone tech opportunities and more prone they are to resort to time-saving mobile purchases. Millennials are especially interested in in-app shopping, with 61% of surveyed smartphone users in this age group stating that they use retail apps regularly and 58% confessing to prefer online shopping over visiting traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
The mobile revolution changed the world we live in, and, of course, it created a new buzz in the e-commerce sector. If you are eager to make an e-commerce application, it won’t be a wrong decision. The thing is that mobile applications have changed the way retailers connect with their targeted audience. And if you are still hesitating whether you need a mobile app for your business, look through the below-listed reasons to make an e-commerce Android app for your business.
Before you immerse yourself in the e-commerce business and find developers to create an e-commerce mobile app, you need to define the right type of app that will meet your business goals. Consider the following app types:
These are social media platforms that are mostly concentrated on shopping. The best examples are Pinterest, Poshmark, or Polyvore.
These are mobile apps mostly focused on discounts and profitable online deals. The best examples are Groupon or LivingSocial.
These are huge marketplaces like Amazon, where you can buy literally everything. Such platforms allow mobile shoppers to look through the items, form wishlists, leave comments, share products on social media, etc.
It is crucial to keep one nuance in mind here — different customer segments expect different treatment and slightly individualized user experiences. What you need to do is outline some specific major aspects the user segments you target expect to see and experience.
As such, it is important for baby boomers, for instance, to see comprehensive, convincing testimonials and feedback from past customers as they tend to trust real human opinions more than any marketing efforts.
Generation X customers also pay a good share of attention to reviews yet they also tend to look things up and learn lots of details before making final purchasing decisions. This is where proper SEO and marketing efforts combined with high-quality customer support services play a major role.
Millennials focus a lot on research and analysis, which means that they study competitors’ offers and prices, go an extra mile to confirm your brand reputation, and consider the technological and overall quality of services (e.g., smoothness of user experience, conveniences of features, rates of performance, quality of customer support, presence of certificates, etc.). People from this generation welcome tech solutions but also like it when innovative features are intuitive and can make their lives easier.
Logically, zoomers are all about innovation and outstanding, original approaches. Grabbing a zoomer’s attention is all about the design, novelty, and being in tune with the times. And this is where the employment of advanced technologies and hyped-up concepts helps a lot. A zoomer will surely pay more attention to a VR or AR-integrated app, an app with an extraordinary, feature-rich, dynamic interface, or a solution inspired by common happenings (e.g., the global pandemic).
And there are more up-to-date trendy features you may want to use.
If your overriding objective is to create an Android app for e-commerce that delivers a stellar experience, follow (or even step ahead) the current e-commerce tech trends to make sure you keep up with customer requirements and stand the market competition. Let’s take a deeper look at the current trends in this niche:
Let’s take a closer look at the main features of your future mobile app. Remember that choosing the core functions is a big consideration of any business owner. By providing features, including the below-listed ones, you’ll undoubtedly give your e-commerce business a chance for a good start:
It’s clear that your audience needs to undergo a registration procedure before they are allowed to make purchases. Make it simple and user-friendly.
Failing to deliver an array of banking options is a mistake. Set up your payment gateway as a part of an e-commerce solution.
The option provides customers with sales details and information about products right on time.
Make sure your app features an extensive product gallery with all information needed to find out more about the products.
The main mission of an e-commerce app is to deliver an easy way of shopping. So the first and foremost task is to build a functional shopping cart.
An app should feature an array of shipping options to meet the needs of the most exacting users.
The main objective of this option is to provide users with information about the delivery status of their order.
Top-notch and notable apps allow users to rate products or services and leave feedback about user experience.
The following are some nice-to-have options that should help you better please your target audience and convert random visitors into regular customers. However, keep in mind the above-mentioned customer expectations. Your focused TA should define the scope of your app’s features, not the other way round. For instance, there will be more use in employing AR and other innovative features if you target zoomers. At the same time, social integrations may bring more benefits if your major TA are gen X and boomers.
AR is expected to become one of the hottest e-commerce trends. Its main goal is to allow users to interact with the chosen product from the screen of their mobile device and check the way it looks in reality.
Social media is the strongest tool available on the web. Such integrations speed up user login, registration, and sharing the details of your products.
E-commerce Android applications (as well as iOS) with vast catalogs may take forever to load if a user has a poor internet connection. In this case, offline mode, even less functional than online, will provide customers with a seamless user experience and improve your rating.
Choosing the right e-commerce platform to kick-start an online store is a big consideration for business owners. Are you looking for a cost-efficient approach or eager to build a powerful and multi-featured app that might demonstrate the value of your company? Let’s compare custom e-commerce development with simple e-commerce app builders, available online to any user.
E-commerce App Builders
Unique app, developed specifically for the needs of your business.
Usually don’t imply building a custom app, and have a limited set of features that can’t be customized. Still, the in-built features work together nicely.
Gives users the best performance possible, higher efficiency, and a much better user experience since such solutions are tailored specifically for the needs of a project.
Performance may be worse compared to custom apps.
Clean base code that enables adding custom components. Full potential for customization.
Have an established set of themes and plugins, which are enough if your app needs basic solutions rather than custom.
Features robust backend support from the dev team.
Implies support from app builders, which may be limited.
Time to market
Takes more time to build a custom solution.
A time-saving alternative.
Before you entrust an app development to your development team or a vendor, define a proper idea of your e-commerce application. For this, set your priorities. Use the table above to outline what you need your app to be, making sure that everything falls in line with your business capabilities. The scope of your ambitions should define the app’s customizability, your budget, its extent of functionality and time-to-market, and so on.
If you are going to invest in mobile app development for e-commerce, you need to learn this niche inside out. And the biggest mistake that you can make is to think that your e-commerce product can fit the needs of all users. If your overriding objective is to succeed, you need to define your core audience. How can you do that? Check out a few insightful tips that might help you identify the main users of your future product:
When it comes to the development of e-commerce applications, your first and foremost task is to learn their online behavior, interests, age, habits via statistics, research, interviews, focus groups, etc.
Create an individual profile of each customer that opens the website of your store. In doing so, it will be easier to target a group of similar customer profiles.
After creating customer profiles, categorize your users using demographics, lifestyle, occupation, hobby, etc. This helps better understand their needs and create the right promotional ads for each category.
This is where you have a few options to choose from. You can either record customer feedback after purchase or create brief welcome surveys for newly registered users. They will help you learn more about your potential customers.
So far, it’s one of the crucial aspects to consider before you immerse yourself in e-commerce mobile application development. Keep track of the industry giants that are engaged in the same niche. Know all their products and services, and this information might help you find out what market you should target first.
To research all the above information before the app development project kick-off, you can either:
So you see that to create an app for e-commerce, you need to conduct research first and create a detailed action plan. Before hiring a professional app development team and paying for building an app, you need to be doubly sure that your audience will undoubtedly benefit from your product and would be glad to use it.
Proper UX/UI design investments result in dramatically boosted ROI in the long term. We may as well state that you double the ROI on your total investments when you put enough focus on the outstanding design. In the long run, this may bring you up to a 500% ROI while you’ll also be able to retain loyal customers better and get more word-of-mouth recommendations (if you have what it takes to really impress people with the UI/UX design).
The Design Management Institute, for instance, claims that successful brands that put the heaviest focus on designs they provide — Apple, Netflix, Coca-Cola, and others — tend to outperform the average industry performance index by over 200% in a 10-year market operation stretches.
All business owners that wish to create a mobile e-commerce app face another challenge — choosing the right tech stack. And it’s even more problematic than any other task. Let’s begin with the basics. A technology stack combines various tools, platforms, apps, frameworks, and programming languages needed to build a mobile app.
First things first — you need a proper programming language for outlining the architecture of the app. The choice should be based on your target mobile platform:
From there on out, you will need a bunch of tools for designing the user interface and hardcoding the functionality of the application, which are, too, selected based on the target platform:
We are moving to the most interesting section of this app development guide — an overview of the key steps to follow to build a tremendous e-commerce app that might bring revenue to your business. Let's list the main stages of e-commerce app development:
Analyze the market, research competitor apps, and check user interviews. All these aspects are compulsory for analyzing user behavior.
Define what problems your app might solve and what your target audience is.
Before choosing the tech stack of your future e-commerce app, discover the ins and outs of your company. Besides, analyze the development cost, choose the CMS, scalable framework, etc. With this information in mind, it might be easier for you to decide — whether to create an e-commerce app in Android or iOS.
Come back to the main problems your app solves and define the basic features that might satisfy the needs of your customers.
Never neglect this stage and invest in building UX/UI designs. This is a fair opportunity to stand out from the competition. Moreover, a good design reveals your business identity.
A minimum viable product is a product with a limited set of essential features that enables you to test the functionality of your e-commerce app and learn what your target audience thinks about your product.
When you are done with building an MVP, it’s high time to find out more about the opinion of your users about your app. When gathering feedback, you’ll learn how users interact with your application. This information is needed to check positive and negative aspects of your product and, of course, make improvements if necessary.
Now that you know how to create an e-commerce Android app, it’s time to delve deeper into the app cost. Let’s take a deeper look at the key issues that might impact the app development cost.
In fact, it is quite challenging to name the precise cost of building an app for your business, as some projects may even take a year to complete. This is why it is best to plan the budget based on the expected return on investments and forecasted revenues. The scheme can be the following — smaller market niches bring smaller ROI’s, which means you should focus more on cost-efficiency and strategy to achieve final profitability. More demanded niches with wider TAs bring more profits which should point you more to investing and adjusting to niche conditions along the way.
Other underlying factors might also help you define the approximate pricing:
Finding a trusted and time-proven software development vendor is a big consideration. Remember that the success of your future software product is greatly contingent on a team responsible for building it. This is where you need to check the experience in building similar products, expertise, knowledge, etc.
Another aspect to consider is to check whether the chosen vendor has case studies that highlight customer success. Trustworthy companies believe in the software they build.
On top of that, when dealing with a reputable vendor, you can be doubly sure that you won’t be cheated and the final product will be ready on time.
However, it is essential to set your priorities straight here, too. Because you may want to save costs by turning to a cheap contractor to achieve short-term goals more efficiently. On the other hand, collaborating with a trusted vendor will take more expenses yet you will get more long-term business benefit.
Here at EPAM Anywhere Business, we strongly believe that people define the future of any project and, of course, the business outcome. Therefore, when starting a new project, we mostly concentrate on finding the right people that can meet the demands of your product. If you choose us to develop an e-commerce application in Android or iOS, you can rest assured that only experienced programmers and project managers will be working in your dedicated team.
As we have already mentioned, a lot depends on the needs of your project, but in general, the following development team roles are engaged:
Both platforms, iOS and Android, have their own merits and demerits. Let’s dive deeper into the main differences in development for both platforms:
The coding terms are the key differences between both platforms. For building an Android app, use Kotlin or Java. If this is a project for iOS, opt for Swift. All these solutions boast a huge community of experts and a rich ecosystem.
The thing is that iOS includes three devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod), and Android supports an array of devices, so the team will need more time to build an e-commerce Android app.
When it comes to the time-to-market speed, Android-supported apps are faster and easier to launch. Google Play automatically tests applications within a few hours, but we can’t say the same about the App Store. Sometimes, it takes weeks for them to check your iOS-based app.
In the long run, it all comes down to the scope of tasks and selected software services provider. You may be able to calculate the approximate pricing by taking the number of person-hours it would require to implement all basic parts of the app and multiply them by the rates of your preferred provider. Thus, a basic e-commerce app would have:
To throw in some more average numbers:
You can already start making preliminary calculations. But keep in mind that this is all very approximate and may differ dramatically based on a myriad of factors (like software complexity, corporate ambitions, regional peculiarities, and, most importantly, the presence of advanced features).
The final price of building an app is affected in a major way by the involvement of advanced features. Thus, if you want your app to have, for instance:
Be prepared to pay accordingly. While a basic app can be built in about 3-6 months, a complex solution may take more than 10 months to complete. On average and, again, very approximately, this may result in the $200,000-$250,000 final price mark.
Besides the above-mentioned aspects, you should also bear in mind that maintenance services, technical support, and the location of your software development team influence the budget of your product. Whether you develop an e-commerce app in Android or iOS only, the urgency of your project, design — all this can decrease or increase the app price.
Let’s get back to figures. When you make an e-commerce mobile app, a lot depends on the complexity of your product, and the average price varies from $30,000 to $170,000 (in case you opt for a reputable outsource software development team). If you are eager to invest in building an in-house team, the price might grow to $1 million.
On average, it takes about 700-800 working hours to build an app. But if it’s a full-fledged e-commerce product, the development process takes even more time.
Besides, a lot depends on the location of a dev team and their hourly rates. Let’s sum up the data:
A team from the USA
Outsourced team in India
$15,000 — $25,000
Outsourced team in Eastern Europe
$30,000 — $40,000
Mind that the final price is determined individually and depends on the needs of your project. Contact EPAM Anywhere Business experts to find out how much your e-commerce app might cost.
Overall, if you are looking for a trustworthy and time-proven software development team, contact experts from EPAM Anywhere Business, a software engineering company with many years of experience in building e-commerce apps.
Let’s move on to our case studies. One of our recent projects is a collaboration with Sephora. The company contacted us because they wanted to provide their customers with a first-class e-commerce experience. Thanks to our expertise in building e-commerce solutions, we helped Sephora boost their mobile sales by150% and managed to create a fantastic online solution for users that was fast to bring numerous niche publications.
Another successful EPAM Anywhere Business project was launching an e-commerce platform for HEAD. They turned to us to help them build a new webshop. The final project was completed within the established budget and deadline. All in all, we managed to build a stable and multi-featured e-commerce platform for HEAD users.
In terms of 3 weeks of working on the project, we managed to set up a full-blown team of Magento specialists, assess the overall software infrastructure, and implement several major tasks and optimizations. As a result, we finished the job in 2 months in total.
With EPAM Anywhere Business’s experience in e-commerce development, you can be doubly sure that your project is in the hands of experts in this niche!
Let’s sum up our comprehensive review:
Overall, if you want to find a proven software development company with an impeccable reputation in the area of software development, don’t hesitate to contact the EPAM Anywhere Business team. We’ll help you define the main features needed for your product, calculate the app cost, and build an app that will surely raise your income!