If companies want to succeed in today’s market, they need to create a strong ecommerce app. But what does this involve, what technology should be considered and, crucially, how much does it cost?
From multinational giants such as Amazon to online betting companies like Dual Kings, in today’s market, most businesses already have some sort of ecommerce app, whether carefully thought-out investments in retail or sports betting app development.
But if they do not, how do organizations create their own ecommerce app? The secret to success lies in building up, or hiring, a dedicated software development team that is capable of custom software development services at speed. But before this article dives into the technical side of building an ecommerce app, first we need to look at what kind of apps are out there.
Ecommerce app types
There are three main areas that any ecommerce app can fit into. Some businesses sell to other businesses (B2B), some sell to customers (B2C), and sometimes customers cut out the middleman and decide to sell to other customers directly (C2C).
This is important to remember as organizations will need to decide what type of transaction their app is designed for – B2B, B2C, or C2C – when they start to create their own ecommerce app.
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Tech stack for ecommerce app
What should every ecommerce app have to provide the experience users expect? Everything organizations need to build a solid foundation for their app is provided below:
- Building easy-to-use UI/UX: providing clean, easily accessible apps is crucial if organizations want customers to buy their products and come back for repeat visits and purchases. Tools such as Photoshop and Google Sketch can be used to deliver UI/UX experiences that win over users.
- Accurately tracking and storing personal preferences: leveraging data analytics will ensure that any organization’s ecommerce app will remember its users’ personal preferences. Amazon, Google and Microsoft all provide data analytics solutions that make tracking what customers like much easier.
- Leveraging secure payment gateways: ensuring customers can pay with minimal effort on their part is crucial if businesses want their ecommerce apps to succeed. Services such as Stripe and Braintree can help organizations integrate various payment gateways into their app, enabling their customers to pay for products with various options such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and online banking portals.
- Using industry standard coding procedures: using Objective C, Java, Python and Swift ensures any ecommerce app will run better on iPhone and Android, while platforms such as Flutter and React Native are typically used in the building of hybrid apps.
- Implementing robust database management procedures: securing data should be a focus for any modern business, especially as their shareholders push them to scale up more and more. MySQL, MongoDB and Firebase are great options for managing any app’s database effectively from day one.
- Implementing voice search capabilities: providing a voice search option is becoming more and more popular with users – especially with voice-based technology such as Amazon’s Alexa continuing to grow in popularity. The Azure Speech API, Amazon Transcribe, Siri Shortcuts and Google Cloud Text Speech API can be used to implement a voice search function in any app quickly and easily.
- Adding well thought-out push notifications: providing push notifications through various services such as Twillo, Apple Push Notifications Service and Firebase can help increase engagement with an app significantly if leveraged correctly and with a little bit of common sense.
- Creating robust chatbot experiences: ensuring customers have access to an automated support option might also be worth considering when organizations begin to create their own ecommerce app. Google Dialogflow, Amazon Lex, Botpress and Bot Kit are some of the platforms that help developers build a robust chatbot that customers can interact with at speed.
Ecommerce app development: process
By now, it should be obvious that ecommerce apps come in many shapes and sizes, with many different features. However, while each app is different, the process used to create an ecommerce app should always remain the same.
The six-step process used to build any ecommerce app is outlined below:
- Establish app goals: determine why this app is needed and decide on the KPIs that will be used to track the app’s overall success as early as possible. Data such as how much traffic businesses receive monthly – either physically or online – can help build realistic goals and milestones.
- Understand the audience: decide on who its audience is by asking how old they are, what are their interests, what channels do they use, and how are they finding our business? Answering these questions, and combining them with any organization’s expertise, will influence the type of ecommerce app created.
- What tech will drive it: determine whether customers will need to physically download the app, or will they just need to visit a website that functions similarly to an app, also known as a progressive web application (PWA). PWAs are useful if organizations already have a lot of traffic to their websites, but apps downloaded from Google Play or The Apple Store typically offer the most optimized experience possible for iOS or Android.
- What are its essential requirements: decide which critical features the app needs to resonate with users, be it a robust review system, access to a wish list, or full social media integration. Geography plays a key role here, for example – Western customers want more secure gateways in their ecommerce apps, while South-East Asian customers expect integration with WeChat – so knowing audiences is critical to getting this step right.
- SaaS or bespoke: determine whether the app will be built using a SaaS solution or bespoke option. SaaS solutions are cheaper, can integrate with stores quickly and are often used by small to medium businesses. Bespoke options, meanwhile, are often used by bigger companies that have very specific demands for their apps, thanks to the unique needs of their customers.
- How will it be marketed: decide how the app will be marketed once it is complete. This may seem like an easy step, but do not be fooled, it is often just as tough as creating the app itself – if not even more so.
How much does it cost to create an ecommerce app?
In order to create an ecommerce mobile app, organizations will typically need to set aside anywhere between $9,999-$100,000.
However, the final cost depends on several factors including:
- The app’s complexity
- Number of development platforms that need to be considered
- Number of features that need to be added to it
- Essential design requirements
- Location of the workforce developing it
- Any ongoing support and maintenance that needs to be considered down the line.
What’s more, the more complex organizations want to make their ecommerce apps, the longer it will take to launch them, with typical timelines ranging from 3-12 months depending on the complexity of the final product.
How to create an ecommerce app – final thoughts
In conclusion, ecommerce mobile apps are here to stay, but creating and maintaining them need not be difficult, so long as organizations take the steps needed to create ecommerce apps that truly stand out from the crowd from day one.
At Software Mind, we know that building an ecommerce mobile app can be challenging. Our experts understand the benefits of these apps, what they can do for you and how to implement them in your company at speed, which is why our dedicated software team is happy to talk about what types of apps they can create for your business whenever you are.
About the authorSoftware Mind
Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world.