Mobile Application for E-commerce Business – an Online Store
A mobile app for e-commerce companies is an effective investment, the profitability of which depends on several important decisions. The development of a mobile e-commerce application takes an average of four to six months, and after that, you will have to promote the application so that the majority of customers of the online store could install the application, as well as to support the application, to provide customer support and marketing to attract new users, and further improvement of the application. The cost of such applications starts from 7 thousand dollars and can even reach 25-30 thousand dollars. But the cost of application development and promotion is important, but not the crucial indicator of efficiency. The main thing is to have a well-thought-out marketing strategy in which a mobile e-commerce application will be built to strengthen the business, to increase customer loyalty, and to generate sales growth.
Tasks in the mobile segment
Business owners want to adapt mobile services:
- For online purchases within the framework of classic Internet commerce.
- As an assistant for offline purchases.
- To non-standard situations: using an Instagram account, consultations in messengers, and so on.
Popular business ideas for mobile applications.
Subjects where mobile applications are the most popular:
- transport and travel (for example, booking a hotel, buying tickets, or ordering a taxi);
- retail (retail sale of goods online);
- selling services online;
- sale of media and entertainment content (news, TV shows, films, TV series, games)
- business applications (corporate applications for employees).
If your subject is not on this list, it is worth analyzing additional factors that affect the success of the application:
- You have a sufficient number of paying users/clients.
- Most of the users are your regular customers.
- You have the resources not only to create but also to promote and support the application.
- Your customers tend to use mobile apps in their target market segment.
- You have a large staff of employees who need to access the corporate database permanently and conduct secure communications and information transfer.
Things to consider before creating an e-commerce mobile app.
There are several approaches to working with a mobile audience.
Responsive website version
Responsive website design and layout is the fastest and cheapest way to test a mobile channel. Responsive layout changes the design of the page depending on user behavior, platform, screen size, and device orientation.
A mobile site is visited by a large and varied audience: loyal customers, potential customers, those who compare the company with others, partners, and so on. If your business is aimed at a youth audience, then perhaps you should first make a mobile version, and then adapt it to a desktop. After all, Instagram was created to work only from mobile devices.
Advantages of a responsive website
- The application needs to be downloaded and installed on the device, not all potential users are ready to do it.
- According to statistics, Android is the most widespread in Russia, and, if you only make an iOS app, you might miss out on clients.
- The cost and terms of adaptive website development are less than that of a native mobile application.
A responsive site works correctly on mobile devices, but has low performance, is limited in access to user data and smartphone resources, since it works through a mobile browser.
A mobile app
The application, in contrast to the adaptive version, allows you to use the camera, location, push notifications, microphone, it is easier to personalize the offer, we get closer interaction with the brand.
The performance of such a solution is much higher, since the program uses the hardware power directly, not through the browser. This is especially important in applications with complex interfaces, animations, and heavy graphics.
The application is aimed primarily at a loyal audience that will agree not only to install but also to launch the application regularly. To do this, you need to think in advance about the benefits of such an application for your customers. These can be various kinds of services: loyalty programs, delivery status, map of sale sites, functions with augmented reality in your offline stores.
For better coverage, you can start with Android. Android accounts for up to 73.54% of the market. But there are several factors to consider:
- Perhaps a large proportion of your customers use iOS.
- Your competitors’ iOS applications are more successful than Android.
- Your ideas are easier and cheaper to implement on iOS.
If a building becomes architecture, then it is art
According to the average estimate, the development of an average mobile application in the e-commerce segment costs 10-20 thousand dollars, and if the application developer has his developments and templates, then you can save a lot on this.
There are other tools that bring them closer to the client, for example, a service for working with loyalty cards Wallet or, for example, communities on Instagram. Some desktop e-commerce solutions, such as Ecwid, have the option to release a native mobile client store (not mentioned in the study).
E-commerce application development costs.
The main problem that arises while creating mobile applications is the need to add all the functions and at the same time keep within the allocated project budget.
Get an estimated cost of developing a mobile application.
The most demanded functionality for business:
- loyalty program with a virtual card
- push notifications
- personal account with order statuses
- online payment for in-app purchases
- status of granting discounts for selected products
- notifications about seasonal promotions and sales
- comparison of prices for similar goods
- recommended products
If an online store plans to release an application for users of Android and iOS platforms, it can choose one of the following options:
- invest in two different apps for iOS and Android;
- create one cross-platform application that will work on both Android and iOS devices.
Increase in the number of sales through the mobile application.
Mobile apps allow you to increase store conversion through push notifications. Most popular mobile e-commerce apps regularly send push notifications to mobile device owners. Compared to traditional SMS, push notifications are a cheaper advertising channel. They eliminate the need to maintain a database containing user phone numbers and contact information. What’s more, push notifications are more effective than emails, as they are always available to users if they haven’t turned off notifications on their device. Besides, there is no spam folder for push notifications and it is difficult to ignore them.
There are such ways to create an application:
- Hire a developer to the staff;
- Order the development to an outsourcing developing company.
The correct operation of the application throughout the entire time, the ability to update content, add original features, and improve the application – all these features can be implemented by staff or outsourced application developer.
The development team for creating an application should include a project manager, mobile interface designer, copywriter, developer, and marketer.
Costs for mobile application support.
The next stage of work is to support the application, improve it, and fix bugs. These costs will be regular and impossible to avoid – otherwise, there is a risk of losing audience loyalty.
Building an application is not just a one-time development of a solution for mobile devices. It’s a daily job to make the most of the channel with potentially high conversions.
Using additional marketing tools
While developing a mobile application for a store, you will have to master new analytics tools, work with a large number of new metrics, and master new communication channels.
Most qualitative apps have a good percentage of users who use them regularly. According to statistics, 61% of users will not use an inconvenient application for more than a month, 23% of users will visit it several times a month, and only 17% of users will continue to use it for more than three months.
To keep buyers interested, you need to constantly invest in mobile app marketing:
- update information in the application;
- constantly attract attention with new notifications and messages;
- improve the design of the application;
- to offer current promotions and discounts for regular customers.
Thus, 32% of buyers would prefer to receive their promo coupons through a mobile application, and coupons available in the application are easy to find and use.
First, it is important to determine what products the company offers and whether users in this segment are inclined to buy through mobile apps.
New technologies improving the quality of customer service
- Instant payment via Apple Pay / Android Pay / Google Pay / PayPal
- Augmented reality like the leading retailers IKEA and Sephora.
- Chatbots and chats that facilitate the interaction of companies with customers using applications and services
- Tracking user behavior
- CRM strategy for notifications in the application
- Checkin in the store
- Fast order evaluation
- Ability to build a route to the point of sale
- Bonus program or loyalty card
Benefits of mobile apps
The main advantage of applications over a website is the ability to send notifications directly to the client’s mobile device. Usually, the main channel of communication with the client through the website is e-mail. But with the help of the application, it is much easier to remind the user about the store and the user interacts more actively with such notifications.
As with browser notifications, the user must allow notifications to be sent to him in the mobile app. Many popular brands actively motivate their customers to use product notifications, package tracking, and special events through discounts, promotional coupons, and even gifts.
2. Ease of use
3. High engagement
4. Convenient purchase payment using payment systems PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Google Pay, Apple Pay
What you need to know before ordering mobile application development
Also, the benefits of mobile app notifications in e-commerce include:
Most of the letters are opened by recipients within six hours, which means that the user will be able to skip promotions that last for a short period. Push notifications solve this problem successfully. Like SMS, the user reads the message within five minutes on average after receiving it. But due to the format of the Push-notification, the conversion of such ads is higher than that of SMS.
The rate of opened notifications is twice the Rate of opened mailing. Although letters remain in the user’s mailbox, and notifications disappear after a swipe, push notifications have no equal in notification speed.
Push notifications increase the number of app launches by one person by almost 3.5 times compared to disabled notifications.
The better the tone of communication, the time of receipt of the message, and its value for the user, are thought through, the more likely the customer will return to the application. In our experience, app conversions are two to three times higher than e-commerce sites.
Geolocation and geo-targeting
1. Free shipping
Users are twice as likely to use location services on mobile devices than on desktops, according to a study by MDG Advertising.
Geo-targeting allows you to show personalized messages to users from certain locations. If a store offers free shipping to customers in specific regions, such as New York and Philadelphia, the Free shipping banner will only appear to relevant users.
Moreover, you can use geolocation to calculate the exact cost of delivery, depending on the distance of the client from the warehouse. This allows you to increase conversion in Chernigov and Kharkov, and also shows the brand more reliable and transparent for the client.
2. Purchase tracking
The function will help to increase customer loyalty and reduce the number of calls to the store in case of delay in the arrival of goods or their delivery.
To see the location of the goods on the site, the buyer has to go to his account. And the app owner needs just a few clicks to find out the latest updates.
3. Tracking purchases in mobile apps
Also, when choosing a hotel or a local establishment, it is useful to show the user the route on the map.
4. Personalized content for the user
Scoot and Wizz Air offer the user a flight directly from the city in which he is currently located. Based on geolocation data, we can offer our clients personalized offers that are likely to interest our clients. The conversion of personalized content is many times higher than the non-individualized offers that many companies still offer in advertising to their potential buyers.
Depending on the weather in the city, you can send targeted notifications. For example, if it rains in the region, offer users new raincoats or umbrellas
Additional and useful functions of the application
- Checkin in the store.
- Scan products in the store to find out more about the item in the app.
- Quick order evaluation in the app
Assessment of order fulfillment – immediately after the buyer receives the goods. After receiving a purchase, the ability to receive a response via push notifications is higher than an email sent at the same time. The quicker information about customer satisfaction is, the higher is the ability to trace all the “pain points” on the customer journey and eliminate them.
4. Customer Reviews
The probability of receiving positive customer reviews about a purchase on the first day of receiving a purchase is several times higher than after 3-5 days or in a week. This is due to the positive emotional charge on the day of receiving the long-awaited purchase. Push notifications, by their very nature, allow us to receive a huge amount of positive feedback for free.
This is a desirable extension that, while requiring human resources for support, will significantly improve the experience of using a mobile application. More than 40% of buyers tend to shop if their questions are answered in a live chat.
6. Reward system.
It is easier to implement game elements in a mobile application than on a website. A great example is the Starbucks app, where shoppers are awarded points for their purchases. This makes the loyalty program simple for visual perception and interesting for customers.
7. Mobile coupons.
Sometimes a lot of coupons in your inbox among dozens of other offers from the same store tires you. With the coupons in the app menu, discounts are convenient to use – they are easy to find and use with your next purchase.
Beautiful coupons received on a mobile device are better remembered by users and subsequently stimulate them to purchase. Apps with visually attractive coupons and tips on how to use them when checking out allow you to motivate customers actively to use them. The rate of use of online coupons and promotional codes in the mobile application reaches 93%. This is a very high level of interaction, which can significantly increase conversions in the mobile application.
8. Use of VR / AR technologies
It is possible to use the latest visualization technologies, for example, augmented or virtual reality for marketing purposes using a mobile application, which means that you cannot do without developing an application if you strive to surprise and delight your customers.
9. Social functions.
People enjoy texting, sharing emotions, and playing on smartphones – which means game elements of the application and social interactions will be more popular not on the site, but in applications since it is easily implemented in a sequence of interactions there.
Example: to participate in a clothing store competition, you need to create your outlook, then save and share it with friends, thereby promoting the use of this mobile application and the brand itself.
Higher engagement means higher penetration. More reposts mean wider coverage of the store.
Creation of a mobile application for e-commerce business.
The decision to create an e-commerce application is a serious step that requires an assessment of all risks and opportunities, taking into account the characteristics of the target audience, the business itself, and its development prospects.
Before developing your application, make sure the project has the ability to:
- Invest about 10 thousand dollars in application development.
- Pay for the work of a marketer, manager, copywriter, and designer to work with the application.
- Spend time and money exploring the capabilities of the mobile application and its correct use.
- It is also necessary to analyze the product, the target market, and how the application will help to increase sales: Depending on the type of business, users may or may not be inclined to download the application;
- How many purchases the user makes in the store on average and how often they buy. If the majority of buyers don’t return, the app will have little use
A mobile application is a channel through which you can quickly convey information to the consumer and, thanks to notifications, track conversions several times higher than through a website.
Front Desk Helpers company will help you create an innovative mobile application with a modern design for your e-commerce project, as well as offer additional online tools that increase the efficiency of your business and communication with your customers.
Get a free online consultation with our specialist and start making more sales using the mobile app.