Did you know that 91% of shoppers make online purchases using their smartphones? For this reason, e-commerce businesses must look for ways to optimize the mobile shopping experience in order to stay ahead of the competition. And perhaps the best way of doing so is by launching a mobile app.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of developing an e-commerce app, as well as the features needed to ensure your platform is poised for long-term success. Keep reading to learn more.
Popular E-Commerce Apps
Before discussing how a mobile app can boost your own business, we must first take a look at some of the most popular and noteworthy e-commerce platforms.
The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, was created as an online marketplace for books in 1994 and has since grown to offer a variety of products, including apparel, electronics, jewelry, home decor, tools, and toys. The shopping platform, which accounts for nearly 38% of all e-commerce sales, sells many of these products under its own brand names, like Amazon Essentials and Mama Bear, but also allows third-party sellers to list both new and used goods for sale. Purchases can be made through the mobile app, Amazon Shopping, as well as through the Amazon website.
Founded in 1995, eBay is the second-most visited shopping site after Amazon. While it’s known for its auction-style approach to e-commerce, eBay also offers a buy-it-now option for those who’d like to purchase an item instantly. The platform can be used by buyers at no cost, while sellers are given a limited amount of free listings before being charged to list their items. Once an item is sold, sellers will be charged an additional fee. Generating $9.7 billion in revenue in 2022, eBay is an especially popular platform for those looking to buy or sell vintage items and collectibles, books, clothing, and electronics.
Etsy, founded in 2005, focuses on craft supplies, handmade goods, and vintage items, such as jewelry, clothing, home decor, and art. Sellers on this platform are given their own storefront in which they can list their products for a listing fee of 20 cents per item. The company will also take 6.5% of a product’s final sale price and 5% of its postal fee. With 94 million active buyers and 7.3 million sellers, Etsy has grown immensely since its founding, earning $2.5 billion in revenue in 2022 due to its emphasis on fostering creativity.
Benefits of Having an E-Commerce App
Because 78% of online shoppers prefer to use apps over mobile websites, having an e-commerce app will be advantageous for both your business and your customers. Here are a few of the top benefits that will come with offering a mobile app.
Improve Customer Experience
A mobile app can go a long way in enhancing the overall customer experience because it can provide a personalized shopping process. With an app, you can easily analyze a user’s shopping behavior to recommend items based on their purchase history. You can also offer special in-app discounts or enlist a loyalty program in which users are rewarded for frequent purchases.
A mobile app will also substantially increase your exposure and help garner new customers, as it enables a more convenient, quicker way to shop compared to a mobile site. Plus, online shoppers want a hassle-free purchasing process, so having a mobile app will ensure that your e-commerce platform stands out among the competition.
Offering a mobile app is one of the easiest ways to boost your e-commerce sales. This is because customers can easily save all their information, including different payment options, and essentially make a purchase with just one click. You can also utilize push notifications, alerting customers to special discounts and offers and reminding them to open the app and shop.
Gather Customer Data
Another perk of having an e-commerce app is that it will allow your business to gather data about your customer base, offering valuable insight into their shopping preferences and behavior. This way, you can strategically improve the customer experience based on this data by implementing relevant promotions and suggesting personalized content.
Popular Features of E-Commerce Mobile Apps
Now that you understand the benefits of having a mobile app for your e-commerce platform let’s discuss which features you’ll need to include to ensure your app is a success.
An essential feature of any mobile app, push notifications can be used to relay important information regarding recent orders and upcoming promotions, provide personalized recommendations, and remind customers that there are still items in their cart. If done properly, push notifications are incredibly effective in enticing customers to use your e-commerce app and complete purchases. In fact, app users who receive push notifications have 190% higher retention rates than those who do not.
Secure Payment Portal
Your e-commerce app will also need to have a portal for customers to securely complete their orders and make payments. This system should give users the option of saving their payment details for future orders, making sure that all customer information is safely stored. In addition to debit and credit cards, you may also want to accept third-party payment services like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Square.
Customer Wish List
A wish list is similar to a shopping cart in that customers can compile a collection of products that they are interested in purchasing. However, unlike a cart, a wish list is meant for items that users don’t intend to buy immediately. With this feature, you can encourage users to complete a purchase by alerting them when items on their wish list are back in stock or being sold at a reduced price.
Your mobile app should also include a search feature that will allow users to easily find the products they are looking for in your e-commerce store. This will not only help save your customers’ time, but it will also streamline the shopping process, showing them all the different options for products related to their search.
Advanced Features of E-Commerce Mobile Apps
In order for your app to set itself apart as a high-quality e-commerce platform, you will also need to implement some advanced features like augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
Implementing augmented reality (AR) will allow customers to preview products before purchasing them. If shopping for a new couch, for example, AR will enable users to take a photo of their home environment and view how the furniture will look in that space. This will help customers become more confident in their purchases and also result in higher satisfaction rates. After all, 57% of consumers say that they are more likely to buy from a company that offers an immersive AR experience.
AI Voice Assistant
You may also want to include an AI voice assistant feature that will allow users to shop while cooking, relaxing, and even driving. Because 74% of consumers reported using a voice assistant to research and buy products, create a shopping list or check order status, this convenient, hands-free option is becoming a necessary component of online shopping.
ChatGPT Customer Service Bot
OpenAI’s revolutionary ChatGPT is another advanced feature that can take your e-commerce app to the next level. By using the chatbot for customer service, you can provide users with 24/7 support for all their questions and concerns. Additionally, ChatGPT’s quick response time will lead to swift resolutions; it’s also cost-effective, as you won’t need to hire a team of customer service representatives.
E-Commerce Mobile App Development From Idea Maker
Are you interested in building a mobile app for your e-commerce business but don’t know where to begin? Idea Maker is here to help! Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about how our team of developers and designers can bring your e-commerce app to life.