When Amazon was founded in 1994, the founder, Jeff Bezos, initially sold books exclusively but had a vision for the company’s explosive growth, which eventually paved the way to become a massive e-commerce conglomerate for what it is today.
Building an e-commerce app offers businesses global exposure and recognition without owning a brick-and-mortar store in a world increasingly driven by mobile commerce. E-commerce platforms empower businesses and help them achieve solidity and explore new markets.
As per Global News Wire, the e-commerce market is expected to grow by $12951.56 billion during 2022-2027 growing at a CAGR of 27.15% during the forecast period. Also, as per estimates, worldwide e-commerce retail sales are expected to account for more than $6 trillion worldwide in 2023.
Looking at the enormously growing statistics, the time is right to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon if you are still in the ideation process. Building a custom e-commerce solution through a good mobile app development process can be an excellent choice to evolve with customer expectations, explore new markets, multiply sales, and achieve substantial business growth.
Important Things to Consider When Developing an E-commerce App
Owing to continuous changes in buying patterns, e-commerce is seeing tremendous growth. And the following are some factors to consider before commencing e-commerce mobile app development and making it a successful venture.
Consider Business Goals
Understand your business goals and have a detailed outline before commencing the app project. A detailed understanding of customers based on demographics, shopping habits, spending capacity, and digital footprint helps you identify features, functionality, and promotions to meet user needs.
It is advisable to explore the target market of your niche and the applicable taxes, duties, costs, and compliance rules to choose the right e-commerce business model based on the product, market, and cost structure. Then, depending on your research, here are the business models you can opt for before commencing e-commerce app development.
- B2B (Business-to-business)
- B2C (Business-to-customer)
- D2C (Direct-to-customer)
- C2B (Customer-to-business)
Do a Competitive Analysis
Identify and keep track of key competitors operating in the same segment and geographic location, selling the same products or services. Find out which hosting, technologies, features, and functionalities competitors use for their apps or website. It can help you to understand their marketing strategies and identify potential areas of opportunity for your own business.
Define Project Requirements
In this stage, you must determine what needs to be done in the development phase. Then, have a realistic timeline by dividing the project into phases and making incremental progress through the app to ensure higher quality.
Next, define the internal roles and responsibilities of the team working on the app, for example, who will be the point of contact, the number of e-commerce app developers working for the app, UI/UX designers, the QA team, etc.
A deep analysis of the must-have features that should be added to the overall project scope, the third-party integrations you will need for the app to run, and a testing strategy to avoid functionality or compatibility issues that may crop up must be made.
Finally, set a budget depending on the platform targeted, the chosen tech stack, the workforce, customizations, maintenance, support, etc. We suggest you opt for an MVP(Minimum Viable Product) with a few basic features to launch a basic version of your app. It helps test your business ideas in the real-world market, get feedback, and make changes before launching the final app.
Decide on App Development/Expansion Needs
This stage applies to businesses with e-commerce websites that wish to expand by building an app. App development can be a different ball game altogether and challenging as it involves choosing the right app platform, app tech stack, and regions/markets you target. Considering them all is crucial to ensure success in expanding your business.
Choose the Right E-Commerce App Development Partner
If you do not have the right in-house team to carry on development or are unsure of what features or technology stack to include, you will need to outsource or partner with a reliable app development company to work on the project or build an in-house team.
Before you choose a suitable outsourcing partner, have a detailed look at how they have serviced clients in the same niche before, how they implemented the solution, what practices and methodologies they followed for development, and whether they have technically qualified resources, see reviews on their e-commerce app development services or you can also talk to those clients to know things better.
The following people will be needed to work on an e-commerce app.
- UI/UX designers
- Frontend developer
- Backend developer
- Database manager
- Project manager
- QA experts
- Delivery manager
The difference between outsourcing and building an in-house team lies in your budget. Read the pros and cons of it before knowing what works best for you.
Intensive Testing, Feedback, and Improvement
Testing is crucial. Running a quality assurance check on the application in frequent mode will ensure the app is secure in all stages of the development lifecycle. Run several rounds of testing in detail for the following areas to ensure smooth functioning and fix bugs that arise in the process.
- Workflow of the app
- Browser responsiveness
- Payment Gateway functionality
- Responsiveness for SEO and mobile
Once the beta version of the app launches, you will start receiving feedback and know how your customers are responding to your app. You also may have to drill down deep into your app’s analytics to identify improvement areas based on those insights. Do note that improvement and updates on the app will be a continuous process, which must be made to match the user’s needs.
E-commerce apps have become promising digital solutions that help promote your products and make for a great buying platform online. Therefore, building one has become inevitable for businesses in the digital era owing to ease of use, mobility, versatility, and crucial for sustaining a business in the long run.
As the e-commerce industry grows, we hope the above tips will help you set up for success before you even commence the e-commerce app development journey.