Since e-commerce is growing and it embraces millions of potential customers, it becomes a very powerful tool that is able to scale business, and as a consequence, greatly increase its income. On the other side, e-commerce application development is a time consuming process that requires entrepreneur to spend certain amount of money. In order not to burn the budget, it is necessary to consider all the app development factors beforehand. That’s why today we are talking about how to develop an e-commerce mobile application.
Requirements for a mobile shopping app development
To develop great e-commerce app, firstly, we need to understand what are the basic requirements for this type of product.
Security. Usually, e-commerce applications deal with buying operations. An app is the place where, customers spend their money on goods or services company provides. It leads to the necessity of providing an adequate level of security. Also, it is the most important factor for people who use e-commerce applications. Security issue affects app popularity and company reputation as well. High level of security is the argument for users to start using an application.
Ergonomic. Any e-commerce app has to be easy to use. User shouldn’t spend hours or follow any guides to learn how to use your application. App shouldn’t contain any confusing forms or elements. Everything has to be clear and simple, all unnecessary information should be removed too. Consider adding Help or FAQ section.
Stability of an e-commerce application is crucial. An application has to be stable, there is no excuses for it. Client shouldn’t be feeling that he spends his money and doesn’t get great service in return.
Of course, it is almost impossible to create an application with no mistakes at all. That leads to the necessity of testing, getting feedback from customers, analyzing error reports, releasing updates and bug fixes which will make your application more stable.
Speed. Another point you have to consider is how fast a mobile app for your e-commerce business works. An application should not lag and it has to respond to user’s commands quickly. It is necessary to reduce the delay time to the minimum to assure the best experience possible.
If you want to create an e-commerce app for iOs and Android, you need also consider the characteristics of the operation systems and devices. Design of an application matters as well. An application should look good, so people do not experience any eye-fatigue working with your application.
Payment components of the e-commerce app
One of the most important issues to take into account while developing a mobile app for e-commerce store is payment system integration. For this you need to introduce a payment gateway and processor to your app.
Payment gateway. It is an interface that connects a customer and a payment system. A payment gateway is extremely important since it determines the level of security of the payment procedure. After customer presses the button “Buy”, payment gateway starts to work. It encrypts all information a person provides: credit card number, personal and contact information, etc.
You may use a security system that already exists or build one from scratch. Choosing the second way you will have to do a lot of work by yourself because creating a security system is unbelievably hard.
Payment processor. The information goes through a payment gateway to the next point – a payment processor. It is the heart of the payment system and a place where the main procedures are executed. The data, provided by a customer, is transmitted to a payment processor. Then, It sends this data to the bank with all necessary transaction details.
Bank processes the data and sends answer back. A payment processor gets the answer from the bank and determines if the transaction approved or denied. If the transaction was approved then procedure is considered to be completed successfully. If the transaction was denied, a customer gets notification that funds wasn’t transferred.
A payment processor is the main component of the whole payment module of e-commerce application, therefore, it should be stable. Moreover, errors should be excluded completely. Such components need to be tested attentively to make sure everything works correctly.
E-commerce app solutions to implement
Here are some ideas that you can implement while developing e-commerce app. These examples are applicable for startup companies too.
Instastyle. Offering a wide range of goods (like clothing), it would be a great idea to create an application that will look like Instagram, where a customer will see kind of a “news feed” with company offerings. Customer touches an image with clothing he likes and adds it to the cart – simple as that.
Auction. This feature would be useful for stock resellers. A person may start an auction with determined parameters of the proposal, like the maximum number of participants, the starting price, etc. Therefore, an application may replicate the model of a real-life auction, but in the case of a mobile-application, a person may participate in an auction with help of the Internet.
Goods finder. Another idea is to give solution that will help people find something they are looking for. A customer takes (or finds) a photo of goods which is similar to one you offer and uploads it to the application. Then, app helps him to find the same product at your online-store.
E-check. A good option for cafes and restaurants would be an application that lets pay for meal without the necessity of waiting for the check. You save customers’ time and people will leave your café or restaurant faster, so you will be able to provide new customers with the place. An application gathers the information about the order and sums up the prices, so a customer can easily access their order and see how much they have to pay.
Design editor. If your company offers clothing with custom design, then consider creating an application that would let customers choose design of clothing. It would be a good option to create a layout with images that demonstrate different designs and an editor that lets people create their own garment. For example, a person can select a black t-shirt and add various images to be printed on it. The editor should have layers and tools that let customers change colors of the elements.
E-commerce app development in detail
To develop an e-commerce application, a team that consists of a designer, quality assurance tester, project manager, 2 mobile developers and 1 backend developer is needed. The main features, which can be implemented by this team in the app, include:
- A user profile which includes personal information, an avatar and the buying history, a wishlist, etc.
- Synchronized feed that is updated in real time and includes categories and goods.
- Searching and filtering of goods.
- Safe authorization and additional hacking protection.
- Payment systems integration.
- Reviews and comments sections with feedback support (like chat).
- Delivering and orders’ tracking.
- Refund system.
When it comes to app development, it is necessary to consider another important factor – time, that influences the amount of money you will have to pay. The most time-consuming features are:
- Feed with categories – 30 – 60 hours (it depends on UI complexity and transition animation).
- Payments systems integration – 30 – 60 hours for each system used.
- Hacking protection – 30 hours and more.
- Feedback system – 10 hours and more if communication is carried out via e-mail and from 40 to 80 hours if chat is used.
Every part of an application requires a certain amount of time to be spent on it. Here is the general time plan for the app development:
- Design: 80 – 120 hours.
- Mobile development: 480 – 640 hours.
- Backend development: 320 – 400 hours.
- Project managing and Quality assurance: 180 – 240 hours.
In total, the app development process may take 1060 – 1400 hours, of course, depending on the number of features, functions, and their complexity. Since it determines the price of application, software has to be planned well to avoid implementing unnecessary functions and, as a consequence, time wasting.
The cost to build a e-commerce mobile app depends on men-hour pricing as well. If it equals to $20 per hour, then app development price will start at $21,200 and reach about $159,000, if the men-hour rate is $150.
How to make app even more better?
E-commerce mobile app development doesn’t stop after app release. It’s important to continue to work to make it better, work faster and fix the errors to provide potential customers with the best experience possible.
Analyze how people use your software and study the feedback you get from them. Since you create an application for people, then you need to make it work, as they want. The Google Analytics service is the source of useful data. It will provide you with all information you need to understand how people interact with your app. App rank in the mobile stores is important too – App Annie is the resource that will help a lot.
If you still have any questions regarding theme of e-commerce app development or want to get unique mobile solution for your e-commerce business, contact us. Our company has broad experience of IT products development for small companies and enterprises and we are able to develop custom mobile application which will meet all your business needs.