Online shopping is the process of buying or acquiring services through online stores. It allows customers to search and order from anywhere in the world without leaving their homes or offices. Why is shopping mobile app development so relevant?
It is becoming increasingly popular these days because of the convenience and ease of shopping from different categories, including clothing, electronics, food, furniture, cosmetics, etc. It’s also an opportunity to offer a wider selection and lower prices. You can quickly and conveniently compare prices, read reviews, and search for products.
How has the format of shopping changed in the last 5 years?
The market has changed a lot in the last 5 years, mostly due to advances in technology and an increasing number of customers. Some of the most notable changes in the last 5 years include:
- The increasing popularity of mobile devices. More and more people now prefer to shop through mobile apps or mobile versions of websites.
- The rise in popularity of online shopping and increased competition between them. There are now many different online stores, which creates more opportunities for shoppers.
- The increasing role of social media. Many are using social media to engage customers and also for marketing campaigns.
- Greater importance of personalization and customization. Many now offer personalized recommendations and picks based on previous purchases and customer preferences.
- Increased importance of fast delivery and convenient returns. Many shoppers now expect to receive their purchases quickly, as well as convenient return and exchange terms, forcing them to improve services.
- These are just some of the changes that have taken place over the past 5 years. In the future, online shopping is expected to continue to evolve and become an increasingly important and convenient way to shop.
Advantages and disadvantages of shopping mobile apps
Online shopping has both advantages and disadvantages, which can vary depending on the needs and preferences of the shopper. Listed below are some of the most notable advantages and disadvantages:
- Convenience and accessibility — the shopper can shop at any convenient time from the comfort of their home or office;
- Great choice — online stores can offer a wider selection than physical stores;
- Convenient search and price comparison — the buyer can quickly compare prices using search engines and price comparison sites;
- Convenient way to buy gifts — the buyer can order gifts for friends and family and have them shipped directly to the recipient;
- Many online stores offer free shipping in certain conditions;
- Time savings — the buyer can save time that is usually spent traveling to stores and waiting in lines.
- Inability to inspect before purchase — The buyer cannot see and inspect before buying, which can lead to dissatisfaction or returns;
- Limited availability of advice and assistance — the buyer may find it difficult to get advice and assistance during the selection or problem-solving process;
- Possibility of fraud — there is a risk of ending up on a fraudulent site or encountering unscrupulous sellers;
- Restrictions — some items cannot be delivered to certain regions or countries;
- The buyer can wait for several days or even weeks.
Despite some disadvantages, online shopping is still a popular and convenient way to shop.
Popular examples of shopping mobile apps
From major retailers like Amazon and Walmart to fashion retailers like Zara and ASOS, there are numerous popular shopping mobile apps that offer a variety of products and services. Let’s look at some of the most popular examples in the field:
- Amazon online store;
- eBay online auction site;
- AliExpress — a marketplace of Chinese manufacturers;
- Wish — buying directly from Chinese manufacturers;
- Etsy — unique and handmade items from local sellers;
- Zara — Fashion shopping from Zara;
- Sephora — cosmetics and perfumes from Sephora;
- Nike — sportswear and shoes from Nike;
- IKEA — furniture and home accessories from IKEA.
How shopping mobile apps work
Shopping mobile app provides access to the catalog, the ability to choose and order, pay, receive notifications of the status of the purchase, and track its status.
Here’s how the shopping mobile app works:
- Installing the app.
- Registering and logging in. This is usually done by entering a username and password or using a social network account.
- Viewing the catalog, which is usually divided into different categories. Each includes a description, photos, features, and price.
- Selecting and purchasing.
- Payment using a credit card, PayPal, or other payment methods.
- Tracking and status notifications, such as confirmation, shipment, delivery, etc.
- Leaving feedback: you can leave feedback and rating after receiving.
Overall, this is a convenient and fast way to shop via your mobile device anytime, anywhere.
Necessary features of a shopping mobile app
To provide a seamless shopping experience, shopping mobile apps should have essential features that meet the needs and expectations of their customers. These features can enhance the user experience, increase customer engagement, and drive business objectives:
- Registration and profile: the ability to register and create a profile to save information, payment, and other data.
- Extensive catalog with photos, descriptions, features, and prices.
- Search: you can search by keywords, categories, prices, brands, and other parameters.
- Shopping cart and checkout: you can add items to the cart, edit it and make a purchase, including an indication of address and method of payment.
- Payment and security: pay through the app using secure payment methods, such as credit cards, PayPal, and other systems.
- Shipping & Tracking: the ability to track the status and receive notifications.
- Returns and exchanges.
- Ratings and Reviews: the ability to rate and leave reviews, and view ratings.
- Discounts & Promotions: The ability to get discounts and participate in promotions and sales.
- Customer support: the ability to contact customer support and get help with problems related to parcels and payment.
Moreover, additional functions can be added for convenience, such as the ability to save wish lists, notifications of new arrivals and sales, filters for search, integration with social networks, and others.
How to create a shopping mobile app
Creating a shopping mobile app can be quite a complicated and demanding process. Here are some general steps that can help you create your app:
- Define functional requirements: define what features you want to implement in your app and how they will interact with each other.
- Create a design: create an interface design so that your app looks attractive and intuitive.
- Define technical requirements: determine what technologies and platforms will be used to develop your app.
- Develop an MVP: develop a minimum required product (MVP) to get feedback and verify if your app meets their needs.
- Test and improve: test your app to make sure it works without errors and meets all requirements. After that, make any necessary improvements.
- Support and updates: support your app, update it and fix any issues that arise.
- You can also use out-of-the-box solutions such as mobile app creation platforms (like Appy Pie, BuildFire, AppMakr, and others) to simplify your app development process.
It is also important to make sure that your app complies with all App Store and Google Play rules and guidelines.
How to monetize your mobile app
If you have created your project, of course, you want it to bring you revenue. Here are some ways to monetize it:
- Advertising: you can sell advertising space in your app to different advertisers.
- Affiliate programs: partner with online stores and offer discounts and other perks for purchases.
- Sales: you can create your own in-app store and sell.
- Subscriptions: offer the ability to subscribe to a premium version of your app with additional features.
- Commissions: if you partner with online sellers, you can receive a commission for each purchase.
- Pay per download: you can set a paid price for downloading your app.
- Feature fees: you can offer to buy specific features of your app, such as additional storage or the ability to create an unlimited number of shopping lists.
Choosing specific monetization methods depends on your goals and your audience. It is important to remember that monetization should not negatively affect convenience; otherwise, you might lose customers.