What is e-commerce and who needs it?E-commerce (electronic commerce) is any online activity that involves the purchasing and selling of products and services.
Shortly, e-commerce is about conducting transactions online. When a user orders a piece of clothing on Shein, they’re engaging in e-commerce. When you pay online for a UI/UX design of your website, that’s e-commerce, too.
Any person or business who sells a wide range of products or services, and wishes to reach out to a wider audience, needs e-commerce. It’s much easier and more comfortable for consumers to purchase products online. Moreover, e-commerce allows consumers not only to buy products but also to sell them online. Let’s dive a little deeper.
Types of e-commerce applicationsSo, e-commerce platforms can be divided into 4 groups based on the type of relations between the buyer and the seller.
- Business-to-Business (B2B) — these applications allow businesses to sell items to retailers who further sell them to consumers. Examples of this type are Alibaba, Amazon Business, Shopify Plus.
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C) — these are apps where consumers have direct access to products of a particular company or multiple brands. Examples of this type are Sephora, Nike, Ikea.
- Consumer-to-Business (C2B) — businesses can also purchase from consumers, it can be specific offerings like design, content, and other services. Examples of such platforms are Upwork and Fiverr.
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) — when consumers exchange products with other consumers, or sell to consumers without the role of any business, it’s C2C. Examples of such platforms are eBay, Etsy, Taobao.
Web or mobile?You’ve certainly seen popular e-commerce websites like eBay, Walmart, and Asos, and you might think that e-commerce only occurs on the web. In fact, most e-commerce traffic goes through mobile applications. According to statistics, in 2021 mobile e-commerce took more than 50% of all online sales, and 79% of smartphone users made purchases online using only their phones.
People have their smartphones within touch 24/7, and they can purchase anything anytime in one click. Plus, most e-commerce websites also have mobile versions of their platforms. You definitely need to consider that before creating an e-commerce app.
E-commerce mobile app development trends in 2022Here’s a list of trends that can help you create a better customer experience and make e-commerce app more competitive.
ARWith augmented reality, you can give shoppers an opportunity to find out how a product will look in their home or right on them. Ikea uses AR in their Ikea Place app for iOS — it lets users virtually ‘place’ furniture in any space to check if the item fits into it or if it suits the style.
An example of AR in the e-commerce app development is Ikea Place.
To create AR experiences, you need a development company familiar with computer vision technology. At Brivian, we have experienced computer vision specialists ready to help you build an AR solution. Contact us to share your idea.
Big DataBig data can be analyzed to get insights that improve decisions and help to make strategic business moves. Amazon can predict what customers want to buy next and recommend products that they might like. The company tracks users’ actions on the app and uses big data algorithms to give them relevant recommendations.
One-click purchaseThe advantage of this feature is that users don’t have to retype payment information every time they want to buy something, which encourages them to complete multiple purchases. Amazon was first to patent 1-Click checkout, and it allowed the company to take a very strong position in the market.
Social media commerceYou can integrate your online products into social media platforms like Instagram to allow users to buy products while browsing the app. You can also place links that lead to your product page on a social network, where users will be able to make an immediate purchase.
ChatbotsThis technology allows to automate communications with clients. Moreover, thanks to AI, bots can learn information about shoppers to provide them with a personalized shopping experience.
GeofencingThis feature allows you to promote products to users based on their location tracked by GPS. Whenever a user is nearby your physical store, you can send them a notification or show an advertisement.
The famous example of a brand using geofencing is Burger King with its “Whopper Detour”. Customers who went within 600 feet of a McDonald’s were getting notifications offering a Whopper for just one cent. After they ordered a Whopper, the Burger King app led them away from McDonald’s and towards a Burger King outlet. It resulted in over 1,000,000 downloads of the Burger King app, and it was boosted to first place in the food and drink category on the App Store.
How to develop an e-commerce app?There are different options you can choose from to build an e-commerce app. You can use an app builder or request a professional development company.
App builders are platforms for creating mobile apps with little or no code. It’s cheaper and saves time on development. An app builder is a good option if you don’t have the desire or ability to invest a lot of money in the development of an application, especially if you don’t expect the app to bring profit. This way you can also avoid technical problems with opening hosting or creating developer accounts in the App Store.
The biggest disadvantage of app builders is that you won’t be the legal owner of the application. If you further decide to move your application from the platform to more reliable technologies, it won’t be possible. You will need to recreate the app from scratch.
It might seem that custom development is too expensive and takes too much time, but you can always start with something small — an MVP of your product will allow you to test the idea quickly, and won’t cost you a fortune. Developing a custom application with a professional team is a good choice if you want to create a profitable app and improve it gradually. If you plan to store sensitive data in the app, or you need to protect it from attackers, custom development is a much better option.
Things to consider when developing e-commerce apps
SecurityWhen it comes to e-commerce, security is a must-have — the users definitely won’t like it if their data will be exposed. To ensure data security, we suggest using multiple factor authentication, encryption, and store data on a private cloud.
ScalabilityYour app needs to be scalable to handle high loads. The more simultaneous users visit your app, the more resources it uses, so it might crash without scaling. You need to forecast the growth of your app at the start of the project and carefully plan your app’s architecture.
Payment gatewayOnline purchases require integration with payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and others. Users should be able to submit payments inside your app, since redirections don’t seem credible and scare users away.
To increase the app’s performance, you need to check it for bugs constantly, detect crashes, release regular updates, and iterate. You also need to get feedback from users, to make sure that they’re satisfied with the app, or to find out how you can improve it.
If you’re interested in the development of e-commerce app, feel free to contact us and we will discuss your idea, tell you about time and costs, and suggest the best option for development.
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