The rapid growth of electronic businesses in the market has caused many popular online stores to opt for the e-commerce app as an extension of the website itself. Therefore, as an online retailer, it is almost essential to have a mobile application to continue growing and selling.
The popular transformation from “brick and mortar” to “click and mortar” has been moving slowly and adapted to a more adapted shopping experience. Thanks to e-commerce apps, online stores can better respond to the needs and preferences of their users. But why are these applications so popular among end-users?
According to a Clutch survey, the four main reasons why users use e-commerce apps are the following:
- To receive offers (68%)
- Flexibility to buy at any time (64%)
- Compare products and prices (62%)
- Save time in the store (54%)
In addition to these four reasons, consumers tend to use e-commerce-apps to see a wider range of products (53%), avoid going to the store (47%), and have the possibility to choose where and when they can receive your order (27%).
Considering these numbers, a new question emerges: isn't a “responsive web” enough to adapt to the current trend of the e-commerce industry? Continue reading to find out!
Why should I create an app for my e-commerce?
First, we will cover the advantages that retailers can have by creating an application for their online business. Let's start, in our opinion, with the most important.
Creating brand loyalty can be one of the reasons why an online store develops a mobile application. With the aim of strengthening the connection between customers and the online store.
How? Offering exclusive offers and discounts for installing the application. Encouraging buyers through mobile devices to make a real purchase through personalized and engaging experiences, such as receiving unique offers.
But why is brand loyalty so important? According to data provided by Adobe, 67% of online shoppers who use their mobile phones to buy prefer to use applications offered by their favorite brands. By promoting greater user participation and improved usability, you can reinforce your customers' loyalty with your brand.
Higher quality content
We all know that customers hate slow websites. If reading a web page takes more than three seconds, 42% of visitors will decide to visit another one faster.
Creating an app for your online store allows you to display products faster, more attractive and easier to use. In addition, many of the e-commerce apps do not need an internet connection to work the basic functionalities. Unlike web pages, they always need an internet connection to upload or download any content.
According to a study by Flurry Analytics, 90% of the time spent by smartphone users is to interact with applications. On top of that, 79% of smartphone users have one or more e-commerce apps on their devices and 10% even six online retail applications.
Advanced Marketing Strategies
The popularity of e-commerce apps continues to grow due to its strong marketing strategies. Zara, for example, has recently launched an app to offer its users a different shopping experience with the implementation of augmented reality. By downloading the app and pointing the camera at a mannequin in a Zara store or at the screen of your e-commerce purchase, the clothes will come to life on a model for a few seconds. According to the fashion brand itself, they want to encourage users to take photos of the holograms and share them on social networks.
But Zara is not the only one to get innovative marketing ideas for mobile e-commerce apps. ASOS has acquired the term purchase printing at a higher level. In your mobile apps for Android and iOS, there is a small camera button. When you click on it, you can add a photo of the outfit you like and ASO will take care to find similar terms in its pages. The search inverse image helps you easily find a complete outfit and also change the shopping experience for the user.
A more traditional strategy among prominent e-commerce apps is to use push notifications. Sending personal messages, using the right words and communicating at the right time can increase your sales instantly. During the last three years, the number of “push” messages has grown and they are considered less annoying than before. In addition, with the implementation of beacons, it is even possible to detect when a device is near a specific store. Based on the location of your user, the app can send personalized "push" notifications including special offers that are only available at the nearest store.
Understanding the functionalities of an e-commerce app
In addition to being aware of the possible advantages of creating an e-commerce app, it is important to understand the basic functionalities that can be implemented in the application. To explain it as simple as possible, let's take a deep look at the application of the Swedish multinational Hennes Mauritz.
From our experience as app development specialists, we know that the technical aspects of an application are not always easy to understand. Therefore, we have listed the basic functionalities of the HM app in order to find out what all aspects are used for.
Admin panel- This is basically access to the account of the owner of the electronic business, which can be used (preferably on a desktop computer) to easily add products to the catalog, monitor orders, automate discounts, etc.
User login - To make purchases integrated into the app, add a payment method, or add product reviews, registration as a customer is required. HM asks you to enter your email and password to get access to a personal account. Another option is to add the option to register through a social network account like Facebook.
Product catalog - This contains the set of all your products. The HM app divides the articles into categories and subcategories to keep them organized.
Search bar - To make it easier for users to find products they are looking for, it is advisable to add a search bar. HM has also added the possibility to scan the barcode or take a picture of the product in the store to get access to information such as: how many items, in what colors, and in what sizes the product is still available.
Cart - In the HM app, this functionality is called “the shopping bag”. It allows users to add products to a digital shopping bag/cart and pay for all items in one. The customer simply has to click on the option “add to shopping bag” and choose the size (if necessary). Items can be easily added or deleted from the shopping bag.
Orders and payments in the app - The whole concept of the e-commerce app consists in the possibility of ordering and paying through the app. The HM app offers the option to pay by card, by PayPal, by 20-day bill, pay next month or by a gift card. Customers also have the option of having the package delivered to different addresses, at a post office or at an HM store.
Privacy and Security - Due to the new mobile application GDPR, the abbreviation of the General Data Protection Regulation, every app is obliged to communicate what user data will be collected, why and for what it will be used. This is extremely important to keep in mind due to fines that can be received by not complying with the regulation. The HM app asks for the approval of its privacy and security policy right after you download it and start using it.
In addition to the most common features of an e-commerce app, HM decided to add the following options:
1. Push notifications: to send offers and personalized messages.
2. Beacons: to customize push notifications even better for the customer by offering exclusive offers.
3. My favorites: The ability to add products to the list.
4. Magazine: A blog in the app to read about the latest fashion trends.
5. Store location: To easily find a nearby store.
6. HM Club: The option to create an HM club member account to get a 10% discount when you join, unlimited free delivery, earn points on all your purchases and get exclusive discounts.
These are all examples of customer loyalty and commitment that are optional but recommended to increase your sales.
Creating a mobile application is a fundamental step for e-commerce business owners. A “responsive web” is sufficient only during the test phase of the project to make believe that there is enough potential to succeed.
To distinguish your online store from the rest and increase your sales, it is necessary to give your customers the shopping experience they want. Do you want to make an epic mobile application with a good design for your online store? Do not hesitate to contact the Infigic team. We will be happy to help you. We provide on-demand pharmacy app development and grocery app development solutions for startups, aggregators, and store owners to take their business online.