Monday, 3 April 2017

10 Things to Consider When Creating an Ecommerce Mobile App

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One of the best things of living in the 21st century is that you can be a business owner without owning an actual business — a brick and mortar business, that is. Unfortunately, the benefit of being able to do business without a physical location also creates the problem of low customer visibility. That’s where a mobile app comes in. One of the many benefits of mobile apps is that they give your business the much-needed mobile presence it needs in our mobile-first world. Take a look below for
10 things to consider when creating an ecommerce mobile app:

1: App Store Optimization (ASO)

A natural first on this list is app store optimization (ASO). If you’re familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), you have the foundation for what ASO is. The goal with ASO is to optimize your app to make it rank higher in the app store, whether it’s the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store, or any variation out there. This means analyzing your app’s keywords, description, in-app screenshots, the works.

Remember, higher ranking means more discoverability, which translates to more downloads. Hence, ASO is a must.

2: Competition

Some items in this list go hand-in-hand by nature. One such example is ASO and your competition. To clarify, this means analyzing your competition to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Regarding ASO, look for ecommerce apps at the top of app store search results and take everything in. What keywords are they using, and similarly, what does their description say? What do their in-app screenshots look like?
Unrelated to ASO but still important, download some of your competitor apps and test them out. What you want here is to create a checklist of what works and what doesn’t. When you create your app, improve what works and fix what doesn’t.

3: User Interface (UI)

User interface (UI) guides the user’s experience throughout the app’s interface, and describes how elements in your app function. It’s an ecommerce mobile app, so don’t present it like a desktop ecommerce site. Begin the design process with a mobile user in mind and go from there.

4: User Experience (UX)

Out of UI comes UX. UX is all about creating a seamless experience throughout your app. It’s the sequence of actions, thoughts and impressions that your users generate as they maneuver through the app. A UX optimized design focuses on usability and ease of use. It takes into account how users will interact with your app and how that interaction can be improved.

5: Scalable Infrastructure

Your ecommerce app’s scalability is of utmost importance if you plan on growing in the future. Imagine a spike in downloads because your app was mentioned in a popular blog. You want to be able to accommodate for the extra traffic and unexpected loads. Start with a stable API foundation that’s easy to scale. As an example, a lot startups nowadays are developing apps in the cloud with services that allow you to pay only for what you use. This allows you to minimize expenditures while leaving an open avenue for growth.

6: Customer Service

One of the easiest considerations to look over in mobile application development, good customer service is vital for ecommerce mobile apps. It’s where your customers turn whenever they come across an issue with your app or services, and can make the difference between a customer and a dropped cart. As such, you need to make sure that your users always have a good customer service experience.

7: Incentives for Sharing

Incentivizing users to share your app creates a whole new marketing channel. If 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, imagine what you can do with actual recommendations in the form of shares? For example, you can offer discounts for users who share the app with their friends and family (higher discounts if third-party becomes a customer).

8: Checkout Process

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Arguably one of the most important things on this list, you need to make the checkout process as simple and user-friendly as possible. The fewer steps the better (aim for a maximum of three), so do all that you can to facilitate the journey from cart to checkout. Some things you can do (besides making the ‘Add to Cart’ button as prominent as possible without being obtrusive) are:

Store customer information
Enable automatic reordering
Eliminate multi-page sign-ups

9: Repeat Purchases

If your app ends with the checkout process, you’re doing something wrong. Give your customers a reason to return to your app and make more purchases to generate residual income. You can offer discounts for repeat customers, loyalty programs that encourage multiple visits, or memberships for limited items. As an ecommerce app, one of your goals is to not only create customers, but also retain them.

10: Analytics

Rounding off this list are your ecommerce app’s analytics. These include tracking your users, both new and returning, your app’s most popular features/items, etc. The point of tracking analytics is to get an understanding of how your users are interacting with your app so that you can improve their experience. Accentuate what users like and fix what they don’t. Is there a certain point within your app in which an abnormally large number of users are logging of? If so, you might have some issues to deal with that’s causing high abandonment rates. Go through everything until you have a seamless journey from launch to checkout.

Wrapping Up

There are many benefits of mobile apps that come with pairing one with your ecommerce business, and hopefully by now you’re ready to tackle your next ecommerce mobile application development project. If that’s you, here’s a roundup of what we covered today:

1. App Store Optimization (AOS)
2. Competition
3. User Interface (UI)
4. User Experience (UX)
5. Scalable Infrastructure
6. Customer Service
7. Incentives for Sharing
8. Checkout Process
9. Repeat Purchases
10. Analytics

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