The comprehensive guide to eCommerce app development

Sudeep Srivastava January 24, 2023
The ultimate ecommerce app development guide

The eCommerce market has been on a meteoric rise ever since the early 2000s – a rise that doesn’t seem to have a downfall in sight when it comes to the industry’s future. A sign of this momentum can be seen through the market size of $16215.6 billion that the sector is expected to reach by 2027.

The domain, majorly growing at the back of an increasing number of smartphone and internet users, rising instances of promoting eCommerce platforms on social media, growing omnichannel models, and the introduction of new payment modes is one that has been getting entrepreneurs’ attention since the last many decades.

The reason you are here reading this means you already know the scope of revenue that ecommerce app development can get you and why even today the domain is ripe for innovation. So, without taking you down to the information around reasons to invest in mobile app development for ecommerce, let us directly get to the details of the development.

Things to consider before ecommerce mobile app development

eCommerce is often seen as one of the most vast sectors of the digital space – both in terms of market size and applications. This vastness makes the mobile commerce app development process a complex one.

To simplify the phases to build ecommerce apps, certain decisions have to be made before even ecommerce mobile app builders are hired.

1. Types of app development for ecommerce

The first step to mobile commerce app development lies in choosing the application type. With the way the sector has expanded, a range of applications has emerged. Selecting the one you will be launching your business in is critical for its growth.

Types of eCommerce app development

eCommerce aggregator apps

These applications connect the service providers with the end users seamlessly. Users typically go to these websites to look for manufacturers and then connect with them to procure goods.

B2B eCommerce apps

These apps connect two businesses together – operating in similar domains so that they can buy and sell their products. eCommerce application examples of this category can be seen in Alibaba and Boodmo.

B2C eCommerce apps

These are some of the most commonly found applications in the sector. With examples lying in Amazon and Zara applications, they make it easy for users to buy products from online sellers.

C2C eCommerce apps

In these applications, architecture is set up for facilitating buying and selling between end users. Generally used by home-based entrepreneurs, these apps make it easy for users to trade in customized products.

C2B eCommerce apps

In this application type, end users give their services to businesses. Compared to product-based models, this one is completely services-focused. Examples of these mobile ecommerce application developments lie in Upwork and Freelancer.

e-commerce model

2. Mobile ecommerce development platforms

Although a comparatively easy choice to make, a wrong selection can have long-term impacts on the business’s future. Finalizing the platform will largely depend on your target audience and understanding that both Android and iOS come with their fair share of benefits. While Android makes up 87% of the market, iOS buyers tend to pay the most for apps.

3. Technology integrations

The technology you plan on adding to the ecommerce mobile application development process carries an impact on the duration of the cycle, its cost, and the project complexity. Here are the top next-gen technologies typically added to an ecommerce application

IoT (Internet of Things)

IoT adoption in mobile ecommerce development is usually seen in the product manufacturing space. It helps with better tracking of the order fulfillment process, automation of shipping and delivery, and maximum income scope through omnichannel customer experience.

Blockchain

The scope for blockchain in ecommerce mobile application development lies in improved security at the back of distributed ledger technology, better supply chain visibility through smart contracts, speeding up transactions, and eliminating the need for middlemen.

Artificial Intelligence

The role of AI in developing an ecommerce app usually lies across data usage and customer experience. It helps create an intuitive search system, target customers on a personalized level, build efficient lead generation processes, and have fully customized chat assistance in the app – amongst other factors.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

At the back of real-world simulation, AR and VR help ecommerce users view products right from the convenience of their homes before buying them. This helps increase the customer experience graph to a great extent.

Now that we have looked into the factors you will have to finalize before custom ecommerce application development, let us dive into the features that will be a part of your ecommerce app development project.

[Bonus Read: Top 10 pain points of ecommerce customers and their possible technology solutions]

Must-have and advanced set of ecommerce mobile app development features

The features for building an eCommerce app can be divided into two sets – MVP-level features and an advanced set that separates a normal app from one that becomes the go-to platform.

Let us look at both the ecommerce app features categories in detail.

Must-have ecommerce app features

MVP-level features of ecommerce app development

Easy registration – The first step of developing an ecommerce app lies in building an easy sign-up and sign-in process. Typically, the process consists of logging in through email or user id, or phone number. It can also help to have a multi-factor authentication system like fingerprint scanning.

Profile management – The next must-have feature of ecommerce app development is creating a user profile where they can see past buys, the status of upcoming orders, saved addresses, and payment information.

Search and filter – This is one of the most impactful features when it comes to attaining a high user experience. At Appinventiv, we advise our clients to have an AI-based search and filter functionality that understands the contexts, different spellings, and long phrases.

Product details – This part of the ecommerce mobile app development looks at the details of the product, including information like – product name, dimensions, cost – product’s + delivery, ratings, reviews, and tentative delivery date.

Add to cart – The next must-have feature when you develop eCommerce app is an add to cart element. Using the feature, users can save products they like and buy them at a later date. What works best for this facility is adding omnichannel ease to it, meaning no matter which device your users visit your ecommerce app with, the cart details should get duplicated seamlessly.

Buy product – This is the stage where your browsers become your users. A way to ensure it happens easily is by having an easy checkout flow that includes saved payment options, autofill data fields, and clarity on the product delivery timelines.

Order tracking – The next feature is order tracking. After the buyer buys the product, they should be given tracking details within the app with details of how their purchase is moving and when it will reach their address.

Push notification – It is one of the most critical features to consider when you create ecommerce app. Apart from well-timed reminder messages about sales, new product launches, etc., it should also be used for informing users of when the product has shipped or is out for delivery.

Customer support – The last MVP ecommerce mobile app development feature is customer support functionality. Built on a combination of automated chat and live support, it should be easy for users to connect with the store’s staff when they need assistance.

Social media integration – This part of the ecommerce application development feature makes it easy for users to share the product they are considering buying with their friends or acquaintances on social platforms.

Admin panel – The admin panel side of building an eCommerce app makes processes like order, client, and stores management easy for the app admin. The functionality also makes it easy for them to manage promotions and rewards in addition to having a filtering system.

While these are the must-have features of ecommerce application development, there are elements that make your application the go-to solution.

Advanced features of ecommerce web application development

Voice search – Finding products through voice search can be a useful ecommerce web application development feature, especially with applications that deal with grocery and medicine delivery.

Product try-out – Another feature to consider – one that would increase the ecommerce app development cost – is having an in-built AR/VR feature to try the product before buying it.

Flexibility Cloud computing gives ecommerce businesses the ability to easily add or remove resources as needed to accommodate changes in traffic or other business needs.

Multilingual – This part of the ecommerce mobile app development helps you make a regional fanbase. Once you have fixed the target segment of your application, you can add multilingual functionality in the app, enabling users to search for and buy products in the language they are most comfortable in.

Now that we have looked into the features to build ecommerce app, the next essential part lies in knowing the technology stack that works behind the application.

[Also Read: How much does it cost to build an ecommerce app like Noon?]

The technology stack working behind powerful ecommerce mobile app development process

Although, when it comes to choosing a tech stack, every ecommerce mobile app developer has their own preference in terms of expertise and cost of acquiring them. At Appinventiv, we use the following technology stack to develop eCommerce app –

technology stack

Even amidst the innovative features and a powerful technology stack, you will need a reliable team to work on the project. Now whether you plan to partner with an offshore ecommerce app development company or build a team from scratch, you will need the following people in-house

  • Project manager
  • UI/UX designers
  • Frontend developer
  • Backend developer
  • Database manager
  • QA experts
  • Delivery manager

The biggest difference that comes between building this team in-house vs outsourcing the project lies in associated costs. In the amount you utilize to hire and retain employees, you will be able to manage the complete app development expenses. We have covered an in-depth analysis of whether to choose in-house development or outsourcing in this article. Read on to know what would work best for you.

The eCommerce app development process and its costs

The process of ecommerce application development carries a massive impact on the project’s success and its cost. Let us look into the cycle in detail.

App conceptualization

This part of the ecommerce application development is the most critical stage of the process that sets the foundation for your app’s success. It requires you to run a thorough market, customer, and competitor understanding that tells you of the user demographics, the features they interact with, and the USPs you will have to keep to set your brand apart from competitors.

The average cost of app conceptualization can range from $7,000 to $10,500.

UI/UX design

Once you have finalized the concept, the next step that comes is wireframing and UI/UX design. Typically, you should aim for designing a minimal UI/UX that gives users ample white space to not have a crowded experience. The design structure that you should aim for must have clear images, videos, buttons, and an organic checkout flow. The average cost of designing an app can be in the range of $2000 to $2500.

App development

Between all the features and technology stacks plus the development efforts, the cost of ecommerce app can vary greatly. While we will have to look at the exact project details to know the development cost, generally a simple ecommerce app costs around $10,000 while a complex tech-heavy and feature-rich application can be anywhere between $80,000 to $100,000.

This range generally includes the developers’ time, the cost of using the technology stack, and the cloud implementation.

App testing and deployment

This part of the ecommerce app development process lies with running a quality assurance check on the application. At Appinventiv, we take pride in calling ourselves a security-first company, where we ensure that the app is secure across all the stages of the development lifecycle. Noting the increase in hacks and breaches instances, it is important to know how to develop and maintain ecommerce app security. Usually, 12-13% of the project cost goes behind app testing which ranges from $1000 to $20,000.

Now that we have looked at the process-wise cost it takes to create ecommerce app, it is important to note that the online shopping app development cost will vary greatly on three factors –

  1. Where is the ecommerce app development company located
  2. Whether you are looking for native or cross-platform ecommerce app development
  3. The exact features, design, and development details.

ecommerce app development cost

The success of ecommerce application development, in addition to the developmental efforts, depends heavily on the adoption of market trends. Here’s an infographic highlighting a snippet into the future of ecommerce.

eCommerce Trends

How can Appinventiv power your ecommerce initiative?

Appinventiv is a leading ecommerce development agency that specializes in creating intuitive interfaces that make the buying and selling process easy. Our end-to-end ecommerce development services range from mCommerce and eCommerce design, B2B, B2C, C2B, and C2C app development, and multi-payment integration solutions.

At the back of our service set, we have helped a range of well-established ecommerce stores gather digital success.

1. Adidas eCommerce App

We worked on the end-to-end creation of the Adidas application where we worked on complex animations and video components to give it a YouTube-like interface. The app led to 2+ million downloads and the acquisition of 500k new users.

2. 6th Street eCommerce App

We helped 6th Street to lower the launch time to 3 seconds and revamp the entire app module with new features for a better user experience. The efforts led to 3+ million iOS and 1+ million Android downloads

3. Edamama eCommerce App

Our team helped the kids wear company across the end-to-end product development, resulting in $5 million funding, 20k+ SKUs home-delivered and 100k+ mothers served.

While these are our most notable clients, we have worked on multiple other use cases across the wide ecommerce space, making us the reliable digital partner of multiple startups and well-known brands. If you are looking for an ecommerce app development partner, get in touch.

Conclusion

Irrespective of the meteoric rise in the eCommerce space, the domain continues to be an entrepreneur’s and investor’s profitable haven. The time is ripe for entrepreneurs to enter space, especially at the back of the massive user base it is gathering and the constant technological advancements. We hope that the guide helped you with the basics of how a successful ecommerce app development process would be like. If you would like to know the space better or are seeking ways to gain a competitive edge, reach out to us.

FAQs of ecommerce app development

Q. How do I develop an eCommerce mobile app?

A. The process of developing an eCommerce mobile app starts from app conceptualization, designing of app UI/UX, backend and frontend development, and app testing, followed by launch and continued maintenance.

Q. How much will it cost to develop an eCommerce mobile app?

A. The ecommerce app development cost is dependent on a range of factors right from feature and technology choice, team size, location of the development agency, and maintenance efforts. While it is impossible to give a quote without looking into the exact project details, the range can be anywhere between $90,000 to $160,000

Q. How long does it take to build an eCommerce app?

A. The time it takes to build an eCommerce app can range anywhere from 4 months to 12+ months. The reason behind this wide time span is the number of features, technologies, design, and development complexity.

Q. How do you design and develop a mobile ecommerce application?

A. The process of designing and developing a mobile ecommerce application starts with running a thorough market analysis, finalizing the app features and design, performing the development activities, testing the application, and then launching it in the market.

Q. What are the requirements of eCommerce app?

A. Here are the different requirements that are necessary for a sound ecommerce application –

  • Easy registration
  • Profile management
  • Search and filter
  • Product details
  • Add to cart
  • Buy product
  • Order tracking
  • Push notification
  • Customer support
  • Social media integration
  • Admin panel
Sudeep Srivastava
THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
CEO & DIRECTOR
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