E-commerce companies have witnessed a boom over the last few years and the way they have grown, clearly shows the consumers’ love for going digital. Understanding these changes in consumer behavior is key for e-commerce companies to succeed.
Consumers look for end-to-end mobile solutions to fulfill their shopping needs. Hence, an e-commerce application should provision for selling products, handling transactions, order fulfillment, marketing and much more.
The comprehensive features of e-commerce platforms combined with pre-built third-party applications have taken e-commerce to a whole new level. According to a study by Statista retail e-commerce sales worldwide is expected to increase by 3.4 trillion US dollars in 2019.
Retail e-commerce sales worldwide from 2014 to 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Though the consumers have got addicted to apps for their shopping needs, they are not receptive to every app in the same manner. Firstly, it’s important that the consumer has the need for your app. Secondly, how you make yourself look more attractive, trustworthy and usable as compared to the competition.
Moreover, consumers have less time and patience and they expect a mobile app to have offline capabilities, easy payment methods, engaging consumer experience, seamless onboarding, and uncluttered navigation.
Mobile apps have become a revenue driver for businesses. This has pushed the e-commerce companies to develop mobile apps leveraging experience design and cutting edge mobile technology to improve the consumer experience.
There are certain features that every e-commerce platform must have to stay relevant and competitive. Listed below are 5 must have features of a mobile app that attract online shoppers:
- Ease of Use
Do you remember the last time when you encountered multiple clicks and cumbersome navigation in an app and how frustrating the experience was?
Mobile users are spending more time on searching apps than browsing the Internet. But, when it comes to selecting the app from the extensive pool of app store, ease of use and experience are some of top most deciding factors.
Consumers today love to get what they want, faster and without getting into any cumbersome act that delays their purchase. Moreover, as a seller you just have a few minutes to make a sale. Make sure your app gives the user what they desire easily and instantly, for instance, shopping categories, filters, customer reviews, payment options, FAQs etc.
- Seamless Onboarding
Getting users on-board is one of the most critical factors of an app. Most of the digital customers are glued to social apps. Integrating an app with social channels makes the login process seamless by allowing retrieval of information from the channel. And most of us would agree how painful it is to remember multiple passwords. Along with social integration, a simple and intuitive design makes onboarding easy.
- Offline Capabilities
User’s often keep switching from networks and due to their heavy reliance on apps, they expect the applications to work even when the network connectivity cannot be guaranteed. Offline app usage is also in high demand for reducing data usage and using apps offline for e.g. Google maps offline feature allows users to save maps offline.
According to a recent Forrester report, “The Offline Mobile Challenge”, September 26, 2014, offline support will be a crucial consideration for nearly every future modern application and will help to improve overall app performance and user experience.
However, getting offline capabilities in your app is not easy, as not all reference data can be pre-cached to the device as the data set at times is either too large or too dynamic.
- Feedback Mechanism
Most of the apps get selected by the users on the basis of their reviews. This shows that no matter how elegant your mobile app is; if it is not able to garner users’ trust and credibility, chances are that it will go unnoticed. One way to build trust with a user is by providing a feedback mechanism on your app. Let them report bugs, complaints or suggestions and respond to them in an open forum about the fixes and further improvements. Users will for sure appreciate that their suggestions are being heard and addressed and it helps build trust with them.
- Visually Appealing
A phone has a limited screen and content space and if the design is too cluttered, it would make the user journey complicated. Ensure the app creatively uses this space without compromising on design and yet meets business objectives.
Moreover, the visual appeal should be attractive, engaging and must convey easily to the user – what an app does and why it is better than the competition.
Clearly, the market for e-commerce players is quite opportune and the ones who are able to stand out amongst the competition with an amazing and intuitive app will be able to capture the buyer’s attention. To ensure that an e-commerce platform supports the evolving business needs, companies have started looking at more sophisticated applications. Here is a whitepaper that highlights top ten technical considerations that companies should focus while building e-commerce applications.