The age of technology slowly but surely turns into the age of mobile technology.
The present-day world is far now from the moment when online shopping was first introduced, and customers demand further improvement. Convenience and accessibility is what is valued now, and that’s where mCommerce steps into the game.
As a bit of a backstory, let’s take a look at what is what. mCommerce is a mobile application version of eCommerce platform, which in turn is a platform that allows finance transaction of buying or selling online. It involves various fields, but in this article we are going to concentrate on the retail part of it.
In the pursuit of rapid growth of mobile industry retailers hustle to develop a mobile version of their eCommerce platform, and we are going to tell you everything you need to know to do so. Already have a mobile version of your website and don’t think you need a dedicated app? Let us prove that you actually do.
Difference Between eCommerce and mCommerce
mCommerce app is oftentimes an extension of already existing eCommerce platform. They share some characteristics being providing the more comfortable shopping experience, yet they do diverge in some points:
- Devices and services used
eCommerce is based of laptops or computers using electronic systems such as Internet, while mCommerce was created for wireless handheld devices such as phones or tablets using Internet or cellular data.
- Internet connectivity
eCommerce requires Internet connectivity, whereas mCommerce allows offline usage (however, the application might perform poorly).
eCommerce is local and pretty much wired, while mCommerce is mobile and much more convenient.
- Payment gateways
eCommerce only takes credit cards, while mCommerce accepts PayPal, direct bank transfers and cash on delivery as well as credit cards.
eCommerce has got a more complicated UI due to it being a web service, while mCommerce is much simplified for being mobile user-friendly.
Why Your Business Needs a mCommerce App
According to Invesp, more than 2 billion people will have used a shopping app by the end of 2017 compared to 1.6 billion in 2014. And it is worth mentioning that users prefer shopping from a dedicated app rather than a mobile version of a website.
Mobile Commerce also highly increase user engagement. An application decreases the steps required to finding the products you search for.
With an application, you can implement social networks integration so your customers can share their findings with friends, and you can also send push-notifications which will remind the users of your app much better than the emails with eCommerce.
Core Features of the mCommerce App
We’ll get to the fun stuff further on, but now let’s concentrate on the functionality that is vital for your mobile shopping application:
Registration and authorization
Starting with the first steps your user makes in the app, we begin with creating a personal profile. That way the user will be able to see the purchase story, starred shops or retailers, their cart and wishlist.
It would also be an upside to offer different authorization methods, for example, via mobile phone, email, or an existing social media account.
Makes your app more organised. Consider implementing many-to-many data model, which means a category might contain from zero to multiple products, and a product can belong to from zero to multiple categories.
Allows gathering the chosen products in one place and purchasing them as a one order instead of each one separately.
Different payment gateways
Broadens your audience by allowing customers to pick which way is more familiar and comfortable for them.
Tracking the parcel
Allows your customer to see the status of the order and its whereabouts.
Informing users of special offers, their order status etc.
Can be performed via email, in-app chat, or you can allow users to leave their phone number so you can call to solve the problem.
Flagship mCommerce Applications
Now let’s take a look at the most widely known and loved apps and see what additional features you can implement into your product.
#1 with 4.1 rating in App Store, and 4.5 in Google Play
Wish is a mobile mall app with thousands of merchants, millions of items including all kinds of stuff from electronics to clothes and kitchenware, and rather affordable prices.
- Huge item base
- Great deals + Deal Dash that allows you to save even more
- Worldwide shipping + large language base
#2 with 2.9 in App Store, and 4.3 in Google Play
Similar to Wish, Amazon Shopping allows you to choose from millions of goods, compare prices and offers you the Alexa service.
- Prices comparison
- Prime option
- Alexa (personal assistant) entertaining you while you are shopping
#3 with 4.8 in App Store, and 4.0 in Google Play
An application for a physical company in USA, the second biggest retailer after Walmart. It both allows online actions and placing orders, and acts as an aid when shopping irl.
- In-store products availability and aisle location
- Scanning barcodes to check if there are any special offers
Common mCommerce Mistakes You Should Avoid
We all know quite well that one learns best from their own mistakes, but don’t you agree it would be nice to be warned of the most basic fails so you can at least avoid those? Right, that’s what we thought. So we prepared a list of bricks that might drag you down if you aren’t aware of them:
Pardon my being rude, but these are the keystone, the groundwork and the wireframe of your whole application. I don’t even think it really should be mentioned, but we are discussing the common mistakes here, and it is surely one of them. If your app is complicated, unintuitive and shapeless, it’s not a win and a user won’t stay for long.
If you haven’t heard of it, App Store Optimization is vital for your product to survive on the market. I’m not gonna go into detail here, so if you wanna find out more about what ASO is and why you need it go here.
Not reminding customers of abandoned cart
There are plenty of reasons why users don’t finish the order - they might have got distracted by other apps, changed their mind about the product or wanted to compare prices etc. Anyhow, it is worth reminding them about the products in their cart.
Not encouraging user engagement
To keep usage rates going, you must mildly remind of yourself from time to time. Something simple like a push notification inviting to take a look at the special offer based on user’s interests might really do it for you.
We hope you found this article helpful.
If you have any further questions or want to get an estimation and start developing your own mCommerce application, make sure to contact us. Thunderrise Dev Team is at your service.