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With everything digitized – within our palm-sized digital devices – the number of people shopping on apps too is moving in an upward trajectory. Simply because it’s more convenient.
And for retail companies doing business in the digital space, it’s your time to shine. Because people – Millennials, Gen Z, and even some tech-savvy Gen Xers – as per a report last year spent a huge 18 billion hours on eCommerce apps and another report reveals that by 2021, mobile commerce sales will account for 54% of the total e-commerce sales. (bigcommerce)
And with this spike in online sales, the eCommerce industry is experiencing significant growth triggered by the need to satisfy customer desires as well as retain more loyal customers to stay on top of their game. As for consumers, they want absolute freedom – on the go, from anywhere at all – when it comes to making a purchase online. This is why shoppers these days prefer mobile apps to websites, for it offers speed, convenience, and suppleness.
So if you’re building or optimizing your existing eCommerce mobile application here are 14 essential features to add to your eCommerce app.
Essential Features Every Ecommerce App Needs to Have
The purpose of any application is to make the user’s journey and navigation as easy as possible and not overwhelm them. As essential as the below-mentioned features are, when designing an eCommerce app, it is imperative that you study the online shoppers’ buying habits and behaviors.
Let’s get going then.
1. Easy sign-up/login process
As I mentioned in the very beginning, consumers just want convenience and therefore no one finds any thrill in an extensive over-drawn-out sign-up process, especially when using a smartphone. It’s exhausting.
Add too many fields to fill out and it’s a taxing task scaring away your users before they even have the chance to interact with your app. The sign up of your e-com app needs to be an easy-to-complete process.
These days, being able to register and log in by integrating socials is a handy feature to have. Sign-ins via socials also help ensure a seamless return for your shoppers.
2. Add to cart + super-fast checkout
Mobile shopping is all about convenience, therefore your checkout process needs to be streamlined in a way that facilitates fast and easy purchases for your potential customers. With everything digitized including our wallets, apps these days integrate well with digital wallets including Apple Pay and Google Pay, 1-click checkouts, and biometric payments. and 1-click checkouts.
And no app is complete without an ‘Add to cart feature’ – a shopping app at that!
3. Sending push notifications
Notify your potential customers of the latest products, let them see when products are available for order, promote flash sales, and push notifications for personalized marketing campaigns, along with many other things.
Push notifications are a really simple but effective way for your brand to communicate with their customers in a more direct way than email marketing.
Ask your customers at registration if they’re happy to be notified in the future. Consumers are more likely to accept this offer without the need to input an email address here, too. Remember to not exhaust your users.
4. Offline functionality
Offline availability is an excellent way to boost customer satisfaction and increase revenue for eCommerce apps. Good for those who do not always have internet connectivity, such as commuters that might want to search but experience signal disruptions on the way home. It’s convenient for users to save things for later and return to shop them within just a few quick steps, even though they can’t shop consistently while offline.
5. Allow reviews of your app
‘Reviews’ is one of the most essential e-commerce app features to have. None of us really make a purchase without reading the reviews. Tracking feedback on your app’s success with customer reviews will help you make improvements as well as monitor the experience of users. Understand what your app is lacking and what is it that your users desire. Not just this, but reviews are a perfect tool for marketing. You probably know how important they are for your brand, but they are just as important for your app. In the end, great feedback would endorse more downloads.
6. A selection of payment options
The eCommerce payments ecosystem is a colossal and diverse area at present and various people favor various payment methods. Just offering card payment methods no longer cuts it.
With mobile apps, typically, digital payments are the key to convenience – Apple Pay and Google Pay, and PayPal all make for quick and convenient payment experiences for online shoppers. When designing an eCommerce app, be sure to study the user journey and add a payment provider that supports diverse currencies and international payments.
7. Customer wishlists
It’s an essential feature of any eCommerce app these days. Think for a bit, how many times have you wanted to purchase an item but you have already spent a little over your monthly budget for shopping so you just drop it in your Amazon wishlist in order to avoid browsing the same item again. Wishlists are great to have from a user’s pers[ective and ease and, they ideally support offline functionality so that users can preview items when they have internet access for buying later
8. Detailed product information
You would assume that lengthy mobile product descriptions are not especially conducive to a tiny screen, but a small screen is precisely why you would want to add a more comprehensive description of the product.
The mobile screen doesn’t do justice to the product in terms of viewing, so it’s useful to add more detail about the products. Consumers absolutely loathe it when the basic information required to purchase a product isn’t available. This causes returns and unhappy customers later. The detailed information and description include any images from different angles of the product to help ease the buying process.
9. Loyalty and membership options
Once a customer has downloaded your app chances are they will likely use it again. But, by providing highly personalized loyalty and membership rewards to your app users, you can cultivate this relationship further still.
This would draw new users and retain the ones you already have!
10.Customer service support
For customers, there’s nothing nearly as irritating when you’re hard to reach out to and they need guidance with something.
It could be a pre-purchase question, an update of an order, or maybe even a complaint. For customer service support, many apps also use in-app chat, which is a very quick and convenient way to communicate with customers. Alibaba for instance lets you chat or send an inquiry relevant to your order which is a handy feature might I add.
11. Reviewing + managing orders and returns
The ultimate objective of an eCommerce app is to make the user’s experience as seamless and smooth as possible. the user should have control and power. The user needs to feel involved with the ordering process by being able to track their order through the app with features like delivery and return tracking.
12. Personalised user experience
Everywhere, retailers and eCommerce firms are vying to deliver an improved personalized customer experience. Apps are a brilliant way to do just that, as you can create personalized marketing strategies and product recommendations using details such as user data, account details, and device features.
Apps allow your customers to access their recommended products with a quick tap – increasing your conversions.
13. Try-before-buy with AR
AR is everyone’s favorite shopping feature. More and more retailers including the big ones like IKEA, Sephora, Nike, and Amazon are adding Augmented reality to their marketing strategies. AR makes a perfect try-before-buy feature, reducing the chances of customers buying the wrong product. Products like shoes are especially hard to purchase online. AR is helping many retailers tackle issues like the customer purchasing the wrong products. What’s more, it makes the buying journey fun and entertaining.
AR is one of the reasons why I love Sephora. You can try on different products from the comfort of your sofa and order the accurate shade of anything.
Need a Hand?
When it comes to selecting the features you want to add to your eCommerce app, reflect on what purpose your app serves and how these features will help you achieve your app’s objectives. You may also want to consider prioritizing them and introducing them at various stages of growth. Remember it’s not just about the newest and flashiest technology, but what’s best for your clients.
CitrusBits is a leading ecommerce app development company that specializes in creating robust and user-friendly mobile applications for businesses in the ecommerce industry. With their extensive experience and expertise, they have successfully delivered numerous ecommerce apps that drive sales, enhance customer engagement, and streamline operations for their clients.
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