E-commerce App Development in 2022: What Features a Modern Retail App Should Have
The number of e-commerce users is growing daily and is expected to reach more than 4,5 billion in 2024. As a result, the shelves of app stores are full of different e-commerce apps. Retailers are increasingly investing in mobile commerce because they realize this channel has become a significant source of income.
According to Google, most customers prefer online vs. offline ways of shopping. This is not surprising. In terms of the Covid19 pandemic, it is not only convenient but strictly necessary. So, if you still haven’t developed an m-commerce app, this is just the right time to do it. In this post, we’ll tell what features it should include for the sake of a competitive edge and great UX (user experience).
Modern customers live in conditions of limited time and a variety of offers from different retailers. A complex authorization that requires filling in many fields is the last thing they want to deal with. That is why adhering to the KISS principle when working on the registration feature is highly recommended. Be sure to add login via social media or email and enable creating an account from scratch.
For security reasons, add two-factor authorization (TFA). With it, you can send a one-time password (OTP) to the user’s phone number or request to enter biometric data every time the user logs in. If you decide to add this feature, do not forget to implement the mechanism of automatically entering the OTP into the corresponding field of the application so that the user doesn’t do it manually.
Tip: Encourage users to create an account but enable purchases without registration. This will help you avoid losing users who want to skip the registration process.
Multiple payment options
Online payment is a must-have feature in an m-commerce app. It allows paying for the goods and services using a credit card, virtual wallet, or bank transfer methods. Today, it is essential to provide users with a wide choice of payment options since customers tend to use the methods they are used to. Suppose a user sees an unfamiliar payment method, for example, PayPal instead of credit card or vice versa. In this case, they may interrupt the checkout feeling suspicious of entering their banking data here.
Online payment is beneficial not only for the buyer but also for the seller. After all, the user who paid for the goods will definitely pick them up. Additionally, both the seller and buyer may benefit from partnering with third-party companies. For example, your e-commerce app may provide a discount for those who pay with Visa or MasterCard based on relevant programs offered by payment systems.
Tip: In addition to online payment, do not forget about old-school cash on delivery and post-pay. Also, consider accepting cryptocurrency and local payment methods to give your customers a wider range of payment options.
When you buy products in an offline store, you can return them within a certain period of time. Online shoppers want to have the same opportunity. For that, your payment gateway should support refund and void transactions. They enable returning funds to customers’ accounts if they cancel their purchases.
The difference between a refund and void transactions lies on the technical side.
In the case of a refund, things work this way:
- When a user confirms the purchase, funds are withdrawn from the user’s account and credited to the merchant’s account.
- When a user returns goods, the funds are withdrawn from the merchant’s account and credited back to the user’s account.
In the case of a void, things work this way:
- When a user confirms the purchase, the transaction gets authorized, but the funds are not actually withdrawn from the buyer’s account.
- If the user cancels the purchase or some technical problems occur, the sale is prevented. Soon after, the funds are credited back to the merchant’s account.
Tip: Implement an intuitive order management function in the user’s account so that they can track all stages of their order — from registration to receiving.
Personalized user experience
Modern users have little time and high requirements for sellers. If you don’t show enough attention to customers, they can quickly spend money elsewhere. That is why studying users’ habits is in the merchants’ best interest. Having analyzed users’ behavior and preferences, sellers can grow profit by offering relevant goods and making personalized offers.
In the high-tech world, many tools can help you in this matter. You use smart technologies to learn what products users usually buy and display similar goods once they enter your mobile e-commerce app. Another nice feature is offering related products, like sun-blocking cream along with a swimming suit or pencils together with gouache. And last but not least, you can identify the users who spend the most and send them personalized discounts on the products they would likely buy. in such a manner, you will show your care and encourage them to shop more.
Tip: You can offer customers to buy a VIP subscription and send them unique offers not available to other users.
Human&robotic customer support
Customer support, which quickly and efficiently solves user problems, is an integral part of a reputable online store. In 2022, such a service cannot do without robotic participation. Chatbots will help you organize 24/7 support and quickly process typical requests with standard solutions. With chatbots, you can reduce response times, improve service quality, and minimize the load on human operators.
If you own a big company with a vast customer base, consider developing AI-based assistants. Intelligent bots can analyze non-trivial issues and make decisions on their resolution. Also, they can learn from previous cases and faster respond to similar requests if they occur in the future.
Tip: If you have a lot of phone calls in your contact center, consider developing voice bots. Like chatbots, they can be sharpened for typical tasks with typical answers as well as solve non-standard issues by making decisions independently.
If you want to provide customers with an improved UX, do not forget to let the app work offline. Of course, offline mode will not repeat all the app functions; however, some of them can still be available. For example, when the Internet connection is off, the users could browse the product catalog and add items to favorites. This feature would be useful in a subway or airplane when a potential customer has a lot of time to examine the e-store products in no hurry. Then, when the Internet connection comes back, they can add the products to the shopping cart and proceed with checkout.
Tip: Encourage users to create an account in your app by offering offline functionality after the registration.
Multiple shipping options
Some users choose more expensive shipping options to receive the ordered goods faster. Others prefer to save money and wait longer for delivery. To meet the expectations of every customer, you need to offer different shipping options. You can enable this by contacting several mail providers and adding their services to your app.
If you have physical points of sale, allow the pick up at store option. This functionality is in great demand because it removes the necessity to pay right away. Instead, the user can check the product in the store and pay after ensuring that everything’s fine.
Tip: Allow free shipping on orders over a certain amount to encourage users to buy more.
Augmented reality (AR) is no longer a super new feature. It is used by many e-commerce applications to enhance UX and entertain customers. For example, AR allows users to try on clothes, makeup, or see how furniture will look in their apartment or office. This feature adds confidence to those who have doubts about the purchase and allows merchants to increase sales through a new experience for their customers.
Tip: Implement AR after your app gains a stable position in the market as this feature is quite expensive and time-consuming.
Developing e-commerce app in 2022
Every year, mobile commerce gains more customers and improves the user experience in an app. Modern retailers cannot enter the market with a simple online catalog. To compete with other vendors, they need to offer pretty complex features that users have already seen in other apps. Online payment, chatbot support, two-factor authorization, and many other features have evolved from nice-to-have to must-have functionality. So, when developing an e-commerce app, you need to consider all the latest m-commerce trends to survive in a highly competitive retail environment.
This article was originally published at Softensy