How To Develop Mobile App For Retail Business

By Maryna Cherednychenko

The smartphone has become an integral part of our life. It undertakes daily tasks like paying bills, buying goods, or reading news — all through mobile apps. The latter ones turn into a valuable source of assistance because they do not tie the user to time and place but allow them to run any operations on the go. When it comes to online shopping, this is incredibly convenient because the user can order goods on the way to work or while resting in bed, and they do not need to open their laptop for this.

According to Business Insider, income from m-commerce will grow at a significant rate during these years. It will almost triple in 2024 compared to 2019 going from $128,4 to $418,9 bn. Given the relevance of mobile shopping, many sellers are investing in retail apps to retain existing customers and attract new ones. This post will detail the topic and tell how to make a shopping app and what features to include in it.

Reasons To Make Retail App

Broader Audience

Raised Sales

Brand Promotion

Customer Insight

Unique Opportunities

Why develop a retail app

Two Ways To Develop Mobile Retail App

App Builders


  • fast development (up to a few days)
  • no coding skills required
  • low price
  • no need to hire a dev team


  • restricted functionality
  • low customization opportunities
  • limited compatibility with external services (APIs, ERPs, CRMs, etc.)

Best for

  • quick start with MVP and basic features

Most popular app-building services

  • Appypie
  • Zoho Creator
  • iBuildApp

Custom Development


  • full set of necessary features
  • easy customization
  • quick integration with 3rd party tools
  • unique app


  • prolonged development (up to a few months)
  • high cost

Best for

  • launching a full-fledged app for a mature business
Two ways to make the retail app

Ten Essential Features Of Retail App

1.Personal Profile

  • keeping items in the shopping cart even if the app gets closed
  • providing personal birthday discounts (the user can specify the date of birth in the profile)
  • saving card and shipping details to use during next purchases

Also, you can encourage customers to create a profile by offering them social login option.


  • price
  • categories
  • availability in offline stores (if you have several of them)

Also, don’t forget to implement a search bar to find a particular item immediately.

3.Product Catalog

4.Product Page

5.Shopping Cart


7.Card Payment

Online payment is implemented through a payment gateway. You can see how to add a payment gateway into an e-commerce store in this article and compare top providers here.


9.Barcode Scanner

10.Online Chat

Retail app features

What Does The Price Of Retail App Development Consist Of?

  • number and complexity of features
  • selected platforms (iOS, Android, web)
  • technologies in use (native, cross-platform)
  • infrastructure (on-premise, cloud)
  • design
  • testing
  • maintenance

The more complex and lengthy the project is, the more effort it needs to be invested. If you are at the beginning of this path with no online presence, start with the MVP. After it goes into production, assess the demand and profitability and fill it with more advanced features. To create a thorough development plan, hire a dedicated team to guide your project wisely from start to finish.

This article was originally published at Softensy.

Softensy specializes in fintech development and enterprise-level apps. Our team helps companies automate business processes by developing software solutions.