With the advent of Aliexpress, Ozon, Wildberries and other popular Internet applications, people have fully experienced the convenience of a quick order in a few clicks and are no longer so willing to access sites. If you have an online store, it’s time to think about its mobile version, so as not to lose your own audience.
AppCraft studio has been engaged in mobile development for 9 years and has created more than 208 applications for iOS and Android, including in the field of e-commerce. In this article, we share our experience and tell you how to create an application for an online store.
Why does an online store need an application?
Now the creation of a mobile application is no longer a fashionable feature, but a strategic tool that will help retain its customers, attract new ones and increase profits.
Fast and convenient ordering. People have begun to use their phones more often, but the mobile version of the store is not always responsive: it loads slowly, has inconvenient little buttons and links. Such pages are often left without reaching the order. The application solves this problem: it takes into account the characteristics of each smartphone and has an intuitive interface that helps you complete a purchase in a few minutes.
Push notifications. Pop-up messages on your phone are much more effective than SMS and email newsletters, and are also free. With the help of them, you can set up a mailing list for a narrow circle of people and tell them about promotions and sales. People are much more likely to open these messages and make a repeat purchase.
Attracting new users. If you are hosted on Google Play and the App Store, you may be found through these sites. They can also place advertisements and display store advertisements on the first line of search results.
Integration with instant messengers and social networks. Users can share their purchases with others or talk about interesting products in their accounts. This is another way to advertise your online store for free and natively.
What are the stages of development?
Business and market analysis
Before starting the development, we conduct analytics: we study the goals of the business, its audience, the network of products and competitors in the market. The AppCraft team conducts interviews with the customer, his customers, organizes focus groups and expert assessment to get as much information as possible.
This data will help us develop an application that will meet the needs of customers and stand out from the competition.
Preparation of technical specifications
After the analytics, the customer and the developers draw up a list of requirements, set deadlines, budget and team composition.
Here are the main points of the terms of reference:
- Business goals
- Portrait of potential consumers
- User journey map.
- Mandatory and optional options that must be valid in the online store.
- Technical requirements for interface, performance and security.
- Implementation of UX and UI design.
- Development stages.
- Cost of work.
A project from and to is created by a product manager, analysts, marketers, developers, designers and testers. The number of specialists depends on the scale of the product, the budget and the time frame. All this is agreed with the client before starting work and discussed during development.
AppCraft employs a permanent team with extensive experience in creating and developing applications, which performs its tasks with high quality and works for the result. We are confident in the professionalism of each of them, therefore we practically do not involve external employees.
Development of a prototype
A prototype is created to test the application for usability and functionality, in order to fix bugs and improve the user experience at the initial stage.
The prototype helps to reflect the logic, structure, UX and UI design and all functions, test them and start developing the final product.
Main application development
Takes up the largest amount of time and resources: developers write code, work out the architecture, create backend and frontend. Before that, programmers study analytics well, the customer’s tasks and implement his ideas into reality.
Now testers are involved in the work – people who are called upon to press every button, open all pages and push notifications in order to find all bugs and shortcomings and understand how convenient it is for them to buy in an online store. It is important that such specialists do not participate in other stages of the work, and that their assessment is objective, and the look is fresh and impartial.
Testing can take a long time, but it is always justified: it is better to double-check each item and fix all important flaws than to get hundreds of negative reviews from real users after the release.
After careful testing, it’s time to publish the finished application and meet with the first users. For everything to go well, you need to study the rules of the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, send screenshots of the pages, a marketing promotion plan and a description of the project. If all goes well, your online store will appear on the platform in a couple of days.
Finalization and technical support of the project
The application resembles a living organism that is constantly changing, so you cannot do without corrections and stable technical support. You need to carefully study statistics, conduct analytics, study the path of users and reviews – this will help you find the most popular sections, the number of targeted user actions, problem areas of the sales funnel, etc. As the online store develops, refine popular categories and get rid of unnecessary functions.
What features to add to the application?
Before development, a technical assignment is formed, which includes the requirements and functionality of the future project. The online store has its own list of features that will make it useful and user-friendly.
- Registration and creation of a profile.
- Viewing and editing personal data.
- Browse the catalog and search for products using a filter.
- Transferring goods to the cart and placing an order.
- Online payment for purchases
- The ability to postpone a product, add it to a wishlist, or compare several options from different brands at once.
- Chat with online user support.
- Product reviews.
- Recommendations based on interests and purchases made by the user.
- Loyalty program with bonuses, discounts and gifts for purchases.
- Administrative panel for managing content and promotions.
- Marketing analytics tools.
- Viewing and trying on products in augmented reality.
- Notifications on the user’s smartphone screen.
- Integration with social networks.
- Paid features: subscription to a premium account with additional promotions, discounts and terms of order and delivery.
On Android or IOS?
Both platforms have their pros and cons, so choose based on your goals and audience. Android phones are used by 88% of people, but iPhone owners spend more money on apps. According to statistics, Apple store generates 80% more profit than Google Play.
There is also cross-platform development, when one base is created for two platforms at once. This allows you to reduce the time and cost of the final project, while maintaining the required level of quality. Cons: the application can sometimes crash due to the peculiarities of the platforms.
The AppCraft team will help you develop an online store for any platform and make it as convenient as possible for any target audience.
How long will it take and how much will it cost?
The average term for developing an application for an online store is 4-5 months. It will take 3-4 months to create an Android application from scratch or a small project, while a complex project will take about 6 months.
At AppCraft, we try to optimize each of the stages of work in order to bring the finished product as quickly as possible by testing the product on real users instead of the long implementation of numerous functions.
The cost of creating an application for an online store will depend on the terms of reference and the amount of work. Contact us to discuss the details and find out the exact price.