Hackernoon logoHow to build an E-Commerce App: An Entrepreneur's guide by@rachel

How to build an E-Commerce App: An Entrepreneur's guide

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Independent Tech Blogger

An Entrepreneur's guide to develop his first e-commerce mobile app in 2020. 

It would be an understatement to say that mobile-commerce is booming. Thanks to several shopping websites like Shopping Spree, Shopaholic, Fashionista, who are bringing the people closer who love to shop; irrespective of the time; irrespective of the place.

Over 85% of users prefer using a mobile app than a mobile/responsive website, and you’ve got all the motivation you need for shooting for e-commerce app development for your brand.

With the touch of digitization, people have started to shop online in the comfort of their homes.

E-commerce App that was once a revolution, has been commemorated by e-Commerce mobile application development. E-Commerce mobile apps forge the slogan, “Shop on-the-go” that has been reigning over the smart users and their smartphones today.

Startups, in particular, are looking forward to e-commerce apps instead of websites as e-commerce apps are responsible for 34% of all e-commerce sales.

For startups, it is important to invest in the right e-commerce development company that has the experience and passion to tackle all the aspects of developing a successful marketplace app.

To start off with e-commerce mobile app development, it is important for Entrepreneurs to define e-Commerce business goals with utmost clarity.

What are the types of e-Commerce mobile app do you want to launch your business —  Will it be Android or iOS?

Source: Google Images 

  1. Are you selling your products or Vendors will register?
  2. Who is your target audience?
  3. Who will manage the delivery, you, your vendor or 3rd party?
  4. How they can upload and change product pricing?
  5. How the commission will work, Can the vendor take the payment directly?
  6. Who can leave a review, only verified customers?

Once this is sorted, you move on to the next step on which involves defining the right features for your e-Commerce Mobile Application.

7 Important Features Every e-commerce App Needs to Have:

Let’s get you started with a list of features every successful e-commerce app should have:

 1. Secure Payment Gateway

Security has been one of the most pivotal elements while creating an e-commerce app as with the recent rise in cybercrime and security breaches, users have become increasingly cautious and have started asking all the apt questions when it comes to submitting their sensitive data to a brand.

For consumers, while making a purchase over the internet, the first thing that crosses their  mind is “Will this app be able to protect my financial information I put in for the payment of my purchase?”

To ward this off, e-commerce development companies use payment gateway which is an interface that securely connects your customer to the payment system. 

You can embed and integrate a payment gateway by using a payment processing framework with a secure SDK.

Payment processing frameworks such as Stripe, PayPal, Braintree Payments, etc. can safely process payment transactions.

Here is the example of how ValueCoders have created a secure payment gateway for the marketplace app recently developed:

Class PaymentActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
public static final String PAYPAL_CLIENT_ID = "YOUR_PAYPAL_CLIENT_ID";
public PaymentActivity()   // initialising paypal details 
  //Paypal Configuration Object
    private static PayPalConfiguration config = new PayPalConfiguration()
            // Start with mock environment.  When ready, switch to sandbox (ENVIRONMENT_SANDBOX)
            // or live (ENVIRONMENT_PRODUCTION)
private void getPayment() {
        //Getting the amount from editText
        paymentAmount = "50"// amount in dollar
        //Creating a paypalpayment 
        PayPalPayment payment = new PayPalPayment(new BigDecimal(String.valueOf(paymentAmount)), "USD", "Product_Details",
        //Creating Paypal Payment activity intent 
        Intent intent = new Intent(this, PaymentActivity.class);
        //putting the paypal configuration to the intent 
        intent.putExtra(PayPalService.EXTRA_PAYPAL_CONFIGURATION, config);
         //Puting paypal payment to the intent 
        intent.putExtra(PaymentActivity.EXTRA_PAYMENT, payment);
         //Starting the intent activity for result
        //the request code will be used on the method onActivityResult 
        startActivityForResult(intent, PAYPAL_REQUEST_CODE);
    protected void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) {
        //If the result is from paypal 
        if (requestCode == PAYPAL_REQUEST_CODE) {
            //If the result is OK i.e. user has not canceled the payment 
            if (resultCode == Activity.RESULT_OK) {
                //Getting the payment confirmation 
                PaymentConfirmation confirm = data.getParcelableExtra(PaymentActivity.EXTRA_RESULT_CONFIRMATION);
                //if confirmation is not null 
                if (confirm != null) {
                    try {
                        //Getting the payment details 
                        String paymentDetails = confirm.toJSONObject().toString(4);
                        Log.i("paymentExample", paymentDetails);
                        //Starting a new activity for the payment details and also putting the payment details with intent 
                        startActivity(new Intent(this, ConfirmationActivity.class)
                                .putExtra("PaymentDetails", paymentDetails)
                                .putExtra("PaymentAmount", paymentAmount));
                    } catch (JSONException e) {
                        Log.e("paymentExample", "an extremely unlikely failure occurred: ", e);
            } else if (resultCode == Activity.RESULT_CANCELED) {
                Log.i("paymentExample", "The user canceled.");
            } else if (resultCode == PaymentActivity.RESULT_EXTRAS_INVALID) {
                Log.i("paymentExample", "An invalid Payment or PayPalConfiguration was submitted. Please see the docs.");

2. Product Image Quality

You would be damaging your user’s experience unless your app has the feature to support high-resolution image products. 

Considering the image is all they’re going to be seeing the product before they make the payment and get it in their hands, it needs to be an accurate rendition of all the product’s characteristics.

Helping users to take a closer look at the pictures while embedding a light zoom feature. 

E-commerce development companies need to ensure that you invest in your own original, quality pictures instead of using the same images that other retailers use.

3. Product Reviews

According to the VWO E-commerce survey of 2014, 55% of online shoppers said product reviews were important for making purchase decisions. 

The majority of the shoppers wanted to know what other consumers had to say about the brand/product and their experience with it.

Naturally, if the product reviews were positive, they were more likely to purchase it.

This is why, creating a feature that displays a product’s reviews clearly – making them easily accessible – is an important feature to have if you wish to convert your users into buyers.

Ecommerce emphasizes vivid product descriptions, which let users visualize the “feel” of the product.

 Hire e-commerce developers to create product review experiences that emphasize the qualities of the product and let a user “imagine” the different ways a product can be useful to them.

4. Dedicated ‘Discounts’ Features

Abandoned carts are one of the major issues of e-commerce. 

Abandoned carts represent significant lost revenue as many as 70% of carts are abandoned before checkout.

The solution to this major problem is Retargeting, those users by offering special discounts on the products they left in their cart. 

Users between the ages of 18-24 are 61% more likely to buy the products they left in the cart if they’re offered at a discount. 

While the number goes even higher, to 72%, for users between the ages of 25-34.

This shows you can retrieve lost sales by offering special discounts. Creating a dedicated discount feature for your e-commerce app will entice your users to take the final leap.

Offer incentives to users to sign up for your app, and increase your active user base, like: “Create an account with us and receive 50% more discount deals than our guest users.”

5. Product Comparisons

 55% of digital moms and millennials research alternative products online, i.e. product research, before making a purchase decision.

Creating an innovative and easy to view product comparison feature – not just loosely based on cost but on consumer reviews – will offer the users a chance to research the product without them having to leave the app.

6. Push Notifications

Online shoppers stated that more often than not they learned the latest shopping trends and news from social media sites. At 53%, Facebook remains the leading social media channel that educates users about shopping trends.

Don’t let social media platforms, or any other social media channel, steal your thunder. Be the go-to source for information about shopping discount deals, trends, and news, for your users.

You can also integrate an interactive Push Notification system that lets you send interesting and light-hearted “updates” to your users every day.

7. Product Search with QR Codes

QR codes have become a common phenomenon. Users often use them to gather information about a product.

You can add your own twist to take advantage of this tech. Create a feature that allows users to scan the QR/barcode of a product they like, and draw results, from your brand, closest to the scanned product.

Final Thoughts

For a successful e-commerce software development, the major focus should be on your consumers. 

You need to know what your users are looking for in a marketplace app. The only way you can know what the user wants to gather consumer insights.

There are heaps of data that are lying around the internet and some of the features are listed above that you can include in your e-commerce app, which will be an instant and huge success.

Hire an e-commerce developer, who’ll help you focus on creating an app that’s been loved and accepted by digital Millennials. 

Hope this blog will extract out the important elements while developing an e-commerce app for Entrepreneurs. 


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