Learn fool-proof steps to build the most effective e-commerce app for your startup.
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How to Build an E-Commerce App For Your Business

These days, mobility is essential. There are very few instances in which people have been completely cut off because mobile technology provides connectivity across national borders, regional boundaries, and administrative districts and domains.


These days, mobility is essential. There are very few instances in which people have been completely cut off because mobile technology provides connectivity across national borders, regional boundaries, and administrative districts and domains. 

The customer’s mindset has shifted dramatically during the past decade. Customers are more likely to make purchases online than in-store at this point. They are more likely to look for information and get updates about everything using their phones than asking someone or loading up their desktop computers. But when it comes to e-commerce businesses, having an application that customers can access directly from their phones is essential. Therefore it is highly crucial to build an e-commerce app for your business whether it is a startup or a veteran in your niche.

By 2021, more than 2 billion people were using e-commerce to purchase products and services. As this standard of making purchases infiltrates other sectors across various countries, the demand for a e-commerce applications grows. In fact, having an e-commerce app for your customers can be the differentiating factor that sets you apart from your competitors.

The proportion of online retail sales made using mobile devices has experienced an annual increase of 33.8% since 2016, while spending on desktop computers continues to exhibit stable development year after year. This is due to the fact that making a purchase takes as little effort as possible for the buyer, and thanks to safe and secure digital payment gateways, and data protection practices, issues pertaining to cybersecurity have been greatly mitigated, if not, completely eliminated.

Any retailer in today’s market who hesitates to develop an e-commerce app runs the risk of appearing outdated, if not fundamentally flawed. The market for on-the-go purchases is substantial, so catering to that need is worthwhile. Neither the tools nor the people who can use them effectively are in short supply when it comes to creating e-commerce applications. The fact that the development has a few particular quirks should not discourage business owners from investing in it. If setting up a team of developers to build an e-commerce app is difficult for you, reach out to us to discuss how you can build a tech or augemnt your existing team of engineers. 

But if you’ve been debating whether or not you need a mobile app and want to learn more about what goes into creating apps for online stores, keep reading.

Let’s take a short detour to discuss what is needed to build an e-commerce app to kick off our adventure into ecommerce app development. Is it as simple as creating any other app and releasing it into the world, or are there several potential roadblocks that must be taken care of on the road to a successful e-commerce mobile app?

The Process of Building an E-Commerce App

Developers at Gaper have worked with a range of businesses and the development of their e-commerce applications. Naturally, Gaper‘s engineers’ who work on e-commerce applications have experience and expertise in different niches. We endeavor to update engineer profiles with their respective areas of past work so that, for example, if you are a department store, or a clothing brand, or a book shop, you will be able to filter through developers and engineers on our app and select a perfect match for your tech team. 

In this article, we will walk you through every step of creating a successful e-commerce mobile app in today’s competitive market climate.

Identify Your E-Commerce Business Niche

Selecting a specific niche to cater to is the first stage in developing an e-commerce application. Your target market will be determined by various factors, such as the products you intend to offer, their price point, logistics, and other variables. 

Start by conducting extensive market research. At Gaper, for instance, our market analysts and industry experts conduct extensive studies to assess purchasing tendencies, purchasing habits in existing brick/click-and-mortar shops, the viability of importing particular goods, the probability of pushing specific products through marketing, the chances of users adopting them, etc.

Not only do B2B clients have unique requirements, but they also have to be treated differently from B2C customers. If you know who you’re making the app for, you can speed up the development process and promote the app more effectively.

To do this, you can ask yourself:

  • How old is my audience?
  • What are their interests?
  • Which things do they already enjoy using and purchasing frequently?
  • What do they typically read?
  • How will they discover us?
  • What are their pain points?
  • How do we target those pain points through our solution?

Your responses to these questions and your knowledge of your particular industry will determine the final version of your e-commerce app.

After you’ve settled on your intended audience, proceed to…

Choose the Right Technology to Develop an E-Commerce App

After deciding who you’re making the app for and what you hope to accomplish, you’ll need to pick an app format. It’s important to note that online merchants have a choice between two distinctive options: Native apps and progressive web apps.

What are Progressive Web Apps? 

Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs) are the first step toward the future of web development. In contrast to traditional apps, which must be downloaded from app stores, progressive web apps (PWAs) don’t require any such installation and instead provide the same level of speed, interactivity, and efficiency directly in a web browser. They’re a great choice if your brand’s website receives a high volume of mobile visitors and you’re on a tighter budget.

And, what are Native Applications? 

Native Applications can be found in app stores and downloaded onto a user’s device. While progressive web applications (PWAs) can be used on any device, native apps must be built independently for each operating system. Because of this OS-specific programming (iOS and Android, for example), native apps may make the most of a mobile phone’s hardware and software. They provide the best, most optimal experience possible, are quick to respond and easy to use, use native motions (such as taps), and provide access to features like the camera, contacts, and media library with an infrastructure that is familiar to most smartphone users.

While it may seem a disadvantage that customers have to download the app through the app store, this can also present a unique opportunity. There are over 500 million weekly visitors to Apple’s app store while Google’s Play Store recorded over 110 billion all downloads in 2021. Optimizing your app for easy discovery on such platforms can attract many new users.

Set a Feasible Budget

Establishing a financial plan for creating a mobile app is essential. In this regard, you shouldn’t be too stingy with your money because an e-commerce app will prove to be a fruitful investment for your company in the long run. Since there is now a large market for mobile business apps, you may find plenty of IT companies willing to work with you to create a top-notch app without breaking the bank.

If you choose to use Gaper’s resources for your e-commerce app development, you will have a range of hourly rates to choose from based on how experienced an engineer is. 

Intensive Testing – Testing an E-Commerce App

Customers, employees, supply-chain managers, etc., are the primary moving parts—multiple access points, including mobile, online, in-person, and stationary computers. The complexity of testing an e-commerce app stems from the fact that its front- and back-end features must work together seamlessly.

Now, aside from the usual test cases, the most crucial topics to concentrate on when testing e-commerce software are:

  • An overview of the e-commerce application’s workflow
  • The functioning of payment gateways
  • Web browser compatibility
  • SEO and mobile-friendliness
  • Social media integration

List Of Requirements For Creating an E-commerce App

The next step in developing e-commerce software is determining which features are essential to its success. Gather your team together, and get the discussion going about the requirements. Here are a few examples of common feedback we receive from customers that can serve as starting points for your list.

  • A key feature of any cutting-edge e-commerce app is the ability to send and receive push notifications.
  • Quick and simple checkouts. One of two things can be accomplished by a streamlined purchasing process. For starters, it simplifies the buying process. It simplifies and expedites future purchases, which is a nice bonus. This makes it crucial for business-to-consumer and business-to-business online transactions.
  • Look-books are a helpful and widely used fashion-centric tool that also appears in other contexts.
  • Wishlists are popular among both business-to-consumer and business-to-business shoppers. One explanation for this is that businesses frequently make recurring purchases. By creating a wishlist, recurring purchases become much more efficient.
  • There should be a wide variety of payment methods available, as it is essential to accommodate customers in the nations one is trying to reach. Customers in the United States and Europe expect you to accept credit cards, whereas those in South and Southeast Asia expect mobile payment solutions.
  • Personalizing a brand’s look and feel through design components and branding helps raise the profile of a company’s product while also enhancing the user experience.
  • Backend synchronization: Ideally, you wouldn’t have to worry about maintaining two independent backends for your app. Try to find ways to synchronize your app with your existing back end.
  • If your audience is composed primarily of young people, such as millennials, including social media in your strategy can be beneficial.
  • Touches, swipes, and taps are all native experiences that can improve your app’s usability and reception.

Marketing Your E-Commerce App

While this article focuses on developing e-commerce apps, successful promotion of your digital products and services is equally crucial. After all, what use is it to have the finest e-commerce app in the world if no one downloads it, views the products on it, or buys anything with it? That’s right: not very great at all.

Make sure your customers are aware that your services can also be availed through the application (in addition to a shop and/or website). Leverage the application to attract and secure even more customers for your business. If financially feasible, offer discount codes or good deals to people who use your application. 

Design of an E-commerce App

Regarding mobile e-commerce apps, design is one of the most important elements.

However, planning is also essential to the completion of a quality design.

Details that warrant extra focus and attention for an e-commerce application’s design are:.

  • Layout
  • Interactional User Interface
  • Color schemes
  • Button Layout

Adding these and other elements can significantly improve a mobile app’s overall appeal and performance. 

It is critical that you, as the owner, keep the budget for your mobile e-commerce app under control while still developing highly functioning software.

UI/UX Tips

Developing a mobile e-commerce app requires knowledge of several other best practices beyond those already mentioned. These have the potential to affect how a user responds.

More than 3.5 billion people throughout the world already own a smartphone. Eighty percent or more of those mentioned above had made purchases through their mobile devices. To pique their interest, you will need a solid route plan and some tips, of course. Read on to find out!

Put essential elements where the user may easily access them. This encompasses the center, left, and bottom-left areas. Both lefties and righties can make use of these areas with their thumbs.

Try to keep the checkout procedure as quick and easy as possible. A customer’s interest may wane during a drawn-out purchase process. Perhaps he will even walk away. Therefore, make sure to inquire about the essential details only.

When taking into consideration UI/UX features, don’t just keep aesthetics and pretty screens in your mind. Include features for customers who may prefer to read a bigger font, or those who are color blind. Look into audio/voice input and feedback options to make your application as inclusive and functional as possible. 

What Does E-Commerce App Development Cost?

There is no set rate for developing an e-commerce app; instead, prices shift according to variables, including the developer’s location, expertise, experience and the app’s complexity. For the most part, you have three options when it comes to creating your e-commerce app:

  • USA’s local development companies

The price tag for hiring a local firm to create an app for e-commerce in the United States is the highest. A local firm in the United States charges $150 an hour. The standard of the work, however, is really high. The resources you hire from these companies may or may not be vetted (Gaper’s engineers are vetted). 

  • Freelancers

They provide you with a low-priced alternative. Yet there are times when the work could be better. If you’re going to hire a freelancer or a freelance agency, check their references thoroughly before handing over your project and money. Costs for freelancers often start at $20 per hour. The onus of testing and interviewing them will fall entirely upon you and your business. 

  • Software Development Outsourcing Agencies

Looking for low-cost labor options overseas is often the best course of action for some companies. You may acquire top talent at a low cost if you go this route but heed must be paid to labor laws and other compliance requirements.

The typical cost to create an e-commerce app can range from $30,000 to $250,000.

Developing an app without a solid foundation of trustworthiness is like walking around doubting your own legs’ capacity to carry you.

This, of course, is contingent upon the business partner’s capabilities, which you will need to evaluate before moving forward.

Key Features in an MVP

Before you begin developing the final version of your e-commerce application, an MVP will need to be designed.

At the minimum viable product (MVP) level of your application development, your app needs the following key features:

  • Authorization

Give users the option to sign up using their existing email address, phone number, or social network account.

  • User Profile

The user’s information will be stored in this section (name, email, shipping address, wish list, and buying history). It’s also fine to include a nickname, an avatar, or a photo. Since this is about making an e-commerce app, accepting preferred payment methods is a viable choice.

  • Online Support

Inconsistent sizing charts, nonstandard shipping options, and other ordering hiccups can leave customers frustrated. To properly support the application, it is essential to implement either an online chatroom or a call center. Chatbots can also alleviate the burden on customer service representatives caused by routine yet high volume requests for assistance with queries regarding sign-up and sign-in. It is beneficial to hire a reliable BPO company to handle customer service while developing a large-scale e-commerce operation.

  • Payment System

Back-end development is typically responsible for integrating a payment service. Customers typically have no idea how much effort goes into developing the payment gateway. However, it is always appreciated by customers when payment methods remain operational. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate a secure payment method early in building an e-commerce app.

  • Ratings, Comments, And Reviews

Users rely on the feedback of others to determine whether or not to purchase an item online, as there is no way to try it on or inspect the color physically. Credibility can be increased by allowing customers to rate products and leave comments about the quality of the services provided. The customer credentials area might help with onboarding. Reviews written by previous customers are an excellent resource for first-time buyers. Since word of mouth is an effective and mutually beneficial marketing technique, your e-commerce application should always include such features.

  • Order Tracking (optional)

Users can check on the delivery status of their package using this function.

The duration of time spent on each step of app development impacts the overall cost. Planning and scheduling are essential in the creation of e-commerce applications. You cannot simply walk into the vendor’s office with your timetable and financial plan. The money needed to develop an e-commerce app is directly proportional to the number of man-hours required to create the app.

App Launch and Support

Now that we’ve finally reached this point, it’s time to launch your app. The initial phase reveals a great deal about the promotional tasks needed for a successful app release. You can get the word out about your app by using a variety of promotional channels, including social media, Google advertisements, video ads, and other methods involving gaming, discounts, etc.

The success of an online store depends on the quality of service it provides and how quickly it answers client inquiries. Prepare fresh, thoughtful content for your customers practically daily, and you’ll keep them interested and involved.

By moving quickly and skillfully through all the phases outlined above, you can ensure that your app is truly unique and will be on the path to success in a matter of weeks.

If you want to create an Amazon-like, cutting-edge e-commerce app, arrange a meeting with us virtually.


Who will want to download my app?

Remember that you are making this app for others, not yourself. Knowing your product’s target market inside and out is essential. It is your customers who will determine how long your startup will be able to survive in the face of intense competition.

In other words, who exactly are the people who will be using your product? Where do they plan on looking? Is there an unmet need that your app could fill?

Perform in-depth analysis to discover communities that might contain your target customers. You can then use this information to determine crucial business parameters like the viability of your final product and the best revenue model for your company.

How long does it take to create a fully-functioning mobile app?

It can take as little as three months to create a simple mobile app but more than nine months to create a comprehensive one.

In theory, you could spend as much time as you like developing a fully functional mobile app for the company. Several external elements must be considered, such as the desired level of complexity for your mobile app, which will determine how long it will take to complete your project.

  • What are the core features that you would like for your app?
  • Do you want to hire a trusted technology partner like Gaper to build your app?

How much does it cost to develop a mobile app?

There is no simple answer to this problem. A mobile app’s development cost is determined entirely by the features and level of complexity the app’s owner requires.

How often will I have to keep updating my app?

To determine how frequently you should update your app, you should look at the comments and ratings it receives from users.

If you want your app to remain relevant in the face of rapid technological change, you should plan on updating it at least once a month. If you believe it will improve the app’s overall attractiveness and performance, you can update it as often as four times per month.

Can I make money from my app?

There is the potential for financial success with your app. There are various ways to monetize an app, even if it doesn’t support online purchases.

You may monetize your app in several ways, one of the most prevalent being, selling ad space to other companies. The monetization of your mobile app is not limited to only ads; you may also try subscriptions or a freemium approach.

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