More users are shopping on their mobile devices these days, which means that your ecommerce store needs to be accessible from more than a desktop computer.
Oftentimes, this means taking your online business into the world of mcommerce by building a mobile app. That said, simply building a mobile app doesn’t mean that it will be a win. You’ll need to think critically about how your mobile app will serve your users. When evaluating how to provide your users with the optimal user experience, you’ll need to consider which features will best meet your users’ needs.
While there might be specific features best suited to your industry, there are also many that apply to ecommerce businesses universally. Here are 10 features that will help your ecommerce mobile app succeed.
1. Search feature
This feature may not apply to your business if you don’t have a wide range of products, but if you do, it’s critical: SEARCH. Even when you have streamlined navigation, scrolling and swiping around on a device to find a product is a bit more of a challenge on mobile than on a desktop computer. In this way, adding a search feature can greatly simplify your users’ ability to find what they’re looking for.
With this in mind, if you’re going to include a search feature, you’ll want to ensure it’s a good one. 72% of ecommerce search features fail user expectations, as they don’t always retrieve the products the users were expecting. Instead, ensure your search function includes features such as filters to make finding their product of choice simple. As a result, you may see an increase in the time your users spend using your mobile app.
Even when you’ve made it easy for your users to find the product they were looking for, there’s always the possibility that they aren’t ready to make the purchase they intended to. Rather than losing out on that customer, make it possible to save that purchase for later with wishlists.
3. Social media login
As noted, in ecommerce, you need to prioritize making your users' shopping experience as simple and accessible as possible. On a website, this may mean not requiring users to register with your site and providing a “guest checkout” option for them to use instead. Similarly, you’ll want to make it easy for users to create an account for your store on your mobile app.
In addition to “guest checkout,” you can make it possible to register using a social media login. For example, with 69% of U.S. adults using Facebook on their smartphones, making it possible to login using Facebook reduces the number of steps required to register with your site. In this way, you can increase the number of users who register with your online store, as well as user retention throughout the checkout process.
4. Mobile wallet
In addition to keeping the login process simple, you can streamline the entire checkout process by making payment simple as well. 64% of mobile users use some form of mobile payment feature. As such, a majority of your users should be enthusiastic when they realize that they can use their preferred payment method with a few taps on their screen.
Depending on your target audience, you can accommodate the mobile wallet they are most likely to use. As of 2017, Apple Pay was most popular among mobile users (27%) but Samsung Pay and Google Pay weren’t too far behind. Other popular payment integrations to consider are PayPal, Venmo, and Amazon Pay.
5. Push notifications
Just as with your website, you’ll want to keep your users coming back for more. With your mobile app, however, ensuring that users see the usefulness in your app is even more critical, as this influences whether or not your users choose to keep your app on their phone. With the average uninstall rate after 30 days at 28%, you’ll need to actively maintain your users’ interest.
One great to keep your users coming back to your mobile app is through push notifications. One survey identified that users who opted in to push notifications were more likely to retain an app for a longer period of time: For example, 37% of those who opted in to push notifications retained an app between days 61 to 91, as compared to the mere 11% who opted out.
6. Order tracking
When a customer goes online to purchase an item, as soon as they hit the order button, they are likely anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new product. To give users a better idea of when their item will arrive, many ecommerce stores provide users with order tracking but not all mobile commerce apps can say the same.
While order tracking is often made inaccessible on mobile, many customers value knowing the status of their online order: One survey found that 88% of customers track their orders. For instance, Amazon allows users to track their orders every step of the way, as well as receive notifications when their package is just a few stops away.
7. Customer support
For many years, customer support was merely accessible via a phone call. However, many customers now seek out customer support online. As mobile grows in prevalence, however, more users will expect to be able to gain access to customer support from the screens of their iPhone or Android devices. Thankfully, you can make that possible on your mobile app.
First, you should make it possible for customers to call or email your organization easily. Additionally, you may also want to make a chatbot, or live chat with a representative, available. In fact, 30% of customers now expect you to have a customer support chat on your site. For instance, Apple makes Apple Support accessible online and on your mobile device, making it easy for users to ask questions and receive answers about their products.
8. Responsive design
The main reason to build a mobile app is to ensure that you accommodate your mobile users. However, within the category of mobile, there is a wide variety of devices and device sizes to contend with. Many will recommend building a native app, as they provide the optimal user experience; that said, this app type only functions on iOS or Android devices. Rather, we recommend building a cross-platform or a progressive web app to provide a more responsive design.
Cross-platform apps are apps that function on either iOS or Android devices. They can be found on either the Apple App Store or Google Play. In addition, their responsive design allows them to automatically adjust to the screen size of whatever device they are being used on. Along a similar vein, progressive web apps are technically websites that look like apps and, as such, function on any device as well.
9. Offline capabilities
The reality is that when you’re users are viewing your mobile app, they are likely on-the-go. When on-the-go, there’s a chance your users will lose connection to data, and you certainly don’t want your mobile app to crash as a result. So, what can you do to prevent this? Build an app that includes offline capabilities, such as a cross-platform app.
While your users won’t be able to update content on your app when they lose data or Internet connection, they’ll be able to continue viewing the content that has already loaded onto their phone. That way, when a user it eyeing one of your product pages while on a road trip, they won’t lose their place when they enter an area with a poor connection.
While one of the least exciting features, synchronization is crucial to offering a streamlined omnichannel experience. Synchronization between your website and mobile app ensures that both remain up-to-date. Most importantly, it'll inform both systems when products are in (or out of) stock. Likewise, changes in how products are organized should also be reflected on mobile.
Start Adding Ecommerce Mobile App Features!
Now that you know 10 of the most useful ecommerce mobile app features, it’s time to start building, or modifying, the mobile app for your online business. Unless you’re writing the code for your app yourself, you’ll need the help of a mobile app developer — one with experience and the business sensibilities to guide your app's development. We have the skills and experience to successfully lead you from planning to development, to a positive ROI, and we have some flexible development options to fit most budgets. Our offshoring partner ClikGlobal can develop your app for less, and with our US based developers managing our offshore team closely, you can feel confident your project will get completed right.