Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Mobile has changed the landscape for nearly all businesses, and in particular, e-Commerce businesses. People love the convenience and the seamless experience they get from doing their shopping via their mobile device. It’s become so popular that it even has its own name-m-commerce.

It’s estimated m-commerce business value will reach $700 billion this year.

If you are an existing e-Commerce business and you don’t have a dedicated mobile commerce app, you’re missing serious opportunities. With that being said, the undertaking of developing an app isn’t necessarily one that’s easy or inexpensive.

The following are some important things to know about creating an e-Commerce app.

The Cost

The primary consideration you’ll have to first think about when weighing whether or not develop a mobile app is the cost.

The cost to create an app can vary widely depending on the features and functions you want to include. Most businesses ultimately find hiring a professional development company is a better option than trying to piece together the development process with different freelancers.

So, how should you budget to develop an app?

The type of app you end up developing will be the number one determining factor of the cost. Apps can be widely categorized as table-style apps, databases, dynamic apps or game apps. If you’re talking about an e-Commerce platform, it will probably fall into the category of a database.

The more complex and the more features the app has, the more it’s going to cost. Note that allowing for things like purchases made within the app, a payment processing integration, search capabilities, as well as personal profiles, are all going to be features that may add to the cost.

Research

If you have an existing e-Commerce store, you may have some advantages when it’s time to start researching the specifics of your app. You’ll already know a lot about your targeted customer, which will help you develop buyer personas. Even with that information, you’ll still have to consider what you know from within the framework of a mobile device.

You’ll be thinking about who you’re selling to, and you’ll be thinking about not just their buying behavior, but their digital buying behavior and even more specifically, their mobile buying behavior.

As you’re researching, your competitors can be an excellent source of information

Specific Features

Once you have a budget and you’ve done market research and also hired a development firm, you’ll start thinking more about the particular features you want to include.

With today’s modern, discerning buyers, there are some elements you can’t afford not to have.

Some of these include:

  • An easy process to create a user profile. When people use an app for e-commerce purposes (or for any reason), the last thing they want is a long, arduous registration or profile-creation project. You have to make sure your process is as easy as possible and asks for the least amount of information as well. You can typically use social media accounts to make the process to use an app online one or two clicks, total.
  • Your customers are also going to want to have versatility and flexibility regarding how they pay. You need to offer as many payment options as is possible, including one-click payment options like the PayPal.
  • Push notifications tend to work well for mobile apps. Your customers will receive communication about store events and opportunities that are relevant to them. Improve customer engagement with push notifications related to sales, promotions, and offers. The more personalized you can make these notifications, the better.
  • A seamless experience is valuable to customers as well. They want to be able to move between your e-Commerce website and the app with no interruption in what they’re doing. Ensure that as you’re developing an e-Commerce app, it can fully integrate and synchronize with your website.

Finally, one of the factors that most heavily influences people’s buying decisions are product reviews or ratings. There’s a tendency to feel apprehensive about letting customers provide reviews or ratings, but the criticism you may have to deal with is worth the valuable insight and how much reviews and ratings can influence buying decisions.

Don’t just provide the option for customers to leave a rating or review. Make sure you’re encouraging them to do it.

Creating an e-Commerce app isn’t necessarily a small undertaking, but it is a valuable one particularly with planning, research and attention to what will be most important to your customers.