Categories: Mobile Application.11.6 min read.

eCommerce app: How to build an impactful one

The world is shopping via mobile screens. An eCommerce app is a solution for your online business' growth. Below are a step-to-step guide for building your eCommerce apps the result in more visitors, sales, and retentions.

About the Author: Celine Nguyen

A Marketing content writer with expertise in technology, innovation, and creativity — Passionate in technology solutions that transform lives and works.

By Celine Nguyen

The world is shopping via mobile screens. An eCommerce app is a solution for your online business growth. According to the latest PYMNTS’ 2020 Remote Payments Study, mobile devices are the most popular device for online shopping by a wide margin. 72% of consumers are using mobile devices to shop in stores. Thus, to provide a seamless online shopping experience, it is crucial to have an E-commerce mobile app beyond the eCommerce web.
Check more about the reasons why you need an eCommerce app here
Below is a step-to-step guide for building your eCommerce apps, resulting in more visitors, sales, and retention.

1. Sketch your target users

When you start building an app for your eCommerce business, you may already have a stable amount of customers from your website. You also can collect their data and research their shopping behavior.
But that’s just what happened on the website.
People will behave differently when they browse on mobile devices for shopping purposes. You need to find out how to make their thumbs stop, check your products, and place orders. You may want to do some surveys to find out.

  • What’s my users’ average age?
  • What are their interests while browsing mobile devices?
  • Which products do they already like and buy by mobile?
  • What content can attract them?
  • How are they finding us?

Based on these surveys, you can find out ideas for your app, from visual elements to features.

2. Define your app ideas

After sketching out your target users, you can find some suggestions about how your eCommerce app should be. Besides, clear goals and KPIs also help you to picture your app better. You will know what features you should invest in more.

A convincing app idea before jumping into the coding can help you save thousands of dollars. It can ensure that you create an application that people want to download to their phone and use to shop. From the information about your users, goals, and KPIs, you can have a big idea for your app. But this step doesn’t end there.

You need to develop your high-level detailed idea with the business model canvas. This template can help you visualize all aspects of a business like value propositions, customer segments, revenue, and more. Based on this step, you can create a demo of your app.

3. Choose the right technology that fits your products

Now, it’s time to make another choice: app type. eCommerce retailers can choose from Progressive Web Apps and Native Apps.

PWAs stands for Progressive Web Apps. These are next-generation websites that offer the same speed, interactivity, and performance as a native app but without a download in the app stores. They’re an excellent option if you have a lot of mobile traffic on your brand website and/or if your budget is more limited.

Then another option is Native Apps. These are downloaded from an app store and stored on a user’s phone. Unlike PWAs, which work across all platforms, Native apps have to be developed separately for iOS and Android. As a consequence of this Operating System specific development (iOS and Android), native apps can fully use all the features a mobile phone has to offer. They offer the best, most optimized experience possible; they’re fast and intuitive; they feature native gestures (like taps), have access to the database/contacts/foto gallery, and aspects such as the camera.

Each option has pros and cons; choose the one that fits your business, budget, and time. You can consult your development partner to make the right choice.

4. List out the requirements and features you want

Now you need to decide what features your app must have. There are some features that any eCommerce app needs to serve mobile shoppers. Gather your team and put yourselves in the shoppers’ shoes to find out.

Below are some critical features for your reference:

  • Push messages – These are critical to any modern eCommerce app. A great tool for your Marketing.
  • Easy checkouts – An easy checkout does one of two things. Firstly, it streamlines the initial purchases. Secondly, it makes repeat purchases more straightforward. This makes it key for eCommerce, both B2C, and B2B.
  • Look-books are a useful and popular fashion-specific feature, although we see it used in different contexts.
  • Wishlists – This is popular for B2C retailers but also B2B buyers. The reason is that B2B customers will often make repeat purchases. Via a wishlist, repeating purchases can be made a lot faster.
  • Social media integration – can be valuable, especially if you target millennials and other young generations.
  • Native experiences – Last but not least, features like swipes, taps, touches, and optimal use of screen space all add to your app.
  • Multiple relevant payment options – It’s important to offer all options commonly accepted in one’s target countries. For example, you should allow Wechat payment for Chinese customers.
  • Custom branding and design elements – These improve brand prestige and the overall feel’ of an app.
  • A review/rating system – Customers rely on each other’s opinions to evaluate items they might buy. Creating an in-app way for them to do that is always a good thing.
  • Back-end synchronization – In a perfect world, you don’t want to manage a separate backend for your app. Look for ways to use your existing back-end with your app via synchronization instead.

5. Invest in designing and UX

A mobile or eCommerce UX or user experience design refers to designing positive experiences when using mobile devices, apps, or services that run on these devices. The mobile user experience design strongly puts focus on discoverability and efficiency.
Some UX and designing tips to note when building your eCommerce apps

  • Horizontal filtering: mobile users like scrolling. Tru to put the key elements like Cart, Buy now, Order now within reach of your customers’ thumbs.
  • Making product descriptions crisp and understandable is necessary as any user or customer won’t like to go through massive texts.
  • Fabricating a user-centric search: The search experience that you offer to your customers can break or make your online sales. Try to include search by voice and photos.
  • Quick check-out and signup: Making checkouts and signups simple is paramount as website users quickly run out of patience.
  • Use the right colors: Color is not only important from a branding perspective, allowing you to create a unified and consistent user experience within a single product (or, indeed, a set of products).


We have gone through the significant process of building an eCommerce app. We understand that entering the world of mobile development can cause many hesitations. Building an app seems complex to many people.
At Arestós, we have top-tier developers and consultants who can walk you through the process of app development. We will work closely with you from designing UX/ UI to deployment. Let’s start to boost your online sales with mobile apps right now!

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