Retail is changing. The malls that were once popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s are rapidly disappearing as shopping shifts to the internet. In the early 2000s, e-commerce started to become a regular part of everyday life in the U.S.
More recently, mobile e-commerce, or sometimes referred to as m-commerce, is on the rise. In 2017, purchases made through mobile devices accounted for 34.5% of total e-commerce sales. By 2021, m-commerce’s share will increase to 54%.
M-commerce is the future of retail but, while most businesses nowadays have an online presence, many are still not ready for mobile-based transactions. Some still have websites that cannot adapt to smaller screen sizes. Others are not seeing the potential of using social media to sell goods.
Businesses should also consider launching their own shopping app. In September 2019, 150.6 million Americans accessed the Amazon app, the most popular shopping app in the United States.
Having a shopping app, which consumers can browse anywhere and anytime, can increase profit. It would not be easy. A business that wants to venture into m-commerce should hire a capable team of developers to create an app that would facilitate sales with ease. Capsher Technology, for example, is a service that provides businesses with coders and designers who know exactly what consumers need to navigate an app without encountering any difficulties.
Here are the features that businesses should include in their mobile shopping app to boost visits and profits.
Quick Add to Cart and Checkout
Making a purchase as easy and quick as possible through a mobile shopping app should be the priority of every business. After all, consumers turn to apps primarily because of accessibility. In a few taps, they should be able to find what they are looking for, add it to their cart, checkout, and pay.
If this is not something that a shopping app can offer, it might turn consumers away. It is especially important for customers who are making impulse purchases which is common among young people (and beneficial to businesses). About 80% of young people have made an unplanned and sudden decision to buy a product online in 2018.
The trick is to only ask consumers for information that is necessary to enable payment and delivery. People do not want to spend minutes answering every single field. Although businesses can gain benefit from knowing as much information about their customers as possible, requiring more details than necessary will just slow down the process between browsing and purchase.
Some online platforms allow customers to “shop as a guest” which means that they do not have to create an account first to access products and take advantage of autofill features to make registration quicker.
All social media sites have adopted push notifications, a feature that allows them to send announcements or reminders to the user. This is a coveted feature because, often, it inspires immediate action.
Facebook and Instagram, for example, use push notification to alert a user when they have received a message, a comment, a like, or have been tagged in another person’s post. As soon as the user received the push notification, they are more likely to access the app and check the content in question.
The same is being done by major mobile shopping apps. Through push notifications, a business can alert a customer if an item they have saved or was eyeing had a price reduction or only have limited stocks. It can be used to announce a flash sale or to give away promotion codes.
With push notification, customers are more likely to return to an app and browse products, increasing the likelihood that they will make a purchase.
Your app cannot read consumers’ minds, but it can predict what product might interest them based on their browsing and purchase history.
Customization can mean different things to different businesses but, for shopping app, it usually involves the curation of products that a customer sees when they access the platform. You can allow them to follow their favorite brands, save products that they might want to purchase in the future, browse merchandise based on price, discount, type of material used, etc.
The app can also recommend products related to what they purchased in the past and what they looked at recently. It will encourage them to spend more time on the app to look at products and maybe add a trinket or two to their cart before they finalize an order.
In order to compete in the mobile apps market, customization should be at the heart of the shopping app. It promises to provide a unique user experience that consumers nowadays demand from e-commerce.
Launching a mobile shopping app would only be successful if it can provide ease of use and convenience to your consumers. If not, then the project will only be a waste of resources. People would not turn to it to make their purchases if they have to go through hoops to access it and find their way around.