Enrich Your Customers’ Shopping Experience from The Comfort of Their Homes
If there’s one thing that’s been said far too many times to count over the past year, it has been the phrase “the new normal”. For developers, this new normal has further reinforced what they always knew: the world is mobile. The future is now. And in the future, everything is connected, across all domains, through lock downs and self-imposed house arrests.
Since the pandemic has hit, more and more people have been either forced to, or are voluntarily choosing to, shift their shopping needs online. You click a few buttons and get what you require straight to your doorstep without having to compromise your own safety or that of your loved ones. This means that it is time to leverage on developing e-commerce apps to be able to move with the times.
But what constitutes a high performing e-commerce app?
On a basic level, having a wide range of products, an intuitive user interface, smart features and easy checkout options, secure payment gateways, immediate confirmation receipts, and having the option to exchange or return an unused item are key. However, there are other elements that go into running a seamless app that provides the best possible user experience; including third-party apps such as a logistics app to manage deliveries, and an admin dashboard to provide a surveillance of the business operations to stakeholders.
Next, one must identify the need for an app in the area by asking certain questions and conducting market research. The most crucial thing is people want quick, hassle-free, on-time options so that they can save time and money on exploring various options.
Here are a few questions that need to be considered before developing the perfect e-commerce app:
- Who is the target market?
- Is there a niche the app can cater to?
- What are some features that might help the app stand out? Perhaps giving customers the option to schedule their delivery for a later time? Or set up a recurring delivery option every week?
- Do similar apps already exist in the market you want to supply to?
- Who are your competitors?
The Ideal Business Model
The following step is to figure out what kind of online business model would be ideal for the product and the customers it is targeting. Each model has different functions and conducts business in different ways. It’s a decision that is based on risks, returns, extents of control, and investment that meets your needs.
- The warehouse model requires a larger space for stocking inventory. Usually situated in areas not easily accessible, this model can increase logistical costs including rent, maintenance, delivery costs, and others.
- Another option is outsourcing, a model referred to as dark stores. Local stockists are assigned delivery requests which they coordinate with delivery agents, allowing businesses to offer same-day delivery in specific areas.
- The most popular model is ship from the store — a cost-effective and convenient way where businesses onboard multiple shopping chains on their app, and delivery partners can deliver the product of the customer’s liking, from where they usually shop from. Marketplaces such as Amazon Marketplace, Ali Express, or Daraz operate on a similar model.
The Technologies You Need
Now, we need to decide which technologies to use in building an app that meets all the aforementioned requirements. This is usually decided in association with a software house or a product development agency such as OneByte, which has a team of engineers and project managers who are able to provide end-to-end solutions to your problem statement. The following list consists of software requisites that may aid you in deciding which technology would be relevant to your business model of choice.
- App platforms: iOS, Android, Web Apps
- Back-end: Python, .Net, Java, Node.js
- 3rd Party Apps: Google Maps
- Push Notifications: APN, Twilio, Firebase
- SMS, Voice, and Phone Verification: Twilio, Nexmo, Sinch
- Cloud Environment: AWS
- Payments: Braintree and PayPal, E-Wallets, Stripe
- Real-Time Analytics: Spark Streaming, Apache Flink
- Mandrill: Relevant to emails
- Database: Cassandra, MongoDB
- Traffic Analytics: Flurry, Google Analytics
How Much Will It Cost?
The most important question for investors and owners is: how much will it cost? The cost depends on a multitude of factors including the scale; whether you want a website, an application, or both. It is also reliant on the time constraints involved, such as finalizing the details of the project, developing the app itself, and the testing. After the launch of the app, there are maintenance and running costs. Therefore, it all adds up and varies from project to project.
Ultimately, the developers you partner with will analyse the gathered information and find the balance between trends, business strategies, and technologies, to come up with an app that is best suited to your needs and customers. The most important thing is to evolve and move with the times, because if you don’t, you risk getting left behind. Reach out to us directly through our website (www.onebytellc.com) to let us help you with all your developing needs.