Checklist before starting an e-commerce app
By now you have probably googled everything there is to find about starting your e-commerce site slash mobile app, or saw something you might have missed the first time you did and found a dozen checklist blogs about what you NEED to do, and what NOT to do. And while these blogs have good points, there are mostly out of date or entirely out of the ballpark.
So what does go into the checklist before starting your e-commerce app?
Well if we assume that you already picked a name for your business/app that you think would fit, and wasn’t too generic to be quickly forgotten but also not too complicated that users couldn’t remember it. We can start the checklist.
Choose a platform on which you are building your e-commerce store
Remember that most users find your store on the web but purchase on mobile, so make sure you have both platforms covered, even though your focus should be on mobile.
Choose your platform carefully, and by platform, we mean one of several that manage your store’s backend. Such being Magento, Shopify, Big Commerce, Weebly, Volusion, Paperform for eCommerce etc.
Each one of these is different, but also they have many things in common, make sure you research everyone. Take into consideration the availability of developers for each platform, their pricing, and level of knowledge. Because these people will be working with you for a long time, not just at the beginning, since work on e-commerce is never finished, especially with yearly updates and emergence of new trends in e-commerce such as AR and VR. There is always room for improvement in e-commerce.
Choose the platform that best suits your business size and what features it offers. And choose it wisely.
We find out about a great way to compare and all information about e-commerce platforms here. Your next task is to create a simple Google spreadsheet where you can list two or three platforms that suits you the best, and have in one place everything you need for a better decision.
Find a proven agency for Android and iOS development of your e-commerce mobile app
Make sure you find a good team that knows what they’re doing, people that have experience, and a great portfolio of mobile and web applications. Sure these kinds of people can have a higher price than your average developer, but in the end, their knowledge will save you a lot of money down the road, whether is in UX, Development, Backend or Marketing.
People often underestimate how many wheels are necessary to spin to create a successful e-commerce app, that also stands out in a highly competitive e-commerce market.
Application performance of your e-commerce shop is the top priority
After you made sure you picked the right platform and the right people, it’s important to make sure these run perfectly since every 0.1 seconds your app lags, you lose 1% of your revenue, and that’s a lot of money on an e-commerce scale.
So it’s important you pick a team that makes native apps on both iOS and Android platform that run smoothly and integrate seamlessly with your chosen platform (Magento, Shopify…)
Research is one of the most important parts since it allows you to focus on segments of the market and users you want to reach. It’s essential to conduct such research to better shape your brand towards them. By making user personas of your customers, you can quickly focus on their needs and habits, be it with User Experience or Marketing, and make sure your app reaches them and solves their needs.
A lot of e-commerce apps fail to do so and spend 2 years in development only to be released to find out it wasn’t what customers wanted. That’s why we suggest following Growth-driven design methodology while developing projects like building your e-Commerce mobile shop. GDD is a great way to create MVP (Minimum Viable Product), iterate to product-market fit and scale big!
Feel and look
Look and feel of your app is very important, so your UI/UX designer should know about designing for e-commerce, and what to avoid while also knowing how to make the experience easier and hassle-free for the customer.
For instance, knowing which colors to use in your app. You don’t want to use the same colors as your competition, and for instance be aware to avoid color red in fashion apps instead of wholesale since it promotes hunger, etc. These little things might seem unimportant but have a huge impact on the user.
To help you out, we collected essential features that your e-Commerce mobile application needs to have. Feel free to use it and if you have some additional questions about any of feature, we are here to help!
Essential features in designing an e-Commerce mobile app
- A minimalist design for easy navigation
- Include categories on each page and filtering options
- A link to Legal information
- A link to your Contact Page
- A link to the FAQ page
- Links to return and exchange policies
- Links to supplier information pages
- Sharing buttons
- Use tab layout in your app, instead of hamburger menu
- A visible shopping cart at the top in case people saved items or forgot they saved something in it
- Always show payment options you use and any security measures you take
- Tabs leading to your support pages
- Make the checkout button clearly on each page, and include instant checkout button if available
Download the whole checklist of essential features in designing an e-Commerce mobile app.
After checking the basics of every e-Commerce mobile app, you need to take care of 2 the most important sections in your mobile app – the Checkout process and Product page. Those 2 screens have a huge impact on how your customer will use your app.
Things not to forget while designing Checkout and Product page
Make sure your checkout is easily navigatable and without too many input forms that would scare away potential customers. If your e-Commerce shop has these kinds of problems, recently we wrote an article about How to stop shopping cart abandonment.
To avoid the scenario of shopping cart abandonment, use our checklist while creating and designing a shopping cart in e-Commerce.
Essential features to include in checkout process:
- Don’t make the user create an account until after placing an order
- Try to accept multiple payment options
- Offer low shipping costs
- Include a timeline on the checkout screen
- Make sure you show security and payment seals during checkout
- Show continue shopping after completed checkout checkout
- Allow people to save a wish list
- Refrain from asking survey questions after checkout but don’t miss out on emails, here are 5 ways to get more leads on mobile
- Offer free shipping when shoppers spend a certain amount of money
- Offer same day shipping – a lot of companies these days do
- Include an area to type in coupons
- Show people how much they have saved during checkout
- Try to show approximate shipping date and time
- If you sell high priced items, offer funding options like payment installments, and payment in rates
Download the whole checklist of essential features to include in the checkout process.
Same applies to the product page, make sure you use large, high-quality pictures since they remind your customer what they’re buying and increase sales.
Essential features to include on the product page:
- Reduced clutter, so the purchase process doesn’t look intimidating
- Include a call to action button
- Customer reviews and word of mouth reviews – Refer a Friend option
- Related products
- Show free shipping if available or a clock with a discount if they buy now
- Wishlist button on each product page
- Provide product images with zoom-in functionality
- Multiple product images and angles (360-degree view)
- Show Precise item information and specifications
- An option to change purchasing quantities easily
- Add-to-cart button on each product page, at least two. One on top, and one on bottom
- Upcoming sales and discounts
- Show product scarcity
- What materials are used, dimensions, colors, weight
- Show available sizes
- Add currency converter
- Show Recent sales Popup
- Show Social share buttons
- Special deals for people who purchase multiple associated items
- Hi-rez large pictures and videos
- An error message sticker that shows if a product is sold out or out of stock
- Option to turn on notifications when a product becomes available
- Add checkout buttons on the top and bottom of your pages
- Show security certificates and reminders that the transactions are safe throughout the checkout phase
Download the whole checklist of essential features to include on the product page.
Customer service for better user experience
Establishing your brand is essential, but the color and name won’t just cut it, you need excellent customer service. In the modern internet age where one tweet can destroy a multi-billion dollar company by exposing their bad business practices, word of mouth marketing is the most potent weapon of today, and if you want good reviews, you need to treat your customers even better. That’s why you need excellent customer service and one that works 24/7. It’s also important to have a very customer-centric return policy since many people are turned away from an e-store that doesn’t accept returns (be it clothes, tech or wholesale goods).
Include Augmented Reality option
AR in an e-commerce shop is not a necessity but it certainly helps and raises your market profile if it’s seamlessly incorporated. But like any new technology be careful which platform you choose, since some are better than others and offer more options.
It’s also worth mentioning it lowers product returns since customers will be more informed about the item when they’re buying it since they can experience it better in AR.
Also worth mentioning is that 61% of customers prefer AR shops over non-AR shops, and 40% would pay more if offered and item on Augmented Reality so they could experience better.
Good quality products
And the last thing on this list but not the least. Something only you as a retailer can affect. No matter how good your UX may be or Customer Service or any of the things mentioned above, if you are selling bad products, no amount of good UX or programming is gonna make your app succeed. So very important thing to do when check-listing for an e-commerce app, make sure your products are good.
That’s all folks
We hope this list of features can help you decide where to start your e-commerce store. If we missed something, please send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update our list.