Consumers are spending more time on their phones than ever before, and thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic closing stores for several months, attitudes towards buying online have changed. According to one report, the crisis “permanently shifted” the UK to ecommerce dominance, and as a result, many historically brick-and-mortar retailers are moving online.

Building a great-looking ecommerce website is the first step towards succeeding online, but the next is to consider an ecommerce app. Mobile users spend up to 87% of their time inside apps, versus just 13% of their time browsing the web, so it makes sense for firms to build an ecosystem where an ecommerce brand can thrive, away from the restrictive web browsers.

If you’re considering an ecommerce app for your business, include these popular features…


Add a loyalty program as standard

A custom app for your business unlocks a unique opportunity: to win over customer loyalty and encourage them to buy from you again. After all, they’ve made the effort to search for your brand in the App Store or Play Store, download your app, and sign up for an account.

See also: How to build a customer loyalty programme 

You could reward shoppers based on their purchase frequency, spending, time logged in or social media shares, giving them a discount off future purchases or a chance to win a prize, whether that’s a gift voucher or £100 in cash. Consumers are more likely to interact with loyalty schemes if they’re easily accessible – so sign all new customers up to remove sticking points and add push notifications and reminders to encourage them to engage with it.


Bake customer support into the app

One of the most frustrating things about buying online is accessing customer support.

In fact, data shows that 73% of consumers remain loyal to a brand thanks to good customer service. Remember that it costs between 5 and 25 times more to find a new customer than it would cost to retain an existing one, so make it as easy as possible for them to find you.

Whether you conduct customer service via email, ticket support, phone, or live chat, add a button in your ecommerce app alongside frequently asked questions. A good app will offer shoppers easy access to information like estimated shipping dates and a returns policy, which will reduce the number of customer interactions your team will need to respond to.


Track users’ locations

If you have a bricks and mortar store as well as an ecommerce store, consider adding in location services to make users’ lives easier. We’re not saying that you should track your customers’ every move, but features like a store locator makes it easy for customers to find you and increases the likelihood of making a sale. Geofencing is another great idea; when a user walks into your store, you could send them a notification to ask if they need help, or to alert them to special offers. Such technology is already being used by brands like Apple and its Apple Stores, enabling you to deliver great customer service without a great expense.


Force users to create an account

Although logins and account creation can often be a sticking point, getting shoppers to hand over an email address as soon as they open your app makes sense. Once they’ve created a customer profile, you’ll be able to collect insights into each customer to better personalize their shopping experience and recommend relevant products. For customers, they’ll only have to log in once, and they won’t need to type in their personal information when buying.

Though you shouldn’t overwhelm users when they sign up (too many form fields can force customers to delete your app), you should ask for their email address, shipping address, and name as a bare minimum. Integrating with a service like Sign In With Apple or Facebook makes this even easier and increases the chance of them converting into a paying customer.


Make it easy to search for products

Another common frustration amongst mobile ecommerce shopping is searchability, and being able to find the right products. Whether you’ve got 10 products in your inventory or 10,000, it’s vital that you add advanced search and filters to your app. Show shoppers products that are irrelevant, take too long to display results, or forget to display images in search results, and your app users will soon close your app and head to Amazon instead.

Your app’s infrastructure needs to be bulletproof. Make sure it has been tested to within an inch of its life and stress-tested to cope with an influx of traffic and sales. Fail to deliver and customers simply won’t come back. Worse still, they’ll leave a bad review for your app on the App Store. There are thousands of other sites and apps offering the same products as you, so it’s the service where you really need to impress. TLDR; don’t skimp on search!


Monitor usage from day one

Though you don’t want to bloat your app unnecessarily, it makes sense to add analytics so that you can see how users engage with your features. From the data collected, you can make improvements to your app to increase conversions. Even if you spend £100,000 on an app, it won’t be perfect. Monitor the most popular payment methods, see which section of the screen is tapped the most, look at crashes, bugs, and error reports, and see how long users typically spend inside the app. The more data you collect on user behaviour, the easier it’ll be to optimise your software and ultimately use it to sell more merchandise.

Ready to get started on an ecommerce app for your brand? Reach out to Zudu today on 01382 690080 to arrange a consultation with our award-winning Dundee app developers.

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