How To Build An E-Commerce App: 6 Step Guide

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By: Himani Juneja Time: 27 Min Read Updated: May 14, 2024
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Do you want to learn how to build an e-commerce app to establish an online presence or sell your products or services? If so, you are in the right place.

E-commerce mobile apps are one of the best ways to increase your ROI as it gives you direct access to your users. So, where do you begin?

This guide breaks down the essential steps to creating an e-commerce app, from setting goals to choosing the right development agency.

Whether you're a small startup or a large company, this easy-to-follow guide will help you create an e-commerce app that shines in the online market!

What’s An Ecommerce App?

An e-commerce app is like a digital shop where businesses sell things online to people. These apps serve as virtual storefronts where customers can browse, purchase, and manage orders from their computers or mobile devices. E-commerce apps like Amazon and Shopify allow businesses to sell products online to reach more customers globally.

Mobile-eCommerce-Stats

Stats suggest that the e-commerce market is growing a lot, and is expected to be worth $6.3 trillion in 2024, up from $5.8 trillion last year. This growth means businesses have many opportunities to do well and reach more customers.

Things to Consider Before Building an E-commerce App

Building an e-commerce app is a big job that needs careful planning. If any business rushes into it without thinking about key factors like goals, technical needs, costs, and timelines, they might face problems later on. So, it's important to take the time to plan everything out carefully before starting.

  • 1. Avg Cost required

    When it comes to making an e-commerce app, the big question is: "How much does it cost to make an e-commerce app?" Well, it depends on a few things:

    Factors Influencing the Cost of Developing Ecommerce App:

    • A. Features and Functionality

      The more features you want to add to your app, like showing products, letting people buy them, and suggesting other things they might like, the more it'll cost.

    • B. Design Complexity

      Complex designs with numerous impressive effects cost more than simple, straightforward ones.

    • C. Development Approach

      It'll cost more if you want everything custom-made from scratch. However, it's still better than using the ready-made approach, as you get precisely what you want in your app.

    • D. Third-party Integrations

      If you want to incorporate more services, like payment systems or shipping companies, that'll add to the bill.

      It's hard to say exactly how much it costs to make an e-commerce app without a comprehensive understanding of all the relevant factors. Expenses can fluctuate depending on the complexity of the app and the required resources. For instance:

      • Basic app: $10,000 - $50,000
      • Mid-range app: $50,000 - $150,000
      • Complex app: $150,000 - $500,000+

      These are rough estimates, and actual costs may differ. Getting a detailed estimate from our development team before starting would be helpful for you to make an informed decision.

  • 2. Time to Develop and Deploy the App

    Another question people often ask is, "How long should it take to build an e-commerce app?" Well, it depends on certain aspects again:

    Factors that affect time:

    • A. Scope and Complexity

      The extent of functionality you desire for your app will have an impact on the time required for its development. A basic app could be developed within a few months, whereas a more advanced one may require a year or longer.

    • B. Design and Development Process

      Establishing custom designs and features requires more time than utilizing pre-made options. Using ready-made tools is more efficient than starting from scratch.

    • C. Testing and Iteration

      Testing the app to ensure it functions properly and addressing any issues further extends the overall development timeline. This step is crucial, so it's essential to dedicate sufficient time to ensure it is done correctly.

      Once the app is completed, it must be made available on the app stores for users to download. Every app store has its own set of rules and review processes, which may require a few days or weeks to complete. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully consider and allocate sufficient time before releasing the app to your users.

  • 3. App’s complexity

    When considering the level of complexity of your e-commerce app, take into account the following levels:

    • A. Simple Apps

      These apps are basic and require minimal effort. They offer a comprehensive range of tools and features that enable seamless online selling, including product showcasing and secure purchasing options. They are suitable for beginners and are inexpensive.

    • B. Medium Complexity Apps

      These apps offer more functions, such as product recommendations and the ability to share content on social media platforms. They require more time and investment than basic apps.

    • C. Complex Apps

      These apps are highly advanced and offer a wide range of impressive features, such as virtual clothes try-on functionality and an extensive choice of sellers, all in one place. They are the most time-consuming to create and cost the most.

      So, how do you find the right balance?

      Consider your app requirements and budget carefully. You need to have an app that offers sufficient functionality without incurring unnecessary costs and should be made within a reasonable timeframe.

Steps to Build an E-commerce App

Steps-to-Build-an-eCommerce-App

Developing an e-commerce app requires a series of steps to transform your concept into a functional application that lets users conveniently shop online. If you’re wondering, “How do I create my ecommerce app,” these steps will help you. Follow every step of the e-commerce app development process, from initial planning to generating ideas.

  • Step 1. Determine Your App’s Goal

    Before you start building your e-commerce app, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of your objectives and the desired features. First, understand your objectives, such as increasing sales or expanding your reach.

    Further, you need to understand your target audience, including their age and preferences, enabling you to enhance the app to cater to their needs more effectively. Set clear objectives for your app, such as the desired number of sales or user engagement. Ensure that your app's objectives align with your business's overall objectives.

    By having a clear vision for your app's functionality from the start, you can develop it to align with your objectives.

  • Step 2. Perform Market research

    Once you have determined the desired functionality of your e-commerce app, the subsequent task is to analyze the market. This allows you to gain insights into your customer base, stay informed about the competition, and stay up-to-date with industry trends.

    You'll need to determine the buying preferences of your target audience. Consider factors such as their age and purchasing habits to ensure that your app caters to their specific requirements.

    Additionally, consider exploring alternative apps that share similarities with yours. Assess their strengths and weaknesses. This will assist you in enhancing your app to outperform your competitors.

    Stay informed about the latest developments in the industry, such as technological advancements or shifts in consumer preferences. This will assist you in maintaining a dynamic and captivating app.

    Finally, engage with individuals who could potentially benefit from your application. Know what they think about your offerings and the features they want in an e-commerce app.

    Also Read: Top 10 eCommerce Trends in 2024
  • Step 3. Choose the platform - PWA or Native app?

    Feature PWA Native App
    Development Cost Generally lower, single codebase for all platforms Higher often requires separate codebases
    Performance Good, but can be limited by browser capabilities Excellent, optimized for specific platforms
    Installation No installation is needed, it is accessed via a browser Must be downloaded and installed from app stores
    User Access Accessible on any device with a web browser Limited to specific platforms (iOS, Android)
    Offline Usage Limited, depends on service workers Full, designed for offline functionality
    Updates Instant updates deployed on the server Requires user to download updates
    Hardware Access Limited access to device features Extensive access to the device's hardware
    User Experience Consistent across platforms but may feel less integrated Highly optimized, feels integrated with the device

    When deciding on the platform for your e-commerce app, you'll come across two primary choices: Progressive Web App (PWA) or Native App. Let's break down the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision.

    Progressive Web App (PWA)

    PWAs are web-based apps that work well on devices like phones and computers. These apps follow the cross-platform approach to deliver a consistent experience across different devices and platforms.

    Pros
    • They are compatible with various devices, ensuring accessibility for a larger user base.
    • They can work offline, even in the absence of an internet connection, which is quite convenient.
    • Updates are quick and easy, without users needing to download anything.
    Cons
    • Some device features, such as push notifications, may not be accessible to them.
    • They may not be as efficient as native apps, especially when performing complex tasks.

    Native App

    Native apps are built specifically for one type of device, like an iPhone or Android phone.

    Pros
    • They're usually faster and can access all the device's features.
    • They offer a smoother and more intuitive experience for users.
    Cons
    • Creating apps for different devices can be costly and time-consuming.
    • Before users can download them, they must undergo a thorough app store review process.

    Consider your intended audience and the app's desired goals. If you require specific device features and optimal performance, a native app would be the most suitable choice. However, if you are looking for widespread accessibility and seamless updates, a PWA might be the ideal choice.

    In addition to this, you may want to explore a hybrid approach such as React Native or Flutter, which blends elements of both PWA and native apps.

  • Step 4. List Out Features Required

    Before you initiate the development process, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the requirements for your e-commerce app. Consider these key features in your app:

    • Push Notifications

      Keep users engaged with updates and promotions.

    • Easy Checkouts

      Simplify the purchasing process for hassle-free transactions.

    • Wish Lists

      Let users save desired items for quick and convenient shopping.

    • Multiple Payment Options

      Offer flexibility with various payment methods.

    • Custom Branding and Design Elements

      Enhance brand identity and user experience.

    • Review/Rating System

      Enable customers to share feedback to make informed decisions.

  • Step 5. Search For an E-commerce App Development Company

    Determine your budget first. Understanding how much you can invest in your e-commerce app will assist in narrowing down your choices and directing your search toward agencies that align with your financial constraints.

    However, you shouldn't compromise on the quality of your app while looking for cheaper options. Research potential agencies next. Find companies that have expertise in developing e-commerce apps and a successful history of delivering top-notch projects.

    Further, you need to provide the necessary details regarding your app requirements, timeline, and budget to get accurate estimates. Assess the experience and expertise of each agency in e-commerce app development by reviewing their portfolio, client testimonials, and case studies. This will help you determine if they are a good fit for your project.

    However, if you're tired of the hassle of searching for companies for your project, you can choose us! As a top e-commerce app development company, Wegile is well aware of the unique challenges associated with developing e-commerce apps. We'll collaborate with you to discover innovative solutions and make your app vision a reality.

    Ultimately, it is crucial to prioritize value when choosing a development agency. Select a company that provides a superior blend of excellence and, dependability, and cost-effectiveness to ensure a fruitful partnership and successful delivery of your e-commerce application.

  • Step 6. Market Your App

    Promoting your e-commerce app is key for attracting users and boosting sales. Follow the steps below to market your app effectively:

    • 1. Enhance App Store Visibility

      Use captivating descriptions and eye-catching visuals to make your app stand out in app stores.

    • 2. Leverage Social Media Platforms

      Utilize platforms like Instagram and Facebook to connect with potential customers and build brand awareness.

    • 3. Implement Targeted Advertising

      Increase app downloads through strategic advertising campaigns that target your ideal user base.

    • 4. Collaborate with Influencers

      Partner with influencers who can help extend your reach to a broader audience, enhancing visibility and credibility.

    • 5. Offer Exclusive Promotions

      Provide special deals and exclusive promotions to incentivize downloads and boost sales.

    • 6. Utilize Email Marketing

      Maintain regular communication with your existing customers through email marketing to keep them engaged and informed about new offers and features.

      These steps are designed to increase the visibility of your app, attract new users, and ultimately expand your business.

Conclusion

To sum up, developing an e-commerce app requires careful consideration and implementation. Through careful financial planning, thorough market analysis, platform selection, defining app specifications, and partnering with a suitable agency, you can embark on the journey of creating your ideal e-commerce app.

Wegile is a reliable e-commerce app development company with a team of dedicated e-commerce app developers committed to turning your app concept into a fully functional mobile application, all within the agreed-upon timeline. Contact us today to develop your ideal e-commerce app and enhance your online business presence to new levels.

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