The Core Design of a Successful Mobile E-Commerce Application
Moving your marketing scheme from brick-and-mortar to the digital plane? Here are some valuable guidelines to take down on your way to e-commerce success.
The mobile nature of current technology users entail accessing consumers for the longest periods of time and gauging them when they are most interested in a product. Doing so requires the development of e-commerce solutions designed for smartphone environments. Creating an app that embodies e-commerce can be done by combining the best practices for a storefront website with the design principles of a mobile application, overriding the interface aesthetics to match the intended platform. Your e-commerce app should focus on being functional in navigation and interface, facilitate purchasing speed for both repeat customers and new purchases, be as direct as possible with minimal monetization through advertisements, and put a premium on data security to promote customer confidence in making a purchase through the software.
Navigation and Interface
An application that is difficult to utilize, whether due to poor user interface or sluggish performance, will generally be discarded and become a fleeting memory. Larger corporations can re-release their e-commerce app later and rely on their brand to draw in users, but startup services that ignore form and functionality to their own detriment are then relegated eternally to the growing graveyard of apps on both Android and iOS.
Customizability is a great way to ensure that the navigation setup of your app will adapt to fit the user. Whenever possible, add in adjustable fonts, image sizes, number of displays per page, and so forth. The overall navigation options should always be available with a single button press in case the user gets lost while browsing the store.
Make Buying Easy
From start to finish, purchasing a product from your website should only require a click to indicate a desire to purchase, a place to enter the minimum amount of required information, and the checkout button. These direct options should display discernably so that new users can quickly locate them. Any detours that snag potential customers throughout the purchasing process before the checkout page are chances for them to change their mind, even if they truly do want the product.
You shouldn't spend all of your attention on new shoppers, though. A robust account management system can help both you and your frequent customers by making subsequent purchases even faster through building a more thorough recommendation profile that is better at providing targeted product placement, and establishing incentives for returning like reward programs or loyalty points.
Advertisements like videos and pop-ups can be a quick way to push an app through the rough stages of early development, but using them to bolster an e-commerce application will only serve to hurt you in the long run. The more the user feels like you are making money off of them using their service, the less they will be willing to spend.
Subtle and innocuous advertising is permissible, such as the "Other Items Looked at by People Who Bought This Item" tabs that frequently line the bottom of a checkout or shopping cart page. Advertisements that play sound and video - both large drains on data that will result in rapid app removal - should either be left out of the mobile application entirely or only be played through a definite indication by users who want to see it. A great example of this being done poorly is on websites which will start an advertisement video when the user's cursor passes over the window containing it, causing them to endure an unwanted video that diminishes the chances of them viewing the site again.
Security is King
Even at the compromise of other features, make sure to properly secure all financial and personal data that passes through your application. It is imperial as the vendor to ensure that the app and all of the services that support it - including any Cloud infrastructure or software - is safe to use and complies with the law of the land. Even if a data breach is found to be the fault of one of your partners, an association between poor information security and your e-commerce app can become an overbearing and lingering stigma that permanently damages the return on investment.
Embrace the Mobile Marketplace
The technical requirements needed to create a viable e-commerce storefront, whether in a mobile application or a website, have become less intensive than ever. All it takes is a willingness to understand the basics and work with the available services in a way that utilizes their advantages without succumbing to their weaknesses. Armed with the core principles of this guide and a search engine, you can become an e-commerce application design expert in a matter of hours. With this freedom of information, there's no reason your business shouldn't venture into the waters of mobile prominence.
Wherever there is loot, there are those who look to claim. It’s only a matter of time before a profitable idea/mechanism in the market gets exploited. This is no different with e-commerce. Just because the treasure ship has set sail on electronic seas, doesn’t mean that pirates won’t stop chasing. With that being said, if you really want the gold, you’re going to have to pursue tirelessly. So get serious. Get creative. Get innovative. Put on your digital eyepatch and begin your hunt for e-commerce glory. Follow the above procedures by heart, but allow room for scurvy improvisations. With endless toiling, hard work, and dedication, you’ll find the lid of the treasure chest to be more ajar than you’d hoped. However, a weak resolve and slacking off might have you walking the plank.