A Complete Guide to eCommerce Application Development

2 billion digital buyers in the world – one of the reasons behind eCommerce app development success around the businesses! Apps like Amazon, Flipkart, and Etsy not just have changed the way you shop, but they have pushed the eCommerce industry to new heights with emerging technologies like AI, VR, AR, and voice commands in-app.

Now, such relentless smartphone progress sets out the need to develop an eCommerce app for every businessman in the tech industry. So, if you’re also one of those wondering how to effectively build an Amazon-like eCommerce app, keep reading this eCommerce app development guide. It explains every element you need to know about eCommerce mobile app development.

What is an eCommerce Application?

eCommerce app is a digital platform that allows you to shop online, browse products, create wish lists, add items to the checkout cart, and complete purchases within a few taps.

Enterprises seek to sell goods to another company or customer and provide services. Amazon and Alibaba, where businesses and individuals can list and procure goods in large quantities, are two of the best examples.

The Growing Future of eCommerce Apps

Data is everything.

So, if you’re not clear whether eCommerce is worth investing in or not, hopefully, these numbers will help you make a decision.

First, let’s talk about the global eCommerce market stats;

Do not panic if these figures make you think it’s a competitive market. More than $1,000/year is made on less than 1 million of these sites, so there’s plenty of space for expansion.

From US$ 1 trillion in 2014 to US$ 6.54 trillion in 2023 (expected), online shopping has proved to be one of the most popular online activities worldwide.

Almost 5 billion digital buyers till 2025.

Digital Buyers Worldwide

(Source: Statista)

As seen in the timeline, it is a projection of the number of digital customers worldwide from 2017 to 2025. It is estimated that more than 4 billion consumers globally will buy products and services online in 2025, up from 3 billion global digital customers in 2019.

Need more numbers? Let’s talk about eCommerce mobile app stats.

  • The most popular smartphone shopping service in the USA is Amazon.

Smartphone Shopping Buyers

(Source: Statista)

As of September 2019, 80.64% of smartphone app users have accessed the Amazon app, making it the most popular mobile lifestyle and shopping app in the United States. While Walmart has a smartphone audience range of 46.1 % for mobile US audiences.

Amazon Revenue

(Source: Statista)

Amazon created cumulative net revenue of approximately 125,56 billion U.S. dollars during the last quarter of 2020, surpassing 87,44 billion U.S. dollars in the same quarter of 2019. The majority of revenue from Amazon was from net eCommerce sales of goods.

Watching this millennial trend is essential. Because they are the clients for the future. It specifically shows that millennial is well into smartphone devices. Its reliance on mobile commerce app solutions for most critical life services is very evident.

So in the future, millennials would prefer to use mobile apps for doing shopping. From the above statistics, we can assume that the market of eCommerce would rise and thus it brings an opportunity for you to create an eCommerce application. Let’s check the steps of how to develop an eCommerce app.

How to Create an eCommerce App? 5 Step Process

Following are the ultimate 5 steps for an eCommerce application development process for your businesses. Let’s start with research.

eCommerce App Development Process

  1. Market Research

    The first step is to correctly and critically determine how feasible it is for your company at a specific point in time to foray into developing its eCommerce presence. This would rely on the scope of the business, the future client base (hyper-local, statewide, national or global), and current consumer demand.

    Decide if the app creation is going to be as extensive as Amazon and Alibaba, or if it is going to appeal to a different market such as Sephora and Nike. Then, study the niche until you know what goods to sell and how you’re going to represent them. This will allow marketing specialists to leverage their business intelligence.

  2. Select Technology and Platform

    To set the framework for a seamless phase of mobile eCommerce application development by app builder, you have to select a platform firstly. So, you have two options here;

    • Native mobile app development
    • Hybrid mobile app development

    A native app for a particular smartphone OS such as Android and iOS is the one designed to cater for. On the other hand, a hybrid app focuses on a common source code and runs on many smartphone operating systems.

    However, a lack of resources is the only reason you can go for a hybrid app for your eCommerce. And there should also be a strategy to migrate to native e-commerce apps in time. In this intensely competitive eCommerce marketplace, it is almost difficult for any hybrid app to succeed.

  3. Make UI/UX Strategy

    For quite some time, UI and UX have become generators of revenue. If two shopping apps sell the same product at the same price, the shopper is more likely to swing towards the one that gives a stronger user interface.

    There’s not going to be a spontaneous option to just choose one of the two. Let’s run over some of the forms in which the app will come up with superior UI/UX designs like,

    • Easy login and user-friendly checkout process for the target audience
    • Intuitive gestures for a great user experience
    • Staying top of the UX/UI and mobile app trends

    While simple UI design for an MVP app development is OK, the skilled designers from the eCommerce app development company will help you improve the visibility and brand awareness of products. You can even connect with website design consulting service providers to build your brand identity and improve engagement.

    Want to know how to design your eCommerce platform to increase conversion rate? Read our detailed guide on eCommerce platform designing strategies.

  4. Develop eCommerce App

    Recruited eCommerce app developers from a professional mobile app development company prepare a working version (front-end code) of your framework at this stage, build APIs, and hammer out your software product’s back-end architecture.

    So, the type of development team you end up recruiting for web development for mobile e-commerce will be the main factor of your business success. For all code components, such as software functionality and secondary components, primer quality management should be carried out. Your goals should be security level, reliability (consider offline capabilities), and scalability.

    Want to Develop Your eCommerce App?

    Get a FREE consultation from our professional e-commerce app developers. With research, market analysis we help you to validate your app idea.

  5. Test and Maintain

    The integration of the smartphone app’s key functionality with the back-end features illustrates that testing a mobile eCommerce app is not a straightforward task, but is inevitable for success. Therefore, testing out the architecture of a framework for e-commerce with professional quality analysts is important.

    Customers, employees, supply chain owners, etc. are the core elements that communicate in this step after project maintenance, with numerous entry channels through tablets, the web, desktops, syndicates, etc.

    However, it is recommended to spend at least twice as much time marketing an app as developing it (email marketing, social media marketing, press release, etc), once you launch the app in app stores such as Google Play, App Store.

    Want to know more about how to launch an e-commerce blog? Read this blog on how to create an e-commerce store from scratch.

MVP Features of eCommerce App

First, to take care of the necessary eCommerce mobile app features that are invariably present on all eCommerce mobile apps. So, let’s start with the basics.

MVP Features of eCommerce App Development

  1. Easy Registration

    When users are asked to register, it is one of the first instances of user engagement on the app interface. You will decrease the probability of drop-off by rendering the operation swift and smooth. So, give them options like,

    • Sign in by phone number
    • Sign in by email
    • Sign in with social media

    Each approach has its own advantages: the variant of email and phone number provides users with the greatest control and social media is the fastest. It is advisable during the MVP stage to have at least the first two for users.

  2. Search and Filter

    A strong search bar and filter feature will align the usable inventory with the exact specifications of the user needs. This can make a big difference, even though an e-commerce application development lists just a hundred items, enabling consumers to filter goods based on price, discount, shipping times, or other related criteria. Without being interrupted by unnecessary details and UX interruptions, users will discover what they want easily and seamlessly.

  3. Cart and Wish List

    Although a simple cart is a standard for any e-commerce smartphone device, it is possible to upgrade the functionality in many ways. Enable personalization directly from the shopping cart in terms of adjusting product color, scale, quantity. Also, ensure that products are deleted quickly with one press, in case users want to abandon them.

    Plus, for any modern e-commerce program, product listing like a wish list is a must even for a basic app. Impulse buys are a major portion of retail transactions from users. Therefore, a wishlist greatly increases consumer brand image recall and satisfaction.

  4. In-app Payment

    It is as important to avoid consumer fatigue as to deliver premium goods. You make the payment system smoother and more hassle-free by making users save their information and click through the payment gateway easily.

    Consider requiring customer support for different addresses and payment options, such as debit/credit cards, online payment methods, or offline payments, allowing each visit to help the user to select the default/preferred alternative. You can integrate the popular payment gateways most preferred by eCommerce buyers.

  5. Real-Time Order Tracking

    Order tracking helps the customer to monitor the delivery of orders and e-commerce shipment. It’s all about sharing the best messages at the right time. The customer gets the feeling that the contact channel is on top of them. One way to incorporate an ERP system into your e-commerce mobile application is to simplify the order tracking process.

  6. Push Notifications

    One of the vital features for mapping the success of an m-commerce app is push notifications. To boost customer experience, we promote automatic alerts for referrals, deals, promotions & discounts. With a very short attention span, a daily smartphone user is usually cursed. If you like they haven’t been so involved recently, push alerts (push notification) will help you get their focus back to your online shop.

  7. Reviews and Ratings

    Empower clients by supplying them with an ability to review products; this would also go a long way towards ratifying the consistency of the product categories and capturing potential customers. In particular, reviews can prove to be a powerful conversion rates mechanism for new e-commerce mobile applications.

    You can also embed input forms in order and delivery confirmation emails, request feedback on the purchase and update your e-commerce mobile app as per your received feedback.

  8. Loyalty Programs

    On nearly all forms of smartphone e-commerce applications, customer loyalty services have developed a massive hold, and their success skyrockets every single day. When it comes to customer engagement, they are great market-movers. Therefore, in your eCommerce store app, getting loyalty services would surely give it a big boost to its customer experience and customer retention.

Advanced Features of eCommerce App

You can proceed to any of the advanced functions once you keep hold of the basics. These are the ones that can provide you with an advantage over rivals. With the help of an eCommerce app development services providing company, include these features in your app. Let’s go through it.

Advanced Features of an eCommerce App Development

  1. QR code/Barcode Scanner

    In every corner of the modern world, QR and Barcode serve as in-store exhibits, packets, and leaflets. This function enables clients to come straight to the product catalog in the most comfortable manner for easier browsing. In their eCommerce apps, retailers could profit a lot from scanners. It makes them have an omnichannel experience. For shoppers, it’s a key to a retail experience that’s more intuitive and enjoyable.

  2. Voice Search

    Whether in your eCommerce Android app development or iOS app development, this voice search feature is must considerable. The development of eCommerce apps is incomplete with this feature. Because voice search capabilities for users of your e-commerce app will greatly enhance the customer experience. It helps the target audience to easily locate the details that they are searching for. Voice search in e-commerce is also projected to trigger an increase in revenue.

  3. Image Search

    If you see a stunning dress and want to buy it online, this feature helps you to select the dress image and check the online shop for it. The Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality technologies for eCommerce then perform the magic and discover for you the same dress and similar-looking clothes. With this functionality, convenience and ease have been introduced to a whole new level. Mobile apps like this make the software product stand out from the rest for eCommerce.

  4. Role-Based Dashboard

    Role-based dashboards are special dashboards that reflect information that is important to a specific admin’s role. Such dashboards are specially configured to include all of the application’s real-time data on various dashboards. This encourages the project manager and managing director to have a better view of the details without any disturbances.

  5. Multilingual & Currency

    If you plan to extend your eCommerce business across the borders, then several languages must be embraced by your app and also be able to accept different currencies. These attributes can create a more customized and streamlined shopping experience for the customers.

  6. Product Videos

    A product video is an informative video that illustrates a product’s advantages effectively. It is a recent trend to feature product videos with photographs in eCommerce applications, especially in the real-estate business. Although several product videos focus on the product’s qualities, you should concentrate on how the product alleviates the pressure points that these clients may face. For a buyer, a video is a more immersive environment and it also provides a clearer idea of products.

  7. Outfit Try Out

    This facility is often seen at physical retail stores where life-size exhibits are available that present you with the help of attached cameras. Today, improving digitally made outfits, such features allow you to try numerous outfits virtually. As a consequence, without necessarily having to put them on, you can try multiple outfits.

  8. Product Recommendation

    AI-powered eCommerce mobile applications will send consumers product reviews to better their shopping experience based on user activity monitoring. A product recommendation function offers a way for clients to be properly prepared to make a purchase. Customers who make smart transactions also search for specific purchasing information.

Cost to Build an eCommerce App

On average, an e-commerce app development cost ranges between $40,000 and $170,000. The level of sophistication in custom software development, the flexibility of its architecture, as well as the type of products, are the main determinants of the cost of creating an app.

However, if you want to estimate the exact cost, you may follow the below table where we have mentioned the estimated man-hours it can take to create an eCommerce application for your business needs.

Project Estimate Summary of Ecommerce Application Development
DevelopmentEstimated Man Hours
Native Android Ecommerce App Development340
Native iOS Ecommerce App Development340
UI/UX Design50
QC Testing120
Project Management85
Back End (Admin panel + Database)150
Total Hours1085

Based on the man-hours, you can use the below formula to calculate the exact development costs.

Total eCommerce mobile app development cost = Development Time x Cost Per Hour

(You may consider the average cost per hour $50, however, it may differ from country to country, business to business, and eCommerce application development company to company.)

Looking to Get Estimated Cost for Your e-Commerce Mobile App?

Let’s connect and discuss your requirements for your eCommerce app solution development. Validate your app idea with our professional eCommerce consultants.

Technology Stack to Build an eCommerce App

Moving forward, to build an eCommerce app, choosing the proper technology stack is important. Therefore, we have also compiled a list of specifications that we use when developing eCommerce applications to make things easier for you. Have a look.

Tech Stack
Programming Languages
  • Kotlin
  • Swift
  • PHP
  • Node js
Cloud Storage
  • Amazon S3
  • Mongo DB
  • Redis
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Xcode
  • Android Studio
  • Google Analytics
  • Mixpanel
  • Visual Website Optimizer
Payment Gateways
  • Braintree
  • Paypal
  • Stripe
Deployment platforms
  • Cloud
  • SaaS
  • Web
  • iOS Native
  • Android Native

FAQ About eCommerce Mobile App Development

  1. What is an eCommerce application?

    An online store for buying and selling products and business services via wireless devices such as smartphones is an e-commerce app.

  2. May I convert my eCommerce website into an app?

    Yes. With the support of an eCommerce mobile app development company, you can use the current website to create the mobile app. This is one of the best practices that would decrease prices and require less time to hit the market.

  3. How much does it cost to build an eCommerce app?

    On average, the estimated cost of an e-commerce app’s design and development may be around $20,000 to $40,000 for a basic app and can go beyond $150,000 for a complex app. However, the cost of IT services highly depends on the company you want to hire.

  4. How do I build an e-commerce mobile app?

    • Identify a niche and analyze the market opportunities
    • Decide on product development platform
    • Create product design (UX/UI) strategies for effective user experience
    • Develop app skins, write codes, create API and merge
    • Test and launch
  5. How long will it take to make an eCommerce app?

    Ecommerce sites take the longest. It can take between six to nine months for a medium app size.

Let’s Develop a Custom eCommerce Mobile App

To conclude, efficient planning, knowing the user needs and demographics, helps build the correct platform for the eCommerce sector. To build your eCommerce applications, a trustworthy technology partner will offer high-end e-Commerce mobile application development services. These applications directly enrich the experience of consumer shopping and place the company on the right paddle of acceleration. If you’re based in Canada, you can hire app developers in Toronto.

So if you have brilliant business app ideas, then our expert team of the professional mobile app development firm is at your disposal to transform it into a great online shopping app. Contact us at any time.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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