Shopping apps are taking off! A study from Flurry found that sessions in shopping apps increased by 174% from last year. That’s big news for mobile app developers.
Ever look at your bank statement and notice tons of small charges that add up? From Uber rides to Beats headphones, you can buy almost anything using your smartphone.
Mobile devices are changing the way people search for, find, and purchase products. The shopping experience can be integrated into users’ daily lives like never before. Big retailers don’t want to miss out on this new opportunity.
In the past, most retailers just optimized eCommerce websites for mobile. Now they’re attracting the mobile-savvy crowd with standalone shopping apps and ads. They realize rich shopping apps can offer mobile-specific deals that increase sales and build customer loyalty.
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Facebook is even getting in on the mobile shopping craze with the Facebook “Buy” button. Third-party apps can turn your Facebook page into an online storefront. Many of them even integrate with popular eCommerce platforms.
Thanks to new technology like Apple Pay, making mobile payments is easier than ever. The app saves all your financial information, which allows for speedy checkout. One click and you’re done. That’s exactly what online shoppers have been waiting for.
With all these changes, this will be a very lucrative year for mobile eCommerce startups. That means there will be new opportunities for developers to create kickass shopping apps.
So, how do you get in on this hot new trend? Do you have a product you’re looking to sell? If so, make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest mobile shopping app trends.
Combining shopping and social
Many people are looking for shopping inspiration. But the problem is that you can’t actually buy anything within the app.
Why not combine shopping and social? Several networks are taking that angle. Fancy lets users catalog the things they love AND shop at the same time. With one click, you can add an item to your shopping cart for purchase.
This app is getting BIG. The founders just raised $20 million in venture funding. Even Oscar de la Renta is selling stuff on there. (Don’t go whipping out your credit card just yet, those babies are $2,400 each.)
Making mobile payments easy
Many shopping apps require users to go to the retail site to follow through with a purchase. That involves extra steps where users have to input their payment details. It’s a major pain, especially on a cell phone. Most people don’t want to deal with it.
The most successful shopping apps are killing the shopping cart. Spring lets users swipe below an item to buy it. You only have to input your credit card information once, so it’s super easy to make purchases. The idea seems to be taking off, because Spring recently received $7.5 million in venture funding.
Other successful apps that make mobile payments easy include Apple Pay, Square, and Swipe. These apps are popular because they help people make mobile purchases without the hassle.
Integrating with existing eCommerce platforms
These days, customers expect a consistent shopping experience across multiple channels. Most retailers don’t want to develop a new eCommerce infrastructure for mobile shopping.
That’s why the most successful shopping apps can integrate seamlessly with existing eCommerce systems. The idea is to provide a new entry point for customers, not a whole new experience.
Retailers want a solution that functions as a single, centralized system. Customers should get the exact same receipt, shipping information, and customer service regardless of where the purchase is made.
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Using revolutionary technologies and trends
As a mobile app developer, you have to stay current on the latest trends. Here are two major technologies that could shake up mobile eCommerce:
This platform lets smartphones communicate with beacons so that retailers can learn more about their customers. Why is that so cool? Well, it would be pretty rad to know information like when users visite your store, how long they were there, and what they looked at. Retailers can use the data to customize the shopping experience.
Facebook “Buy” button
This little button will let users purchase items on Facebook without leaving the app. Why is that significant? Well, approximately 40% of the American population is active on Facebook. That’s a huge audience. The “Buy” button will make it easier for retailers to sell products to these customers.
Optimizing the shopping experience for smaller screens
Most smartphones have 5 to 7 inch screens. Too many mobile apps are just smaller versions of a retailer’s eCommerce website. Mobile apps offer a completely different user experience. More developers should take advantage of it.
Users will quickly abandon a mobile environment if it appears to be too cluttered or overwhelming. Get your visitors to stick around by focusing on what’s truly important – the shopping experience.
Successful shopping apps use high quality images with short, clear product descriptions. Use large text and big buttons. The goal is to make the shopping experience enjoyable so that users will stay and eventually buy something.
Taking Advantage of These Opportunities
With so many angles to consider, it can be hard to figure out where to start with mobile shopping apps. As with any type of app development, you start by identifying and filling a need in the market. If you need ideas, you can look at what other successful shopping apps are doing and find ways to improve the experience.
You are at the forefront of this. Carter discusses in his post Enterprise Apps and Making BIG Money, how billion dollar companies are going to be coming to you for advise and help getting their apps up. This will showup in every industry, and you are the expert companies are eager to talk to.
What would you use a shopping for? Drop a comment and share your opinions on mobile shopping and ecommerce.