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eCommerce Mobile Applications: What You Need to Know

Increasingly, mobile applications are playing an integral role in the purchasing habits of consumers. Think about this; 40% of all sales made during this past Black Friday were done so using a mobile device, jumping up 10% from the previous year. This trend towards mobile ecommerce is nothing to ignore for retail businesses. If you’re looking to develop a mobile application in the near future, we’ve assembled a list of the ins and outs of modern ecommerce mobile applications, including major features, statistics, and market directions. Take a look!


Payment Gateway

Essentially, this is the way for the customer to pay. If you were in a bricks and mortar store, the payment gateway would be the credit card reader. The gateway provides a secure path from the customer to the payment system and does so by encrypting data and handling the connection to the payment processor. Without this, credit card numbers would be an open target for the less-than-reputable sorts of people.

Payment Marketplace

The payment marketplace is a platform for buyers to be connected to multiple sellers. With this approach, individual companies have their products side-by-side with other products. As an example, a marketplace is like buying a Northface jacket at a department store rather than at Northface store. With this model, funds are split and then transferred to the brands themselves, with the marketplace usually receiving a share.

What to Consider

Using Fluid Grids and Flexible Layouts

With an ecommerce mobile application, it’s important to understand that you’re working with a much smaller screen than on a desktop. That being said, the success of your app depends on its use of limited space. An inflexible layout or unresponsive design can lead to abandoned shopping carts all over the virtual aisles. A fluid grid using responsive design readjusts to fit the screen size and resolution of the device accessing it. This allows for content to resize and reposition. If you’re curious about how to incorporate responsive design, consider tools like Golden Grid and Tiny Fluid Grid.

Mobile Customer Service

While we move closer to the internet, part of us still longs for a degree of human interaction. As a result, we’ve seen an increase in the demand for mobile customer service, which provides instantaneous responses.

Avoid Long Sign-Up and Checkout Processes

Shopping on a mobile device is supposed to be an easy alternative, saving us from long lines and mall music. The last thing that users need in their mobile experience is a lengthy checkout or sign up process. To bypass this, provide an option for logging in with a social media account or signing in as a guest. Furthermore, make sure that a prominent ‘add to cart’ button is always accessible. If a user has to search for it, they probably won’t make it to checkout.

thumb-reachExtra Tips

  1. Consider adding a ‘favorite’ button to allow hesitant customers to save products to come back to later.
  2. Keep the most important functions within easy reach for a thumb
  3. Ensure that user data is secure!
  4. Incorporate a progress bar.
  5. Reduce the amount of images to the bare essentials.

eCommerce Mobile Statistics

  • 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months
  • One third of all ecommerce purchases during the 2015 holiday season were made on a smartphone.
  • eCommerce dollars now comprise 10% of all retail revenue
  • 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations.

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Doug Atkinson

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