According to a study, around 80% of the population of America prefers to do their daily shopping online. Currently, there are 263 million online shoppers, which is projected to be 291 million by the year 2025 in just America. So, undoubtedly the ecommerce industry is on the significant rise and changing the way of shopping and doing business around the globe.
If you are also one of those billions of e-commerce users, you might be familiar with many platforms that provide the products and services online to the customers. We call them the shopping apps. Being a business owner, you need to be familiar with the concept of online shopping apps and their potential of taking your business to greater heights.
So, today in this article, we are going to talk everything about the shopping apps, their definition, the most popular shopping apps, their features, pros & cons, the demand for such apps in the market, and the whole process by which you can be the part of this digital experience.
What Are Shopping Apps?
Shopping apps are simply the platforms that enhance users’ online shopping experience. The shopping apps make it significantly easier to search for a specific product among millions of other inventories. Moreover, the platform also provides the options for reviewing the product, tracking the order, replacing the order, making online payments, and many other things.
The shopping apps allow businesses to list all their offerings in one place. All the necessary details and specifications, such as the type, quality, pictures, price, etc., can be provided on an integrated platform. The apps work as the medium between the business, and a customer where the customer can ask for any query and the business owner can answer it. This way, shopping apps work as an excellent tool for businesses to strengthen their relationship with their customers.
All these features make the shopping apps one of the most extensive choices of shopping for billions of users worldwide. So, to explore the new marketplace and connect with the infinite number of customers, it has become necessary for businesses to have their own mobile shopping app. It not only helps to search for the products online but also to become a regular customer of a company without even physically visiting the place.
Top Shopping Apps For iOS & Android
A pool of shopping apps is there for iOS and Android, but some of them remain on the top of the list. What factors or specialties make these specific apps and platforms superior to others? It is the ability of the app to meet the need and requirements of the customers that make it more ideal than the other. There are different target audiences for the different types of shopping apps. The app’s ability to meet the maximum number of needs in its target audience helps them top the list.
Following is the list of some of the best shopping apps with their key features and Pros & Cons:
Amazon is currently the biggest online shopping app in the world. According to the statistics, the app has a consumer base of more than 150.6 million as of September 2019. During the pandemic, around 40% of the total online sales were observed on Amazon only. The platform provides products from a vast range, including electronics, accessories, fashion, sports, footwear, lifestyle, home care products, and much more. So, the target audience of the platform is equally significant.
Features Of Amazon
- Easy refund and replacement
- Smooth checkout
- Bulk discounts
Pros Of Amazon
- Amazon works as the one-stop solution for all your needs. It saves your time and efforts of surfing through the internet to find a product.
- Amazon wants you to make the right decision and thus provides every detail of the product you wish to purchase.
Cons Of Amazon
- Amazon is a massive marketplace for huge inventory, and thus there is a lack of customization.
- Several fake sellers are there on the platform to degrade the customers’ shopping experience.
According to Statista, the Walmart shopping and grocery app had a monthly userbase of 120 million (Amazon has 98 million) during the last financial year. The firm currently owns more than 11000 stores around the globe and employs around 2.3 million people around the world. With the help of its online shopping app, the firm provides a wide range of shopping options to their customer. The platform’s product portfolio consists of daily need products, grocery, fashion, cosmetics, sporting, and many more.
Key features Of Walmart
- Easy to use UI
- Express delivery option
- All in one place
Pros Of Walmart
- It makes your shopping experience easier, fast, and more fulfilling.
- Provides you with every product at a very competitive price.
- It Doesn’t make you wait for the inventories after completing the order
Cons Of Walmart
- Currently, there is no gift card option on the platform
- The time of delivery depends largely on the availability of the product in a nearby store
eBay is also among the world’s biggest e-commerce websites with a user base of more than 187 million. However, a difference in the working process of the platform can be observed from most of the other e-commerce platforms. It lets a simple user, not only buy the product from the platform but also sell the product on the platform. Kudos to this working principle of eBay, the shopping application is used by 35% of all US mobile users.
Key Features Of eBay
- Auction feature
- Free selling for limited products
- More cost-efficient shopping (used products)
Pros Of eBay
- It is completely free of cost to sell limited products on the platform
- You can buy as well as sell the products on the same platform
Cons Of eBay
- Being a popular marketplace, it is a competitive platform for the sellers
- The platform can also cancel the listing at any point in time
Target is the largest discount retailer in the United States. The firm operates more than 1900 stores at different locations in the market and thus most of the online orders are also fulfilled by the physical stores only. The platform also provides complete inventory options to its consumers. The mobile shopping app of the corporation is available for both Android as well as iOS users.
Key Features Of Target
- Free contactless pickup and delivery
- Discount offers on a range of products
- Check the availability of the stock
Pros Of Target
- The platform offers a wide product portfolio
- Inventory is provided at comparatively low prices
- Same day delivery enhances the shopping experience
Cons Of Target
- There are other big and similar platforms in the same market
- The operational process of the platform is limited to the US only
Etsy is an online shopping platform that mainly focuses on providing hand-made products to its consumer base. The hand-made product portfolio of the firm is also quite large which includes bags, clothing, home décor, jewelry, toys, art, and much more. The firm is connected with more than 2.1 million sellers and 40 million buyers. Etsy provides the convenience of buying and selling the product through its website as well as the shopping app.
Key Features Of Etsy
- Hand-made products
- Dealing in recycled products
- Establishing very own shop
Pros Of Etsy
- Most of the products are environmentally sustainable
- Ability to craft something can be showcased to millions of userbase
- Best platform to get the hand-made and vintage products
Cons Of Etsy
- The transaction as well as per product fee is quite high at the platform
- You can only get the vintage and hand-made products on the platform
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Wish.com is also a well-known e-commerce platform. The platform works as the mediator between the seller and buyer. The majority of sellers on the platform comes from China and thus the platform is famous for providing cost-efficient products and inventories. The shopping application of wish.com is available for both iOS and Android.
Key Features Of Wish.com
- Mediator between seller and buyer
- Affordable product range
- Social approval of products
Pros Of Wish.com
- Having most of the sellers from China, the price range is cost-efficient
- Platform provides the statistics about demand and buyer frequency of certain products
Cons Of Wish.com
- It takes comparatively longer to deliver the products
- The quality of the product might compromise at some points
7. Best Buy
Best Buy is specifically an electronic products company. Consumers can shop for any electronic item by using the shopping app of the firm from the comfort of their homes. The firm operates more than 1,159 stores in different locations around the globe. The firm has made a revenue of $18,674 million through online sales only.
Key Features Of Best Buy
- Availability of nearly every electronic item
- Availability in every corner of the market
Pros Of Best Buy
- Physical infrastructure for real-time experience of the product before purchasing
- Large selection of the accessories
Cons Of Best Buy
- Limited to the electronic items only
Snapdeal is one of the largest e-commerce platforms in India having a revenue of $129 million as of FY 2019. The platform has more than 30 million buyers with 500,000 registered sellers on the platform. Similar to that of Amazon, the platform provides a wide product portfolio to its customers.
Key Features Of Snapdeal
- User-friendly UI
- Fast delivery
- Wide product portfolio
Pros Of Snapdeal
- Provides the comparison options for different products
- Carries a strong network of 5000 brands to provide more options to buyers
Cons Of Snapdeal
- The money is refunded to only the free charge account
- Listing power is extremely restricted on the platform
Holding around 39.5% market share of the Indian e-commerce industry, Flipkart makes more than 8 million shipments every month. There are more than 150 million products on the platform. The platform also provides the product from every domain such as lifestyle, fashion, accessories, clothing, footwear, electronics, sports, education, and many more.
Key Features Of Flipkart
- Big discount on the products
- Easy return and replacement
- Every corner delivery
Pros Of Flipkart
- Tie up with the multiple courier services
- Wide product portfolio to offer
- Easy tracking of the orders
Cons Of Flipkart
- Some of the rural areas are still not explored
- The operations of the firm are limited to India only
It is another ecommerce company based mainly in India. However, the platform operates specifically in the clothing and fashion industry. 44 million visits have been recorded on the website of the company during April 2021. The platform is one of the biggest clothing retailers in the country.
Key Features Of Myntra
- Frequent gift cards
- The easy and secure ordering process
- Availability of famous brands
Pros Of Myntra
- Availability of different brands under one roof
- Free delivery on several orders
Cons Of Myntra
- A sort of difference in the quality of clothing can be a risk for the buyer
- The product portfolio of the platform is limited to clothing and fashion only
Decathlon is a French retailer dealing in sporting goods since 1976. The firm provides both online as well as offline services. Decathlon operates with over 1697 stores in more than 60 countries around the globe. Having noted that, the firm is the largest sporting goods retailer globally. The mobile shopping app of the firm provides the option for online shopping to the customers.
Key Features Of Decathlon
- Over 5000 products are listed on the shopping application
- Accessories for more than 70 sports
- Inside store experience of the products
Pros Of Decathlon
- Provides a wide range of sporting goods
- Quality focus products and services
- Availability of products review for better decision making
Cons Of Decathlon
- Pricing of products is comparatively high
- The product portfolio is limited to sporting goods only
Alibaba is a Chinese company providing services in e-commerce, internet, retail, and technology. The firm provides the platform for business-to-business, business-to-customer, and customer-to-customer transactions. In the year 2020, the firm had an active customer base of 779 million people. In the same year, the company fulfilled more than 2.3 billion orders in the market.
Key Features Of Alibaba
- Availability in more than 18 languages
- Integrated platform for different transactions
- Provide small business opportunities to the audience
Pros Of Alibaba
- The platform has an efficient business model
- The process of bringing the product to the market is fast
- Availability of millions of unique and valuable products
Cons Of Alibaba
- There might be the risk of data loss and security
- Self-employment tax is another big cons
AliExpress is owned by Alibaba group only. AliExpress has been the most visited e-commerce website in Russia. The business model of the firm is similar to that of eBay. Both the businesses and individuals have the freedom to sell on the platform.
Key Features Of AliExpress
- No minimum order quantity
- Allow individual users to sell
- Cost efficiency of products
Pros Of AliExpress
- Startup cost is very low at AliExpress
- Diverse product portfolio is available to sell or buy
Cons Of AliExpress
- The platform is highly competitive for the sellers
- It takes comparatively more time to ship the orders
Meesho is among the largest e-commerce platforms in India allowing individuals to sell their products and inventories to a large consumer base. Currently, more than 20,000 suppliers at Meesho contribute to the organization’s success.
Key Features Of Meesho
- WhatsApp business catalog
- Enhancing sales via the different social media platforms
- Option for filtering the product
Pros Of Meesho
- It is elementary to start selling
- Huge discount on buying is provided
- Free home delivery of products is offered
Cons Of Meesho
- Sometimes it takes more than a week to deliver the product
- There are rarely any branded products on the platform
Bonanza is another marketplace that provides space to both buyers and sellers. The platform mainly focuses on dealing with antique items generally found at street fairs. In April, 3.2 million users were reported to visit the online platform of Bonanza.
Key Features Of Bonanza
- Marketplace for both buyers and sellers
- A platform for antique as well as general inventory
- Real-time chatbox
Pros Of Bonanza
- The platform has a very user-friendly application
- Everything is available under one roof
- Selling fees are also very reasonable on the platform
Cons Of Bonanza
- Engagement of platform in Advertising is very limited
- Quality of product might compromise the platform
Market Demand For Shopping Apps
Who doesn’t like comfort? I think everyone does. But getting to the mall or market, wandering among 100s of shops and showrooms just to get a fine product is just the contrary of comfort. So, the online shopping apps solve this problem by providing the preferred product to customers’ doorstep. The facility has made a significant change in the consumers’ purchasing behavior, which resulted in the growing demand for shopping apps.
Let’s give statistical support to the above statement. The e-commerce sales in the US during the year 2021 have been $870.78 billion. Here we are talking about the United States only, and it is already more than the GDP of many countries. E-commerce sales around the globe have always shown an upward curve since the year 2014 to 2021. E-commerce made a total sale of around $1,136 billion in the year 2014. But the same statistics have crossed the mark of $4,938 in the previous year which is more than thrice that of the year 2014.
The COVID pandemic has catalyzed the growth of the e-commerce industry. When most of the markets were closed and people were not allowed to step out of their homes, Amazon was not making a business by delivering the products through drones, but they changed people’s purchasing behavior. A boost of $102.09 billion and $116.4 billion in US e-commerce sales was observed in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Moreover, from March 2020 to February 2022, the consumers in the US made spending of $1.7 trillion on the online shopping platform.
There are already 2-3 million different small and big shopping websites around the world, but the growth of the industry is equally significant. So, the number of online shopping apps is never going to be enough for the current purchasing behavior of people around the world. COVID has changed the buying behavior of people in developing countries as well which has shot the demand for online shopping platforms high in the sky.
User Flow Of Online Shopping Apps
A mobile shopping app is not all about checking in the app and making a purchase. There are a number of other activities that comes between logging in and finally placing the order. So, all the activities that a customer does on the shopping platform are known as the user flow.
After getting on the interface, the customers search for the item they wish to purchase most of the time. In other scenarios, the customer might move to the cart section, favorite items to see the current availability of products they are planning to purchase or scan the different items. The completing steps of making the order are mainly accessing the order screen, checking out, and then tracking the order.
How To Develop Your Own Online Shopping App?
If you are a business owner or an individual having something worth selling, the idea of developing your own website would have crossed your mind while reading this blog so far. So, we are not going to leave the article unfinished by just communicating about the benefits of having the e-commerce apps, but we are also going to tell how you are going to experience all these benefits.
Developing an app might be a difficult task for someone who doesn’t belong to the technical and software industry. However, if you just want a temporary app just for formality, there are a number of options you can go for. But remember, these are only for the formality and not going to make any difference in your business.
Greater results are never achieved with ease. You will also have to have to pay hard work to develop the application that can take your business to greater heights. So, the following are the steps that are going to help you make a significant online presence in the industry:
1. Conduct Market Research
Everything requires planning, so why not your online professional journey of yours. It is always a good idea to get to know what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. So, first of all, conduct market research for your e-commerce opportunities. It includes listing all the products or commodities that you wish to sell on the platform. You should also focus on identifying your target audience. It will allow you to use the right marketing and business strategy to attain the best results.
Once you are done with all the above basic research, you will need to go through the competitive platforms serving the same target audience. It will give you a basic idea of the features and services you need to include in your platform. It will make sure that you don’t lag behind the competitors in the industry.
2. Choosing The Essential Feature
Millions of shopping platforms are there, but few of them occupy most of the market share. Features are the ones that make all the difference. So, you must include all the necessary features in your app to make the platform even more valuable and preferable for the customers. Some of the must-needed features of the platform include but are not limited to customer log-in, user review, product search, smooth checkout, easy and frequent notifications, safe payment gateway, multiple payment options, etc.
3. Instilling The Professional Design
The first impression is the last impression. The face of your shopping application is going to convince the users to stay and make the purchase. Make sure that the interface of your platform is attractive and cheerful but still professional. The following considerations can enhance the visualization of your shopping app and make the customers spend more time on the platform:
- A clear-cut logo
- A clear image of the products
- A decent background for better visibility
- Zoom in option for better detailing
- Information section for different products
4. Choosing The Right OS
The operating system is going to decide how many customers will be reaching you. Hence, it becomes one of the most important decisions in the process. There is a number of smartphone operating systems but focusing on Android and iOS will be enough to cover most of the market space (around 89%). It might be easier to develop the app for iOS as there are only two latest versions for the Apple devices. However, you will be missing a huge market of android users with this strategy. The facilities and options such as React Native can be of significant help to easily establish the application on both the operating systems.
This part of the process is going to be a bit more typical and complicated for a non-technical individual. Here, it needs the knowledge of software development and coding to develop the app and run it smoothly.
5. Working On Product Growth And Support
Developing the app is not everything but keeping it running smoothly is the main task. So, it is equally important that your app runs smoothly over the time you list more and more products on it. you need to remember, that a delay of each second in loading of page will cost the loss of sales and customers. The service support such as FAQs, chatbot, customer care, complaint page, etc. is going to enhance your communication and relations with the customers.
Shopping App Essential Features For Users
Every shopping app is supposed to sell the product. So, features are going to be the main player to achieve a competitive advantage in the pool of shopping apps. Your application might be providing quality and cost-efficient products to the customers, but if it doesn’t have the features that enhance the buying experience of the customers, it is not going to attract the consumer in a long run. If I want to buy a shirt, it is necessary that I can pay for it with a method that is accessible to me. If the option is not given, I will search for the same shirt on another platform.
Some of the features that can enhance the visibility and traffic on your platform include:
- Easy registration
- Informative product description
- Option for sorting and filtering
- Product gallery
- Cart for shopping
- Order summary
- Easy and secure payment options
- Easy returns and replace
- Easy checkout
- Friendly user interface
- Barcode scanning
- Membership options
- Sales and discounts
- Customer support
Tech Stack For Developing Shopping Apps
Tech steps generally refer to the set of technology being used to develop a particular app. Defining in the simpler words, it relates to the platform choice to run the application. As mentioned already in the article, providing the application on iOS and android will be enough to target the majority of the consumer base in the different markets. So, it is all about the support of the tech stack to launch the website on the different platforms.
Not going into the complex technical language, you can opt from two available options:
1. Native Mobile Development
Using the tech stack, you will be developing your shopping application for one platform only. This option is going to provide a significant user experience as well as outstanding performance to the app. The languages such as Java or Kotlin can be used to develop the app for Android while Swift or Objective-C can be used to build the app for iOS. If you want to develop the app on both platforms, it is going to cost a bit more but will be worth it if your products have the ability to add value to the life of target customers. Performance and user experience are going to pay off this extra cost very quickly.
2. Cross-Platform App Development
It is very opposite from that of the native mobile development. Cross-platform app development allows the coders to use the same codebase to develop the application for both Android as well as iOS. Here, you might think that it is completely a better alternative to that of the previous one. However, it is not what it seems to be at first instance. When the same code is being used to develop the application for both android as well iOS, the performance of the application has to compromise. It might save the cost and time of developing the app for different platforms, but it costs the user experience in the long term.
Costs For Developing Shopping Apps
The cost for developing the apps is based on the hours that developers spend on making the overall website. It might differ in the different scenarios. For example, the number of features is directly proportional to the number of hours and thus the cost of developing the website. Similarly, the location of the vendor developing the app for you also makes a big difference in the cost of developing the app.
To provide you with a rough idea, it takes around 5-7 months to develop an app. It includes the time for creating all the features and options and the time spent fixing the bug and making the necessary communication. So based on this rough idea of the time required, it will cost you around $67,000-$77,000 for the cross-platform app development with the admin panel. Similarly, the native mobile app with an admin panel will cost you around $75,000-$85,000.
Things To Consider Before Shopping App Development
1. Choosing The Platform Correctly
You should spend efficient time deciding the platform on which you wish to launch the app. It cannot be stated directly that launching the app both on android and iOS is going to be profitable. Because, if your target audience is mainly using iOS, you should not waste time and money developing an app for the android platform.
2. The Business Models
Before developing the ideas and planning for the shopping app development, you should be sure about the business model. Business-to-business is going to require the different features on the app. Similarly, business-to-customer or customer-to-customer will have other requirements. It will help to make your shopping app more customized according to your needs.
3. Ability To Fulfill The Orders
Before developing the app and listing the products on the platform, you must have the ability to fulfill the orders. It is not going to be a good experience if you cannot meet the demand of products after listing the items on the application. A scenario like this might impact your brand image, leave alone enhance the revenue and market share.
Step-By-Step Process To Open An Online Store
Any complicated process can be better understood with help of some simple steps. So, here are some of the simple steps that you need to take to explore the online world of business:
1. Mark On Your Objectives
Before investing in the mobile app and working hard for it, you should be aware of why you want to develop the mobile app. How is it going to contribute to achieving your personal or professional goals in the long term? Remember that, your objectives are going to provide you with the path to success and achieve the goals.
2. Plan About Your Feature
The features of your app will help you stand out in the pool of shopping applications. So, make sure to spend some time researching the features that you are going to provide to your customers. Here, you need to remember that if you are not spending time to plan about features, customers are not going to spend time on your application.
3. Know Our Competitors
As long as you don’t know about your competitors, you are not going to achieve competitive advantages. Invest your time in knowing about the competitors serving the same customer base with the same product portfolio. It is going to provide an idea about what you need to do differently, what else extra you can offer, and how you can make a space for yourself in the marketplace.
4. Design The Wireframe
Once you are done deciding the features, a wireframe is going to present a visualization about how these features are going to look and what will be the user experience. You can make the changes in the early stages to save time and money.
5. App Development Path
Next, you are going to make one of the most significant decisions of the whole process. At this stage, it will be decided what coding languages will be used to develop the app and what will be the launching platforms for the application. Here you got two options to choose from, native mobile app development and cross-platform app development.
6. Develop The Mobile App
The above stages are sufficient for now to develop a mobile app that can be sent for testing. If you carry the knowledge about coding and languages, you can do it yourself. Contacting the relevant and experienced vendor (like us) is another good option to opt for when you don’t have time or knowledge to develop the app by yourself.
7. Testing Stage
An application with bugs can ruin the customer purchasing experience completely and thus not only spoils the brand image but product image as well. During the test stage, it is made sure that the application is free of bugs. Two tests should be conducted at this stage, an internal test and an external test.
8. Launching The App
It is the time for the most exciting stage of app development. Putting the shopping application on the respective app store is going to be the execution stage of the process. While launching the app, don’t forget to comply with all the guidelines issued by the respective app store.
9. Promoting The App
No matter what objective you have set for the app, the universal objective is to attract traffic to the application and increase the sales of the product. So, you will have to tell people about your app as long as you are not able to make the big space in the landscape. According to the current market trends, social media is going to be the best platform to promote your shopping app and attract customers.
How We Can Help You
We help you from the very starting to post-launch. Being a leading ecommerce service provider in the industry, we have a team of experienced and visionary developers who will develop an online shopping platform specially customized according to your needs and preferences. So far, we have been a part of the online journey with more than 450 clients by helping them develop shopping apps and websites for their businesses. Our experience of more than 8 years allows us to understand the needs of your business and thus carry out the best result to meet every expectation of yours.
We take care of every above-defined stage to develop your online shopping app and make sure that your online experience in the industry is smooth running. We are going to be with you after the launch of the app to meet your future needs and address any kind of query or need regarding the platform.
The buying behavior of the consumers is shifting online to offline. It is the need of time to make this shift in the businesses as well as to sync the step with the future. Online shopping apps are a big platform being preferred by the consumers to make window shopping and real-time shopping. With 3-4 million already established e-commerce platforms, the need is growing rapidly. The COVID pandemic has provided a boost to this consumer behavior which eventually leads to even quick e-commerce development. If you are also a business owner, it is more like a need rather than a choice to develop your own shopping application to ensure long-term durability in the market.
List all your needs, vision, and goals, and contact us to start your online journey of yours with little or no extra effort.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Shopping Apps
First, define your objectives and goals for developing the app. list all the features you are planning to provide to your customers in the application. Decide the platform and tech stack you want to use. Contact an app development company to do it all with ease.
The cost of developing the app is majorly dependent on the time spent developing the application. To provide you with a rough idea, developing a shopping app is going to need an investment of around $60,000 to $70,000.
Amazon is currently the biggest shopping app around the globe.
Once you have developed the app using the steps discussed in question 1, you can simply list all your products and inventories on the app and start selling. Marketing and advertising of the app can be of significant help to attract more customers.
The features like easy registration, cart, order summary, secure and easy payment, barcode scanning, friendly UI, easy checkout, sales, and discounts are going to be some of the most necessary features for retail store applications.
In the current industry landscape, Magento and Shopify can be considered as the best e-commerce development platform. Both the firms allow the users to create an online shopping platform with no time and without in-depth knowledge of Information technology.
Answer: There is number of options you can opt to develop the app. However, it is important to choose the best according to your needs. Setting evaluation criteria can be a good method to hire the best e-commerce developer for your app.
You should include the following assessment in your evaluation criteria:
1. Identifying your own needs and preferences
2. Conducting the market research for different developers
3. Asking about the experience in the industry
4. Assessing their client base and client reviews
5. Talking about the approach they follow
6. Comparing the pricing model
7. Talking about warranty and post-development service
With more than 9 years of experience in the industry, we believe that Emizentech passes all the above assessments and fits best for all your app and website development needs.