It’s 2018 and every e-commerce business knows that they can’t do without an app. E-commerce apps, however, don’t get to enjoy the viral popularity their social counterparts do. It takes a very careful blend of features to create a successful e-commerce app.
Speaking of features, every e-commerce app has a few indispensable features that allow them to perform basic activities. However, there are other features that determine the success of your app. These features can enhance the overall user experience and drive more sales.
So, whether you invest in SaaS platform or custom mobile app development, here are five must-have e-commerce mobile app features to look for.
Simplified Onboarding and Checkout Experience
The number of clicks matter – and they matter from the beginning till the very end. Therefore, it is important to simplify not just the shopping and browsing experience, but also the onboarding and checkout experience for the users.
Onboarding is what creates the first impression. With an effective onboarding process, you can expect a 50 percent increase in app retention. And here’s what an optimized onboarding experience should feel like:
- Ensure a single screen sign up. Allow users to sign up with their existing Social media or Google accounts.
- Keep the form as precise as possible. Don’t ask for more than required personal data. Use a drop-down menu or an auto-fill option to limit typing.
- Enable instant feedback to indicate user input error for each field.
Now that your users are aboard and browsing, you need to make sure they don’t leave without buying a thing. Just like app retention, cart abandonment is a troublesome issue plaguing e-commerce apps around the world. Various studies show that the cart abandonment rate is as high as 80 percent. This means customers leave almost trillions of dollars’ worth of products unbought every year. Lengthy and complicated checkout is one of the main culprits behind this travesty.
A short and simplified checkout can reduce abandonment by 35 percent. Here are a few greats ways to enjoy that edge:
- Make sure all your costumers concerns regarding cost such as shipping, taxes, and discounts are already answered so that there are no last moment surprises to change their minds.
- Do not ask for information already provided during sign up. Just provide a button to allow changes if needed.
- Unlike sign up, try multiple step checkout process. It is better than one long form.
- Once again, enable instant feedback for errors.
A great idea to end the dilemma is to allow guest checkouts. It reduces friction for first-time users who need at least one good experience to trust you with more information.
Intuitive Search Options and Product Filters
Search filters can enhance the overall experience to a great extent. Give your users the freedom to refine their search as much as possible. From product features like size, color, and price to seller specifics like rating and location, let the user find the product they can buy with complete peace of mind. Don’t make them scroll through dozens of products before they find what they need. The chances are they will give up before they find it. Besides, filters serve as a great way to clear the clutter and present a cleaner interface.
Now speaking of intuitive search option, your mobile e-commerce app should support voice search. It’s 2018, we have achieved 95 percent accuracy in voice search and around 20 percent of mobile search queries are a voice search!
Multiple Currency, Language, and Payment Options
One serious question to ask yourself before your app goes live – does your app offer the same experience to every user? Is it engaging, simple, and convenient for people all across the world? If not then you are compromising huge chunks of your potential market. Therefore, it is important to make sure your app has the multi-language support along with multiple payment gateways.
Single language makes sense when your target audience is limited to one region but if you offer international shipping, give them the freedom to choose their language and currency. Do not make them Google the current exchange rate every time they wish to buy a product. It might increase the chances of abandonment.
More important than multiple languages and currency support is support for multiple payment options. It only makes sense that a customer will abandon the cart at the last moment if they fail to find the most suitable payment option. Remember that the definition of suitable varies from person to person. For some, the conventional Visa/MasterCard is convenience. For others, it can be PayPal or EPS. For certain markets where a majority still doesn’t trust online shopping, it is even profitable to offer Cash on Delivery options.
So, whether its language, currency, or payment gateways, the golden rule is “the more, the merrier.”
Easily Discoverable Reviews and Ratings
From a user’s perspective, reviews and ratings are an important aspect of the online shopping experience. It is not uncommon for them to search for products based on ratings and reviews. As shocking as it may sound, 75 percent of your customers look for reviews and ratings before they decide. And guess what, 83 percent of them trust user reviews more than the words of critics, influencers, or professional reviewers.
With that said, do you know what’s worse than the absence of review and rating feature? It is tough to discover, difficult to navigate review section.
You need to make sure, review and rating feature stands out for your app e-commerce app. Here are a few ways to enhance the efficiency of this feature:
- User ratings should be visible all the essential bits of product information such as price.
- Once a user taps on the product, drive their intent towards a positive decision by placing positive user reviews close to the description.
- Don’t make them scroll or tap too much to find out what other users think of the product.
- Create a simplified review and rating process to encourage user input.
Relevant and Engaging Push Notifications
With a possibility of boosting your app engagement by a remarkable 88 percent, push notifications are the MVP of mobile marketing. It is just like putting a huge “Exclusive Discount Banner” on the most crowded square in the town. Now imagine that banner displays the product your potential prospects were looking for. With a real life banner, it may not be possible to create a banner that shows a different product to different people. With push notifications, you have that advantage.
Push notifications powered by strong analytics allow you to personalize user experience even when they aren’t using the app. You can create different notifications for a different market segment or even employee advanced analytics to take it to the next level. You can fetch user’s browsing and shopping history to show a push notification regarding products they are interested in.
When relevant enough, push notifications are perceived as engaging rather than annoying. However, you need to make sure you are not bombarding them with too many notifications, and keep the opt-out option open.
With the right features, you can boost retention, engagement, and conversion rate of your mobile app. Focus on features that not simplify the whole experience but also personalize it for each market segment you target. The competition out there is fierce and the only way to seize a victory is to create an intuitive app that delivers what the customers are looking for.
Sohail Rupani is a senior SEO strategist at PNC Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Orlando. He specializes in SEO and SEM techniques. He is passionate about technology and loves to analyze the tech industry in his spare time and stay in touch with the latest happenings. He also writes technical articles about SEO and digital marketing. Follow @sohailrupani for more updates.