Number of mobile users has substantially increased in the past a few years. So businesses came to know the importance of having their own mobile app for more reach and more sales. And so mobile apps entered into the business industry and ecommerce industry is not an exception. An ever increasing number of smartphone users across the globe has given rise to m-commerce or m-commerce apps. Also people have changed the shopping behavior and it is in favor of mobile devices that contributes to the growth of m-commerce. According to the survey, the global m-commerce market will grow at CAGR of 27% during 2019 to 2024.
Mobile commerce apps are so secure and handy that people trust them to use every day. Developing an app from scratch is costly for small scale business and startups online marketplaces. So they can go with the alternate approach which is to develop a mobile commerce app to use on their existing ecommerce websites. It reduces the cost of app development and also ecommerce apps derived from functional websites take less time to market. Before digging into how to convert an ecommerce store to an m-commerce app, let us see the main difference between ecommerce and m-commerce.
Ecommerce is good for shopping by using desktop devices and laptops. But you can’t carry such devices everywhere. M-commerce meant for mobile devices and it allows users to perform transactions at any time and anywhere. They can use pre-installed payment apps for smooth and fast transactions.
Security is a major worry for users who pay over the internet. These days smartphones can enable two-factor authentication, fingerprint and facial recognition to lock apps and secure your personal things. M-commerce provides dynamic functionalities to the users, better shopping experience, helps to boost sales by innovative, interactive and more personalized marketing strategies which can’t be possible in case of web applications.
Not every desktop devices can track precise locations. M-commerce applications use GPS for tracking live locations and provide personalized recommendations to users.
There are a lot of ecommerce platforms available to build websites available in the market from feature rich enterprise-grade content management systems like magento to WordPress plugin such as WooCommerce. When you decide to develop an app out of a website with such platforms then identifying the platform is important. The results of this identification decide the fate of course of the app development that’ll follow. For instance, the process is not simple for opencart but somehow tedious for magento.
Consistency in UI of the entire app helps customers or app users to get familiar when they switch from website to app. So it is important to consider while converting your existing website into an app. You must ensure that look and feel of the mobile commerce app is the same as that of existing ecommerce website. Website and app both represents your business and a major contribution to building a brand. So it is important that both have similar appearance and performance. The colors, theme and key features should be familiar with consistent performance in mobile commerce application.
There is major difference between the working of website and mobile app. Before converting your existing website to m-commerce app, it is good to define the features and functionality of the app. Define the important features such as a simple registration process with email address or social media accounts, push notifications, order tracking, payment gateways and customer support.
A cms is a structure of software components that eases the website development process. Magento is one of them which makes ecommerce web development easy and profound. All the software components like web server, database, platform and frontend are part of same system so they can exchange data seamlessly. All these components are handled by the same party so there is no security risk. That isn’t the situation with mobile applications. They don’t form closed system with database. For applications, data exchange is carried out via a bridge called API. So developing app with same database of ecommerce website, API developers have to develop various APIs. Creating REST APIs is a complicated process.
A close integration of APIs and app view is important for app to work seamlessly. View includes more information about the product. There is static data that sticks to the page and then dynamic data got by API from the server. For example, product costs are subject to change and should be pulled from the server by the application prior to showing it to the customer.
Testing is one of the most important phases for websites and apps also. Mobile app is tested for its multiple features and parameters. Those features should work flawlessly and quality analysis team ensures the app is consistent with the client’s or a standard quality parameters. There are a lot of manual testing where an expert tester uses the application as any user would and reports any bug, whenever found.
It is the last step to launch an app on app stores. Apple app store and Google play store are the best medium to launch the app and reach the audience. Users can download app from app stores. You can also distribute app via third-party app stores. Also you need to promote your m-commerce app to boost initial downloads. You can promote through existing websites, PRs, and online too.
Also know- 7 Best Practices to Improve E commerce Design and Usability.
We all know the benefits of mobile apps so it will be better for your business to go with the m-commerce app. And this is an ideal time to turn your website to an app.
From the above steps you came to know the basics of converting e-commerce store to an m-commerce app. If you’re still confused, consult with Solace experts.