Developing Cross platform ecommerce App [Complete Guide]
eCommerce App Development is booming in popularity in the recent time. The pandemic situation has share in too as businesses have migrated offerings online partially or completely. And when it is a business that sells products they do need an app or website for it, which translates to developing an app to do it.
Even if it isn’t for the pandemic, eCommerce is a booming trend lately as it helps the business go public and cater to customers from across the globe.
So let’s look at how we can develop and app that best fits the needs of an eCommerce business.
Table of Contents
what’s App Development
App Development is the whole process of building an application for various platforms such as mobile, desktop and web. During the App Development process first we look into what the customer needs are, then the business needs and goals as well as what’s the best way to develop it. If its Ecommerce App Development, that’s a huge checklist as it has to make the customer journey pleasant as well as handle the purchases, shipment and everything else in between.
That’s what this article is all about! We will be giving you a complete guide on Ecommerce App Development and the best practices along with what works best for you.
App development in it’s bare skeletal form comprises of three things in general.
- Front end App Development — The front end that the user interacts with
- Back end App Development — The back end that does all the heavy lifting and process with database
- Data Base — The data base that stores and receives data, and the back end decides what data to be stored and processed and delivers the front end user.
When it comes to a business, it’s lot more than just that for sure. You will have to look into aspects such as when it comes to Ecommerce App Development such as –
- App development Cost
- App Development Duration
- Functionality and features
- Speed and size, is it fast? Is it lightweight?
- Update cycle and bug fixing cost and Duration
And it’s always the best practice to evaluate the pros and cons and choose one that is best for you, one that is more cost effective and trims the development duration. That’s what you should be aiming for when it come sot Ecommerce App Development.
Best practices for app development
It is always best to go for a App Development cycle that is easy to work with and doesn’t hurt the businesses R&D cost. Because when it comes to Ecommerce App Development one thing to note is that there will be constant updates as products come, seasons change and when there are new trends. And users love it when the App is fresh and updating.
And if Ecommerce App Development incorporates psychograph to learn the audience and personalize the contents. This becomes all the more important.
So yes best practice would be just what we mentioned above to be repeated once again with emphasis on what will work best.
- Minimum Cost
- Minimum Duration
- Loaded with Functionality and features
- Fast and lightweight
- Easy to debug and add features and update
- An app for each platform — Mobile(iOS & Android), web and desktop(Windows & Linux)
Taking all this to account it’s best to go for one that ticks all the boxes and the pros out weigh the cons.
Let’s looks at the options we have –
- Hybrid App
- Cross platform App
- Native App
Now let us look at the difference between each! Cross platform App Development vs native vs hybrid
Cross platform app development vs native vs hybrid
So if we were to go for Ecommerce App Development less look at what would work best for us.
As you can see for Ecommerce App Development Cross platform App is the best way to go if we consider as it has significantly better development process as well as offers almost a native experience and doesn’t have the cons that come with hybrid apps.
Why to choose Cross platform App for eCommerce?
- Easier to build apps across platform compared to native
- Less time needed to make app go public
- Easier to Debug and Update across platforms than native
- Better code re-usability
- near native experience compared to hybrid apps
- Don’t need separate team for each
- Better RIO due to less development cost compared to native
- BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!
App development of Cross platform App is also way more favorable when given the time to develop as we don’t need need separate team and development process for each platform, which also translates to better cost cutting in the App’s Development phase.
If we go the native route for Ecommerce App Development it’s significantly going to eat more time as well as money for a marginally less benefit that going for Cross platform App Development.
A Cross platform App developed on a framework such as Xamarin.Forms by Microsoft can significantly help your development cost and save you time, and comes with all the goodies we mentioned & will be able to build apps for multiple platforms easily and more effectively. Which is a way better route to go than to to go for native or hybrid as this is what we can call a Best of Both Worlds.
Why to Choose Xamarin.Froms over other frameworks?
- It’s Simple and Convenient — Shorter time needed to develop, standardized UI
- Flexibility — Open Source and Cross Platform libraries
- Performance — Near native level of performance
- Availability — Offline mode / Reduced lag
- Scalability — Easy to add features and grow
- Support — benefits of Azure cloud + better debugging
- Security — Azure cloud security benefits
- API Integration — Easier to integrate APIs
These are some of the reasons for you to go with Xamarin.Forms, with is a framework by Microsoft the mostly uses .NET and C# as it’s primary coding languages.
And now let us look at some reasons to not use Xamarin.Forms as your framework
Why to Choose other frameworks over Xamarin.Froms?
- Larger File size
- Comparatively more time taken for front end / UI Development, limited customization
- Limitations in sharing codes outside of Xamarin.Forms
- Development cost compared to alternatives, yet significantly less than native
In our opinion, these aren’t much of a deal breaker when it comes to all the goodies the App Development Framework provides. And this is also why we suggest Xamarin.Forms as the go to framework for Ecommerce App Development.
here are some alternative options to Xamarin.Forms if you are looking for them, we will list some of the most popular alternatives here.
Popular alternatives to Xamarin.Forms
- React Native
These are some very popular alternatives to Xarmin.Forms which do come with their own sets of pros and cons. So do decide depending on what your objectives are with the app. As for our suggestion Xarmin.Forms is the way to go for Ecommerce App Development.
Now that we have decided it’s best to go with Cross platform App Development, let’s look at what else we need to look into when developing an eCommerce app.
As you have already guessed, it’s too much functionalities and if we were to make separate native apps for each, it would defeat the idea of cost & time which we discussed above.
How ecommerce app works, development POV
As we discussed there will be a frond end, back end and a database, let’s take a deeper dive and a through look and who it’s done. Starting with, checklist!
Ecommerce App Development Checklist-
- Looks and feel(UI)
- Categories list
- Load Speed
- Sort by — New/Trending, Cost, etc
- Register/Log In
- eMail Verification
- payment Page
- Checkout page
- Customized listings and results
- Products page — Title + Description/ Types
- Shipping + API for availability check
- Support + Contact page
- Policies Page
- Sharing buttons
- Referral System
- Rewards System
- Most importantly — Admin Panel
As you can see, it’s a huge checklist to meet for a basic modern eCommerce website. And developing and app with all these features is important as it is all that the users are looking for in an eCommerce website. Which makes Ecommerce App Development handful and time consuming.
Since it is time consuming by itself, makes it the primary reason we suggest Cross platform as it significantly cuts on the valuable development time and the developers can focus on what matters such as adding functionality and user experience.
how to make Ecommerce app
It starts with analyzing what the needs are and what features you need, then choosing the platform you wish to develop the a app on. And then finally the build phase, then the beta testing phase where you thoroughly test the app before making it go public.
We won’t be talking about the branding and marketing aspects here obviously as it is a topic for another day. But we have discussed already almost 90%+ of what you will need to get started with developing one.
And yes, if you don’t have a team to develop it by your self you can always hire an app agency to do the heavy lifting for you.
As the apps functionality and reliability is a huge part of user experience and customer satisfaction, we suggest you not to go lousy on it, and actually consider and hire an app agency to do it for you