Ecommerce App Development Guide: Definition, Examples, Stats, Features

ecommerce app development

Mobile commerce is a powerful and unstoppable trend. Mobile apps are one of the most effective means to establish close relationships with customers. Businesses can utilize eCommerce apps for various purposes like branding, customer support, sales, etc. Many researchers have proved the effectiveness of mobile app sale channels. However, many of them still do not fully realize its importance and how to get the sake of it. They need a guide to eCommerce app development to apply this concept to their business model. If you are also facing the same problem, don’t worry, this article will give you all the information.

What are eCommerce apps, and what are their benefits? Let’s dig into this!

Overview Of Ecommerce App Development

What is an Ecommerce app?

ecommerce app development guide

eCommerce apps are specialized software for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. However, their unique feature is that they are integrated with commercial features commonly found on eStores, such as product search, payment, shipping, etc. In other words, eCommerce apps refer to mobile applications serving online business activities.

In addition to stimulating purchase ability, these apps can also encourage demand, branding, and customer care. Besides sales capacity, an eCommerce app also specializes in building relationships to create loyal customers.

So eCommerce app development is a collection of activities for building functions, developing and designing user interfaces for the mobile application.

How many types of eCommerce apps are there?

Currently, there are four most popular types of it: B2B (business to business, B2C (business to customer), C2B (consumer to business), and C2C app (customer to customer).

Besides, eCommerce apps can be divided into different groups based on the underlying technologies, including: Native apps, Hybrid apps, Web apps, and Progressive Web Apps.

The mobile eCommerce application is a bridge between buyers and sellers, so it must be built to be as suitable and convenient for these two objects as possible. This is the first basis for developing and classifying eCommerce apps.

Outstanding eCommerce application examples


ASOS is a famous fashion retailer in the UK. This business has successfully provided more than 85,000 products online to the global market through mobile devices.

After a study, ASOS realized that more than 80% of visits in the UK come from mobile devices. The company, therefore, invested in a corporate mobile application. And this was a great decision.

This app has helped the brand’s newly launched products attract many pre-orders. As of March 2022, the app exceeded 10 million downloads.


Nike is one of the most inspirational examples for any retailer. For years, the business has specialized in sportswear products with the highest market share globally.

However, customer behavior gradually changes. They tend to shop online more than offline. Seeing this, Nike decided to build a mobile app with great UX.

This B2C app helps Nike become a first choice of shopping for buyers. Their newly launched products attract interest and pre-orders while advertising costs are much lower than before.

Why Is Ecommerce App Development A Must-Have Business Trend?

Retailer’s app downloading percentage increases

Recently, customers are getting more and more ready to download business apps. Many people even voluntarily install it without any impact from the seller.

This trend has been demonstrated in numerous studies in the US. 67% of customers of let-selling brands own at least 1 eCommerce app. Plus, 77% of US consumers use retail apps to compare prices.

Besides, 71% of in-store shoppers will have price research through the mobile app before buying, and 67% of customers surf the retailer app in their free time.

These numbers demonstrate the influence of mobile apps on the buying decision journey.

Statistics of mobile search

Mobile shopping has developed into a robust shopping channel with its convenience and flexibility.

This is quite understandable because shopping with the phone seems a lot more convenient, people can use it anytime and anywhere.

In fact, in 2019, global online mobile traffic accounted for 53.29% – 10% higher than second place.

mCommerce growth rate

If the above two are not enough to convince you of mCommerce’s potential, let us show you its growth.

In recent years, mCommerce has grown at an incredible rate. Its global sales hit $359 billion in 2021, that’s 15.2% more than in 2020. Market researchers predict this growth will be 21.5% by 2022. By 2025, its sales will double, reaching over $700 billion.

Based on these numbers, it’s expected that mCommerce can become the primary online shopping channel.

Mobile payment is developing

Mobile payment has also steadily become more convenient for both customers and sellers in recent years, along with the growth of mobile apps and m-commerce.

Realizing the demand for fast payments, services like Paypal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, etc., were born. Now customers only need to press a few buttons to transact with a store across the border.

According to research, we will continue to witness an unstoppable growth of mobile payments. The figure is expected to be around 26.93% by 2025.

How Much Profit Can An Ecommerce App Make?

There isn’t a ceiling and floor for eCommerce app earning. The number will depend on the quality of your products, services, and applications. However, many studies have been conducted to determine the average revenue a business can achieve with an eCommerce app.

The apps in the top 200 apps of the mobile app market (AppStore, CH Play) can earn around $82,500 every day. This decreases sharply in the top 800 apps. Their revenue is about $3,500 daily, so $120,000 monthly.

Customers Are Increasingly Attaching To Ecommerce Apps: Stats Proving

Price comparison

Customers may download an app without too much impact from the business if they find it useful. one of the most used features is price comparison.

According to research, 77% of customers in the US use mobile devices to compare prices while shopping at physical stores. This means that they are gradually treating online stores as a direct competitor to brick-and-mortar stores.

Surfing mindlessly

Consumers usually start browsing through an app to pass the time, the same way they browse the goods on the streets without buying anything, but more frequently.

However, up to 77% of consumers are immersed in shopping after that. In other words, customers feel that browsing for products is also a fun and entertaining job to relieve stress.

ecommerce app development guide for beginners

Top 3 Most Promising Ecommmerce App Development Solutions

Native app development

A native app is the most sophisticated but expensive solution. You have to invest a fair amount of money in application development if you choose it.

The reason for this high cost and complex structure is that native apps are built from particular programming languages. Those codes can only apply to a single operating system. For instance, if the native app development uses the iOS programming language, it can only run on that platform.

Therefore, businesses that want to maximize their reach will have to build different app versions. This is the main culprit of the native app’s high cost, long build time, and complicated process.

However, the native app has many special functions thanks to the sophisticated structure. It can connect to most features in a user’s mobile device to achieve high performance and good interactivity.

guide to custom ecommerce app development

Hybrid app development

Unlike native apps, hybrid apps can work on multiple platforms. So you only need to build one app, and it can work on all operating systems.

This capability is due to the hybrid app’s architecture. It has a web core of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, it is wrapped by a “native app” cover. This is also what helps it have app performance.

As a result, the hybrid app development process is much easier, faster, and more economical than native apps. On the other hand, thanks to the plugins, the app is linked to many phones’ features. Therefore, the functions are also quite diverse.

However, hybrid apps still have some weaknesses. In terms of functionality, there are some inaccessible native app functions due to plugin limitations.

Progressive web app development

PWA is an improved version of the web app. However, it not only has the same design as the native app, but it also provides an app-like look, feel, and function.

This application has a much faster development time than hybrid and native ones because it is essentially a web app. However, it still offers outstanding functionality like push notifications, offline mode, auto-update, or add-to-home-screen. Customers can download the PWA like a standard native app to their device with the “add to home screen” feature without downloading from any app store. Plus, the PWA is a search engine-friendly app.

Because of its outstanding strengths, many firms now choose PWA instead of native or hybrid apps.

pwa mobile app

5 Must-have Ecommerce Mobile App Development Features


You must consider this first when you create an eCommerce app. This feature lets you collect customer information and establish a solid relationship.

With collected data, you can deliver more personalized and effective care to customers.

For example, you can create birthday vouchers or discount programs when customers reach a certain spending threshold.

Push notifications

Next is push notifications. This is the best way to send information to your customers.

Push notification is a function that delivers pop-up messages to your customer’s devices. Publishers can send it at any time to anyone, even when the user isn’t using the app.

This function possesses great potential use. You can stimulate demand by sending vouchers or spark curiosity back into your app with interesting user blogs. These messages are similar to SMS and phone alerts.

Offline mode

This feature allows users to use the application with an unstable network connection. However, this mode will usually offer limited features.

They won’t be able to use all the functionality of the app. On the other hand, the user’s activities while the weak network connection will still be stored and sent to the central server when the network connection is stable again.

Advanced search features

Useful search features will allow them to find the desired products easily. Imagine having a product that a user needs but can’t find due to a poor search tool. Obviously, you have lost an order.

Worse, they’ll look for the product from your competitor and buy it there. So, to avoid this, try to upgrade your in-store search engines.


This is also a vital feature. A wishlist is where potential customers mark their favorite products.

Sometimes customers find a product and add it to their wishlist to easily find it again.

On the other hand, wishlists also offer insights into customer behaviors. It will benefit advertising campaigns and customer support later.

How Much Does An Ecommerce App Development Cost?

The price of a mobile app depends on many factors, such as complexity, manufacturer’s price, etc. However, the most popular rates typically range from $5,000 to $300,000. Specifically, PWAs cost between $1,000 – $50,000. The price of a hybrid app is $5,000 to $150,000. For a native app, the budget ranges from $100,000 to $300,000.

To reduce the cost, you may hire an agency in Southeast Asia like Tigren. We are confident to be a great companion for two reasons: First, we have an optimized eCommerce app development process. This process will reduce the time and cost to market as low as possible.

Second, we have ten years of multidisciplinary work experience. Therefore, we can build the best app for your business. Find more about our eCommerce app development services and get started!

web development service

5 Ecommerce App Development Guide Steps 

Step 1: Research

Research is the process that lays the foundation for all the following steps. With thorough and accurate research, you can set great directions for your application.

Take this step by analyzing the market, interviewing customers, and investigating your own business. With enough data, you will be able to collect ideas on how your application should look and what functions it should have.

For example, if you don’t know what your customers want in your application, you can ask them directly through a questionnaire, list possible options, and ask some people to answer them. Based on what customers ticked, list the top 5 functions that get the most votes.

Step 2: Set a Goal

Goals are what motivate you to strive. Try to set goals with specific metrics such as app downloads, average usage time, app revenue, profit, etc., in a specific time.

Besides, set goals that are specific and easy to understand, which will make them easier to achieve and help members of your business understand them correctly.

Don’t underestimate the importance of goals. It will help you see the whole picture more clearly and define what actions should be taken for success.

Step 3: Pick your platform

pick ecommerce platform

Currently, many platforms support application development. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

The two most popular today are hosted platforms and self-hosted ones. Usually, you will have to pay a certain monthly fee to use the former and pay once for the other.

There are some exceptions, like Magento Open-source, you can use it for free, but you need to hire experts to build your website. However, this investment is still relatively cheap, you can quickly make that money back after a while in the business.

After choosing your development platform, look for app development companies whose working style suits you. Don’t forget that the app build platform you pick and their one must be the same.

Step 4: Build UX/UI and functions

Now it’s time to build the app. Double-check what your customers voted for in step one. Brief it carefully with your partner agency, discussing with them to find out some most viable and practical options for your application.

Once you’ve done this, you’ve got a detailed list of possible features, designs, extensions, and the like. All you need to do is include them in your app. You do not need to do it directly, your hired agency will do it for you.

However, that does not mean that you will be idle during this period. Keep your eye on the project to ensure things stay on track and are adjusted in time.

Step 5: Test and release

Once you’ve finished building the app, it’s time for tests. This is a critical step that many businesses overlook.

Some companies (especially those building an app for the first time) do not check before launching their app. Hitting the market right away without testing may only bring you failures.

Instead, you can first test responses with a small customer group. Let them try the app and carefully note their comments. Try to interview each person for more detailed comments.

Don’t forget to rely on their feedback to edit before officially releasing the app. However, not all reviews are objective, so you should only check on issues reported by different respondents.

Takeaway Notes About Ecommerce Apps

The rise of the eCommerce app is inevitable. Therefore, eCommerce app development is one of the topics that many business owners are interested in. This is quite understandable since it has many advantages that can bring high profits to businesses. In particular, the eCommerce app can support establishing close relationships with customers, which is a premise to create loyal customers.

Read More:

The Importance Of App Development For Ecommerce

Mobile App Development Or Web Development? – Which Is Preferable?

All You Need About Mobile App Development Cost

10 Ecommerce App Design Trends For 2022