Running a store online is not an easy thing to do. It might be simple to create a site and put your items out there for people to buy, but how do you convince them to do this? How do you manage an entire online store and keep your customers’ data secure, keep track of all orders, and maintain a consistent online presence? How do you optimize it all for mobile?
More importantly, is having a website enough?
Having an app is a great opportunity for you
If you want a successful online business today, having a website is simply not enough. In 2021, users on the App Store alone spent $19 billion. Just a year ago, over half of mobile users bought something online, and many of them did this from an app.
It goes without saying that mobile devices are a huge part of people’s lives. Almost everyone in the world has them, and most of us use our phones to search, communicate, and make purchases.
That being said, if you are looking for a way to expand your online eCommerce business and make it more successful, you need an app. More importantly, you need a good app.
There are plenty of benefits to building mobile apps for eCommerce. This gives you a much wider reach, makes the experience for users faster and more efficient, and gives you another platform to make sales.
Even so, running an online app store is not simple, and you need to create something amazing to attract your audience. That’s what this article is all about – to help you create a quality app with the best features.
The must-have features for your online store app
Let’s go through the must-have features for your new or updated store app.
- Quality order forms
The top priority of business owners is to make more money. To do this, they must create a highly efficient business. If you want to make everything run smoothly, you need all sorts of forms including purchase forms, order forms, registration forms, supply forms, etc.
Thankfully, you can do this with minimal effort in almost no time. Thanks to 123FormBuilder, online app store owners can now create online supply order forms within minutes, and use the tool to collect and analyze data without any room for error.
This online form builder is a must-use for your new store app. With it, you can automate many of the things necessary for your app to work properly and for your company to work effectively. You can use it to create online forms of all sorts, as well as questionnaires and surveys. The drag and drop free form builder has over 2000 form templates that are customized within minutes.
- Customer wish lists
Have you noticed how the top online store apps always have a cart, but they also have a wish list for users? Just take a look at AliExpress, one of the most used online store apps in the world.
Why would you need a wish list if you already have a shopping cart, you might wonder? There are several reasons for this. For starters, customers might like an item you are offering, but want to see other things in your store before they make a decision.
Others might not be ready to make a purchase just yet, so they aren’t prepared to put it in a cart. If they have a wish list at their disposal, they can place it there and get back to it when they’re ready to buy.
Lastly, wishlists will help you keep track of what your customers like, even if they don’t decide to purchase the item in question. This will allow you to create better marketing strategies, offer attractive promotions, and create personalized campaigns for your customers.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? This small feature can make your store app far more attractive to users. If you don’t have it, they might give up on a product they liked because they’d have to search for it again. Just imagine how many lost customers come from this small mistake.
- Related items suggestions
With algorithms, modern advertising, and all sorts of analytics tools at your disposal, it would be a pity not to suggest products to your customers. Based on what your customers searched, liked, and put in their wish list or cart, you can personalize your offers to make more sales.
For example, a customer that searched for a t-shirt in your app has explicitly told you what they want to buy. You can offer them similar products to help them make their choice, and even send them personalized notifications and deals to turn them into returning customers.
- Helpful FAQ section
Customers will have many questions and very often, they will coincide with the questions of others. To save them some time, create a FAQ section that they can go to and learn the answers to the most commonly asked questions about your app, the purchase process, your return policy, etc.
This won’t just save them time, but it will make it more likely that they’ll buy from you. Many people won’t bother to reach out to your support, wait in queues or send an email to get a response. They’ll move on to the next store that has a good FAQ or has the information made clear somewhere else.
Finally, you need a good FAQ section to save yourself some time. Since you’ll be answering the most common questions in this section, this means that you won’t need to handle as many queries as you did before. It will make your support more available to others whose questions are less common.
Let’s take a look at YouTube’s excellent FAQ page, available both on desktop and mobile:
- Attractive subscription plans
One of the best things about having an app for your store is that you can ask users to subscribe and receive notifications. You can include a variety of services and products to your subscription plan, give out freebies as an incentive, and enrich your brand as a result of this.
How can you benefit from subscriptions, you might ask?
For starters, the people that subscribe to your store will take part in your marketing campaigns, including your email marketing campaign. You can send personalized offers, information about new products, about promotions, and other things to convince them to buy.
This will also help you expand your clientele and predict the revenue that you’ll generate month-on-month.
Some apps are subscription-based, even. Take a look at The New York Times app, for example.
- Social media links
Social media is a grand part of people’s lives today. Many of them would click on your social media if you provide them with a link to it. Just add a simple button in your app that tells people you are active on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. If they like your app or brand, they might want to visit your social platforms, check them out, and maybe even become your followers.
- Social share buttons
In addition to adding links to your social media, allow users to share things they find on your app on their social media. Add buttons they can use to share a product they like on their profile or send it to a friend. This gives you tremendous opportunities in terms of word-of-mouth. It’s a simple feature that can expand your audience significantly.
- Advanced search capabilities
Online stores can really benefit from advanced search capabilities such as filtering and sorting, especially if they have many products in their catalog. To make the search simpler and more effective for users, you need to add these features.
This will minimize the time necessary for customers to find what they are looking for and maximize the chance of getting the right product to the right person.
- One-step registration
Who says that registrations should take forever? The customer has already downloaded an app and waited for it to install, so why put them through the extra hassle to enter their details to create an account?
To save your customers time and make their app experience more enjoyable, create a one-step registration option. They can always opt for manual registration, but you should also allow them to log in automatically with their email, social media accounts, and even Google account.
Many apps today have this feature, including eCommerce stores, game apps, etc.
- Augmented reality
Augmented reality has proven itself very useful when it comes to online shopping. It makes things more real for users and helps them make an informed decisions. It also minimizes the chance for error, so you’ll be looking at fewer returns and more satisfied customers.
IKEA Place, the AR mobile app has been trending for quite some time now.
Granted, your online store might not be ready for all of these features, but you should start somewhere. Based on how big your store offers get and how much you can afford to spend, you should continuously work to upgrade and add features to your mobile app that optimize the user’s experience. In return, you’ll get more downloads, subscriptions, and sales.