The shift toward mobile endpoints is alive and well within the e-commerce industry.
In fact, the trend of leveraging handheld hardware for online shopping has been increasing recently, with 55 percent of time spent making online purchases coming from mobile devices, Kevy reported. While smartphones are still the top platform, the source noted that tablets are catching up, with tablet users spending 21 percent more during online shopping trips than other customers.
As users increasingly turn to mobile devices for their online shopping needs, it is becoming more important to ensure that the retailer has a mobile-optimized platform. To make the most of this trend, e-commerce groups should utilize a few best practices to guarantee the success of their mobile application initiatives.
Select the right coding language: HTML5 over native apps
One critical aspect to consider when developing an e-commerce application is the coding language that will support the program. While many app creators decide to use native languages due to their familiarity, GetElastic contributor Linda Bustos noted that opting for a native approach can cause extra spending to ensure support on different platforms, and users will still have to proactively update and maintain the application.
However, HTML5 can offer a range of benefits when used for e-commerce apps, including the ability to provide a streamlined experience across all operating systems. This language is also more cost-effective to develop and maintain, as different updates do not have to be established for the range of user devices. Due to these advantages, Bustos projected that HTML5 will become increasingly popular within the mobile e-commerce sector.
"My prediction is mobile strategies that consider the ROI of developing apps, with a long term outlook will shift away from native development," Bustos wrote.
Providing a positive shopper experience: Must-have features
Once the coding language foundation is in place, developers can look to focus on providing a positive end-user experience through specific features. Mobify noted that creators should put time and effort into making the app's homepage the focal point of the program. In this way, the homepage should provide a roadmap for the rest of the app, but it also shouldn't push too many products or too much content onto the user.
Furthermore, developers should also ensure that the search function is accessible and operates efficiently. If shoppers can't find what they are looking for, the search option should provide a solution by ensuring that items are easily discoverable.