03/02/2017 2:27 PM IST | Updated 06/02/2017 10:02 AM IST

7 Basic Principles Of Developing An Engaging E-commerce App

More and more smartphone users prefer to conduct their e-commerce transactions over an app rather than a website. This is good news for businesses too. According to a report, nearly 88% of people agree that a smartphone makes them more spontaneous while shopping. According to Statista statistics, by 2020, e-commerce sales alone in the US are expected to account almost $336 billion. It thus goes without saying that every e-commerce business should consider having an engaging mobile app. But do you think any random design would do just fine? If yes, then you are wrong.

It doesn't matter how good your products are or how reasonable they are priced—if a customer can't trust you then there is zero chance of them returning.

Creating an exceptional user experience for your customers is essential for your e-commerce success. So before you get your feet wet in developing a user engaging e-commerce app, here are some key points that you really need to know and understand.

1. A clear and easy user interface

In order to effectively engage your customers, it is crucial to have a clear and easy user interface (UI). When designing a UI for your e-commerce app, two things you should always keep in mind. One is the screen size; right from the "Menu" to the "Buy now" button, it is highly important where you display what content.

The second one is how easy your app is to use. For instance, in the Amazon app homepage, on top right users can find a sign in option and just above that the search bar and top left an option to shop by category. Consumers love apps that are simple to use.

2. Supporting multiple screens

Though iOS devices have limited number of screen sizes, Android runs on a wide range of devices that offer a variety of screen sizes and densities. At times, apps fail to provide the same rich experience on all devices. Let's say you have just tried an app on your smartphone and loved it. You then installed it on another mobile of a different screen size. The app works fine but the experience doesn't feel the same. For that, you need to make sure that you build a user experience that lets your customers feel that the app was developed for their device.

3. Auto-complete functionality

An auto-complete function will help users who don't know the exact product name. All the products that match when the users type in the search box allow them to see a visual representation of the desired product, ultimately leading them directly to the product page.

Chuck Levin, an online music supply retailer, provides users both common search phrases and product matches with thumbnail images in the auto-complete functionality.

4. Simple checkout process

No one likes a never-ending checkout process. A multipage checkout process can make you lose your potential customers. Make the checkout process simpler by allowing your user to purchase a desired product as a guest.

Storing users' information like email, contact number, etc. will save their time from having to repeat the process whenever they try to purchase from your app.

5. A wish list of products

Even though after browsing for hours and hours, customers may not buy anything, they definitely like to save a few products for future purchases. Make the browsing process interesting by allowing them to add products to a "wish list." One on hand, it gives your customers a simple reminder of the products they saved earlier and on the other, it will help you in measuring a particular product interest past a clear-cut sale.

6. A/B testing

Only 72% of online retailers test Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons. A/B testing has always been one overlooked aspect in the digital world. With many peers in the industry, it could be tempting to make your app live but without proper testing, it can lead your app in the wrong direction. Not just CTA, A/B testing should be applied to various different areas of content such as product titles, visuals, payment process, etc.

7. SSL encryption

At the end of the day, if the user data is not secured then nothing counts. It is the most important thing that you can do for users' financial safety. Encrypt every little piece of your users' data even if it is blowing your development budget or delays the app launch.

It doesn't matter how good your products are or how reasonable they are priced—if a customer can't trust you then there is zero chance of them returning.