The Importance of Mobile Apps in the E-Commerce Industry
Successful modern businesses need to exist in a digital field. Modern technology must be used in order to strengthen the brand. Through the use of e-commerce, direct interaction with the consumer is made possible due to which the product supply chain is shortened. Businesses can be closer to their customers and offer products or services according to the preferences of individuals which helps increase productivity. After the pandemic, the e-commerce industry has seen a huge rise in customers. Large and small companies both benefit from e-commerce. This is where m-commerce comes into play as well. Mobile commerce facilitates online businesses and mobile apps opens doors to millions of possibilities. Every e-commerce website must have a mobile app (better if it’s cross-platform). Nowadays, people use their mobile phones for every minor to major needs and everything is made possible with a single touch. Mobile apps attract new customers to your business and helps better serve existing customers. E-commerce app development companies design mobile apps in a way that helps better promote their prod and services. Through the help of mobile apps, special offers and membership benefits and loyalty programs are introduced. Mobile apps allow businesses to better promote their brands and through data analytics, companies can gather information about their consumer base and learn more about their preferences. Mobile apps have made goods and services more accessible to customers, it has also helped increase user engagement and has provided amazing marketing opportunities that has boosted average purchase prices, increased revenue and allowed businesses to stay ahead of their competition.
The industry of e-commerce has irrefutable potential and has encapsulated the world of business. E-commerce has transformed technologies and shaped how consumers connect with their brands. Technology is an indispensable asset in the industry of e-commerce. Mobile apps have made it possible for businesses to understand customer analytics better and the needs of their target audience by collecting accurate data precisely. Through apps and AI-powered software, businesses determine the needs and expectations of customers and their experiences from their products. Softwares collect valuable insights of the experience of their customers and see if they are satisfied with their products or services. Technologies are used to predict the needs of customers and meet their demands accordingly by analyzing their shopping patterns, online behavior as well as their repeated purchases. E-commerce mobile app development has made it easier to predict the needs of customers and optimize sales. The E-commerce apps that have the best framework provide great user experience as well as help in boosting sales.
What is an eCommerce Framework?
The type of software used while building your e-commerce store is referred to as an e-commerce framework.
Three primary types of e-commerce frameworks:-
- Headless commerce.
SaaS eCommerce Framework
SaaS meaning “software as a service” is software that is operated, maintained and improved by the vendor itself. SaaS platforms allow limited customization but with the introduction of APIs and pre-built integrations, it is becoming more flexible. The vendor constantly upgrades features and continues to improve the software over time. The cost of ownership is less than in open-source or headless commerce frameworks.
SaaS helps users get to the market quickly and since security, as well as maintenance, are included in pricing, there is no need to worry about hosting. The only drawback is it is mot as customizable as other e-commerce frameworks.
Open source eCommerce Framework
Open source software allows users to not only access but also change the source code on their software. Open-source platforms are highly customizable. Developers need to maintain the code over time and ensure constant cybersecurity defenses in order to protect their business and their customers since the more the customisations, higher is the risk of unintended consequences. So, open source framework offers limitless customization opportunities along with engaged communities of developers.
The drawbacks are users constantly need to install software updates and security patches. Since the software is open to customization, it is more complex and users need to rely on developers not only for implementation but also for the lifecycle of their business.
Headless eCommerce Framework
Headless commerce leverages a composable architecture approach meaning back and front-end retailers have the ability to choose their presentation layer (front-end) to successfully deliver a differentiating customer experience. Headless eCommerce is a decoupled approach that has a potential advantage when it comes to businesses or enterprises because they allow for greater control and freedom. Some elements of your system can be developed to operate independently from one another. Headless eCommerce gives you the flexibility to pick and use the front end of your choice. Back-end can be used to power several front ends for a multi-site experience. Front and back-ends when decoupled can undergo development work without risking impacting each other. The drawbacks are that the cost of ownership can be high as users pay for back-end, front-end as well as development work. Architectures are complex and require the expertise of developers.
Features eCommerce Framework should have:
- Product management- Inventories must be properly managed as well as maintained at all times. E-commerce frameworks allow users to get a high-level view or minimize details to specifics with very little technical know-how.
- Mobile-supported E-commerce- eCommerce Frameworks must support a smooth shopping experience across all devices. Mobile commerce generates more than half of e-commerce sales. For your growth prospects to excel, every mobile app must have a user-friendly checkout experience.
- Security- Every mobile app must have provisions to keep its customer’s information safe and secure as it is imported for your brand’s reputation to avoid any data breaches.
- SEO capabilities- An eCommerce Framework should support built-in SEO capabilities. SEO is a very powerful tool used to boost sales and grow your business.
- Extensive plugins- eCommerce platforms must have the ability to integrate data and social commerce to gain analysis of customer behaviors.
10 best eCommerce app development Frameworks that you must know:
A SaaS platform that has really flexible APIs as well as a strong headless commerce offering. Extension and connection to other environments is enabled by core platform components. BigCommerce lies on the more flexible end of the spectrum of SaaS products, it has a higher learning curve than other alternatives. This platform offers global support that is available 24×7 and numerous agency partners are available to help launch and maintain your store. This platform provides speed and agility to protect and grow sales, also scalable for a global shift to online purchases. There are essential back-office integrations with no proprietary limitations.
A hosted e-commerce software that offers a technical barrier that is low for building stores with basic out-of-the-box functionalities. This makes the overall setup and store management easier. Few Non-native tools require separate subscriptions and integrations with apps that increase functionality. Shopify is one of the perfect solutions for e-commerce apps which are easy to build as well as maintain delivering a seamless shopping experience.
One of the most popular eCommerce Frameworks. A PHP-written open-source framework that uses an MVC (model-view-controller) pattern which has incorporated all object-oriented programming features. This framework operates with simple troubleshooting as well as easier bug detectors and fixing. It is a highly adaptive framework that has helped develop the most flexible and scalable eCommerce functions. Laravel offers compatible outsource integration for developing full and functional eCommerce stores. Laravel guarantees website encryption that is exceptional and advanced native security.
The open-source software that deploys on-premise on your own servers or in the cloud. It is highly scalable and flexible, that is if you know how to handle open-source PHP development. It has become a part of the Adobe Experience Cloud and it integrates with Adobe products. It has a huge community of experienced developers. One of the drawbacks is that Magento is highly dependent on developers to set, maintain and update your stores. Depending on the complexity, open source using template and no extensions can cost really high. Users have to install their own updates and security patches.
A popular self-hosted framework that is also open-source and available for WordPress websites. It it maintained and developed by Automattic and WooCommerce has a starter selection that has decent essential e-commerce features. Since it is open source, users have complete control over the customization and management of the store. A large community of WooCommerce meetup groups also helps users manage their stores better. The drawback is that must-have shopping features like single-page checkout or abandoned cart recoveries are not available natively. Adding payment, catalog management and marketing features increases the overall cost and makes it more time-consuming.
A unified commerce product specially designed to enable teams to deliver personalized experiences across various touchpoints. An API-first platform which is built on a microservices model. Kibo was formed by merging Fiverun, MarketLive and Shopatron. Later, Kibo acquired Baynote and Mozu followed by two more acquisitions- Certona and Monetate. It is a developer-centric platform that may be complex, with a learning curve that is steep and a potentially high ownership rate.
This framework enables quicker and easier site updates and media management without requiring the help of an outside developer. It is a SaaS framework that offers template designs and other built-in inventory tools. It only offers integration with 4 payment processors and transaction fees are to be paid on every sale.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
It was previously known as Demandware. It is a SaaS platform specifically for businesses looking to streamline their omnichannel operations. Salesforce Commerce Cloud enables users to manage sales in digital as well as physical channels from only one solution and it includes native AI tools for further personalization. It has a relatively smaller number of agency partners who are familiar with design and development on the platform.
It was one of the original contenders in the eCommerce space of SaaS. It has been operating since the early 2000s and has a shopping cart solution that provides a mix of SEO/marketing tools and core commerce for starting as well as growing your business. It helps easily add advanced functionalities and integrations created by certified technology partners.
In order to make sure that you have selected the best eCommerce Framework you need to (i) identify your business needs, (ii) consider your budget and (iii) measure the scalability and future growth.
(i)Every business has different needs and the choice of your framework should be dependent on those needs. The needs of a business can be anything depending on the model of your business, preferred sales, or advertising channels. Businesses that have online stores need to make sure that they can integrate their inventory and sales in order to have a unified way regarding their business.
(ii) The cost of ownership varies across different frameworks. SaaS provides a consistent cost on an ongoing basis so the future financial position of the company is easier to predict. Open-source frameworks require hefty licensing fees, variable implementation costs and the cost of development and maintenance over time. Headless frameworks are costly depending on the number of systems they are able to integrate.
(iii)The scalability and future growth of your app must be considered. With time, businesses may require a platform that can handle more traffic, more variants as well as API calls. In order to expand internationally, your framework needs to comply with international regulations so shoppers can pay in their own currency.