13 must-have eCommerce app features

23 May 2022 | 16 min read

Want to stand out from the crowd, win users over and drive your online business straight to success? I bet you do! But to make that happen, you need to bring something extra to the table.

Since the eCommerce app development market is expanding at a breakneck speed with international giants shaking up the industry, it’s much more challenging to succeed than a few years ago. That’s why your eCommerce app needs to be spot-on and customer-centred.

Check out this list of the most important features your eCommerce mobile app should have. With them, you will provide a seamless customer experience and make users keep returning to your business to buy your products.

13 features to include in eCommerce mobile apps

Here are the most popular features to add to your customer-centred eCommerce mobile app. It’s time to use the latest tech solutions to boost your online business and conquer the eCommerce industry!

1. Simplified registration process

When it comes to mobile applications, the first impression makes a difference. For that reason, you need to simplify the onboarding process and make it hassle-free and painless for your potential customers. Otherwise, you will discourage them from getting to know your business and lose them before they even get the chance to see your offer.

It’s safe to say that there’s practically nothing more irritating than an overly complex and multi-step registration process. So the best solution you can implement into your eCommerce app is the possibility to use personal email (Gmail) or social media accounts (like Facebook or Twitter) for registration.

By simplifying the onboarding process, you make online shopping easier and more accessible, leading to more sales.

Simplified onboarding process in Massimo Dutti and Zara Home

2. Advanced in-app search engine

A search engine is a feature that virtually no self-respecting eCommerce business can do without.

Over time, your online store will contain hundreds or even thousands of products. So without a well-functioning search engine, mobile users won’t be able to find what they came for (or at least it will be more challenging for them).

When building a search engine for your mobile commerce solution, follow best practices to make the most out of it:

  • Make the search engine visible and easily accessible.
  • Provide additional filtering and sorting options to tailor searches precisely to customer needs.
  • Consider introducing AI-based solutions to provide advanced search capability, such as voice, barcode or image recognition systems.
  • Introduce autocomplete options.
  • Make the in-app search engine able to correct errors and understand the user’s intent efficiently.

3. Voice recognition system

Voice commerce is spreading at lightning speed. A few years ago, making purchases through voice commands seemed nothing short of impossible. Times have changed, and now eCommerce titans include this future-proof feature in their apps.

We can say with certainty that voice commerce has an extremely bright future and will continue to grow in the following years as well. Last year, the value of eCommerce transactions done by voice assistants amounted to $4.6 billion worldwide, and it’s estimated that it will reach $19.4 billion in 2023.

Voice recognition software may give extra value to eCommerce apps. Not only does this feature make the voice search more convenient but also may speed up and facilitate the purchasing process.

4. AR (Augmented Reality) solutions

In recent years, Augmented Reality has taken the mobile industry by storm. And we can expect that this AI-powered feature will get only more powerful and widely applied in the coming years.

But what exactly is Augmented Reality, and why might it become such a game-changer in eCommerce? I’m sure you’ve seen or even used various face filters on Instagram and Snapchat or set a virtual background during your Zoom call. That’s exactly what AR is all about – this technology detects elements on images or videos to generate interactive simulations of the real world.

Importantly, AR is currently being applied in numerous industries, and eCommerce is no exception. Online stores like IKEA or Sephora use this solution to show customers whether furniture will fit perfectly in their living rooms or an eyeshadow palette will match a skin tone.

Consider AR for your eCommerce app, as this future-proof Artificial Intelligence technology solution will give you a competitive edge and take customer experience to a whole new level.

5. Personalised product recommendations

It should come as no surprise that mobile users leave all kinds of traces when interacting with digital products. It can be personal data (age, gender, location), interests, viewed or purchased products, etc. All of this data is collected and processed to learn more about each specific user. This way, online stores may tailor products that will most probably attract user attention and, consequently, encourage them to buy another product or display more personalised marketing campaigns.

Crucially, product recommendations can bring tangible financial benefits to eCommerce businesses. As Google reports, a personalised approach to customers may significantly maximise revenue. What’s more, 63% of smartphone users are more willing to make a purchase on a website or mobile app that displays relevant product recommendations.

It leads to one conclusion: introducing personalised product recommendations is definitely worth the effort and may boost your sales in the long run if done correctly.

Personalised product recommendations in Zalando app

6. Product ratings & reviews

Reviews and ratings play a major role in our decision-making process, whether when choosing a hotel in Greece for your holiday, a pair of new fancy sneakers or outdoor furniture or any number of other things. We all read user reviews, believe them and support our customer choices based on other users’ opinions. For that reason, positive feedback can contribute to boosting your in-app sales.

With that in mind, you should never neglect the immense power of product reviews and ratings and let your customers share their experiences about your business and your products. It’s one of the most effective ways that social proof can be used in your eCommerce app.

Product reviews in Amazon and Zalando app

7. Secure in-app payments

When placing an online order in a store, customers need to be constantly assured that everything has gone smoothly, hassle-free and securely. For that reason, it’s crucial to implement payment options that are fully verified, safe and without the risk of any leakage of payment data.

It’s also an excellent solution to include multiple payment options so that users can choose the most convenient one. These can be:

  • Credit cards
  • Online transfers
  • Mobile wallets (PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay)

Keep in mind that app users who cannot find a preferable payment option will be more likely to leave your app without placing an order. A wide variety of secure payment options streamlines the purchasing process and improves customer experience. The stakes are high here!

In-app payments in Massimo Dutti and Zara app

8. Different shipping options

Since you give your customers a selection of payment methods, why not offer them some shipping options as well?

There are numerous shopping options you can choose for your app. Your final choice will depend mainly on the country you operate in and the type of package you want to ship. If possible, also try to introduce eco-friendly delivery solutions – such an option will undoubtedly be highly appreciated by customers.

Allow users to choose the most suitable shipping option for them and let them enter the shipping address without any hassle – it will enhance their experience and accelerate the buying process. Here, you can also inform about each option’s delivery cost and the estimated delivery date.

9. Personalised content

I’ve already mentioned personalised product recommendations as one of the eCommerce mobile app features. However, personalisation comes in many different shapes and is not limited only to the products displayed but even to communications with users.

As I’ve said, you gather a massive amount of data about users, so make good use of it and show only relevant and skillfully targeted messages. These can be articles, opt-in forms or simply a welcome message with a customer’s name.

Personalisation is the driving force in eCommerce market and may become a key to your business success. By implementing this feature, you will provide a much more positive user experience, leading to much higher customer loyalty.

10. Easy access to customer service

Users want to feel well taken care of and be assured that their needs are always a top priority. Providing excellent customer service is a must for every eCommerce business. This way, you can win users over, earn brand loyalty and maintain your customer base.

Customer support may be served in mobile apps in many different ways. You can choose between:

  • Live chat support – users can reach out to customer care assistants and get a personalised solution to their problems.
  • Email support
  • Telephone support
  • FAQ – a section that responds to the most pressing issues.

Remember that customer service is no longer ‘a nice to have’, it’s definitely a must. It’s also essential to make your customer support section always visible and easily reachable in your mobile app.

Customer service in H&M, Zalando and Zara app

10. Social media integration

Integrating social media platforms into a mobile app can benefit eCommerce businesses. One significant advantage is the ability to tap into the large user bases of social media platforms. By integrating with social media platforms, businesses can reach out to potential customers who might not have discovered their products or services.

Moreover, social media integration can help in building brand awareness and driving engagement. By allowing customers to share their purchases through social media accounts, eCommerce businesses can amplify their reach and engage with their customers more personally.

11. Barcode scanning

This feature will be a perfect solution for every eCommerce business selling its goods both online and offline. The main idea behind barcode scanning in a mobile shopping app is quite simple. Just imagine the situation: customers who find a product in a brick-and-mortar store do not always necessarily buy it immediately, and they might prefer to buy it another time. It’s a matter of their preferences.

With barcode scanning, they may save the product in a mobile app and return to it after a while. What’s more, they don’t need to ask a shop assistant for more detailed information about the product – instead, they can easily find it in an eCommerce app. Quite convenient, right?

Barcode scanning in Zalando and Zara app

12. Wishlist

And last but not least…

Sometimes, users browse online stores looking for inspirations and goods to purchase someday (or when the season sale comes). Having that in mind, it is crucial to develop a wishlist section in your eCommerce application. With this feature, users will easily return to products they have already viewed, liked and considered buying.

Notice that adding the wishlist feature has become the new norm in eCommerce. So if you still haven’t included it in your app, you have no time to lose.

Wishlist in Zalando and Zara app

Build a successful eCommerce mobile app today!

I have listed the most essential features practically every eCommerce app should have. With them, you will create a unique customer experience from start to finish and make your customers keep returning to your business instead of rushing toward your competitors. Make sure, however, that the ​​mobile app features you build fully correspond with your business goals and reflect what you want to accomplish.

Need a functional, intuitive and feature-packed mobile shopping app? Our experts will help your business grow and conquer the eCommerce industry! Contact us today and get an estimate for your digital project!

Wojciech Zielonka Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

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