• # Masifa Bukhari
  • # App Development
  • # 14 May, 2024

How To Create A Shopping App?

Are you an entrepreneur experiencing stilted or declining business growth?

This can be because of a number of reasons: lack of user accessibility, subpar customer experience, low switching cost, lack of order-processing capability, and low customer loyalty. While you might be losing out on revenue potential, we’d like to inform you that consumer spending has increased exponentially over the past few years. And to capture this potential you need to bring something unique to the table.

As of 2024, The World Counts states that people spend $44 trillion annually on durable and non-durable goods and services; that’s $1.4 million per second! More than 10 percent of this comes from e-commerce sales. Out of this, m-commerce sales account for $3.56 trillion, or 70% of all e-commerce sales. With m-commerce and mobile apps smashing all previous e-commerce records, it’s no wonder entrepreneurs are investing millions to create a shopping app for their businesses. Our experts say 80% of all smartphone users purchase goods and services through mobile devices!

Don’t know how to make a shopping app? We’ve got you covered. This blog is a comprehensive guide to shopping app development – reasons, features, and process.

Let’s dive in!

What is a shopping app?

Before we learn about creating a shopping app, let’s first understand what it actually is.

A shopping app is the ultimate companion for contemporary commerce. It transforms your business venture into a digital store to offer consumers unparalleled efficiency and convenience. Your app is easily accessible to everyone via any device and brings a multitude of products and services to a buyer’s fingertips.

A good shopping app offers a user-friendly interface and an intuitive design to offer buyers a personalized experience.

Types of Shopping Apps
Category Example
E-commerce eBay, Amazon, Alibaba
Grocery Walmart Grocery, Instacart
Electronics Apple Store, Best Buy
Fashion Zara, Fashion Nova
Food Delivery DoorDash, Uber Eats
Specialty Etsy (Handmade Crafts), Sephora (Cosmetics)
Second-Hand Poshmark, ThredUp
Auction eBay, Heritage Auctions

Given these categories, some of the best shopping apps of 2024 are:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • eBay
  • Target
  • Alibaba
  • Shein
  • Home Depot
  • Etsy
  • ASOS

Reasons To Create A Shopping App


Still not convinced to invest in online shopping app development? Here are a few reasons why it will transform your buyers’ journey and retain them in the long run.

1. Improved User Experience

The primary reason to make a shopping app is to enhance user experience. As of 2023, there are over 26.5 million shopping platforms worldwide. However, most of them aren’t successful. Why is that? They don’t offer an optimized user experience. Poor UX can make a customer run for the hills! Investing in a shopping app will help you deliver user-friendly, seamless, and personalized solutions to customers.

2. Brand Loyalty

Every brand wants loyal customers, and this is partly the reason why they are willing to invest in and adapt to modern developments within their industry. A shopping app provides them a platform to divulge with the business and offers a dedicated space that builds a sense of loyalty among customers. It encourages repeat business and brings positive reviews.

3. Improved ROI

Apps are a great sales booster. Most retail chains have experienced exponential growth after creating a shopping app. Your mobile application provides users with a thorough look into all your product offerings, a touchpoint for your customers to connect with you. It also provides an avenue for customer to buy your products from the comfort of their homes.

4. Safe and Secure Transactions

Shopping apps offer safe and secure transactions. They offer secure payment gateways and build their trust. An app offers encrypted transactions to create a safe shopping environment.

5. Sustainable Competitive Advantage

It goes without saying that any and all retail businesses within your industry are your competition. You have to stand out from them. A shopping app is a great way to offer a unique value proposition. You can scale the business via these applications and continue to adapt to changing m-commerce trends to turn this competitive advantage into a sustainable competitive advantage.

Features For Shopping Apps

Now that you know all the reasons why investing in a shopping app is a lucrative decision, here are the features that you must incorporate into your app. We’ve divided these sections into basic and advanced features for your ease:

Basic Features

1. User Registration – Profile Management

This feature allows users to create their accounts on your shopping app and manage their personal information. This includes their name, contact information, shipping and billing address, payment methods, etc. This information helps users save time during checkout and offers you insight into their buying habits to personalize recommendations to maximize conversions.

2. Product Search

This feature is essential for any shopping app and allows users to search for specific products by entering the right words or applying different filters. These filters can be applied for prices, categories, sizes, colors, etc. Users can easily find what they’re looking for, ultimately enhancing a user’s shopping experience.

3. Product Listing

While product search is a beneficial feature for a user, product listing is essential for you to ensure that all your products and services are displayed. Moreover, this feature must also incorporate aspects like product image, descriptions, size, color, availability, and reviews.

4. Order History and Tracking

This feature is essential if you want to track the status of customer orders. You can view order history to keep track of a customer’s purchase and offer personalized recommendations. It offers transparency and improves user satisfaction.

5. Shopping Cart

This feature allows users to add products to their carts and proceed to checkouts when they want to complete their orders. Here, users can review their orders, apply for discounts via coupons and discount codes, choose a shipping method, and confirm their order.

6. Payment Gateways

This feature ensures secure and seamless transactions by integrating with popular payment gateways like Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal. It also helps ensure that users can complete their purchases with ease and trust.

7. Push Notifications

Push notifications for order updates and promotional offers help businesses send timely and relevant notifications to users. Businesses stay connected with their users through these notifications.

8. Customer Feedback

This feature allows users to contact customer support via phone, email, live chat, or a help center within the app. Users can also provide feedback and help the business improve its apps and services.

9. Security

SSL encryption, PCI Compliance, and two-factor authentication ensure that users’ information is protected from hackers.

10. Social Media Integration

This feature enables users to share the products they’ve bought and the products they like on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This helps reach a wider audience and promote their products.

Advanced Features

1. Barcode Scanning

Consumers can scan the barcodes of products they have bought via their smartphones to find more information about the product, such as product care guidelines, price, specifications, and reviews. This helps users make more informed purchasing decisions and improves the app’s accessibility.

2. Analytics and Reporting

This feature is essential for businesses to access insights about user behavior, app performance, and sales trends and make future-oriented decisions. Accessing this information with just a few clicks helps you plan business strategies accordingly and stay competitive in the market.

3. Loyalty Programs

Loyalty and reward programs incentivize users to make repeat purchases and engage with the shopping apps by offering loyalty points, discounts, and exclusive offers. This ensures that regular users come back for repeat purchases and contribute to revenue.

4. Voice Search and Virtual Assistant (VA)

This is a relatively new feature that enables users to search for products and place their orders via voice search. It helps differently-abled and hands-free convenience-seeking people access and use the app for shopping.

5. Geolocation and In-store Pickup

This feature is essential if you have multiple stores. It allows users to search for nearby stores and pickup locations. They can also choose to pick up their orders in person instead of shipping. It reduces shipping costs and times.

6. AR and VR Product Visualization

AR and VR allow users to use their cameras for product visualization and try-ons. They can try on clothes and cosmetics and place furniture anywhere in their homes. This immersive way to shop brings in more customers.

7. Social Login

This feature helps integrate your app with different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Users can log in or sign up via their social media handles. It simplifies the registration process and improves user engagement by enabling users to share their purchases and customer experience on social media.

8. Multiple Language and Multi-Currency Support

This feature enables the shopping app to support multiple languages and currencies. It is only useful if you’re targeting an international/global audience.

Things to Consider when Building a Shopping app

When you’re developing your shopping app, it is always better to have a thorough understanding of the market and what the users seek in the apps they use. In this section, we’ll cover some essential things that you need to consider before creating a shopping app.

1. Target Audience

No matter how good your app idea is, there is still no guarantee of success. If you position your app wrongly, you become prone to rejection. Before developing your shopping app, research the people you’d like your app to serve. Understand their likes, dislikes, preferences, and priorities.

2. Accessibility

Accessibility is essential for determining the success of your app. If your app isn’t accessible to your target audience, you’ll lose out on a considerable consumer base. With millions of apps in the market, customers don’t mind uninstalling your app immediately. Hence, make your app experience intuitive, easy, and friendly.

3. Platform

Choosing the mobile platform that you find most suitable for your target audience. When researching, you might find that most of your current and potential users use Android or iOS devices, sometimes both. You can then choose the platform for your app accordingly. You can develop a native or hybrid app depending on your user base.

Points of Difference Native Apps Hybrid Apps
Language Objective-C or Swift (iOS), Java or Kotlin (Android) HTML, CSS, JavaScript
Performance Superior performance due to platform-specific optimizations May experience slight performance lag due to cross-platform nature
User Experience Provides seamless user experience native to the platform May lack some native look and feel, but can be customized
Access to Device APIs Full access to device APIs and hardware functionalities Limited access to device APIs, may require plugins for advanced features
Cost Higher development cost due to platform-specific development Lower development cost as codebase can be shared across platforms
Time to Market Longer development time due to separate codebases for each platform Shorter development time as codebase can be shared across platforms
Maintenance Requires separate maintenance for each platform Easier maintenance with updates applied to shared codebase
Offline Functionality Can support full offline functionality Offline functionality may be limited depending on the chosen framework
Platform-Specific Features Can leverage platform-specific features to enhance user experience May have limitations in leveraging platform-specific features


4. Marketing

Your mobile app’s success is incomplete without a sufficient and strong consumer base loyal to your brand. There are thousands of apps submitted on the app store daily. Why should a shopper download your app? Mobile app marketing ensures that your app has a strong market presence in the eyes of potential users. Use app store optimization, PPC, traditional marketing, etc., to rank your app higher and ensure more downloads.

5. Technological Edge

Technology is evolving rapidly. AI and machine learning have truly revolutionized the way consumers use mobile devices to interact with the world. Shoppers are willing to spend three times more on apps that offer a personalized experience. Moreover, adapting to changing trends is essential for long-term survival and helps ensure that your app doesn’t become redundant.

Shopping App Development Process

This section will cover how to make a shopping app from scratch. Follow these eleven steps for an optimized shopping experience.

Step 1 – Market Research

Your shopping app should address a gap in the market. It should be a solution to a consumer’s problems. For example, Walmart offers the same products for “Everyday Low Prices,” similarly Amazon initially offered affordable books to readers at a very affordable price. Both of these giants did a thorough market analysis and then identified a pressing problem that no one was truly addressing. They took those problems, offered consumers viable solutions, and became billion-dollar enterprises by addressing them effectively, efficiently, and consistently.

Hence, be a problem solver. Identify a problem customers face while interacting with products and convert it into your app’s unique selling point (USP).

Step 2 – Setting Business Goals and Defining Strategy

Now that you’re clear on what value proposition you will offer your consumers, you need to design a business plan with SMART goals. These goals should specify what you’re trying to achieve, how you’ll do it, how realistic your goals are, and how much time you’ll need to achieve them.

Explore app type (B2B, B2C, C2C), customer behavior, customer interaction, technical expertise required, and app monetization strategies. Monetization strategies include in-app purchases, freemiums, subscriptions, etc. Your business strategy and your app strategy must be in perfect sync to avoid any blunders.

Step 3 – Choose a Shopping App Development Approach

There are a total of three methods that you must consider when making a shopping app. You can use app builders, native app development, and cross-platform development. We’ve discussed them below.

Point of Difference App Builders Native Apps Cross-Platform Apps
Development Experience No coding experience is required, drag & drop functionality Requires coding skills in platform-specific languages (Java/Kotlin for Android, Swift/Objective-C for iOS) Requires coding skills in cross-platform frameworks (React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, etc.)
Customization Limited customization options, templated apps Fully customizable to match brand uniqueness Limited customization compared to native, but more than app builders
Performance Typically, lower performance due to generic templates Top-performing, optimized for specific platforms Generally slower performance compared to native apps
User Experience Limited ability to adapt to user needs Best at adapting to user needs, offers superior user experience Offers good user experience but may lack some native feel
Functionality Limited advanced functionality capabilities Allows for creating advanced functionality Fewer functionality abilities compared to native
Maintenance Simplified maintenance with updates handled by the builder Requires separate maintenance for each platform May have issues with maintenance and ongoing support
Scalability Limited scalability due to generic nature Easily scalable with time Scalability may be limited compared to native apps


Step 4 – Find a Mobile Shopping App Developer

Your best bet at creating a shopping app is to hire the right experts. Do your research and find the right restaurant app development services for your business needs. Here is a quick rundown on finding the right developer:

  1. Define your goals exactly.
  2. Do your research in terms of those goals and shortlist potential developers.
  3. Evaluate each prospect via background check, client references, company culture, quality standards, legal and security aspects, and team expertise.

You can either choose a freelancer developer or hire a dedicated development team from a reputable organization.

Step 5 – Define Shopping App Functionality

Start off with the essential features that make up a highly functional shopping app. We’ve discussed these features in great detail above; use these as a checklist to ensure app quality. Remember, users are spoiled when getting the best from any app. You don’t want to disappoint them! Make UX your top priority.

Step 6 – Create Compelling UI/UX Design

Your app design must be user-centric. The best way to know exactly how to provide users with an optimized experience is to research Android and iOS guidelines. They will give you a thorough insight into the kind of app you must design. We recommend that you follow either the 2-tap or 5-point rules. The two-tap rule highlights that users should get to where they want with just two taps, and an app must have these five core design elements:

  • Color
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Space
  • Texture

Step 7 – Quality Assurance (QA) Testing

Let experts test your app prior to launching it. They will identify and remove any and all problems from your app to ensure that it provides an excellent user experience.

Step 8 – Deployment and Launch of the Shopping App

Deployment shows where your efforts in creating a shopping app were any good. If your app has been tested well, then chances are it will sail through deployment and launch. Just ensure that your QA team integrates analytic tools, beta-testing the product, and collecting all metrics once the app’s been launched.

Step 9 – Design Marketing Campaigns to Promote the App

Once the app’s been launched on both the App Store and Google Play, you need to run an intensive marketing campaign. Remember, only 10% of all apps are widely used and actively installed by users; you need to fall into this 10% if you want to survive. Some popular marketing methods include app store optimization and a thorough integrated marketing communication (IMC) plan.

Step 10 – Collecting and Analyzing Feedback

Once the shopping app is out in the market, you need to manage it. It is essential to improve its performance with time. Collect customer feedback and use it as constructive criticism to improve your app experience.

Step 11 – Ongoing Maintenance, App Support, and Updates

You need to provide ongoing maintenance and support to your customers to ensure they stick with your app. Answer their queries. Make them feel important. Moreover, ensure you update your app as often as possible according to industry trends and recent advancements.

How can Coding Pixel help you create a shopping app?

Coding Pixel is a leading shopping mobile app development company with hundreds of satisfied clients and projects. With over eight years of experience, our experts help you navigate this competitive market and offer a value proposition that is hard to deny for your consumers.

See our development services now!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I build my own app?

Yes, you can build your own app. However, the size of the business, the resources allocated, and the overall purpose of the application all influence your app development process. It is always better to have an expert on board to ensure that you build a highly functional app.

How long does it take to create a shopping app like Amazon?

Creating an app like Amazon is very challenging. While a 100 percent accurate estimate is impossible, our experts say it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months.

How does an app make money?

There are many ways in which you can monetize your application. Some popular monetization strategies include in-app advertising, in-app purchases, affiliate marketing, subscriptions, etc.

See our latest relevant exploration The Evolution of Business Web Applications

Content Specialist
Masifa Bukhari
Coding Pixel

Masifa is a Content Specialist with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and over three years of experience in content marketing and the IT industry. She is passionate about writing and talking about website and mobile app development, e-commerce, and advancements happening in the IT Industry. She creates engaging and user-centric content to optimize digital experiences for these niches. When she is not creating content, you can find her buried in a good book.