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4 Features That Make Ecommerce Apps Stand Out

4 Features That Make Ecommerce Apps Stand Out

Big ecommerce companies are putting in efforts to improve the user experience on mobile with a stronger tech infrastructure through mobile apps. Wonder why?

According to Criteo’s State of Mobile, Q1 2015 report, Mobile is 34% of all ecommerce transactions globally and is expected to rise to 40% by the end of 2015. Adding on to that, a study by Compuware also revealed that 85% of consumers prefer a mobile app over a mobile website.

It is evident from these findings that mCommerce is definitely a Lion on the prowl.

This means that the biggest challenge of an ecommerce is to outperform its competitor with an absolutely interactive app that engages shoppers at every level.

But, how?

To address this query, we reached out to influencers in the past, to weigh in on things to keep in mind while designing a mobile app. In this piece, we have chosen 5 ecommerce apps with amazing features. Read on to see what you can learn and adapt to polish your own mobile app:

Making Onboarding as Easy as Pie

An ideal app should be neat with a minimalistic design that is based on your brand’s philosophy. This is to ensure that your user should recognize you instantly, and a new user should be able to identify what your brand is all about, from the first point of contact. This is especially necessary for an ecommerce brand.

Fiverr, the global online marketplace for services, has an impeccable onboarding process. It welcomes a user with full interactive features- a striking tagline that explains what the brand is about, followed by a brief on its features.


When it comes to design, especially apps, we have advocated that less is more. However, here Fiverr has strategically designed their onboarding. On the second screen, the user can either choose to slide through the features or register/sign in and explore the app.


You can either choose social login or email login. (However, be cautious while choosing a social login as users deem it privy and not preferable.)

Ever since its launch of the mobile app for iOS in 2013, and for Android in 2014, the user base has certainly increased. According to Micha Kaufman, co-founder of Fiverr, the platform currently lists more than 3,000,000 services on the site and is growing by about 4,000 per day.

Takeaway: According to Worldwide App User Survey, 48.9% of user’s decision to download an app is influenced by its description, and 49.3% by features. What is your key feature? Make it clear to the user what the app can do. Display your brand’s feature and brand value without compromising on the design.

The Strategy of Instant Information & Simple Registration

One app that integrates their Webstore experience with their in-app experience is Amazon, from signing up to check out process.

Amazon asks little, or no information up front and gets the user inside. It directly leads the user to the home page and familiarizes them with the app. Amazon has certainly taken into consideration the fact that users are not fond of a long form sign up or a forced social login.

They simply offer three options, to sign up with a mobile number, an email, or browse as a guest till the check-out process.


Once the user gets to the checkout process, the store also offers to save the user information for any future purchases.


During the signup process, it is also a great idea to ask them to sign up for the newsletter for upcoming deals. Groupon achieved that from their onboarding.


Give an impression of the benefits of your newsletter, all the while ensuring that it is not forced.

Takeaway: According to Appiterate, 68% of apps are deleted due to cumbersome registration. To avoid this, take the cue from Amazon. As a bonus, you can also offer auto-complete form for those unavoidable repetitive tasks, such as phone number, street address, etc.

Delivering Simple and Uncluttered Navigation

An important element to remember while developing an ecommerce app is the screen size and content. Since mobile screens have a limited space, you need to ensure that your products are not cramming up space. To simplify this discovery process, the focus should be a simple, uncluttered home page layout. Here, you can highlight your latest promotions, most popular items or personalized recommendations.

A brand that has achieved a well thought out navigation system and search functionality is Etsy, the global marketplace for handmade products.


Their navigation bar on the left is simple and instructive. From their recommended picks to their most viewed category picks, the navigation on their app is smooth. They have also enabled the location-based search for products through their Local category.

Once the user chooses a product, every information regarding the product is available on the page. The user can also visit the seller’s store and check out his reviews, contact information etc.


This way, Etsy has enabled navigating and purchasing from an app absolutely easy.

Etsy also allows the user to ‘favorite’ products, a convenient way for users to find the product again in future. This is one great feature where they are using the heart symbol to represent their favorite following the footsteps of Airbnb, which increased its app usage by 30 percent by doing the same.

Takeaway: While you are designing your app, try to figure out how to simplify your user’s navigation in reaching the product in the least possible time. Remember that your users want to see the product and content in a few tabs and not an overcrowded category list.

How to Leverage Trust Without Overcrowding

A seller seldom wins a customer with a salesy content. Customers need you to show that you can be trusted without being over-fed with information. In short, customers are looking for some crisp information that is authoritative and convincing.

How will you leverage their trust and the quality of your service is a short content? This is something REI, the outdoor clothing and gear retailer, has achieved. This app keeps the customers up-to-date with snowfall reports along with their latest sales or promotions.

In the home page itself, the app leverages trust from the user by including their USP in the footer.


Their in-app messaging is also non-intrusive, more like the newsletter we receive on our emails. Innovative and advanced, REI sends carefully picked products with a short video on why the product is chosen and a CTA to the store in the end.

They also include customer reviews on their product page where the user can also sort by most helpful, highest, lowest or the newest review.


Takeaway: Emphasize on the importance of security and satisfaction. Also, instead of opting for push notifications, experiment on quality in-app messages like REI’s recommendation. Always look for the technological advantage, like how REI incorporated weather information on their homepage and offered something more than just a shopping experience.


According to a study by Barclays, only 10% of retailers are offering mobile apps even when 34% of ecommerce transactions are drawn from mobile. This means that if an ecommerce business is serious about increasing sales and reach, they must consider having a mobile app.

Taking the message from our discussed apps and features, you should aim to provide an innovative experience that not only connects to the customer but makes purchasing a much easier and enjoyable process.

Here are two more takeaways

Never compromise on the quality of your product photographs. Make sure that they do not get pixelated when zoomed in. Also, provide multiple angles of the product.

When choosing your CTA, use catchy colors for the next logical action, so that the user can understand what to click next to complete the process.

Download an interesting research on what works (and what doesn’t) in email marketing for ecommerce by TargetingMantra.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


Saurabh is the Founder of TargetingMantra. An alumni of University of Illinois, he helped develop personalization systems at and its subsidiaries like IMDB, Lovefilm, Audible, Shopbop and Zappos. At TargetingMantra, he takes care of the Product and Technology.
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