How To Create Apps For ECommerce Platforms
The eCommerce platforms of today such as Shopify and Magento are powerful platforms capable of creating great businesses in less than an hour. This has drawn an incredible amount of users to their respective platforms. This collection represents a very healthy market that needs new apps to stay competitive all the time.
The opportunity that this represents for app developers is massive and is a great market to target for your next mobile app. Creating apps for this market, however, requires that you know a few things before getting started to take full advantage of the customer base.
Getting to know your customer and understanding their needs as a seller and business is the most important step. Businesses have unique needs when it comes to apps so products like games and navigators would probably not be helpful.
Create a buyer persona
It is often necessary when creating a marketing plan to envision the ideal customer and their point of view. Understanding how they interact with the product and market on an analytical basis will give your team great insights into the true desires of the customer base. Using the buyer persona you can create apps through the lens of an eCommerce store.
The specific needs and inefficiencies within the eCommerce ecosystem are truly unlimited as each business needs something unique to them. Understanding them on a personal level will give your team their best lead on how they should design and sell the app.
Target a platform
Rather than attempting to make an app that uniformly suits every platform at once, it may be far better to focus on a singular platform and excel within it. Shopify, for instance, uses its own database and language which requires specific forms of technology and creates specific issues. Likewise with a platform such as Magento that operate differently than Shopify.
Instead of trying to mold the app repeatedly your team should focus on one and utilize every feature possible to take full advantage of the exclusivity. This will also give the development team a focused goal and a greater sense of direction. Targeting a platform is an important step in creating the identity of the app.
Apply agile principles
The agile method of development has been so popular for so long because it is so good. Agile principles focus on an iterative development process that prioritizes collaboration and communication over strict management and unchanging development plans.
Instituting the agile principles within your development team gives everyone a good base and gets all the developers involved which, in turn, will yield the best results for the app. While the agile method has evolved and new ideas have been made the central premise has always been true, you must always develop with flexibility.
Assemble a team
Assembling a dedicated development team is also recommended even if it is only a team of two. The development process can be a long and arduous journey for a solo developer and alleviating any part of the work required to produce and sell an app dramatically increases the chance of success.
Luckily, assembling a team can mean hiring a freelancer to deal with marketing or enlisting the help of a fellow developer who can assist in the creation and branding of the product. No matter how you create your team just make sure you have someone there to tell when to push and when to slow down. The development process is made much simpler when the burden is shared.
Focus on the things that make the business operate more efficiently. Think of apps that streamline internal communications, simplify inventory, and make marketing a breeze. Apps built with your customers in mind first will always turn out for the best. Then, once you have targeted your preferred platform(s) you must focus on the team of developers and how they operate.
You do not want a sluggish crew of developers that don’t communicate and don’t cooperate. Alleviating these issues is as simple as instituting a management philosophy such as agile to deal with any internal issues before they even begin.
Finally, your team should use every marketing tool available to reach out to businesses. Offering a free trial or version is the best way to engage with potential customers as they can get to know your product before committing to a purchase. With these tips you will be making great eCommerce apps that attract businesses and streamline operations.
Lisa Froelings is a business and productivity consultant with over 4 years of experience in human resources working for a major retailer in the country before she decided to build her own business. Her interests include technology, mindfulness as well as time management.View Lisa Froelings`s profile for more