Building a Successful Mobile Shopping App

5 Tips for Building a Successful Mobile Shopping App

Estimated read time: 12 minutes

Want to know 5 tips to build an online shopping app successfully?

This is exactly what we are going to answer here.

According to a study, “the global ecommerce market will grow at a CAGR of 11.1% from 2018 to reach $24.3 trillion by 2025″.

Other than boosting your profits, innovating in software applications represents a chance to make a positive impact on people’s quality of life.

Gone are the days when retailers needed a brick-and-mortar store or a booming catalog business to bring in sales. Online shopping is everything today. 

Think about it – bored at work? You’re probably browsing your favorite clothing stores. Sitting around reading social media? How many links to awesome products do you click on?

If your store hasn’t yet created a shopping application, you’re totally missing out – and here’s why. 

Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) is a rapidly growing market. According to a report by Business Insider, mobile commerce is expected to generate 44 percent of all ecommerce sales by 2024. It will reach a market value of $448 billion.

Tips to Build the Right Shopping App

Online shopping apps are the way of the future. In fact, 85 percent of smartphone users would rather shop via an online store app than a mobile website. Now is the perfect time for your startup to jump on the ecommerce train.

The right online store app can generate thousands – and sometimes millions – in sales; you just have to make sure it has the right features.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips for building a shopping app successfully.

Keep It Simple While Building Online Shopping App

Mobile phone screens are indeed growing, but most users still only have a couple of inches to work with on their smartphone screens. This is why your mobile application needs to have the following:

  • A simple, uncluttered layout;
  • Easy to find navigation;
  • A simple and effective search function;
  • A clean, uncluttered homepage that highlights your promotions and/or popular products;
  • A payment gateway with secure payment options like stripe and apple pay;
  • Push notifications for promotion updates and personalized messages;
  • A shopping cart and checkout feature.;
  • A customer support feature to quickly respond to customers’ queries.

Users aren’t going to adopt an app that’s complicated, cluttered, and confusing to use. You’ll generate way more sales with a simple, clean UI and an easy search and navigation system that brings users to the products they want to see.

When in doubt, go for less, for a better user experience. You may have a million helpful features on your app, but when it comes down to it, customers won’t use something that seems overwhelming and cluttered when they open it up for the first time.

Look at some successful shopping apps for inspiration. Target and Etsy, some of the largest m-commerce retailers in the business, have clean, streamlined homepages for their online stores.


Get a complimentary discovery call and a free ballpark estimate for your project

Trusted by 100x of startups and companies like

Long Signups and Checkouts Will Kill Sales

Do you know what ropes in new customers? Buying on impulse. Don‘t make your customers go through a difficult, annoying sign-up process when they just want to purchase a single product.

The more time an unsure customer has to spend checking out, the less likely they are to buy.

If a customer saves the item for later because they only have a few minutes, chances are they won’t return.

If you want to save time for your customers and speed up the checkout process, consider the following:

  • Allow customers to use PayPal at checkout rather than having to type in credit card information.
  • Allow users to sign up using a social network like Facebook.
  • Don’t require users to create an account.
  • Store user information so it will auto-complete the checkout screen in the future.

There are more features that will help generate sales on your shopping app, which I’ll get to in a second. If you’re still a bit unsure of where to go to get the whole project started, scroll down and I’ll help you begin.

Let Users See their Favorite Products

When you’re in the early stages of shopping app development, it’s important to think about what your customers really want.

Most potential customers just like to browse their phones when they’re bored. They aren’t necessarily in the position to make an immediate purchase.

If you don’t give potential customers a way to come back to the products they love when they’re browsing for fun, you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential sales. 

This is why it’s extremely important to allow users to create a wish list or favorite products on your store’s app. Invest in customer loyalty.

When users are ready to purchase, they can look at the items they were deciding on without having to browse through pages and pages of products they don’t want.

Amazon has found much success with this model. Nearly 70 percent of Amazon customers placed orders via the mobile app during the 2015 holiday season, but they’re not alone.

Millennial-oriented retailers like Urban Outfitters and Forever21 have found much success in this model – especially because they carry varying products, and young users often need to wait for parental permission before making a purchase.

Make “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” Extremely Prominent and Easily Reachable

It’s probably pretty obvious to say that you should allow users to easily add items to their cart and check out quickly. What you may not realize is that so much of this has to do with design. Your app should:

  • Have a large prominent “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button on each product page.
  • Have prominent “View Cart” and “Checkout” buttons in the top or bottom navigation.

If users don’t clearly see the “Buy Now” button, they may not even click. If users have to jump through hoops and go through various options just to reach the checkout page, they’ll never finalize the sale.

Checkout and view cart buttons should be clearly positioned on every page a user visits.

It’s also really important to consider the thumb-friendly zone of a smartphone. Most users are right-handed, and important navigation options (including “Buy Now,” “Checkout” and back buttons) should be easily reachable with a user’s thumb. 

The bigger the phone, the smaller the area a thumb can easily reach. Let your users browse with one hand while watching TV. Make it easy on them.

Make User Data Secure

This is one of the most important things you can do for your customers. If payment and information aren’t secure, users are extremely apprehensive to shop. 

Look at Target for example. The retailer lost an estimated 46 percent of its profits because of its credit card data breach. According to The New York Post, this was a $440 million loss – a whole $292 million more than they had anticipated.

Don’t let this happen to your business. If you need to spend more money when you develop an online shopping app store to make sure it’s secure, do it.

That’s an investment that will easily see a return. Don’t take any chances.

Technical Skills required to Build a Shopping App

After you are done with thorough market research on user expectations, it is time to get your hand dirty with the technical aspect of building an ecommerce platform. 

Native Mobile App Development:

You will require an expert project manager and software development team to build a shopping app that gives the best customer experience on every mobile operating system.

For this, your mobile app developers should be experts in native marketplace app development. The native apps are built for particular mobile device hardware and software.

This optimization enables native mobile apps to give maximum speed and memory performance. 

If you wish to build an Android app for the Google play store, you should have android app developers skilled in using Android app development IDE like Android Studio and SDK.

Moreover, they should be proficient in programming languages like Kotlin or Java. These programming languages provide extensive library components and debugging support to build Android apps efficiently.

If you want to release an Apple store app for iOS users, invest in iOS developers who are experts in building mobile or web apps for Apple products like iPhone and iPad. 

Native developers should be familiar with iOS app development tools like Xcode IDE for efficient app coding and XCTest for testing and debugging iOS apps for errors.

These developers should be familiar with Swift or objective-C programming languages. Apple now recommends Swift to build apps for the Apple store. 

Swift has an easy syntax and integration procedure for third-party APIs. It also works well with objective-C too which was previously used for iOS apps.

Hybrid App Development:

You can also build a cross-platform app. A cross-platform or hybrid app works on multiple mobile operating systems.

Developers work on a single code base and then deploy it in a native container to run on different mobile OS. The entire process of app development thus becomes faster.

Hire expert developers for your next project

62 Expert dev teams,
1,200 top developers
350+ Businesses trusted
us since 2016

Hybrid apps also mostly use common web technologies like JavaScript, Html, etc., at the backend. There are a lot of developers experienced in these technologies.

Hence, cross-platform app development is also often cheaper than native app development.

Some common hybrid development frameworks that your app builders should know are ReactNativeIonicXamarin, etc.

React Native uses the same UI blocks as Android and iOS and joins them with JavaScript and React.

The end result is a mobile app working just like a native app. It has a rich declarative components library that helps developers to build interactive UI efficiently.

Ionic is another open-source hybrid app development framework. The framework uses Cordova and Phone gap plugins and Typescript extensions to provide native device features to developers. Some of these are Bluetooth, Healthkit, etc.

App developers can use a command line interface to develop, test, and deploy mobile apps to any mobile platform.

Other prominent features of the Ionic framework include AoT compiling, customer animation API, Live Reload, etc.

Ionic officially supports other web development frameworks like Angular, Vue, and React. Here is a tutorial on securing your Ionic mobile app, given its open-source development framework.

Xamarin, owned by Microsoft, has Command Language Interface (CLI) and Common Language Specifications for cross-platform application development. 

Xamarin’s features, like application loader and diagnostic tools, help developers efficiently build hybrid apps with a single C# code base.

Xamarin helps with efficient app development for Android devices through features like Google emulator manager, API for Android SDK, cross-platform integrations, etc.

Mobile App Design:

Your shopping app developers should also be able to design a user-friendly app. The app should be following guidelines specified by the particular app store on which you plan to deploy your store app.

For instance, Android asks Android app developers to follow Material Design Guidelines, and Apple has Human Interface Guidelines for iOS app developers to follow. 

These guidelines help mobile app developers to design an app consistent with the OS in terms of theme, user experience, etc.

Mobile App Testing:

Mobile app quality assurance is also an important stage in the software development process. To ensure customer satisfaction and build market credibility, your app developers must deliver a bug-free app.

Some common app testing categories include,

Functional testing:

It ensures that app functionalities are working according to requirement specifications.

Performance testing:

It includes testing an app for client app performance, server performance, and network performance.

Usability testing:

It is done to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of mobile apps on user devices.

Memory testing:

It is done to ensure that an application is optimized for mobile memory usage, as memory storage for mobile phones is often less than for other devices.

Your software development team can use automated testing tools for this purpose. For Android apps, your developers should be familiar with testing software like test ioAppium, and UI Automator

Test IO is a top saas platform for software testing. It helps developers in the continuous testing of mob and web apps.

It facilitates app testing on real devices, gathering instant user feedback, and faster deployment of mobile apps.

Appium is an automation testing tool for both native and hybrid apps. It works seamlessly for apps developed on Android and iOS SDK.

It is mostly used to perform functional testing of apps through a device or emulator. Developers can use it without code modifications.

UI Automator is an open-source framework. It helps in the efficient testing of functional use cases of Android apps. The framework runs on scripts written in JavaScript. 

The UI Automator API helps developers to implement test cases through pre-written class interfaces, exceptions, etc.

Some testing tools like Appium work for iOS and Android apps, while some are specific to each OS.

Testing platforms with features specifically for testing iOS apps include XCTest and KIFTest.

XCTest and XCUITest testing libraries come with the native coding IDE of Apple, Xcode. XCTest handles the backend testing, and XCUITest manages the user interface test cases. 

These libraries require no setup and are directly linked with the XCode IDE. Therefore, they adapt instantly to new IDE releases and make the testing process easier for app developers. 

Moreover, coding and testing are done with the same programming language, Swift and Objective-C.

Hire expert developers for your next project

Trusted by

KIFTest or Keep-It-Functional Test also directly integrates with XCode and makes the testing process quite easy and faster for app testers and developers.

It is mostly used for testing an app’s user interface. It helps in emulating different ways in which a user can interact with an app.

The syntax for KIFTest is quite simple for developers proficient in Objective-C.

Testing tools like Appium, Katalon, and Selendroid help developers in testing hybrid apps. These tools can interact with different mobile device interfaces without requiring code modifications.

Cloud Computing for Mobile Apps:

Cloud computing technologies are quite common now owing to the flexibility, security, and scalability features they add to the development process and end-product.

Your software development team should be familiar with the latest cloud computing services like Amazon Cloud ServicesMicrosoft Azure, etc., for easy app development and seamless integration of third-party functionalities to your store app.

Latest Technologies to Build an Online Shopping App:

Expertise and knowledge of the latest technologies like Artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality, and augmented reality are also necessary to build innovative features for your mobile app.

AI technologies, like conversational AI, recommendation systems, and real-time analytics, help to build a software solution with maximum personalized user experience. 

Here is our guide on building a market-competitive AI chatbot for your business.

Blockchain can be used for building a secure app with user data protection. 

This blog discusses using blockchain technology for securing app code.

Partner with Skilled Mobile App Developers to Build a Shopping App

Given the advanced technical expertise required for building a market-competitive mobile commerce app, you must partner with a professional team of skilled software developers.

With a remote online shopping app development team, you will save yourself from multiple expenditures and limitations like the cost of maintaining office space, hardware and software equipment and licenses, hiring from a limited talent available in a region, etc.

The freelance marketplace is quite huge with a broad range of software development talent, but hiring a freelancer will come with a few limitations.

The freelance platforms just connect you with the required talent. The hiring and screening responsibility of potential candidates lies with you. In case of poor assessment, you can face a serious setback in terms of lost time, effort, and money.

Also, freelance developers are working on multiple gigs at a time. In such cases, they are not able to give a hundred percent time and effort to your work. 

Moreover, If a freelancer leaves your project midway, you are left on your own to deal with it. 

A software development company that is an expert in building and deploying mobile commerce applications will help you with the swift app development and management process.

If you have a technical team, you can easily expand it by outsourcing developers from a software development company according to your project needs. You, as a project manager, have the flexibility to increase the number of developers as your project grows.

Moreover, the remote developers are managed by the technical manager assigned by the software development company. 

The technical managers are senior developers. They guide you with the right development approach, based on their past experience with similar software projects. Moreover, they also assist in managing developers and tracking their progress.

Here is a blog discussing ways to manage your remote employees effectively.

Final Thoughts on How to Build an Online Shopping App

The cost to build an online shopping app for mobile devices varies so much. It can cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There’s no reason you can’t develop an app at a price that suits your business and see an almost immediate ROI. 

With many users abandoning traditional shopping for m-commerce, your business is going to miss out on a lot of sales if you don‘t build an online shopping app for your business.

If you are on the lookout for an experienced software development team to build your own shopping app and avail all the benefits of an online marketplace, get in touch with DevTeam.Space.

We have top-quality software developers who are experienced in building mobile applications using cutting-edge technologies for advanced features.

Frequently Asked Questions on Tips to Build an Online Shopping App

What is the best mobile shopping app?


How to build an online shopping app?

To create a shopping app, you will need to create a project plan and then onboard the required developers. The shopping app development process also requires you to define and set up the infrastructure as well as communication channels for your developers. Outline sprints, build an MVP, and improve it according to market expectations.

Where to find app developers to build an online shopping app?

You can find the best developers in the DevTeam.Space community to create an online shopping app. It has experienced developers who are experts in all the latest tech stacks and development methodologies.

How is m-commerce different from ecommerce?

In ecommerce, people access e-commerce websites, like eBay, over the internet for shopping. M-commerce allows users to access services through apps on their mobile phones. Such mobile shopping apps often allow offline product browsing which is not possible with ecommerce websites.


Alexey Semeney

Founder of DevTeam.Space

gsma fi band

Hire Alexey and His Team To Build a Great Product

Alexey is the founder of DevTeam.Space. He is award nominee among TOP 26 mentors of FI's 'Global Startup Mentor Awards'.

Alexey is Expert Startup Review Panel member and advices the oldest angel investment group in Silicon Valley on products investment deals.

Hire Expert Developers

Some of our projects

NewWave AI



United States

All backend All frontend Design WordPress

A website to publish AI research papers with members-only access and a newsletter.




FL, United States

Android iOS Java Mobile PHP Web Website

A complete rebuild and further extension of our client's web and mobile shipping system to allow it to serve 28 countries.

Keep It Simple Storage


Public Storage

United States

All backend Devops IoT Mobile Web

A B2B2C solution with Web, Mobile, and IoT-connected applications that aim to revolutionize the public storage industry.


Read about DevTeam.Space:


New Internet Unicorns Will Be Built Remotely


DevTeam.Space’s goal is to be the most well-organized solution for outsourcing


The Tricks To Hiring and Managing a Virtual Work Force

Business Insider

DevTeam.Space Explains How to Structure Remote Team Management

With love from Florida 🌴

Tell Us About Your Challenge & Get a Free Strategy Session

Hire Expert Developers
Hire expert developers with DevTeam.Space to build and scale your software products

Hundreds of startups and companies like Samsung, Airbus, NEC, and Disney rely on us to build great software products. We can help you, too — 99% project success rate since 2016.