How to Undertake Shopping App Development

An online shopping app like Wish
Aran Davies
Blockchain Expert | Developer | Writer | Photographer

Interested in shopping app development? 

This is a huge market that rewards innovation.

A Statista report indicates that retail e-Commerce revenue in the US will reach $1.3297 trillion by 2025.

Besides all the money, building great software products is a chance to make a positive impact on people’s quality of life. 

 

Great Shopping App Examples

Screenshots of online shopping mobile apps

Review the following popular online shopping mobile apps like to get an idea about their design and features. Let’s start with the Wish shopping app itself:

Wish

Wish is a highly popular online shopping app. They have both Android and iOS apps. They offer their vast online store catalog on their mobile apps, additionally, browsing and filtering are easy.

The company also offers attractive discounts for mobile app-based shopping. An intuitive UI design, easy payment options, reward points, etc., are other key features of the Wish app. It‘s a free app to shop online.

Canopy

Canopy provides a very interesting feature. The community here helps users to find products on Amazon. Consumers can receive product recommendations from other users with similar tastes.

Finding products by category and brand is easy. Users can follow their favorite brands. They have both Android and iOS apps, additionally, it‘s a free app.

LIKEtoKNOW.it

LIKEtoKNOW.it is an interesting app with a focused use case. When consumers want to know information about a product, they can take a screenshot of an image or influencer on Instagram or Snapchat.

They can also compare prices and directly purchase the products featured in the screenshots from the smartphone using this app. The app is available on Android and iOS. It‘s a free app.

How to launch online shopping apps like Wish without coding?

Entrepreneurs without access to a skilled development team can also launch online shopping sites like Wish quickly. They have the following options for that:

JMango 360 Mobile Commerce Apps

With JMango 360, you can convert your existing eCommerce website into a native mobile app. The company supports the conversion of the following types of eCommerce websites:

  • eCommerce websites built using the Magento open-source platform;
  • Magento Commerce websites;
  • Lightspeed websites;
  • PrestaShop ecommerce websites.

The company offers a mobile app builder. You need to connect your eCommerce websites built on any of the above technology to it.

You will need to use a few intuitive steps to build your native app using this app builder.

You can create both Android and iOS apps. The drag-and-drop design tools can be used to build an elegant front end with user-friendly designs.

The app will be able to support all languages and currencies, additionally, you can integrate multiple online stores.

You can add as many products as possible, furthermore, the app can support a variety of shipping with the decided shipping costs and payment methods. Products updated on your website will get reflected in the app in real time.

The app will allow you to integrate push notifications, user account management, and a fast check-out process. The company provides a cloud hosting service in its pricing plan, and analytics to measure user engagement.

Contact JMango for a detailed understanding of their features and pricing.

Appy Pie shopping app builder

Appy Pie is a provider of mobile app builders. They offer an online shopping mobile app builder.

The app builder enables you to include all key features, e.g., push notifications, payment integration, shopping cart, ability to reach out to customers, loyalty page, etc.

To use Appy Pie, you need to sign-up with them here. Their drag-and-drop app builder allows you to build your mobile app in simple intuitive steps.

You don‘t need developers, furthermore, the company includes cloud hosting in their pricing plan.

Visit their pricing page to review their pricing. Remember that only their platinum plan allows you to include your own branding.

Custom Development for Shopping Apps like Wish

The above approaches I described can help start-ups quickly launch their shopping app, however, to offer differentiated features they need custom development.

Hence, in this approach, I will describe SDK and APIs. They save some time by addressing several common functions. You will need a development team to build the mobile app front-end.

I recommend using a ’Mobile Backend as a Service‘ (MBaaS) provider for the mobile backend, which will also save some time.

SDK/API options to develop a shopping app

Let‘s review a few SDK/API options to develop a shopping app.

Option #1: Shopify SDK/API

The ecommerce platform Shopify offers an Android SDK to create a shopping app. It‘s called ’Android Buy SDK‘. With this SDK, your team can do the following:

  1. Securely access Shopify‘s Storefront APIs.
  2. Display products and collections in the app.
  3. Enable user sign-up and overall user account management.
  4. Incorporate check-out and payment in the app.

The company provides a sample project for the developers. You can view this in their GitHub repository and make your own online shopping app.

You need to visit their partners’ page and enquire with them about the price of this SDK.

Option #2: Shopgate SDK/API

Shopgate offers its mobile SDKs and APIs to create a mobile app for online shopping. With the Shopgate SDKs, you can create Android and iOS mobile apps.

You can connect to the Shopgate m-commerce functionality this way. You can include the following features:

  • Single sign-on (SSO);
  • Payment gateway integration;
  • ecommerce platform integration;
  • Marketing functionalities;
  • Backend functionalities.

Using their Cloud SDKs also takes care of your mobile backend hosting hence you don‘t need a separate MBaaS provider. You can also include several important features using the Shopgate platform, as follows:

  • Spotlight search;
  • Deep linking;
  • Facebook ads;
  • Daily deals;
  • Flash deals;
  • Flash sales;
  • Coupons;
  • Loyalty and subscriptions;
  • QR and barcode scanners;
  • Powerful analytics.

You can access the documentation about the SDKs and platform in the Shopgate developer portal, e.g., you can access the following:

Contact Shopgate for its pricing information.

Option #3 Elastic Path Swift SDK


Elastic Path is a platform to build e-Commerce apps. It provides several SDKs (software development kits). The company supports a developers’ community. This community provides a Swift SDK, which can help you to develop the iOS app.

Option #4: Moltin Android SDK

Moltin also offers an Android SDK for shopping app development. This SDK supports the features of their Swift SDK for iOS supports. You can access their Android SDK Git repository here.

The development team

In this guide on how to develop an app like Wish, I will now touch upon the kind of development team you need. You need UI/UX designers with good knowledge of mobile navigation menu examples.

You also need business analysts, Android developers, iOS developers, and testers. Finally, you need a project manager with a good knowledge of project management best practices.

I recommend the ’Agile‘ methodology for this development project. I also recommend you use the ’Scrum‘ technique, hence, your PM needs to act as a ’Scrum master‘.

Read more about Agile in our guide “How to build an Agile development team?”.

Managing the mobile backend

I recommend that you use an MBaaS provider for the mobile backend. This saves you the effort of developing the mobile backend, additionally, you save the effort of managing it.

MBaaS providers take care of infrastructure, database, persistent storage, user management, API integration, security, platform compatibility, etc. You can concentrate on mobile front-end development and business logic.

There are several reputed MBaaS providers like AWS for Mobile, Google Firebase, etc. Consult our guide “How to choose the best mobile backend as a service (MBaaS)?” for more details.

Important tools for the shopping app development project

To execute this project smoothly, you need to use effective tools. Consider the following:

  1. A good test automation tool, e.g., Tricentis Tosca.
  2. A build and deployment management tool, e.g., AWS CodeDeploy.

I also recommend using a good project management tool, e.g., JIRA. You can check our guide “The 10 best Agile project management tools” for more examples.

Review the guidelines for publishing Android apps. Check the iOS app submission guidelines.

How to manage the project of developing apps like Wish?

In the ’Scrum’ technique, your requirements of features for a ’Minimum Viable Product’ (MVP) and further enhancements will be documented in a ’Product backlog’.

Based on the estimation done by the team the project will need to be divided into iterations called ’Sprint’.

The project team discusses the project status in a ’Daily standup meeting‘ and resolves any issues that may come up. The sprint is approved by the project stakeholders in a ’Sprint review meeting‘, subject to features being implemented successfully.

The project team also conducts a lessons-learned exercise after the sprint, which is called the ’Sprint retrospective meeting‘. Read more about this in our guide “How to build a scrum development team?”.

Development costs for apps like Wish

The cost to make an app similar to Wish in this custom development approach has more than one component.

You need to contact the SDK and API providers for their pricing plans, however, MBaaS providers display their prices on their websites.

Development manpower cost depends on the complexity of the app and the local labor market.

This custom development approach is a full-fledged development project with considerable complexity. You might need professional help from a development company.

Check our guide “How to find the best software development company?” in this regard.

If you, as a business CEO or CTO, are still in search of high-quality software developers, DevTeam.Space can help you via its field-expert software developers and managers community.

Write to us your initial project specifications, and one of our account managers will get back to you with further assistance on developing successful shopping apps like Wish.

Tips and traps when developing a shopping app

We offer a few tips for shopping app development, furthermore, we highlight a few risks. These are as follows:

A. Opt for native app development over cross-platform development

There are many online store apps, and this market is competitive. How to make the best of your own shopping app? You need to provide a superior user experience, performance, and security.

You might weigh between native app development and cross-platform development. Cross-platform app development costs you less. However, native app development offers the best user experience, performance, and security.

You use Java or Kotlin for developing Android apps. For native iOS development, you use Swift. These are powerful languages that suit the respective operating systems. Native mobile apps make optimum use of the hardware features of mobile devices.

Cross-platform development uses frameworks like React Native. Both Android and iOS users can use cross-platform apps. However, these apps can’t quite match native user experience, performance, and security.

Go for native development. Offer a high-quality experience to app users instead, which will attract more customers. Avoid sacrificing user experience for development cost savings.

B. Focus on both the functional and non-functional requirements when developing a shopping app

Needless to say, you will prioritize the functional requirements when developing an online store app. That enables you to offer what customers want. However, that’s not enough in a competitive e-Commerce market.

You also need to focus on the non-functional requirements (NFRs) when you create a shopping app. Scalability, performance, and maintainability are just a few examples of NFRs.

Avoid launching an online store app that’s slow. Proactively mitigate application security risks, and avoid building an app that’s hard to maintain. Prioritize both functional requirements and NFRs.

C. Hire sufficiently experienced developers

Since online stores are common nowadays, one might think that shopping app development is easy. That might lead one to believe that only junior developers are enough for such projects.

Developing your own store app might indeed be easy at times. That’s the case when you offer only a set of standard features.

Take the example of integration with social media platforms. Such a feature can indeed be easy to implement.

However, online shopping apps with more complex features are different. Online shopping app development can be more complex if you have unusual and complex requirements.

Market research reports continue to highlight the competitive nature of the online shopping market. Therefore, you will quite likely offer a differentiating feature.

That will likely require senior developers. Contact a reliable software development company like DevTeam.Space to hire senior developers. Avoid hiring only inexperienced developers for such projects.

D. Hire dedicated developers for developing your shopping app

You might think that it’s easy to develop mobile shopping apps. You might plan to hire freelance programmers for developing an Android shopping app and another iOS app. After all, freelancers will charge less for developing mobile sites and mobile applications for online shopping!

While you might save manpower costs, this approach has risks. Freelancers work part-time. You might not get enough bandwidth from them. Freelancers might leave your project mid-way, and you need to hire replacement developers. You don’t get any project management support from freelance platforms either.

Developing a competitive shopping app can be hard. You need full-time developers for such projects. Contact a trustworthy software development company like DevTeam.Space. We offer dedicated developers with the required skills, experience, and motivation. You can also hire a complete team from us. Furthermore, we provide management support.

Avoid the risk of hiring freelancers. Hire proven developers or development teams from us.

Frequently Asked Questions on Developing Shopping Apps like Wish

Which is the best online shopping app?

 The answer to this question is really a matter of personal preference. However, Amazon, Ali Express, and FlipKart are some excellent examples.

Which is the cheapest online shopping app?

Most vendors allow free access to their shopping apps. As such, it is really a matter of which platform sells its goods cheaper and helps buyers save money. Amazon and Ali Express are good places to start.

How can I create online shopping apps like Wish?

Onboard a team of expert software developers, set up your infrastructure and communication channels, outline tasks or sprint goals, and get going. If you don’t have development experience, we recommend hiring managed developers from DevTeam.Space.


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