4 Reasons Why You May Need a Mobile Shopping App in 2018


  1. Introduction
  2. What is a Mobile Shopping App?
  3. Profile of a Good Mobile Shopping App
  4. Examples of Mobile Shopping Apps
  5. Some Pros and Cons of Mobile Shopping Apps
  6. Popular Types of Mobile Shopping Apps
  7. Typical Cost of Developing an App
  8. 4 Reasons to Build a Mobile Shopping App
  9. Conclusion

Hello, need a Mobile Shopping App for your online store? My name is…

Perhaps you’ve received an email that reads exactly or quite like the above in recent times from app developers marketing their services. Well, panic not, you’re not alone.

According to Statista, 135.7million US shoppers accessed Amazon via Amazon mobile shopping app in May 2018 alone. Think of millions of other shoppers using thousands of other mobile shopping apps, and you’ll see why you were contacted in the first place.

Automation is gaining grounds in response to changing consumer behavior patterns. Thanks to programmatic shopping, shoppers can automatically (re)order items including best selling e-commerce products before ever they run out of stock. This is because convenience is high on online shoppers shopping list.

And speaking of convenience, a mobile shopping app makes it even easier for shoppers to shop in your online store. Perhaps you’re still playing catch ‘app’, this article will show you 4 good reasons to step ‘app’ your online retail game by developing and deploying a mobile shopping app.

But before that

What is a Mobile Shopping App?

According to Lifewire:

The word “app” is an abbreviation for “application.” It’s a piece of software that can run through a web browser or offline on your computer, and on a smartphone, tablet or other electronic devices, including smart TVs and smartwatches. Apps may or may not have a connection to the internet.

Therefore, a mobile shopping app is a software application that facilitates online shopping using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Profile of a Good Shopping App

First and foremost, a good shopping app shouldn’t be a carbon copy of your website. That said, qualities of a good shopping app include

  • Brand alignment
  • Short, simple, sign up/in process
  • Landscape/portrait views
  • Enhanced sorting and filtering
  • Dependable cart
  • Fast checkout
  • Order tracking
  • Email capabilities
  • Regular updates
  • Adequate security, etc

Some Pros of Mobile Shopping App

  • Brand visibility within marketplace
  • Improved UX
  • Faster than browser load time
  • Reduced data consumption

Some Cons of Mobile Shopping Apps

  • Quite costly
  • Multiple platforms needed (Android, iOS, Windows)
  • Harder to update and maintain
  • May require dedicated management team

Some Popular Types of Mobile Shopping Apps

There are mobile apps for different online shopping activities/processes including:

  • Comparison Shopping Engines
  • Deals and Coupons apps
  • Online Store apps, etc

So what’s the

Typical Cost of Developing an App

Depending on what you want; features, functions, platform(s), standalone, backend servers, API’s, freelancers, agency etc, the cost of developing a mobile shopping app can run from thousands to millions of dollars.

For this reason it is necessary to plan out how this will pan out, paying attention to budget, design and functionalities.

Which leads us to

4 Reasons to Build a Mobile Shopping App

Given the “high” cost of developing, deploying and maintaining mobile apps vs mobile browsers/websites, why do some retailers still go ahead with it and why should you do same?

#1. Customers

Online shopping trends bend with rapid changes in technology. Today it is mobile shopping apps, tomorrow who knows? Retailers who are able to adapt to changing consumer behavior patterns in a timely manner have an edge.

Once it was desktops, in 2015 mobile overtook desktop in search volume (necessitating the Google Mobile First Index).

According to Invespcro:

Presently, mobile devices account for 19% of all US retail e-commerce sales. This figure is estimated to reach 27% by the end of 2018, which represents 1 out of every 4 US retail e-commerce dollars

Customers are demanding excellent services and craving smooth shopping experience when they visit your store. If a mobile shopping app can enhance this experience, then spare no expense to create it because there are thousands of other options.

#2. Competitors

And speaking of options, as a retailer or dropshipper, you’ve thousands of competitors itching to edge you out and consolidate their market share at your expense.

By offering superior omni-channel shopping experiences, your competitors automatically attract your distraught customers, which is why many of them are turning to mobile shopping apps to easen online shopping as well as keep their customers engaged on all fronts.

Popular retailers like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, all have mobile shopping apps. Below are some examples:

A quick Google search for “mobile shopping apps” will turn up a ton of results.

Wouldn’t it be cool to see yours there listed as well as in Google Play Store, Apple Store or Windows Marketplace?

#3. Data

Nearly every online shopper I know (I inclusive) love to save. Some go coupon hunting, others go the price comparison route, and yet others wait for holiday shopping season, so they can save a dime or two.

As the name implies, online shopping is done online which involves data spent browsing products, and shop hopping in search of best price and offers. Some regular or addicted shoppers spend hours on end browsing and buying different products. Depending on your carrier this can be a costly habit when added to cart.

Thankfully, mobile shopping apps consume less data than traditional web browsers, reducing shoppers data bills which in turn may mean more time spent in your store. Similarly, mobile apps tend to load faster, page load speed being another critical factor for online shoppers. Reports say 53% (more than half) of site visitors will abandon a mobile page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

#4. Statistics

Numbers don’t lie, or do they? Well, unconfirmed statistics say majority believe statistics like the following, which shows average number of times new apps in the listed categories are launched per month.

From the chart above we see that roughly one new retail and e-commerce app is launched every three days. In other words, for every retailer sitting on the fence over a mobile shopping app, approximately eleven others (competitors) are sitting at their desks working hard to launch theirs this month.


It goes beyond Google Play Store listing for instance, there are benefits of launching your own mobile shopping/e-commerce app; benefits to you, your customers and your competitiveness. You could even earn revenue from your app downloads, an activity that grossed over $60b in 2017 from paid apps, subscriptions and in-app purchases.

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