Mobile shopping applications have become essential tools for retailers, but the strategies that worked in the past may not be effective today. Big changes in the retail industry—such as the impacts of Covid, economic recession, and Gen Z entering the workforce—demand adaptations in mobile commerce app development to meet new consumer demands and market conditions. Mobile purchases are projected to account for nearly 9% of all US sales by 2026 [1] and 60% of all ecommerce sales [2], businesses that build up their mobile customer base right now will have the upper hand as the share of mobile shoppers continues to grow. Let’s look at the goals of mobile commerce and understand how to best approach it today.

The share of mobile sales in the total retail sales in the US

Advantages of mobile commerce app development

With over 90% of adults shopping on mobile [3], the reason for investing in this channel is clear—mobile is where the customers are. However, retailers often stop at adapting the website for the small screen. Today, this is no longer sufficient to keep the customers engaged. Mobile applications offer a more user-friendly experience and can hold more innovative features that help businesses stand out. Let’s look at the three main reasons why mobile commerce app development is necessary:

Superior user experience

Mobile commerce apps provide a more personalized and convenient shopping experience than websites. With features such as loyalty programs, exclusive offers, real-time inventory updates, click-and-collect capabilities, and detailed product information, apps add meaningful value for consumers. While websites can also offer personalized experiences, the depth and accuracy are often enhanced in mobile apps due to the richer data available.

A fast and convenient mobile experience can transform a brand's image, not just its mobile sales metric. Nearly 80% of people use their smartphones while shopping in-store [4]. They may check product details, compare prices, or see if they can apply their loyalty program perks, among other things. Blending the digital and offline significantly enhances the overall experience and builds brand loyalty.

Customers use mobile retail apps while shopping instore

Improved data collection for fraud prevention and analytics

Mobile apps can access device-specific data such as GPS location, accelerometer data, camera, and more. This can be used both for fraud prevention and advanced analytics. Websites, limited by browser restrictions and privacy settings, typically cannot access this breadth of data. 

Ecommerce fraud is on the rise, it jumped 14% between 2022 and 2023 [5]. This only increases the relevancy of mobile apps as they offer more control over the necessary security measures. Implementing security solutions such as two-factor authentication, biometric verifications, and encryption technologies designed for mobile transactions can mitigate the risk of unauthorized transactions and security vulnerabilities. 

Better data collection allows for more precise tracking of user behaviors and preferences, such as how often users engage with certain features, the length of sessions, and the path they take through the app, stores they visit, and more.

Enhanced user engagement and retention 

Apps remain on a user's device even after being closed, constantly reminding of the brand, unlike a mobile web browser that disappears once closed. This visibility significantly increases the chances of repeat visits and engagement. Additionally, push notifications from apps have a 20% open rate and a 28% click-through rate, dramatically higher than email's 2.1% open rates and 1% click-through rates [6]. This direct line of communication keeps users informed about new products, sales, and updates, enhancing user engagement and potentially leading to higher sales conversions. 

Moreover, when a consumer decides to download an app, they are making a more active choice than if they were simply visiting a website. This act can create a psychological sense of investment in the brand. This sense of investment often leads to increased engagement with the brand. 

Read more: 5 steps to choosing e-commerce app development company 

The relevancy of mobile commerce app development only grows due to their superior user experience, enhanced data collection capabilities, and improved user engagement and retention compared to websites. Let’s look at how these reasons translate into specific features of mobile apps. 

Why develop a mobile commerce app

Features to include in a mobile commerce app

New technologies and current business challenges determine the features needed in mobile commerce app development. Including these features satisfies present customer needs and can prepare businesses for future technology and market changes. Here are some of the most important features:

CLM integration and personalization

User profiles can be created with seamless integration into Customer Life-cycle Management (CLM) systems. This integration allows for dynamic personalization based on user behavior, preferences, and purchase history. Personalization enhances the user experience by making it more relevant and tailored, which can significantly increase engagement and customer retention. According to customers, the most appreciated features that motivate them to download a mobile app are specialized offers and loyalty programs [7]. This drives repeat business and increases customer lifetime value through targeted promotions, personalized recommendations, and a more engaging user experience.

Read more: Ecommerce technology trends in 2024 

Product catalog and search engine

An intuitive and powerful search engine within the app enables users to find products quickly and efficiently. Advanced features like auto-complete, filters, and smart suggestions enhance search functionality. Since searching for products is a primary interaction in commerce apps, superior search capabilities are crucial for ensuring a satisfying user experience that encourages more transactions. A robust search functionality reduces bounce rates and increases conversion rates as users can easily find and purchase products they want.

Seamless payment options

Integrating multiple payment methods, including credit cards, mobile wallets, and services like Buy Now Pay Later, provides flexibility and ease of payment. Streamlined payment processes minimize friction in completing a purchase, which is critical for reducing cart abandonment. Offering multiple payment options caters to a broader audience, enhancing customer satisfaction and increasing sales.

Security measures

Implementing advanced security protocols such as biometric authentication, end-to-end encryption, and compliance with standards like PCI DSS ensures data security and builds trust. Robust security is essential to protect sensitive user information and prevent fraud, which is increasingly important in retaining customer trust. Strong security measures mitigate the risk of data breaches and fraud, protecting the company’s reputation and customer loyalty.

Customer support and chatbots

AI-powered chatbots and a dedicated support section within the app provide instant assistance for customer inquiries and issues. They improve user experience and resolve potential issues swiftly, preventing frustration and potential churn. Effective customer support ensures higher customer satisfaction and retention, contributing positively to the brand's reputation.

Integrated analytics

Built-in analytics tools collect data on user interactions, preferences, and buying patterns, providing a wealth of insights. Analytics are vital for understanding customer behavior, measuring app performance, and guiding business strategies. Integrated analytics help in making data-driven decisions that can optimize marketing strategies, improve product offerings, and increase overall efficiency.

The integration of advanced features in mobile commerce apps addresses current business challenges and customer needs while also preparing businesses for future changes in technology and market conditions. Having determined the goals of the app and the necessary features, the next point to consider is how to proceed with the project. 

Outsource app development

Outsourcing provides retailers with an easy way to connect with professionals who have specific expertise and experience in mobile app development. These external teams frequently work with the latest technologies and adhere to best practices in app design, user experience, and security.

Benefits of outsourcing mobile commerce app development

Read more: Proven 7 tips for mobile app development outsourcing 

Why choose N-iX as your app development partner?

  • Full-cycle services: N-iX covers the complete lifecycle of mobile app development, helping enterprises along the whole process of app creation, including conceptualization, UI/UX, graphic design, prototyping, development, quality assurance, and integration.
  • Proven track record: N-iX has successfully delivered over 59 projects in retail for leading companies like Lebara, a global telecom operator, and PrettyLittleThing, a UK-based fashion retailer.
  • Innovative solutions: N-iX engineers create comprehensive solutions for inventory and warehouse management, omnichannel digital marketing platforms, data analytics software, and more.

Read more: Leveraging software solutions to grow revenue and increase efficiency in retail 

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Wrap Up

With the changes in the industry and consumer behavior, mobile commerce apps have turned into a must-have for retailers. They provide a superior user experience, improve transaction security, and enhance user engagement and retention through personalized interactions and constant brand visibility. As the proportion of mobile sales is on the rise, companies that focus on growing their mobile app user base stand to gain not only in terms of revenue and customer loyalty.


  1. Emarketer
  2. Upmetrics
  3. Pew Research Centre
  4. Emarketer
  5. Email vs push notifications vs in-app messaging, Reckless
  6. Digital Banking Fraud Trends in North America, Bio Catch
  7. Scanbot

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N-iX Staff
Maria Karandin
VP Delivery

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