9 Things to Consider When You Think about Developing a Mobile Commerce App

9 Things to Consider When You Think about Developing a Mobile Commerce App

You’ve heard this a million times – mobile is the future. So, maybe it’s best to build a mobile app before it’s too late?

But you already have a well-prospering web app. Although there was no spectacular sales success in the last months, but there’s no reason to worry about either. Should you really spend your budget on a mobile app?

As always with such business decisions, the answer is – it depends. Check out what aspects are important when it comes to mobile software development.


  • When considering investing in a mobile app, several factors come into play.
  • Mobile commerce, also known as mCommerce, involves online transactions made through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It offers convenience and flexibility for users to purchase products and services without relying on desktops.
  • mCommerce encompasses various types, including mobile shopping, mobile banking, and mobile payments.
  • Mobile shopping allows users to buy products and services using their mobile devices, making it more convenient and accessible. Mobile banking enables users to manage their accounts and perform transactions on the go. Mobile payments refer to making online transactions with mobile devices, offering fast and efficient money transfers.
  • To determine whether a mobile app is worth your budget, it’s best to consider your target audience, business objectives, and market conditions.
  • There are several benefits to investing in a mobile commerce app. It allows for a closer relationship with the brand and streamlines the shopping process by reducing upload time. Additionally, analytics data from mobile apps can help businesses understand their users better and improve marketing strategies.
  • Mobile apps also provide access to new opportunities through built-in elements like cameras and GPS.  Social media integrations enable users to easily share product links, expanding the reach of your offer. Personalization options on mobile apps increase user engagement, while optimized omnichannel UX allows customers to start their shopping process on one platform and finish it on another.
  • Overall, investing in a mobile app can provide numerous benefits for businesses looking to enhance their online presence and cater to a mobile-savvy audience. However, it’s essential to evaluate the specific needs of your business and target audience before making a decision.

What is mobile commerce?

Mobile commerce (or mCommerce) is a subcategory of eCommerce. It means transactions conducted online with mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, or wearables like smartwatches.

It’s a way of making purchases that allow users to buy products or pay for services easily. Whether they are traveling or just waiting in a queue – they can take care of it anytime they want. There’s no need to use desktops and thus, customers can be more flexible when it comes to managing payments and shopping.

Types of mCommerce

Mobile shopping

It goes down to buying products and services with mobile devices. Let’s say you want a new jacket. You can search among new collections from your favorite online store anywhere you like – while commuting to work by bus, for example, or during the lunch break. Mobile shopping makes it possible.

This type of mobile commerce is getting more and more popular. In the US alone, the average value of the shopping orders made via mobile phones was 112.29 dollars in the Q2, in 2022, according to Statista.

Answear, an example of an online shopping app for mobile devices

Mobile banking

Mobile banking allows you to easily manage the account you have in a financial institution with a mobile device. You can do it anywhere you are if only you have access to the Internet. Mobile banking apps enable you to transfer money, check the account balance, or transaction history, among others.

Mobile payments

So-called m-payments refer to making online transactions with mobile devices. This term describes services that enable processing payments. You use them, for example, if you pay for some products with mobile wallets (e.g., Google Pay or Apple Pay) or payment apps such as PayPal. Its big advantage is that they allow you to transfer money really fast.

Main benefits of mobile commerce apps

  • Closer relation with the brand – with solutions like push notifications, you can remind customers to open your app and check some special offers you have just for them.
  • Faster shopping process – mobile apps usually need less time to upload content. It streamlines the entire shopping process.
  • Better marketing strategyanalytics data from mobile apps help you get to know users better, more accurately evaluate your marketing efforts, and plan future campaigns with more confidence.
  • Access to new opportunities – smartphones have many built-in elements that offer users new possibilities. For instance, a camera and microphone make searching for the products easier; GPS allows you to find the nearest store, etc.
  • Increased accessibility range – social media integrations enable users to easily share links to products with their friends. This way, your offer reaches more people.
  • Higher user engagement – you can personalize customer experience on mobile apps and better adjust displayed content to their needs and preferences.
  • Optimized omnichannel UX – customers can decide what their shopping process should look like on the go. For example, they will be able to start looking for the products on the web app and finalize it later, in the mobile app.
  • More comfort when shopping traditionally – it may sound surprising but features available on mobile devices can take regular visits in the store to a new level, too. For example, when the app enables scanning the product codes, users can check their prices.

Sounds good, right? So, let’s move on to questions you need to ask yourself before starting the app development.

1. What do your users want to achieve?

Developing any kind of software starts with the purpose. You need to know if anyone will be interested in a mobile version of your app. For this reason, you must find out what is the goal that people want to achieve. Your mobile app should make it possible.

Only how to obtain such information?

Start with your current web users. Look into the analytics reports to find out how many people visited your store on their mobile devices in, for example, the last 3 months and in the same period last year. Then, check how many returning users made purchases with mobile devices. It should tell you whether they wanted to repeat that experience.

If this number is significant, then maybe they need to do the shopping when there’s no access to their desktops. You can send them a short survey to find out more about their motivations.

Then think about the potential mobile users who aren’t your clients yet. You should know their needs as well.

It’s best to talk to around 10 representatives of each group to know what problems they struggle with. Then, see if a dedicated app for mobile devices could solve them.  Such user research at the beginning of the project, can save you a lot of time and money on development.

Example Your target group is parents who have little time and want to buy most products for their kids in one place. Preferably, when they have a spare moment between everyday tasks. They need to deal with this as quickly as possible to have more time for other responsibilities. Maybe a dedicated mobile app that would offer such items for kids could be useful.

2. What benefits do you expect for your company?

You need to know why your company needs this app. Take a look at your KPIs and write down your business goal for this project. Then, describe how you are going to measure its success.

Additionally, list all the expected outcomes for your business. Should it give you new marketing opportunities? Of what kind? Or maybe it’s a way to interest a new group of users in your offer?

With goals written down like that, it should be easier to prepare a list of must-have features. It will also make you see if your goals are realistic and make sense when juxtaposed with the expected income, financial prognosis, and trends on the market.

Then, ask yourself if the mobile app is really the best way to achieve it. Maybe a web app is enough in your case? If there are any alternatives, think about their estimated costs and requirements that allow them to succeed.

3. What could your mobile app offer that a website app can’t?

You already have a web solution. Make sure a new app can offer something the existing one can’t provide. It must be something users need and lack in the current version of your product.

Example Imagine that you run a platform with discount codes for flights and your target group travels a lot. They need to know about the new codes as soon as possible because its number is limited. It would be more convenient for them to receive updates about their favorite itineraries. A mobile app could solve this problem. The goal is clearly defined here, and the advantage of this solution seems obvious.

If it’s hard to tell what unique features the mobile app could offer, think about your existing solution. Maybe a redesign or a new feature would be a better and less expensive idea?

4. What key features do you need?

Think about the most important features your app must offer. You don’t need to have a complete list already. But knowing the key elements gives you an idea of how complex the app should be.

It also allows you to run user interviews to initially evaluate your ideas and see if you’re going in the right direction with your strategy. Last but not least, the more detailed your list is, the easier it will be for the software development company to estimate the cost of the project.

5. What does your competition do?

It’s never a good idea to build something only because others have it. Maybe they’re wrong only haven’t realized it, yet? Nevertheless, it’s best to spend some time on research. And don’t stop after two or three apps. Look at the bigger picture and become more familiar with the situation on the market.

Find out what statistics say about market trends when it comes to your niche and mobile commerce itself. Do the apps get more popular among customers?

It’s also good to know the estimated income from such apps in your industry. Such a prognosis should help you better assess the risks. You’d be able to make an informed decision regarding the app development.

6. What technology is best in your case?

I’ll level with you – it’s hard to tell exactly what technology is best without an expert in software development. But when you’re on your own, you can at least get a better understanding of what choice you have.

Basically, there are two main options: native apps and cross-platform apps.

If your product must have some features that connect with the smartphone’s hardware, consider building native apps. Such elements are, for example, GPS, camera, NFC, etc. Native apps are created for a dedicated platform – Android or iOS.

But what if you don’t need to rely on any hardware elements? Then maybe Flutter is a better option. It’s a cross-platform technology that enables developers to build one app that works on both iOS and Android. Mind that it doesn’t mean that you’ll pay half the price for the development. The mobile app still must be tested on two platforms and project management will take a similar amount of time. Nevertheless, it can be a game changer from a financial perspective.

7. Would you rather choose in-house development or outsourcing?

Each solution has its pros and cons. On one hand, communicating with the in-house team is faster. You work together in the same place, use the same messaging tools and all of you know your company’s way of operating.

But when you outsource mobile app development, you don’t have to spend so much time recruiting and onboarding every new team member. The overall cost is lower also because you don’t bear some additional fees. For example, for professional development courses for employees or their medical packages. You don’t pay the full price for the tools, either.

8. How much is it going to cost?

A follow-up question you’re probably asking yourself is – what budget will you have to spend on this project?

There are many factors that matter when estimating the overall price for app development services. The billing model, the technology used, the number of mobile platforms, the timeframe, and the number of experts in the team, to name a few. Even the country of your app development company is important. Such services in the US cost more compared to Eastern Europe.

Also, remember that app development is a process. The project doesn’t end with the app launch on the store. It enters a new phase called maintenance. At this stage, the team improves the app, monitors its performance, and fixes bugs. It’s essential to remember about it as it also must be taken into account when estimating the budget.

For every business, it’s important to know the estimated costs of the project. But first, we need a list of necessary features. Then, we can choose the best technology stack and estimate the budget.

Iwona - Project Manager

9. When do you need to launch the app?

If you’re tight on time and you need to have the app ready before a specified date, let your development team know. It’s important for them to realize how much time they have to prepare the app. It will impact the total cost of the project.

Timeframes are also important when choosing technology and identifying priorities. Maybe there won’t be enough time to develop every feature before the deadline? Ask yourself if it would still pay off to build the app past that time.


Are you still wondering whether a mobile commerce app is the right for your business? They can open your business to new opportunities. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

If you’re not sure what would be the estimated cost of your app, discuss this with our developers. We’ll help you determine what features you need in the MVP and what budget should you reserve for it.

Justyna Zielonka

Content Marketing Manager

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