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How to create an ecommerce shopping app like Amazon?

Want to create an app like Amazon? Any business selling products online wants to have an ecommerce store as engaging and busy as Amazon.

So how can you get started? What are the resources you need to create such an app? The following sections show how to create an ecommerce marketplace app like Amazon without writing a single line of code.

In this guide

  1. A brief history of Amazon
  2. Pre-development checklist
  1. Create an app like Amazon in three simple steps
  1. How to market your ecommerce app?
  2. Frequently asked questions

A brief history of Amazon

Amazon is a brand most synonymous with online retail. The company launched back in 1995 and has since become the most popular ecommerce platform in the world. Millions of retailers and businesses move their products via Amazon given its global customer base and reach.

The numbers tell a clear story. According to Business of Apps, Amazon’s 2021 touched $470 billion. This revenue includes the money generated from other Amazon services besides its ecommerce marketplace. These services include the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon Alexa, Prime Video, Prime Music, and more.

In terms of overall value, Amazon is only the fourth tech company to be valued at over $1 trillion. These numbers show the potential of scaling a small ecommerce startup to a global conglomerate.

What should you do before creating an app like Amazon?

You should do your due diligence as a business before getting started with creating an app like Amazon. It’s easy to say that you wish to build an app like Amazon or Walmart, but difficult to execute such a plan. Besides development resources and investment, you must also have a solid pre- and post-launch app strategy.

The following sections highlight the pre-development checklist you should go through before creating an app like Amazon.

Conduct market research on apps like Amazon

Mobile apps like Amazon have many features and functionalities, some visible on the front end and others working in the background.

So what does market research include? Typically, market research for an app involves seeing how similar app businesses manage their product. This includes technical specs like website & app features and promotional aspects related to app marketing & promotion.

The following steps should help you do market research before creating an app like Amazon:

  • Feature research: First, it’s a good idea to analyze what features power your app. Ideally, these should include both primary features that contribute to the final user experience and background features that make the entire app work.
  • Resource mapping: Get an idea about all the resources you need to make the app work. This includes integrations, technical requirements, marketing assets, and more.
  • Marketing strategy: Analyze how similar ecommerce apps are marketing their app and business. This will help form your own marketing strategy and give you a base to work from.
  • Business model: Study the business model of your competitors. How many discounts do they offer? How are customers refunded? What is the scope of products/services offered by other similar apps? These questions and more will help you understand the business model employed by successful ecommerce apps.

Make a list of required features

Once your research is complete, you probably have a firm idea of what features your app needs.

The next step is making a list of all the features you wish to see in your mobile app. In many cases, businesses treat this part of the process like a wish list of premium features. However, the features you end up choosing, shape a large part of your app journey.

Ideally, you should only choose features that are essential for your app’s working, while also being ample from a UI/UX perspective. Adding too many features may lengthen your development cycle and increase the cost of creating the mobile app.

It’s possible that the final list of features you make lacks pure functionality compared to similar apps. As long as the tech gap doesn’t affect your customer’s user experience, you should be fine. Customers judge shopping apps by their ease of use, performance, and reliability. You don’t see customers comparing features, as they’re more interested in other aspects of the app like discounts, rewards, and general ease of use.

Read: Ten essential features you should have on your WooCommerce app

Estimate the cost of development

The development cost may vary depending on the type of features you require, the size & location of your team, and even the method of app development you choose.

The most crucial factor is the number of hours developers would need to build the app. The more features, functionalities, and design requirements you have, the longer your development team would need.

So how can you get an estimate of your development costs? The simple way is to find out the average hourly rate of development, and multiply it by the number of hours needed to build the app. Most app development calculators use the same formula to give an estimate.

Generally, an ecommerce app costs somewhere between $30-50K. The cost can increase depending on your feature requirements. If this is a steep budget for your business, you can choose an alternative like using a no-code app builder.

Choose a development method

When mobile apps started becoming popular with rising smartphone usage, the only way to build mobile apps was coding. Businesses generally hired agencies to create apps, while others hired in-house development teams to build and manage applications.

This may work for a large company, but if you are running a small business, custom app development can be expensive.

However, no-code development has now become a viable alternative. You can build powerful native apps without a single line of code and publish them to the app stores. It only takes a few minutes to develop apps with platforms like AppMySite’s ecommerce app builder, and you don’t need to make a large investment to get started.

These platforms generally offer different subscription plans, each varying based on features and other criteria.

Create an app like Amazon in four steps

If you choose to work with a no-code app builder like AppMySite, it’s easy to create a native ecommerce app like Amazon. It only takes four steps to effectively build an app on the platform. The following sections provide a detailed guide on how the process works.

#1: Design your ecommerce app from scratch

The first step of the process is to design an ecommerce app from scratch. AppMySite’s design features enable you to style your app’s assets and screens according to your needs. The following points provide a complete process of designing your app’s assets, screens, and navigation.

  • App icon: Customize your app icon with the design features available. Upload your own icon design if the features available are too limiting.
  • Launch screen: Design the intermediary launch screen from scratch. You can style the background with colors, stock images, or your own artwork, and add a welcome message or logo.
  • Login & signup: Similar to the launch screen, you can add a background and add a welcome message. Additionally, you can style the color theme of your login & signup fields. For the background and logo, you can always add your own artwork, use colors, or choose an image from the stock library. 
  • Color theme: Customize the header and button colors of your entire app by configuring the color theme.
  • Home screen: Fully personalize your home screen display by designing banners & sections, changing section arrangement & visibility, customizing page display, and exploring web-view options.
  • Bottom bar: Add bottom bar items to make navigation within the app easier. You can also style the bottom bar according to your UI theme.
  • Menu: Add items to the side menu of your app. If you have a WordPress website, you can also sync your website menu with the app.

#2: Connect your ecommerce website and app

AppMySite is designed to transform your existing website into a mobile app. If you already have a live ecommerce site, you can transform it into a mobile app.

If you have a WooCommerce store, AppMySite offers deep integration. This means all the native elements of your WooCommerce store are synced to the app interface. Other benefits of deep integration include universal shipping support, universal payment support, sort & filter features, and more.

Here’s how you can connect your WooCommerce store and app:

  • Install the AppMySite plugin on your WordPress site and verify the installation within your AppMySite account.
  • Grant access via WordPress Application Passwords to fully connect your website and app.
  • If you fail to establish connectivity, run the troubleshooter to diagnose the issue(s).

Once you establish connectivity, your WooCommerce store’s products and their respective details will be synced to the app. Non-WooCommerce/WordPress website owners don’t need to establish connectivity as all the mobile site pages would be rendered in the app automatically.

#3: Configure app-related settings

The next step is to configure your app’s settings to ensure the app looks and works as you want it to. DIY platforms have come a long way when it comes to offering the functionality needed to build premium ecommerce apps. With the AppMySite app maker, you can create apps that offer reliable and seamless shopping experiences.

To customize the way your app looks and performs, you can further customize some settings. Here are a few crucial settings that can be relevant to your ecommerce app:

  • User settings: Manage how customers log in and signup to your app. Enable guest browsing, social login, and manage other onboarding-related features.
  • Product settings: Change how your product and product listing screens appear in the app. From styling discount ribbons to enabling webview, manage all product-related settings.
  • Social settings: Link your social media accounts to the app. The social media pages would be visible on the home screen in the footer of the app.
  • Checkout settings: Customize the checkout experience of your customers and ensure your app’s checkout experience is seamless.

#4: Preview and publish your app

The final step is to test and publish your app to the app stores. Within AppMySite, you can test your ecommerce app on both premium device emulators and smartphone devices.

With device emulators, you can open all your app screens and see if it looks and performs to your expectations. You can also preview the app on smartphone devices and see if the app is working properly.

Read: Mobile app testing – A complete guide to testing mobile apps

Once you’ve fully tested your app, it’s time to publish it on the app stores. The following steps broadly explain how to submit your app to the app stores:

  • Generate your app build(s): You can generate a build of your Android & iOS app. Simply click on Build Android app (Build iOS app for iOS), configure the app based on your preferences, and generate the app.
  • It generally takes ten minutes for the build to generate.
  • Once the build is generated, you can download the APK or AAB file of your Android app, and an IPA file for your iOS app.
  • These files can be submitted to the app stores. You would need to create developer accounts to submit your app to the app stores.
  • Apps on AppMySite are carefully constructed for approval on the app stores.

Read: A guide on app submission to the Google Play Store

Read: A guide on app submission to the Apple App Store

What are the advantages of creating an app like Amazon?

There are already so many ecommerce apps on the app stores, so why should you build and launch another application?

This is a fair question, one that ecommerce businesses have to consider. App development can be complicated. Even if you choose an alternative method of development, the time and effort it takes to maintain and market your app are significant.

So why should you create an ecommerce app? The following sections provide clear advantages to developing an ecommerce app.

#1: Better user experience

Shopping apps are a better option for delivering a smooth user experience when compared to mobile sites. Native mobile applications adapt to smartphone devices much better than mobile sites. This is natural because mobile sites are built to work in browsers, no matter how mobile-responsive they are.

Building a native app can help you deliver an ideal mobile experience to your users. With apps, you also get to offer premium features like customer chat, multilingual support, and more.

These features can help you provide the best possible experience to your users. Apps are also faster when it comes to screen loading times. Your customers would be able to order products and browse in a much faster environment.

#2: Enhanced communication

With mobile apps, you can use several features to better communicate with your customers.

Apps enable you to add premium features like push notifications and customer chat. These are ideal for communicating with your customers on mobile devices. Communication is essential for retaining your customers and trying to understand their experience. Most app companies face a lot of user churn and the best way to retain users is to speak to them directly.

No-code tools like AppMySite allow you to add premium features like customer chat and push notifications.

#3: Higher conversion rate

Ecommerce statistics show that 85% of customers actually prefer mobile apps over mobile sites for shopping. It is for the same reason that conversion rates for mobile apps are higher than those of mobile websites.

According to Use Button, mobile app conversions are 157% higher than mobile site conversions.

If you’re looking for a reason to invest time and effort in mobile app development for your ecommerce business, this is it. You have a much better shot at converting your customers if you have a live mobile app. Since most online shopping happens on smartphones, apps are the ideal medium to get as many customers as you want.

In conclusion

Want to build an ecommerce app like Amazon? Such an undertaking requires a lot of consideration. From development costs to the type of method of app creation you choose, many questions need answering before you jump into the process.

This article explains the entire process of creating an ecommerce app like Amazon. You can use a platform like AppMySite to create a mobile app for any type of business.

Frequently asked questions

Have questions about building an app like Amazon? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions

Q1: What are the features an ecommerce app should have?

Every ecommerce app comes with a standard set of features, but there are some functionalities that make the experience much better.

Here are a few features that every ecommerce app should have:

  • Product listing and ordering system
  • User login and signup features
  • Coupon and point rewards system
  • Payment gateway integration
  • Shipping features
  • Product display sections (carousels, sliders, galleries)
  • Product discovery features (search, sort, & filter)
  • Customer chat
  • Multilingual support
If you’re building an app like an Amazon, features like these are crucial.

Q2: What is the cost of creating an app like Amazon?

The cost of creating an app like Amazon can be somewhere close to $30-50K. The price can climb as your app grows in usage and requires a lot more maintenance.

App development costs can vary depending on the type of application you need. Some ecommerce apps can cost more while others may cost less. It depends on what type of features and integrations the final app would require. For a complete guide to getting an estimate on your app development costs, visit the guide below:

Read: How much does it cost to create an app?

Q3: How can you get started building an app like Amazon?

Before you start building an app like Amazon, you should complete your pre-development checklist. This will help you learn if the prospect of developing an app like Amazon is viable or not.

Here is the pre-launch checklist:

  • Conduct market research.
  • Make a required list of features
  • Estimate the costs of app development.
  • Choose a development method.
The method of development you choose at the final step will dictate how you get started with building an app. If you choose to create an app using a no-code app builder, simply sign up for the development tool you like and get started. With custom development, you may need to decide whether to hire an agency or a team of app developers from the outset.

Q4: How can I create an app like Amazon?

To create an app like Amazon on AppMySite, follow the steps below:

  • Design your app icon, splash screen, login & signup pages, and home screen. Also, add a bottom bar and side menu for easy navigation.
  • Connect your ecommerce store to the app. If you have a WordPress-based WooCommerce store, you would need to install the AppMySite plugin and grant access via application passwords. If you have a non-WordPress website, you don’t need to do anything to connect your website and app.
  • Configure your app’s settings and take control of how your app looks and performs.
  • Test your app on the preview emulators on your smartphone device to see if everything is working as it should. You can next publish your app to the app stores.
While working with a no-code app development tool, the process of creating an ecommerce app is fairly simple. You should thus choose a development method that allows you the best possible path to a powerful ecommerce app.

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