Developing a mobile app for enterprise E-commerce solutions is a relevant topic today more than ever. The pandemic has only fueled the growth of mobile commerce. Research estimates that 70 million online users shop via mobile devices now, and time spent on shopping applications will increase by 40% by 2025.
Mobile shopping is fast, easy, personalized, and always at hand. If you work in the realm of mobile app development, it is important to keep an eye on current trends, successful use cases, and user preferences. The industry is constantly evolving, and businesses are competing with more and more new features.
We made a list of the best mobile commerce apps for you to get some inspiration for your future projects. Despite the fact that it includes well-known brands, popularity was not the primary criterion for our decision. When compiling this list, we considered how well-developed each app is, what unique features it provides, and why users prefer to use them.
M-commerce market now: A quick overview
Before we get into some illustrative M-commerce examples, let’s define key details about this realm, its advantages, and possible challenges for business owners.
M-commerce, or mobile commerce, refers to shopping via a mobile device (usually a smartphone). Examples of m-commerce include marketplace apps, mobile banking, in-app purchasing, and more. Right now, mobile commerce has the potential to become a major shopping channel and to be integrated into all E-commerce app solutions.
E-commerce is shifting to mobile devices for a variety of reasons, including:
- Convenience. The buying and selling happen at the click of a button. Besides, shopping can be done at any time and from any location. Customers may track products, make selections, place orders, and perform numerous transactions.
- Ability to handle a variety of tasks. Mobile commerce applications can be used in almost any business for shopping, banking (like depositing checks or checking account balances through a mobile device), payments (sending and receiving money), and more.
- The use of mobile devices is expanding. Statistics show that the number of smartphone users is increasing. There will be 6.648 billion smartphone users globally in 2022, accounting for 83.72% of the world's population.
The benefit of M-commerce for businesses is the immediate connection to the audience. Because smartphones are the most popular device, you can reach out to customers more quickly and therefore increase your sales. According to Statista, mobile commerce sales reached $3.56 trillion in 2021. It is 22.3% more than in 2020.
When it comes to implementation, mobile development is not that easy as it requires some computing efforts at the start and continuous optimization in the long run. There are numerous challenges, like ensuring that the application supports high performance, has an adaptive user interface (UI), and is compatible with all devices. It is almost impossible to stick to one pattern because customers' habits change all the time, and new design standards come out.
Top-10 best mobile commerce apps
One of the best ways to learn how to make an app is to peep at some well-known businesses. Here are some mobile commerce application examples with features that greatly match their target audiences and help bring additional value. Let's take a look at these apps and their features in more detail.
Everyone knows that IKEA is one of the world's largest furniture firms. This Swedish company offers a wide range of products with simple designs that are really practical.
The target audience: as of 2022, middle-class individuals aged 20 to 34. App value: provide the greatest retail app possible for IKEA fans to easily explore products and shop.
Why do customers like the app? One of the reasons customers enjoy the IKEA mobile application is getting shopping ideas, and inspiration while making purchases with convenience.
- Personalization. Customers can create a unique inspirational feed with images and products that attract them the most, so pay attention to what items to buy next. Also, they can make their own shopping lists to see what items are in stock and where they are at local stores.
- Advanced internal search. It is easy to search for products, categories, or offers. The search will deliver the relevant results even if the search request is ambiguous.
- Virtual reality. The IKEA app includes augmented reality (AR), which allows buyers to visualize exactly how a piece of furniture will fit into their living area. After downloading the app, customers can use their mobile phones to take a snapshot of the location where they want to visualize an IKEA object.
eBay is one of the oldest commerce leaders that connects millions of buyers and sellers worldwide. It doesn't sell any items itself; it focuses on auctions and consumer-to-consumer sales. Users can put products for sale on the app, while other users can then bid on them in auctions.
Target audience: all buyers and sellers and involves both general household consumers and professional users.
App value: make it easy for customers to create, edit, and monitor listings, as well as to relist items and provide tracking information on the go.
Why do customers like the app?
It is a great demonstration of M-commerce and E-commerce development. The company has a very large network of buyers and sellers, which gives them a big advantage in the market. When it comes to its mobile app, customers can use it to shop and sell products just like they would on the website. Besides, the app gives customers creative freedom when it comes to designing their product page.
- Visual search. Customers can use the technology to find similar things on eBay by using photos saved on their phones or directly from any social media site.
- Enhanced messaging experience. It is one of eBay's most recent features that help to keep a closer track of all communications. All threads in the inbox can be grouped and filtered by a buyer, listing, or any other criteria. Messages to and from buyers are shown in an easy-to-read format, and there are also options for auto-responses.
- Watch-list. The customers can put an item on their Watch-list, and the seller is notified that someone is keeping an eye on the product.
Starbucks is one of the world's most successful companies, not just in the coffee shop industry. The company has achieved great success as a result of its ability to create an experience that has revolutionized the perception of coffee shops and the number of people who drink coffee outside of their homes.
Target audience: the medium to upper classes who can afford to drink more expensive coffee on a regular or daily basis.
App value: allow customers to order drinks ahead of time, pick them up in a store without waiting in line, and track their Stars and Rewards.
Why do customers like the app?
The Starbucks mobile app is an order-and-pay type of app. The app's loyalty program encourages customers to buy more. The app is user-friendly and personalized. It customizes discounts based on buying trends and location.
- Order through a mobile device. Customers can order coffee ahead of time and avoid waiting in line.
- Manage cards. Customers can check their balance, upload money, pay for beverages at Starbucks locations, earn stars for future rewards, transfer money between cards, leave tips, and track their mobile payment history in real-time.
- Customer retention program. Customers can earn stars by paying for coffee beverages and redeeming incentives later. Each dollar spent earns two stars, and earning 125 stars earns the first gift. Reward systems like the ones at Starbucks could be great models for a restaurant app or a mobile app for ordering food.
- Store finder. Users can use the geolocation feature to find shops near them, get directions, and find other useful information.
- Now playing. This feature, created in partnership with Spotify, allows customers to recognize songs being played in stores and then download and save the songs they like to a playlist on Spotify's app.
4. Tommy Hilfiger
Target audience: customers between the ages of 25 and 45 with a household income of more than $50,000 per year.
App value: connect consumers to stores via a smartphone to replicate the in-store experience.
Why do customers like the app? The app has enhanced personalized features that make it easy to make purchases. If a customer cannot find an item in their local store, they can use their smartphone to verify availability and place an order. Besides, customers can use image recognition to find items similar to those on the snaps in Tommy Hilfiger’s web store catalog.
- Shop the look on Instagram. Customers can explore and buy items directly from the Instagram feed, which is integrated into the app. A "buy button" encourages purchases while also making checkout quick, simple, and secure.
- Runway recognition technology. The app uses augmented reality (AR) with 3D image recognition to provide customers with a complete 360-degree shopping journey. It allows customers to snap photos of models walking the runway, products in-store, and shop outfits directly through the website.
- Loyalty card integration. Members of the Hilfiger Club can use the app to access their loyalty accounts and get personalized messages, deals, and event invites. - In-store item scanning. App users can use this function to scan tags in-store to check product availability and order things directly from the app.
Coursera is an e-learning website that offers thousands of courses taught by some of the world's leading universities and higher-learning institutions. They have over 77 million students globally who are enrolled in over 4,600 courses.
Target audience: users aged 18–55 from all over the world with varying levels of industry experience and an interest in course completion or online degrees.
App value: enable mobile access to online courses and degrees from renowned universities and companies.
Why do customers like the app? It is an excellent example of a company that has been able to translate its sophisticated PC user experience into its mobile app, which is really fantastic! Right now, the mobile app is used by 20% of its users to access its content. The reasons are obvious: learning on a mobile phone can be more convenient, and Coursera does everything to make it happen.
- Search and suggestions. Customers can easily find the information they need thanks to advanced internal search configurations.
- Easy course upload. Instructors find it simple to create and upload a course/program in any format.
- Day-to-day assignments. It aids in determining the overall success of an educational application. It helps students become more self-aware before taking an exam.
- Notifications. Push notifications help to maintain a long-term engagement with a customer. It lets the app keep in touch with customers by sending them instant notifications on their phones.
Target audience: younger, more digitally savvy millennial and Xennial audiences that need to pay colleagues back for food, nights out, and split cab trips; indeed, it is also used by anyone who needs to make a payment.
App value: let customers transfer money via a phone number or email, as the app can access Facebook or phone contacts on the go.
Why do customers like the app?
This app works similarly to a social network, allowing customers to make personal payments to people they know. Making payments and viewing transactions is simple and personalized. Besides, the app is mobile-friendly and offers a free and straightforward setup. The only requirement – a person receiving a payment needs to have a Venmo account.
- Simple set-up. Anyone of legal age with a bank account, debit, or credit card can sign-up for an account. Customers just need to download the app on their mobile phones.
- Balance management. The developers have made tools that make it easy for customers to move, keep track, and control their balance.
- Secure and touch-free transactions. Customers can collect payments via transfers in the mobile app or a unique QR code. Entrepreneurs can post this QR code in front of their stores to allow customers to check out quickly.
Sephora is a well-known beauty store known for selling a wide range of cosmetics, such as skincare, fragrances, hair care, and makeup.
Target audience: everyone who is tech-savvy, not particularly committed to any one company, and is always on the hunt for the next hot beauty item. App value: simplify the whole shopping experience and meet customer requirements in the form of a mobile app.
Why do customers like the app?
The Sephora app includes a virtual assistant to improve the user experience and reach more clients. The app collects user data to provide a personalized purchasing experience. For instance, it uses face recognition to allow virtual makeup testing. This leads to more sales because customers can quickly look at the items and choose items that suit them well.
- Virtual artist. Customers may use this function, for example, to digitally try on lipsticks. Because of this feature, customers can quickly decide whether or not to buy a certain product.
- Personalized alerts. The app offers customized alerts and updates about review points, new product arrivals, and future events.
- Beauty quiz. Customers can use a beauty questionnaire to find out which products are best for their skin type and choose the best cosmetics and makeup for themselves.
- Location-based messages. As Sephora customers approach a shop location, the app gives them pertinent information and notifications. Location-based messaging might include unique mobile promotions, shop events, and more.
Nike is another well-known brand that is continuously flourishing. The company’s internet sales grew by 73% and increased to $4.5 billion, a third of overall revenue, in 2021. The goal of a company is to provide customers with cutting-edge equipment, convenient shoes, and clothes for workouts.
Target audience: customers between the ages of 15 and 40; the firm focuses on tweens and adolescents to promote brand loyalty. App value: provide customers with everything they need for casual outfits and workouts and deliver a convenient way to shop on mobile applications.
Why do customers like the app? The app has the same shoes and gear as the website, plus personalized Nike Member Rewards like exclusive access to products, one-of-a-kind personalized experiences, and advice from Nike Experts.
- Product monitoring. The app enables customers to check any item’s in-store availability, allowing for same-day reservations. After a reservation is made, a push message notifies customers when their items are available or delivered.
- Nike Fit. Nike has an augmented reality (AR) feature to choose items that fit well. This tool helps customers find their shoe size. To use the software, customers just point their phone's camera at their feet, and it calculates their shoe size.
- Ability to save the data. The customer's shoe size is kept in the app after it is defined. If a consumer is shopping in-store, a sales associate can get the customer's shoe size by scanning a QR code in the app. With an estimated 60% of individuals wearing the wrong size shoe size, the app assists users in finding the shoe that fits correctly.
- Premium features. NikePlus members can access special Nike products, exclusive discounts, and partner rewards for their in-app shopping. Its barcode scanner makes it easy for customers to check product details, find out what options are available, and see online and in-store inventory in real-time.
ASOS is one of the best mobile commerce applications available today. Most of the company's traffic and sales come from its mobile app: up to 80% of traffic and 70% of sales in the UK, up to 70% of traffic, and 58% of sales globally.
Target audience: customers of all ages (but mostly the younger generation) who enjoy fashion and are influenced by their peers, celebrities, and the media. App value: enable customers to buy products, write and view comments, rate clothes they've bought, track their orders, and more.
Why do customers like the app? The company provides its customers with a personalized, tailored, and convenient purchasing experience. It has maintained its success by prioritizing client satisfaction and ensuring that all of its E-commerce development initiatives are focused on that goal.
- Out-of-stock alternatives. This feature displays customers visually similar, in terms of color, style, shape, and other characteristics, items to the out-of-stock products on the site. The value of such a feature decreases the cart rejection rates of its site due to the stock unavailability of particular product items.
- AI-driven product search. The company used artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics to help its 24 million customers find what they were looking for in its catalog of more than 85,000 items.
- Fit assistant. This is a separate app that goes along with the ASOS app. It suggests sizes for things customers look at based on previous purchases, comparable shoppers, or buyer information such as height and weight.
Target audience: anyone who needs to make international money transfer operations. App value: allow customers to securely send money directly to the banks via mobile device.
Why do customers like the app? Customers can use the app to effortlessly make payments. The app lets banks, credit unions, and other money transfer businesses grow or expand without having to deal with the difficult legal, technological, and logistical problems that come with remittance operations.
- Re-sending money. If the customers want to transfer money to the same person, they can just slide to resend, and it will be done in seconds.
- Tracking transactions on the go. The app can automatically text customers' status updates, as long as they enable push notifications and tap the Get Text Updates button after confirming a transaction.
- Easy international Peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers. Customers can send money instantly while making secure online transactions.
Mobile apps provide a better user experience (UX) and higher conversion rates than desktop websites. However, E-commerce mobile app customers are becoming more demanding, and it is challenging to make them stay and use the app. You have to constantly learn from the best companies to stay innovative, creative, and up-to-date with the latest mobile marketing trends.
Our blog post is a brief recap of what the best mobile commerce apps bring to the table and what value they provide to their mobile audiences. At the same time, success is not about replication. Creating a unique application can give you a terrific head start in any business.