A Complete Retail App Development Guide For Retailers To Bring Their Retail App Idea to Life

Who should read this content:

  • Retail shop owners – Who are looking for a complete retail mobile app development guide to develop their own retail mobile applications.
  • Entrepreneurs – who wants to start a retail app business by developing a retail mobile app for their brand.
  • Large retail chains – Who have their stores in multiple locations and wants to expand their operations further by offering retail store app to their customers.

To say that retail app business is booming, would be an understatement.

Nowadays, a retail mobile app is a must-have for any modern retail business. it is not just an advantage, but an essential factor to stay on top of the market. In fact, half of retailer brands have already published their retail store apps to the community.

Starbucks, Walmart, Macy’s, and all other popular retailer companies have developed their own retail store app. Why?

Because of this…

retail store app market

And not only that, but according to eConsultancy, 85% of users prefer using retail mobile apps than a retail website for shopping. And every 4th smartphone user starts a search on a branded app. This means, if you don’t have developed a retail store app for your business, you lose these users.

Also don’t think that only multi-store retail brands need a retail mobile app. Your business needs it too!

Still not sure?

Just read on…

What is a Retail Mobile App Exactly? Why Does Your Business Needs It?

You might already know the benefits of Uber like app development or food ordering app development, right?

But what about the retail app?

The retail apps are generally bit different. A retail mobile app basically improves the buying process, enriches the in-store experience for customers, and establishes better ways to stay in touch with them.

So, whenever any retailers or entrepreneurs contacts us for retail app development, we always suggest them to consider the retail application as an addition to their main retail business. Not as an substitute for it.

And since 30% of overall online purchases are made through smartphones, a retail store app for your business could become a powerful and separate source of income.

Although, many times we encounter questions like…

Why a Mobile App and Not a Website?

The answer is because developing a retail store app is more profitable for any kind of retail business.

From donuts to clothes and electrical goods, no matter what you’re selling, you can grow your retail business by creating a retail store app.


It’s mainly because from starting of 2015, the share of online retail sales through smartphones have grown by 5-10% each year.

However, keep in mind that it’s not enough to just entice users to your retail mobile app, but it’s also necessary to motivate them to make a purchase.

And of course you can create a website for retail business, but ask yourself this question: will the result be the same?

The answer is NO.

According to statistics by PR Newswire, creating a website, instead of a mobile app, is not the best solution.

  • Shoppers browse 286% more products using retail apps than websites.
  • Mobile app users’ add-to-cart rate is 90% higher.
  • And the overall conversion rate is also 120% higher on mobile apps than on websites.

In fact, today’s generation is more inclined to spend their free time browsing mobile apps than the websites. Just look at the Yahoo’s Flurry analytics:

retail mobile app

One of the reasons for the higher mobile apps usage is the better UX. And other than poor user experience, mobile websites don’t support a range of important features. For example: Push Notifications.

Moreover, a good icon of your retail mobile app will always be in the sight of your users on their smartphones. It helps to build loyalty and spread brand awareness.

So now that you know why mobile retail app development is not only an important factor but a necessity, let’s go ahead and talk about the features you must have in it.

Must-Have Features List:

When it comes to features, the must-have features of your retail store app directly depends on the type of retail business you have. So if you want to find out most relevant features for implementing in your retail app, then fill out our Contact Us form and get a free consultation where our experts will understand your business requirements and provide the best retail apps development strategy to grow your business.

For now, we’ll focus on the basic yet required features that are needed to build the best retail store app for any kind of retail business. Let’s review them one by one.

  1. Product Catalogue

    The reason why smartphone users are going to use your retail app is the product catalogue. It contains the list of available products that smartphone users can browse and order in the app.

    So when developing your retail store app, make sure you provide your users a nice UI and UX at your product catalogue. And while you’re onto that, you can also implement the following additional features to improve UX of your retail app.

    • Price checker – it allows users to check and compare prices of similar products.
    • Product preview – It helps your customers to check all types of product before ordering. You can also use 3D modeling and Augmented Reality technology for better results.
  2. Search

    If your retail business offers only a dozen or two dozen products, then there won’t be a problem for your users to find the right product. But what if you’ve hundreds or thousands of products to offer? In such cases the search functionality is definitely a necessity to find products easily.

  3. Filters and Sorting

    For any retail mobile app, these two tools are most useful for managing product catalogue.

    The sorting feature allows to change the way products are shown in the screen. Users can use this feature to see the cheapest offers first or start browsing highest rated products.

    The filters are useful when users want to exclude products from screen that don’t fit a certain requirements.

  4. Checkout Option

    If you think about it, the retail apps work similar to supermarket. Customers form their orders by adding products into the cart. And customers checks out by paying online at the checkout screen.

    However, at the checkout point, customers should be able to see the total sum that they’ll have to pay for their order. If everything is right, then it should take the customers to the next screen of payment and delivery option. And if something goes wrong, use push notifications to retarget the customers who have interrupted the order for some reason.

  5. Payment System

    Most probably, you already know that customers prefer to pay in the app for their orders. So, for your retail mobile app development, it’s necessary to implement a fast and secure payment system.

    For this payment integration, you can use Braintree or Stripe as a payment gateway in your retail store app.

  6. Push Notifications

    Push notifications are also one of the necessary features where you can improve the customer experience inside your app. For instance, you can implement customized push notifications to greet your users as they download the app and share special deals from time to time.

    In fact, push notifications can also be used as a marketing tool to retarget your existing users. They help to keep users interested in your app by informing them about special deals and discount offers. Also, push notifications can help users to complete their order if it was interrupted.

    For example, if a user leaves your app at the checkout or payment screen, you can send them a push notification to remind them about the abandoned cart.

    You can take advantage of all above features, just like market leaders, and build a successful retail store app for your business. However, since we’re discussing retail application development for retail businesses, we should not overlook another important aspect of the process – the Cost.

Retail App Development Cost

As we always say that the cost for custom mobile app development for retail app directly depends on the number of hours needed to build the app. But, you should also know that it’s impossible to provide a precise estimate for retail app development before understanding the business requirements.

So, you can contact our consultants with details of your business and retail app requirements so that we can give a fair estimate of the cost.

And while you’re at it, choosing a platform for your retail app is also important. As you probably know that both Android and iOS platform has millions of users, so it’s better to have your retail mobile app developed for both platforms.

What Next?

Now that you have a good understanding of how mobile apps for retail businesses can be helpful, you can get started as soon as possible to grab the opportunity and convert it into higher sales. Hire top app developers from Upwork, Fiverr, or any platform that your trust. And, discuss your idea with them.

Do you still have any questions left?

Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Just fill out the below form with your questions or requirements and we’ll help you build retail store app according to your business requirements and raise your sales!

Author Bio
Bhaval Patel
Bhaval Patel
Designation: Director (Operations)

Bhaval Patel is the Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has over 20 years of experience in business management and sales. He has expertise in taxi booking app solutions and on-demand applications. Under his guidance, Space-O has developed 50+ Uber-like taxi apps on both iOS and Android platforms.