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eCommerce App Maker: The Mobile App Builder Features to Enhance Online Shopping Experience in 2021 [Without Coding] 

Here is the glossary of terms, features, and functionalities in the eCommerce app builder. Learn more about how to choose the best app builder that needs no coding skills to start building an app for your online business without worrying about traditional eCommerce app development hassles.

Customer needs and values

Before you jump-start with building your app, here are few words: There can't be a software tool or a person who can understand your customer needs and values better than you do. The app builder is loaded with many features discussed in this post that make it easier to know your customer needs through various insights and enhance your value delivery.

That said, you can try creating your first app and explore features and benefits the platform offers to your business through the app.
How to create an app?

  1. Sign up, choose a readymade eCommerce template.
  2. Use the Designer tool to modify the UI to make it more unique.
  3. Add your content using the Content Editor.
  4. Use the plugins discussed in this post to add features and publish the app.
Before you dive deep:

  • eCommerce, e-commerce, or electronic commerce:  They all refers to doing shopping using desktop computers or laptops 
  • mCommerce, m-commerce, or mobile commerce:  refers to shopping using mobile devices, most of the time a smartphone.  
An app is precisely associated with mCommerce, we use the term, 'eCommerce' throughout the post for popularity's sake.

App builder

An app builder is a software you use to create your mobile apps without doing any coding or real app development and submit the app for publishing on app stores like Apple's App Store, Google's Play Store. Most of these app builders (also called app makers) create web apps for instant use and start selling while wait for a few days to get your app approved on the major app stores for Android and iOS users. 

Zappter is such an online app builder where users can register to make a web app, an iOS app, and an Android app.

Content manager

The content manager is the editor, the eCommerce mobile app builder provides that a user can utilize to start building your content on mobile apps. The content can be text, images, audio, video, maps, etc.

Designer (Content designer)

When the content editor helps to add, update, and delete content, the Content Designer is used to customize the app design. Learn here, how to create your app content in our mobile app maker.
Content designer:
 
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E-Commerce plugin

Building an eCommerce app requires looking into the details of many features to stand competitive.  Zappter works with plugins to add these features to your mobile application. Any feature that's not part of the platform core, comes as a pluggable feature for users who want to use that feature in their app. eCommerce plugin is one of such plugins and it enables all features required to sell online.

  • Here is the link to the E-Commerce plugin, its user manual with step-by-step instructions to implement it.
  • Check out here what you should check in an eCommerce app builder before creating an app for your eCommerce business.

Features in our eCommerce mobile app builder for better mcommerce app experience:

  • Flexible selling options.
  • Sell controls on various levels.
  • Showcase.
  • Product catalogs.
  • Musthave features for any eCommerce application for better UX.
  • Support all or multiple payment options integrated on the platform.
  • Connect to inventory management.
  • Customize shopping cart UI entirely.
  • Checkout rules and data collection.
  • VIP payment rules.
  • Rating and commenting control.
  • Fixed, flexible, and open pricing options.
  • Package sales.
  • And more features, available in the mobile app maker.

Readymade eCommerce templates

In the Zappter marketplace, there are hundreds of unique eCommerce prebuilt designs or app themes that you can choose to build your app and start your eCommerce store instantly.
 
Zappter is a unique, modern app builder that takes a different approach with readymade app templates. It simplifies getting you started using your favorite template and offers you every feature to turn your app design into a great-looking design of your brand.

So users who build using the platform don't need to worry about App Store restrictions such as this one: "4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected." 

When building your eCommerce app, you can pick a template from the marketplace
Hundreds of  eCommerce and other app designs in Zappter marketplace:
 
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iOS and Android publishing plugin

This plugin allows you to publish your app on two major app stores, Apple's App Store for iOS and Google's Play Store for Android. When you installed the plugin, it adds an option on your admin side menu, iOS & Android.

Once you're complete with creating the content in the app maker and tested your app functionality, you are ready to publish using this feature.
It guides you throughout the process step by step until your app is published in these stores. Read more about iOS & Android App plugin. 
Extend  your customer base with iOS & Android App plugin:

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Product categories

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 Product Categories plugin in the marketplace:
A product listing page (or PLP) is an essential part of a successful eCommerce website or shopping app. To help a potential buyer make a purchase decision, we know that an individual product listing page should have: clear title, short description, detail, multiple images, pricing, possibly a video, features, and more data depending on the products. 

But before finding the right product to buy, your customers should know the path to enter there. It's where your intuitive product categories help enhance the shopping experience of your app users. And, it keeps your app well organized and uncluttered. 

In Zappter, you have Categories (also called Subpages) to achieve that, and features include:

  • Adding images
  • Short description and the detail below
  • Create Subpages specifically for selected users by assigning them tags/segments in built-in CRM. Then link the Subpages to these tags/segments to ensure only these users have access to this particular Subpage. It is ideal for an e-commerce store that sells certain items only for buyers in a country, city, or state due to regional regulations imposed.
  • Then create a Category with discounted items or a list of convenience goods and link it to the app's bottom bar or upper bar for quick access.
  • Organize your online store effectively by creating different levels of product categorization, hierarchy. 
Well, you can also use the Search Bar feature in the app maker to provide an option to search for products. However, when you show a potential buyer the product category with many products, you're increasing the opportunity for a user to learn about other products, possibly more purchases.

Visit this page to learn more about product Categories and how to implement them in your shopping app. 

Push notifications

 
 
Smartphones and desktops both can receive push notifications, provided users opt-in. However, push notifications in mobile phones are more effective because of higher read rates than websites; simply because people always carry their phones wherever they go. And, compared to a text/SMS message, a push notification is more appealing with images and deeplinks, taglines. 

Here is how you can use the app maker's push notification:

  1. Send instant notifications
  2. Schedule push notifications
  3. Create recurring push notifications
  4. Send promotional push notifications on your app's content
  5. Send transactional push notifications such as reminders. For instance, send your customers a push notification about their spa booking in 3 hours.
  6. Track the status of push notifications.
  7. Zappter has a unique feature, using which you can auto opt-in push notifications from your app on customer phones through setting app intro as start-page.
  8. Or, you can paint a button on your app content to make it easy for your app users to one-click opt-in push notifications without going into phone settings.

Online bookings and reservations

 
 
Booking and Reservations is one of the very powerful plugins on the platform. It changes a customer mobile app into a complete booking platform for customers and a management platform for organizational users.

Here are the features you can add to your eCommerce app when you need a booking solution:

  • Set up the default for business booking needs such as timing, resource planning, etc.
  • Use it for long-term bookings and short-term bookings. What is the long-term booking? For example, when you run a car rental, it's a long-term booking. Customers can book for days or even months. For short terms, it's also called, 'slotted bookings.' For instance, you would utilize this feature to set up a spa, hotel booking, etc., where your services are sold based on minutes or hours. When you have this plugin, you can also combine both, long-term and short-term for your eCommerce apps.
  • Create and maintain resources. For instance, in a spa business or similar, you need therapists who offer their services within their expertise. With this plugin, you can create your team of resources. Maintain their profiles with detailed qualifications, bio, and experience in what they do. This information help customers to pick the right resource for their appointments, in the case of a spa, for example.
  • Then you have a powerful availability calendar that automates everything for your customer bookings based on activity going on in your business.
  • Within the admin module, you can track movements, resource engagements, and when required, you can adjust, extend, cancel and set annual leave for your resources to keep the availability calendar accurate.
  • The platform also allows you to enable customer rating and commenting on resources and the services you offer.
  • Apply discount offers, loyalty points, vouchers, and stamps.

eCommerce loyalty program

 
 
What is a customer loyalty program?
You may sell great products and services at reasonable prices. But to ensure your customers retain, you need to make them feel special. You do this by rewarding them. One way of doing this is to let your customers earn points on each purchase. And once they have collected a certain amount of points, you allow them to use those points to buy items instead of money.

For your eCommerce business, you can use this plugin to:

  • Set up a loyalty program with points.
  • Control who is eligible and not.
  • And, control buying and purchase rate of the loyalty scheme.

Shopping vouchers

 
 
Shopping vouchers do wonders; be that improving customer loyalty by letting them know that your business values them being your customer or simplify your users offering someone your products as gifts. Or when you offer discount vouchers to help minimize your users' spending, they surely will come back to buy more.

Whatever the ways you're going to use vouchers, they all make an impact on your sales directly or indirectly. Zappter's Voucher plugin offers a comprehensive set of features to handle a full-fledged voucher system. 

You can use this plugin to:
 
  • Fixed value vouchers and percentage-based discount vouchers, that are ideal for honoring your customers or your users to gift a voucher to someone else to purchase from you.
  • Create vouchers selectively on certain products, a certain category of products, or any products and services on your app.
  • Vouchers for specific offers, which are great for giving discounts only on selected items.
  • Distribute vouchers to all users within the app.
  • Distribute vouchers for users fall under certain demographics using the CRM tags feature.
  • Or, select your users and distribute vouchers to them.
  • Set number of uses or keep it permanently open.
  • Create indefinite vouchers or set expiry, which is great for discount deals for fixed periods. 
  • Keep the vouchers available for guest users without registration or control user login requirements to use the vouchers.
  • Generate QR Codes for users to consume vouchers.

Online trading stamps for rewards program

 
 
The Zappter's 'trading stamps' is a reward program just like the 'green points' of S&H. It's a simple points system ideal for small businesses to allow their customers to collect points every time they purchase something. Whenever a certain number of points is reached, customers can immediately redeem them. This feature is ideal for businesses that look for a simple and straightforward reward system. 

You can use this plugin to:
 
  • Ensure customers collect points every time they purchase. And set a limit on collecting points, which the customers can redeem at any time.

Promotions and discounts

 
 
When you enable this feature, you can offer discounts on your selling items with fixed prices or percentages. And then, you can set up push promotions to advertise your offer among the users.

You can use this plugin to:
 
  • Set up discounts with fixed prices or percentages.
  • Set discounts to affect item levels, category levels, or the whole app.
  • The plugin sets up push notifications, which you can modify to your need.
  • Adjust your push campaign to target different user demographics using CRM tags.
  • App users see the original price and the discounted prices.

Online rating of products and services

 
 
 How to set up product rating? 
If online shopping has empowered consumers and buyer behavior has changed, the major credit should go to online ratings. Why not empower your customers and improve your products and services to reflect what they look for, in modern economics? This feature is about it; you can allow rating of your products and services.

You can use this plugin to:
 
  • Set up a star rating system, from 1 to 5 rating.
  • Allow user comments.
  • Choose to show or hide the ratings.
  • Get insights.

eCommerce payment options

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How to set up payment methods? Zappter supports several payment methods for your eCommerce mobile app. To check out the details, including instructions to set up, visit the plugins marketplace and enter, "payment" in search or use this link. You can explore all of the payment methods available on the platform in the search result and see how you can integrate multiple payment options into your shopping cart.
You can use one or more of these payment methods in the app builder:
 
  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Payrexx
  • Twint
  • DataTrans
  • Paymob
  • Wallee
  • Credit Cards
  • Cash
  • Cash On Delivery

Shopify & WooCommerce Connectors

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Connect your Shopify or WooCommerce shop/store with your app using this plugin. You can import Shopify products into articles (selling items) in your app. You can perform one-time bulk imports, and/or scheduled imports to keep your app in sync with your eCommerce platforms. 

Taxes - (Value added taxes)

 
 
Managing your government levies or sales taxes is mandatory, but for an eCommerce store, it can get complicated and tedious sometimes unless you're an accountant. This plugin makes the task simple. 

You can set up different types and situations using this plugin. For example, selectable taxes appear as options for users to choose from the list. Say, the different taxation applied on dine-in compared to take-away, such as 'eat in tax' and 'take out tax.'

In other cases, hidden taxes are posted directly without users seeing them. For instance, 'sales tax' that is applicable in all cases

Using this feature, you can:

  • Tax shortcodes
  • Tax groupings to group all taxes into a single line on reports
  • Selectable and Hidden taxes
  • Tax exemption 
  • Apply taxes at content, categories, or at an article level, which is a choice for vouchers 

Surcharges

 
 
With this plugin, you can enable and manage your surcharges, which can be an extra fee, such as handling fees you charge at the checkout to cover the cost of processing an order. 

Use this plugin to set up an accurate pricing model and manage your surcharges. It helps handle processing fees, handling charges, service charges, transaction fees, or similar. 

Tips & Gratuity

 
 
Set up and manage 'tips' in your operation. You can set up tips with this feature to manage and handle them, such as the below examples:

  • Tips, freestyle, accept any amounts, or decide not to pay
  • Service Charge, compulsory percentage of the basket value, added to the order
  • Cover Charge, a fixed amount (not a percentage) added to the bill

Your users will get tips options while completing the order. You can also make paying tips mandatory or optional from the configuration, even though the default is optional. 

Real-time chat (online chat)

 
 
Real-time chat is a pluggable online chat feature. When you have this plugin added to your eCommerce app, your chat agents can chat with your users and customers in their language without knowing the language of the customer. 

This feature translates the communication between your agents and the customers interactively online.

Tawk Chat & HubSpot chat

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Integrate twak.to Chat or HubSpot third-party online chat tools easily. When you need more control over managing your online chats in an environment with a team to handle, manage, and measure engagements and insights along with your eCommerce websites, these purpose-built tools provide more options. 

Product modifiers

 
 
Probably you wouldn't need an introduction to Product Modifiers since it's nearly impossible for medium to large eCommerce stores to manage their product listings without modifiers.

With Modifiers, buyers can add extras to their orders to add varieties to their chosen products. Say, choose preferred color and size in dresses, or buy extra minutes for a spa treatment at an additional cost or free.

Modifiers add variations to the base products to avoid maintaining a massive list of different products. For example, a cotton shirt can have long-sleeve, short-sleeve, blue, red, white as its modifiers. You don't create 'red cotton shirt,' 'white cotton shirt,' etc., as different products.

Product recommendation

 
 
Today, almost on any recognized eCommerce site, you might have seen product suggestions or recommendations. It's part of the personalization strategy. 

Use this feature in your app to enhance personalization to product catalogs and to cross-sell your products & services. Concurrently, show customers that you anticipate their needs. Show customers the other items or even an entire Category that might be of interest. Who knows that the potential buyer is not aware that you sell that product.

Sell eCommerce packages with 'Article Groups'

 
 
You sell individual items, that's perfect. But what if you want to combine a few of these individual items and sell them as a single package? This feature is about that.

'Pay What You Weight' 
 
Example:
You sell a nuts package, "1 kg Nuts" for 3 USD.  
Your customers can choose any nuts, almonds, cashews, chestnuts, and peanuts. 
Your customers can also select any quantity. However, the final weight of the package must not exceed 1 kilogram. 

Sure, you got the point. If not, here is another example:
 
Imagine a business selling candy. They have an article group, "A Kilo of Sweetness."
The group contains articles like Gummy Bears (100 grams), Gourmet Lollipops  (50 grams), Candy Canes (250 grams).  Gummy Bears, Gourmet Lollipops, and Candy Canes are articles. They make the article group (or the package), A Kilo of Sweetness. 

  • Use existing individual selling items to make a group, while individually selling them elsewhere won't be affected
  • Within the group, set max quantities for each item
  • Adjust/set prices for each item within the group
  • Track details of your package sales

Shipping costs setup

 
 
Manage your shipment pricing. Set a default shipping charge by fixing the price or percentage. Or, give shipping options to users to choose such as 'Regular,' 'Fast delivery,' 'Courier by xxx, 'etc., at the checkout. 

Then you can also set up 'shipping rules' that override default charges and selectable charges based on conditions if the total value or weight of the cart meets your requirement. 

Manage eCommerce inventory

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Zappter provides many features to manage back-of-the-house operations for businesses, including handling single or chain of multiple stores with their stocks, suppliers, and their daily activities such as purchasing, stocking, issuing, ordering, reporting, and managing storekeepers. 

To handle full-scale store operations, you would use the 'Inventory' plugin for inventory management. Or, if you're only trying to watch your stock levels, inventory, and reordering, and inform a potential seller the item is unavailable, you can use, the 'Simple inventory' plugin.

With either plugin, your inventory is always connected to your eCommerce app.

Custom domain

 
 
When you build your app, Zappter creates a web application (web app) that users can access from their desktop browsers. You get a default generic domain like in other eCommerce platforms. Using this plugin, you can link yourdomain.com to your web application. Having your custom domain is crucial to your brand reputation and trust.

Live streaming in your mCommerce app

 
 
How to set up audio streaming? (Video streaming is to be announced)
How to set up YesStreaming?
eCommerce is a fast-changing, competitive landscape. We predict that the next big thing could be live commerce using live streaming elsewhere in the world like China does now. We have come up with our first step towards extending support for live shopping using live streaming.  Live-streaming can help increase your sales as it creates a brand new shopping experience that is interactive too. And then it helps boost your customer engagement. 

Social media integrations

 
 
Instructions on integrating your social media and social logins into your shopping app:


With Facebook integration, you can add your Facebook page. With YouTube integration, you can add your YouTube channel and playlist.

Augmented reality (AR)

Integrating augmented reality or AR into the platform to benefit your eCommerce application is progressing and revisit this page for updated information.

Beispiel Text

Are these the only plugins available on the marketplace?
No. At the time of this post, there are over 120+ plugins available on the marketplace. In this post, we covered the features closely related to run your core eCommerce business and customer enhancement features for online selling. Visit the marketplace to learn the other plugins.
When I sign up first time, do I have all the features or it's just empty workspace I get?
When you sign up, you get an option to select an app template or skip it. If you pick an app template by browsing the app templates library, you get all the plugins pre-installed for your business. For example, if you select an eCommerce shop app template, E-Commerce plugin and others, required for an online store are available for you to start adding your content immediately.

If you skip, you get an empty workspace where you can build everything from the scratch, which is recommended once you have gained good knowledge on the platform. But if you accidentally 'skip' the app template selection, not to worry; you can always go to the content manager, and select an app template with a few steps, and it applies instantly. See Changing templates.
What is the difference between app theme and app template?
We use the term interchangeably, no difference.
I am a store owner, can I use a website builder get a customized app for my web store?
A website builder can build your web store and then it will work on mobiles as well. But still they're not mobile apps; they are responsive websites, optimized to run on mobile screens.  For an app that you can publish on app stores for iOS and Android users, you need to go for ecommerce app development or use a capable app builder like Zappter.
How can I have my app published on Android and iOS app stores to cover those customer base?
You can use our iOS and Android plugin to publish your mobile application (app), the single tool publishes the iOs app and Android app separately, it's one of the musthave features. Please note that this plugin publishes the app created with the Zappter platform. If there are any changes to your published app, you can use the same tool to update the app on app stores by resubmitting.
When building an eCommerce app, do my coding skills help get a more customized app?
Zappter is a no-code app builder, so it doesn't differentiate someone with coding skills from another without. However, with Zappter, you can customize your app to be on par with custom development.

We have made the platform capable of creating robust, highly customized apps with many features to help start selling faster to desktop users and mobile devices (when app published).
Post updated: 06/09/2021