The pandemic is changing the way Indians are shopping. As the crisis plays out out through 2020, social distancing will get more customers limiting their contacts and turning to online shopping. Shopping apps that attractively position products and offers will make retailers more resilient in face of difficult times.

The importance of shifting from brick- and-mortar to online

The lockdown has made the local kirana stores a lifesaver when it comes to essential services. But most retailers in the non-essential product service have faced losses in the 2 months of lockdown. With unlock 1.0 set to begin, all retail stores will scramble to open but with fears of infection, less customers will walk into a brick and mortar store. Restrictions on the number of customers at any one time in the store will continue. This makes it all the more important to bring all your products online. Shopping app for retail stores is the need of the hour to ensure profitability.

Even quick, light weight solutions that help customers to view your products online and make a pick up at your store can help. A 24×7 connectivity allows your customers to shop at their convenience. This is true for grocery shopping apps as well as electronic retailers. Add on a chat functionality and you can answer your customers’ questions just as you would if they walked into your store.

For a complete ecommerce solution, online payment and delivery system can be built into shopping apps to make it a completely online experience.

Also read: A realistic mobile app development timeline

These are the features that shopping apps will provide your business

1. Create lightweight solutions: Pick up at store OR Home delivery

This model is fast to implement and works in the following steps

    a. Your customer will look at your products online and use the shopping cart
    to select what they want to purchase.

    b. You will get the order emailed to you as well as be notified through a built-in admin dashboard.

    c. You will confirm with the customer when the order will be ready for pick-up from the store

    d. Home delivery options can be provided

    e. Cash on delivery (COD) is the simplest payment option, Payment gateway can be added for cashless transactions for shopping apps for retail stores.

2. Your shopping app home page can showcase your offers

Consider your app homepage as your shop’s store front.  Every customer has to come through it and it is the best place to showcase any new offer or new products. This is very unlike a website where customers can enter through any of your pages.

The iTech Retailer App gives you an easy admin interface through which banners can be uploaded to your app homepage. New offers can be attractively highlighted and your customers can easily navigate to the product pages. If you have a gift card purchase, it can easily be showcased both on the Home page of your app as well as product pages.

Also read: 5 Tips to reduce the hidden costs of mobile app development

3. Built in payment gateway

Giving your customers a choice of paying through different payment modes will male your online business more customer-friendly. While Cash on Delivery or COD is always an option, customers should have the option of paying through their credit card, net banking or through digital wallets.

Your choice of payment options can depend on whether you are a large retail chain or a smaller business. These are indicators to decide on the payment options you will want to include

  • Payment gateway provided by banks: This will allow your business to process payments through debit card, credit card as well as net banking. There will be an initial set-up fee as well as a transaction fee on every online transaction. The approval cycle can take some time as KYC and documentation is part of the approval process.
  • Digital wallets: These allow for electronic transactions through a device. We all use one or more like GooglePay, Amazon Pay, Phonepe and many others. These are faster to set up as they have simple integration.

Check with the service provider you want to use as to how they will pay you and the time involved in clearing payments.

4. Return and Exchange Policy

As an online store, it is essential that you have a return and exchange policy to ensure clear guidelines are available for customers. It is not viable to decide on a case-to-case basis and will take up your time and prove expensive. Have a clear written policy added to your app and clearly visible to your online customers.

A contact us page is just as important to show credibility and for customers to reach you if needed. This is particularly important if you provide a pick-up facility. Consider including a map of your store as well as an online contact form as part of your customer support service.

iTech India has been providing customized software solutions since 2003. We specialize in custom software development, app development and re-engineering. Contact us today to know more about how we can bring value to your business process.