The Essential Guide to Native Mobile Applications for E-commerce Marketplaces

Global marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba are dominating online retail. The Top 100 marketplaces sold $1.66 trillion worth of goods in 2018, Digital Commerce 360 estimates. But while these companies have grown to dominate the broader eCommerce market, “there are a host of niche marketplaces that are thriving,” says Inc. “Struggling retailers and distributors should seize the opportunity.”

Now, eCommerce marketplaces are becoming more specialized. Native mobile applications help marketplace owners create a better experience for their unique customer segments. To succeed, they must prioritize features and capabilities that align with those audiences. Let’s take an in-depth look at factors that help these companies succeed, and the best methods for achieving them.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Marketplace Native Mobile Application

Modern consumers expect to browse products on their own terms, based on their specific needs. This is critical for new marketplace applications—but how can marketplace owners ensure they are providing the right features? The following five techniques ensure you have the right approach.

1. Create a User Experience That Suits Your Specific Audience

Certain features should be included in all retail portals, but others are determined by the product categories and their audience. Ensure the experience your app provides includes the exact features and functions your customers are looking for. From design elements to navigation, prioritize an intuitive interface that customers want but can’t find browsing for your product categories elsewhere.

For instance, how it is implemented in the eBay mobile application. 

2. Make Branding Visible, Especially for Appropriate and Reputable Products

As a marketplace operator, you need an environment that supports all types of vendors with whom your customers want to engage. Too often, developers create apps without the importance of branding in mind. Ensure your customers know from whom your products come  as it can be seen in AliExpress mobile application. 

3. Add an Analytics Layer That Provides Real Insights About Your Customers and Portfolio

As a marketplace owner, “The analytics layer will track how customers are reacting to the app in near-real time,” The Digital Experience reports. “Understand which products are working best, the ones that need re-packaging, offers that are stealing the spotlight, and key demographics on who’s responding most to your portfolio.” Your analytics layer will be critical to determining which products and brands to carry and optimizing your native mobile application.

4. Adopt a Payment Gateway and Processing Framework That Prioritizes Transparency

The financial processes that underly eCommerce marketplaces aren’t always clear to customers. You must determine how much detail your customers need in order to be comfortable with transactions via your app. Prioritize a payment gateway that instills confidence in customers, even as they shop with multiple brands within your marketplace.

5. Maximize the Value of Your Product Reviews

eCommerce marketplace experts agree—product reviews are critical to success. “For the average consumer, peer recommendations carry 10 times more weight than recommendations from salespeople,” McKinsey reports.

Determining how product reviews are gathered and presented on your native mobile app is critical. Be sure the most pertinent information for your market segment is presented first, and that users can easily navigate to product reviews. Ensure your UX maximizes participation so that reviews don’t end up scarce or lacking. Product reviews must contribute to the robust experience of your native app as well.

As Amazon reaches over 700 million users worldwide — with 4.4 times more mobile customers than all its competitors combined, The Digital Enterprise reports — niche retailers need alternative destinations to stand out. Build a native mobile application that has the features these retailers and their potential customers actively seek out. With the appropriate tools in place, you will quickly become their go-to destination for all products in your categories.

We, in Factorial Complexity, had developed a marketplace for a white-label solution. It is a car washing service on demand. However, with minimum customization, such a platform can be easily transformed and satisfy any business needs. Mostly it happens due to its functionality that includes registration and profile creation, geolocation, chatting, photo sharing, and integrated payment system.


Maria Barabash Marketing Partner at Factorial Complexity