E-commerce is a very important part of any business. It allows you to sell products and services online. In order to do that, you need an e-commerce platform. There are many of them available in the market today, Shopify and Magento being the most popular ones. Which approach is the best with Flutter though? How should a modern and effective e-commerce shop look like?
Why is the main screen for e-commerce so important?
People asses everything immediately, first impression is the key. You can be almost sure that if you don’t have an efficient and well-designed main screen, you will quickly lose your users. In terms of e-commerce, a main screen with promotions, articles, and products best-fitted to users’s needs is super important.
How to create an approach perfect for every user? You need continuous testing as you have many possibilities to design it. First of all, an app publication is really time-consuming. We recommend the following the screen designs (independent of the app release):
- Firebase with RemoteConfig is a low-cost and the easiest to develop, best option for MVP.
You can create a scrollable screen with the horizontal list at the top (a product category) and promotions on the main vertical screen. We can sort it by ID in each list, using FirebaseConfig to ensure dynamic modification.
- Admin panel on the web (dynamic pages)
It’s time-consuming, but if you have a a lot of products & promotions, target specific users. It’s worth it.
You can create your own page tree (screens and navigation included) however you want. If you have several ad campaigns, then every acquired user can be redirected to another page (with products and promotions). You can create a few screens designed for each target group.
- Content is automatically adjusted to the user. Machine learning, artificial intelligence (recommendations + dynamic pages)
If you have a mature product and a lot of data, setting promotions and products manually could be inefficient and annoying. We offer our clients the possibility to train an ML model, which will decide what is the most attractive for all of your users and for a specific target group.
Payments in e-commerce
How to finalize purchases in a way most effective for users?
If you set a goal for a mobile app, you should create the shortest path for users to achieve it. In e-commerce, you can’t avoid payments. So how to design them effectively? First, choose your vendor. Here are some we recommend:
- Local Vendor (Open Payments / Checkout / PayU etc.)
- Google Pay / Apple Pay
It should be as simple as possible (done in one or two clicks). Make sure to enable saving of the address and order data for later.
For Stripe, PayPal and other similar tools, you always need to enter the credit card data anew. In Apple / Google Pay it’s already saved, done in one click, so much more user-friendly. Make it possible for users to choose from those various payment options.
What are the best e-commerce platforms that work with Flutter?
Flutter is a relatively new technology that provides a layer of abstraction between the platform and the application code. A developer only needs to write one code for multiple platforms. Flutter apps can be written in Dart, and be combined with other languages if they have an API available. Magento and Shopify have this possibility (REST API documentation). Integrations looks pretty much the same for both. When choosing the appropriate platform, consider carefully both your needs and your budget.
One of the most popular platforms for building e-commerce sites, Shopify offers everything you need to create an online store. It offers all the features, including multiple payment methods and currencies, shipping options, inventory management, order fulfillment and many more. Shopify also integrates with many third-party apps and services that provide additional functionalities like accounting software, shipping carriers and customer support tools.
You can find more info here.
Magento (Adobe Commerce)
A powerful open source platform that allows you to create beautiful websites with flexible layouts and advanced features such as product reviews, wishlists and others. Magento works well with plug-ins from third-party developers. There’s no shortage of add-ons on the marketplace to customize your site even further.
You can find more info here.
Must have features for every e-commerce mobile app
If you are looking to build an e-commerce mobile application using Flutter, here is a practical list of the main features you will probably need:
It’s the most important part of any e-commerce app. The payment integration can be done by integrating with payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay or Google Pay.
- Shopping cart management
An e-commerce app is not only about selling products, but also about managing the shopping cart. You should be able to add, remove, edit and delete items from the cart, as well as update the quantity of the existing items in the cart.
- Shipping & delivery details
Shipping and delivery details are very important for customers when ordering products online. You need to give them all the information related to shipping, such as estimated delivery time, cost etc.
- Reviews & ratings system
Reviews and rating systems help users decide whether they should buy a product based on other people’s experience. You can build your own review system using Flutter widgets.
Want to learn more? Read our article and find out about deeplinking, analytics and push-notifications.
New trends in e-commerce app with Flutter
In the e-commerce industry we can see that the e-commerce app with Flutter is becoming more popular. The first trend is live-streaming shopping. It’s an important part of the social media era. It brings the sense of presence and reality to people who are far away from each other. This live-streaming function can also be used in e-commerce apps. Nowadays, you can find many e-commerce platforms that use live-streaming as their core function. Check out the live-streaming shopping app made by us:
The second trend is shopping in metaverse shops. It’s a kind of virtual reality shopping that allows users to experience different kinds of products and services through virtual reality or augmented reality technology. The most famous example is Facebook Horizon, which allows users to create their own avatar and then go shopping on Facebook.
These two trends are highly likely to become more popular in the future as they broaden the experience of online shopping.
Is Flutter a good choice for e-commerce apps?
Nowadays there are many mobile e-commerce apps for Android and iOS platforms. Unfortunately the majority of them are not optimized for mobile devices. They use old design patterns and do not provide users with an outstanding experience. The main reason why is that many developers use old tools and technologies to create their products. In contrast, Flutter SDK from Google allows us to create cross-platform, aka as hybrid applications (what is a hybrid app for more information) in record time, while maintaining high-quality standards. We recommend using Flutter for e-commerce mobile applications as a truly top-notch solution.
In this article we went through important cases in e-commerce app that you should consider. You know about the first screen, the most important features, that everything should be simple as possible and what’s more about following trends. What’s more, you should be one step further than your competitors. Naturally, people constantly are looking for cost-effective ways to save their budget for other expenses like marketing, and investments in products. You can look at e-commerce giants made in Flutter (check here). If they will have an extra budget because they save money on product development, what they can reach more? Spend budget on extra features, invest in web3, expand worldwide or maybe extend their offers? Where will you invest if you save 40% budget for product development?