Introducing ShopSpree: An iOS App for Spree Commerce
The preferences of shoppers have changed globally. Today, consumers prefer shopping in the most convenient ways: anywhere, anytime and on the move. This changing landscape has given birth to the world of mobile and applications. The statistics prove the increase in mobile internet usage is on the rise, now standing at 65% globally.
Around 32% of all online purchases have been done through mobile. Mobile commerce is looking promising, and expects the spending to be $200 billion USD by the end of 2014, reaching an approximate 50% growth from 2013. Predictions indicate that by 2020, smartphones and tablets will account for more than 75% of global online commercial transactions, and more than 50% of spend.
The e-commerce market, which is now enhanced by mobile, is comprised primarily of e-commerce companies that have long held a web presence, but have gained even more with the transition from web to mobile.
Analysis show that apps’ usage on mobile is increasing on a year-to-year basis. Within mobile, the use of native apps is way ahead of the use of mobile web. This year (statistics comprised through March 2014) native apps’ usage stands at 86% of the total. Meanwhile, mobile web usage has decreased by 30% on a per-day basis from its previous value. Today, stores engaged in mobile commerce want to maximize their products’ reach and increase sale and revenue by adapting to this trend of m-commerce through native apps.
Some e-commerce companies, such as Zulily and Gilt, built their platforms as the mobile trend was gaining momentum. These companies were able to take advantage of the opportunity to tailor new business models, such as daily deals near the location of smartphone users, in order to gain a competitive advantage. In 2013, Zulily generated 45 percent of its North American orders through mobile devices, versus just 31 percent during Q4 the prior year.
Like retail stores, marketplaces also benefit from going mobile. The key to any marketplace is achieving liquidity, and companies can achieve this more quickly by extending their marketplaces to mobile. Some marketplaces like HotelTonight and FOBO involve local, time-sensitive, or untethered transactions that have gone mobile-only, recognizing their platform is fundamentally better on smartphones.
One option for merchants who currently have their store built on Spree Commerce (a leading open-source e-commerce platform built on Ruby on Rails), or are planning to go mobile-only first, is ShopSpree.
ShopSpree is an iOS app, native to be precise, that showcases the SpreeCommerce features on mobile. It allows its users to browse through the product catalog, search products, and make a purchase to understand the flow. Products’ images can be zoomed in and out by utilizing the native features of iOS.
The app displays some basic e-commerce features. It highlights the strong capabilities that a storefront or marketplace can leverage by getting the app customized, in order to cater to different business needs.
The application supports the use of different payment modes (cash, check or card) and the integration of payment gateways like Paypal, Stripe, and many others. It also allows stores to integrate Wombat (a single tool for all integrations built by Spree Commerce) or other third-party services like MailChimp, Mandrill or Sendgrid for sending transactional and marketing emails to the end users. Product images can be rendered from file servers like Amazon S3 or any other chosen by the store.
Stores can have a different look and feel for their own app by choosing from different existing themes, or by getting a new theme designed to match their current branding standards.
ShopSpree has been developed with a primary principle of keeping all the concerned parameters in control. This is to ensure no rejection for the app on the App store, after submission. If customized, this will help bring the application to market quicker, in order to appease the end user. This is how it works:
The app, without any changes, can be used directly by any store by just pointing to its existing Spree Commerce server, and doing some backend configurations. The configuration can be done quickly, and the application can be uploaded to the app store with the store’s attributes. Within a few days, a store can have its own native iOS app available in the market.
This app runs on mobile devices that supports iOS7 or later. To see how ShopSpree works, click here.
ShopSpree, in its next version, plans to have features for both store administrators and their end users. Features like user location determination, payment gateway integration, users’ account section and social media integration, will be there to enhance the end user’s experience. For the admins, the option of viewing pending orders, as well as adding new categories and products, will be provided.
About ShopSpree’s Creators
This application has been developed by Vinsol, a premier Spree Commerce development partner that specializes in building online stores and marketplaces based on Spree. Vinsol is a leading Ruby On Rails, iOS and Android development firm based in India, with a satellite office in San Francisco. Vinsol has helped major brands and startups build their ideas, from concept to launch.
For customization for your own store, contact Vinsol.