In 2021, the retail eCommerce sales were approximately $5.2 trillion. It is expected to grow by 56% over the next three years to reach $8.1 trillion (Statista). eCommerce is no longer a strategy to boost sales or a luxury. It is a necessary investment for all businesses and an integral part of the global economy.
More customers value and embrace eCommerce due to:
- The increasing comfort offered by online retail stores
- The emphasis on customer's safety while shopping
As a business, you must invest in eCommerce to increase visibility, improve global sales and boost your bottom line. Choosing the right technology to deliver an aesthetic and functional eCommerce store can help you with conversions.
Flutter, a UI Toolkit developed by Google, is one of the most preferred frameworks for eCommerce development. As Flutter uses the widget-based architecture and Dart programming language, it can offer visually appealing and interactive solutions.
Moreover, it makes cross-platform app development fast and maintains the performance requirements.
In this guide, we will discuss how you can proceed with Flutter eCommerce app development with just an idea. We will take you through all the points needed to build a full-fledged eCommerce solution.
If you are planning eCommerce application development with the Flutter framework, you must have a well-defined plan. It will help organize all facets of development and release a capable app solution.
Having an idea is not enough when you get started with your eCommerce application. You must work and build on your idea. At this point, you must narrow down your idea to decide your target audience. For example, if you have a jewellery eCommerce app idea, you might want to niche down to diamond luxury jewellery online.
You will have a niche target market, making things more accessible. Along with defining the target audience and building the idea, you must conduct competition research. Know what people are trying to achieve in the niche and how far along they have come.
Once you have prepared these aspects, you should sit down with the team to create a realistic timeline for the project. You will have a better understanding of the milestones when you have defined them properly.
The last part is defining the tech stack. We have already chosen Flutter to build your frontend for the ecommerce application. You must set up the development environment and implement the tools/libraries to help build the solution.
Note: At this point, you must set up the version control as well to ensure you have a proper version history and can go back to your previous setting anytime.
This is an integral part of eCommerce app development. You will be setting up the development environment and ensuring proper app capabilities.
Here are all the steps that you must take to ensure proper setup.
- Start by downloading the Flutter SDK for the particular operating system. Once downloaded, extract Flutter from the file and place it in the path defined. Don't forget to ensure that the file is correctly downloaded and installed.
- Once you have Flutter, you must also download the programming language package for Dart.
- The next step is to define the Integrated Development Environment to build your application. Most developers prefer Android Studio for Flutter app development. Few others would go with Visual Studio Code. There are developers who prefer IntelliJ IDEA.
- Lastly, you must verify the downloads to see if they are done properly. It is essential to check if all files are downloaded.
Once you have setup the environment, it is time to create the design for the application. First, you must design the wireframes or draw sketches of the screen's appearance. Convert these sketches into prototypes using tools like Figma to help your design team.
Invest in the user experience design to ensure the proper placement of elements and font sizes. This would help improve the usability of the interface and enhance the engagement.
Make the interface design intuitive and centred around the user. You must explore navigation options that present a low learning curve to the user. Ensure your shopping cart is easy to access and has the exact options.
Keep a very simple design and checkout approach so that users are likely to stay in the application longer. When designing a mobile application, you must use a specific design approach. The designers must incorporate ways to enhance accessibility and ensure responsive solutions.
At this point, you will be translating the designs into a mobile application. You must invest in the proper steps to build a capable and reliable Flutter eCommerce application.
You must create the project structure to get started with Flutter application development. Make sure to include elements like components, the main. dart file, models and services.
Once you have the elements ready, you must start building the navigation for the eCommerce application. Think through how you aim to help your user move through the application.
While you are building the frontend for the application, here are a few crucial elements to consider:
- Start by defining the user authentication screens for the Flutter eCommerce application
- You must have the registration and login screens ready for the user
- Once you have built the basic screens, start working on how the product catalogue will appear. Ensure you have added the listings and the details properly.
- Lastly, you must create fluidity in the cart's functionality for the best frontend solution. The movement from the cart to the final payment gateway should be smooth.
- Adding the profile and history capabilities to the frontend can give away a good experience.
For the frontend to offer excellent experiences, you must develop a robust backend. Here are a few pointers that can help with backend development. Make sure to work on third-party integrations and API development while working on backend development.
- The most important part of backend development is the database. Ensure you have selected the exemplary database service for your mobile application. Choosing a database structure that resonates with your needs is equally important.
- You must develop the server-side scripts and build APIs that can enhance the functionality of your application. Make sure to invest in RESTFul APIs for better communication with the server.
- User authentication is an integral part of the security of the application. You must add role-based authorizations and data encryption for the best results.
- Data storage, transactions and even payment compliances are important considerations for backend development. Your tech stack should suit your security and safety requirements.
Once you have built the solution, it is time to test the application. Creating the suitable test cases, investing in appropriate tools and automating tests can help you ensure a bug-free solution.
Detailed manual testing is vital for functionality tests. You must ensure you have all the test cases and conduct iterative testing for the application.
It would be great to launch a beta version of your app to real customers to get feedback. They can tell you what would work and what wouldn't. This gives you enough time to rework the application and build a more user-friendly version.
The final step is to launch the application to the app stores. You might want to prepare the application for the launch. It is equally important to ensure a smooth process from testing to deployment.
Make sure to design the icon for your application that includes all the branding elements. You must ensure it is visually enticing and available for all device sizes. Consistency across the branding elements is important for the best app store visibility.
Optimize your app with appropriate tags and keywords before uploading the application to the app store. You must include screenshots and videos that matter the most for the app download.
The app store guidelines are a must-read. You must follow them entirely before applying for review. Fulfil all the legal and other requirements for better acceptance.
Planning an application with the Flutter framework is an excellent way of building an aesthetic and fluid solution. You can derive the best navigation and ensure complete fluidity throughout the application.
It is important to define the tech stack before beginning the development. You must have a compatible backend framework and the best database solution. Partnering with the right Flutter app development company can help you build the application from an idea with minimal hassles.