Building native apps can be a monumental task when targeting multiple devices, and when eCommerce and payments get involved, things get even more complicated.
Luckily, the Ionic framework is out there to help make this task easier.
There are three main features of Ionic that help to reduce the burden of developing your project:
- A single code base is used to generate native apps for every platform.
- The modular architecture supports easy reuse of components and screens.
These features definitely give you a leg up on standard apps, but can Ionic improve your eCommerce development experience as well?
The short answer is yes! Let’s dive into all the ways that Ionic can make your eCommerce project easier.
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What Makes eCommerce Apps Hard to Build?
Coding any app can be a difficult task, but once you add eCommerce to the equation, projects can become exponentially more difficult.
Before we talk about how Ionic can help solve your eCommerce application problems, let’s look at what a few of these issues are.
Here are some of the most common difficulties when building an eCommerce App:
- complex screens that need to pull in data from several sources
- integrations with existing online stores or point of sale (POS) systems
- admin areas for the management of products and sales
- keeping a consistent branding experience and inventory across multiple channels
- a much larger number of necessary screens (an eCommerce app will typically need twice as many screens at a minimum)
- advanced functionality such as product tagging, categories, navigating categories, product searches, and product filtering
- integration with payment systems such as Stripe, with support for subscriptions and native purchases
That’s a lot to worry about, but luckily there are a number of Ionic templates and features out there that can help!
How Can Ionic eCommerce Templates Help?
With the right template for your project, you can overcome each of the difficulties we mentioned earlier. So why use an Ionic template for your eCommerce project?
Well, for starters they often come with a variety of pre-built features and building blocks, such as:
- integration with a common admin system and back-end (such as Firebase)
- inclusion of dozens (or more) screens and components ready to drop into your project
- bundled components and code to handle some of the more complex common functions of eCommerce apps, like sign-in, user accounts, payment integrations, product searches, and filtering
This can save you quite a few headaches, and in many cases will shave off a significant number of hours from your project. This brings it within the realm of possibility for a single developer to build an eCommerce app, or for a small team to create a fully featured shopping experience.
Beyond creating a central code base and simplifying the creation of many of your app’s parts, using a theme often gives companies a leg up when it comes to customer experience and management. Let’s see the benefits that Ionic templates provide in that area.
Using Ionic eCommerce to Create Consistent Shopping Experiences
It's important to create a shopping experience where the web and mobile interfaces go together and don't seem like two distinct shops. This sense of cohesiveness applies both to the front-end shown to users shopping with your business and to the back-end shown to those who are managing the store and the products being sold.
To bridge the gap between web-based shopping experiences and apps, Ionic templates have the following benefits:
- easy customization of basic design elements, such as colors and icons
- ability to use the CSS already present on your website, allowing your existing design to be preserved
- pre-built features for handling deep links, allowing for linking between your website and app
These benefits go beyond the creation of the app itself, helping to provide brand loyalty and a trusted shopping experience.
With all of the challenges of eCommerce out of the way and the benefits of eCommerce templates fresh in our minds, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Ionic eCommerce app templates out there.
The Ionic eCommerce template by themes-coder comes with a number of fully fleshed-out features to give you a jump start on creating your eCommerce app. With more than 40 screens included, there are enough potential combinations to fulfill the needs of almost any app.
Some of the main features of the Ionic eCommerce template are:
- an admin system built in Laravel
- push notification integration through Firebase
- support for payments through PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree
- handling for both left-to-right and right-to-left languages
- features for handling coupons, shipping, and taxes
- support for Sass, making updating design elements a breeze
These features make Ionic eCommerce perfect for those that want a fully featured shopping app, but don’t currently have an online web shop they want to integrate into.
What if you want to integrate with an existing eCommerce platform, though? Well, there are templates for that too!
WordPress powers almost a third of the web, with WooCommerce being one of the most popular platforms to add eCommerce capabilities to a WordPress site. If you already have a WooCommerce shop, it can be a cause for pause when building an app to consider that you might need to integrate into an existing platform (or even worse, do double inventory management!).
Luckily, the Ionic 3 App for WooCommerce handles these integrations for you. This allows you to have all of the benefits of a great mobile eCommerce app template, but the added benefit of integrating with your existing systems hassle-free.
Some of the other features that come with this template are:
- online build tools so you can deploy without code
- push notifications, including for new products and new categories
- support for in-app reviews and ratings of products
- includes 20+ pre-made screens
- handles several payment methods, including Stripe, PayPal, direct bank transfers, and more
WooCommerce isn’t the only online shopping platform to get some love, though, so let’s check out another template with built-in integrations.
Similar to the WooCommerce focused template above, this Ionic template app built specifically for Shopify comes with everything you’d expect in a template, but with some extras for Shopify users. Synchronize your products with your existing inventory, and avoid the trouble of going through extensive effort to update your app.
Some of the other features bundled with this template are:
- a full-featured product catalog, including sorting, infinite scrolling, and more
- support for user wish lists
- pre-built color themes and the ability to create your own
- pull in products, categories, navigation, and more from Shopify
- support for more than 60 payment providers
If you’re looking to bring your Shopify store to native devices, this template will let you do that, with a much lower cost and time investment compared to rolling your own.
How Do You Build eCommerce Apps With Ionic?
Ionic is a powerful framework, and with that comes a robust community and ecosystem with a ton of tools, templates, and more. When you build your own eCommerce apps, what tools and templates do you prefer?
Let us know your favorites in the comments below!