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Now is the time to develop web apps for e-commerce platforms

Got a great idea for an App? Richard Stevenson explains why e-commerce providers could be your new best friend

Got a great idea for an App? Richard Stevenson explains why e-commerce providers could be your new best friend


Web apps have revolutionised the way in which virtually all types of website are now built. Even the smallest business websites can transform functionality and usability in this way, and online merchants are crying out for apps that deliver additional and valuable functionalities to them.

Thus, it is no surprise that according to research, the majority of web pros are now pursuing projects surrounding new web apps. Now more than ever, the e-commerce industry has experienced a strong demand for third-party applications to support processes including accounting, marketing, search engine optimisation and logistics. In order to satisfy this need, e-commerce platforms are reaching out to the developer community for the opportunity to contribute to a high-end application library.

So if you have a great concept for an app, why should you turn to an e-commerce provider for help? Retail platforms often have thousands and sometimes even millions of captive users who could potentially catapult your app into the mass market. Through a strategic partnership, developers also have the chance to work with the experts within e-commerce providers to further develop and publicise their app. The global nature of the e-commerce tech sector can be the kiss of life for an app project.

A number of e-commerce Software-as-a-Service companies now run development partner programmes that proactively reach out to developers working on app concepts that need a boost. Such a developer partner program can be ideal for developers of all levels – whether starting from scratch or looking to increase the visibility of a pre-existing application.

An App Store allows smaller software developers to build a connector to integrate easily into a whole shop system. This is also a big advantage for merchants because they get a better user experience from using both their shop system and apps seamlessly. For example, the larger e-commerce providers offer a REStful API. Developed with a high level of standardisation, their API will make all app solution integrations as easy as possible so your solution fits perfectly to their products.

Additionally, an app can be further worked on with the help of experienced web developers on the provider side. If you do not have the time or skillsets in-house to fully optimise the application on your own, providers can also connect you with a development agency that has this experience for your type of app. Once completed, an e-commerce platform will then add it within their catalogues at no cost to the developer.

So, are there any disadvantages to the developer? It is true that e-commerce platforms need a high degree of quality control, will need extensive testing work and may wish to align an app with current user demands. However, you can rest assured that all parties are intrinsically motivated by what is best for the App overall. To begin a partnership with a global e-commerce provider, a developer needs only to reach out and ask for support.

Now Head of Corporate Communications for ePages, Richard Stevenson has worked in the web hosting, domain name and Software-as-a-Service industries for over 12 years, many of which working with SMEs and web pros all over the world to drive awareness and adoption of new web technologies.