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    Mary Yasensky Delivery Manager

    How a E-commerce App on Flutter Can Help You Win the Market Competition

    If you’re an e-commerce marketer, you definitely know how competitive this field is. The number of new companies keeps growing, and the existing ones are looking for new ways of increasing sales. An undeniable advantage of Flutter for e-commerce, among other things, is the ability to quickly expand the range of sales channels with a single code base. Besides, it gives you a competitive advantage by reducing the time-to-market and greatly accelerating innovation.

    Since 2019, we’ve created over a dozen cross-platform  apps, including e-commerce ones, and clearly see a full range of its benefits and drawbacks. Let’s explore them.

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    How can e-commerce benefit from Flutter?

    E-commerce project management

    • Team management

    Given that your e-commerce application for both mobile platforms is created on the same code base, you’ll be working with only one development team. This greatly simplifies project communication and synchronization. 

    • Cost of e-commerce application

    In addition to simplifying team management, cross-platform development can save your company about 40% of the budget since you won’t have to pay for two native products — separately for iOS and Android. In total, native app creation comes out to about $64,000 compared to $51,000 on average for a cross-platform application.

    Technology-based advantages

    Dart-based origin

    The framework is based on Dart, which is extremely flexible and unique. The fact is that Dart uses both JIT and AOT compilers, several transpilers, and its own parser gives Dart several significant advantages:

    • Direct building of native code without using JavaScript which prevents bugs that frequently occur during the compilation process
    • Prompt development cycles
    • Hot Reload which allows you to see the changes in the UI almost instantly. It eliminates the need to spend extra time restarting all the code to see the result. 

    Performance close-to-native

    The high performance is a credit to the Skia graphics engine and the framework’s architecture. They provide high loading speed and perfect graphics and animations up to 120 FPS at the same time. The creators have recently introduced a new graphics engine called Impeller, the 3.3 version of which now allows the application interface to run incredibly smoothly without any slowdowns. Slowdowns, in turn, may be real conversion killers in e-commerce apps.

    Security

    Thanks to Dart base, the application code is encrypted so that it can’t be recovered by reverse-engineering. It makes the security of the solution even higher than in Java, Kotlin, or React Native.

    Test automation

    All bugs and errors are immediately identified making the final product high-quality and reducing overall development time. We at Surf have implemented this many times and successfully handled it even with bank application tests, where bugs and errors are unacceptable. So you can be confident in our work on automated e-commerce testing.  

    Proven e-commerce success stories powered by Flutter

    Online pharmacy chain by Surf

    Our Client, a large pharmacy chain needed an application for each of its 3 brands, and planned to develop native e-commerce applications. However, native development turned out to be quite expensive even for a fully established business: 3 Android and iOS applications for each store — 6 apps in total. To save resources, Surf suggested the Client develop a cross-platform application on Flutter. 

    The entire process took about  5 months. As a result, the Client saved 40% of their budget and got a high-performance product. Nowadays around 70% of the pharmacy chain’s purchases are made via the applications, and the average check has increased several times.

    Xianyu

    Xianyu is Alibaba’s re-commerce project or in other words it’s a C2C online platform for selling used goods. As of 2021, it had 300 million registered users and more than 46.61 million monthly active users. Xianyu was one of the first companies to implement Flutter in 2018. And eventually it has paid off: 

    • Xianyu optimized the application architecture. The company made a unified platform for all the layers by bringing together Flutter and FaaS models with Nexus API. It allowed Xianyu to speed up the process of delivering updates.
    • The company improved its R&D management system by reducing the workload for both iOS and Android teams and unifying the developers’ tech stacks. Now the team uses Flutter as the main tool and HTML5 as the secondary.

    eBay Motors

    eBay Motors is a niche online marketplace for buying and selling exclusive pre-owned cars. At a certain point, the company decided to develop an application for Motors since the community was probably growing, and eBay wanted some kind of unification among all its subsidiaries. Native development was too complicated and time-consuming for eBay Motors’s small team considering the time limits set by eBay. Among all solutions a cross-platform application was the most suitable one. After a thorough research eBay chose Flutter as it had all the necessary SDKs, provided a native feel of an application and allowed them to meet the deadline.

    Want to see successful Flutter projects in other business areas?

    Read our case studies

    Bottom line

    Flutter can help you gain a competitive advantage by greatly reducing the time-to-market of your e-commerce app. And you don’t have to sacrifice performance, data security, or the appearance of the interface. But it is very important to find a development team that knows their business perfectly and has the proper level of expertise. You can use our tips on choosing developers for your project or call us right now.

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