Mobile App Watch: Ecommerce on the Go

There are apps for almost everything, for staying up to date on analytics to monitoring bandwith consumption. Still, native mobile and tablet applications for ecommerce platforms and merchant shopping carts in the respective app stores are woefully inadequate Few, if any, of the toptier solutions offer their own native applications. Why? In the age of responsive design, it's just not necessary anymore.

In this edition of App Watch, however, we managed to feature a rather interesting group of applications (and hardware, obviously) that Internet retailers of all sizes, and their brick-and-mortar counterparts, can use (and are actively using) to make sales, track inventory and close more deals from the convenience of their smartphones and tablets.

Square vs. PayPal vs. Intuit

A battle is raging among small and mid-size sellers in the realm of payment processing. Big names including Ebay's PayPal, Square and Intuit are in a virtual death match to capture the attention and (and fees, of course) of sellers interested in using their mobile devices (smartphones) to process payments from buyers on the go. Each has a system to accept credit card payments by plugging in a piece of hardware directly into a phone (granted, some more visually appealing than others). But which is best for your enterprise?

Square's low rates and Intuit's broad offline reach make them both serious competitors to the dominant PayPal. So, who will win the hearts, minds and business of retailers?

Website Magazine has taken on the task of comparing these vendors' features in our 2013 Payarison Report.

More this month from Website Magazine's APP WATCH!

Groupon Merchants

Android :: The daily deal scene has certainly cooled down but it remains top-of-mind with many merchants. Enter the Groupon merchants' app, which lets businesses redeem Groupons and accept credit card payments from within the application - all with no monthly fees, contracts or obligations - and even lets merchants view redemption history. The free application has been downloaded more than 100,000 times and updated as recently as late June 2013.

ecommerce Manager

Android :: A modestly popular app (sub 10K downloads), ecommerce Manager comes free (but scripts to a specific store's framework require a license of $29.99) for Internet retailers. The application works with many popular open-source ecommerce solutions including CRE Loaded, OpenCart, OSCommerce, PrestaShop, Zen Cart and others, and offers a long list of features for store management. The app was updated as recently as early Feb. 2013.

Package Tracker Pro

Android :: It might not be the most exciting-sounding application, but it could quickly prove to be the most useful. The Package Tracker Pro app offers parcel tracking for a variety of shipping carriers, delivery notifications and, how cool is this, the ability to display the actual package route on a map, when available. Ranked with 5 stars and selected as a Reviewers Choice Award Winner in Google Play, the app has nearly 50,000 downloads and was updated as recently as mid-June 2013.