4 Key Elements for a Successful Mobile Shopping App

From offline to online, shopping is an immersive and therapeutic affair.

Retailers feed our eyes with colors and patterns, basking in bright light. Enter a store and a whiff of subtle fragrance permeates in the air. Get a feel of the product with our hands while face-to-face interaction with a staff provides us with more information.

This multi-sensory experience makes us feel good – more so if done at our fingertips.

Online shopping introduced us to a world of convenience. You can browse and buy at anytime of the day, wherever you are, from anywhere in the world. No more dealing with traffic, annoying sales staff, or queuing for payment. You just need an internet connection, browser/app on your phone, and lots of patience during big sale events.

In fact, in a study made in 2015, nearly 9 out of 10 Filipinos prefer to shop online!

Now, customers also expect the best when shopping online. But how does an in-store activity translate in the digital world?

Let’s look on what makes a mobile shopping application successful in the booming Philippine e-commerce market. We use Zilingo, a mobile-first fashion, beauty, and lifestyle e-commerce platform that replicates the Asian bazaar experience, as case study.

Visual first.

  • Multiple quality images for each product emulates the tangible aspect of shopping. The user is able to look at the product’s perspectives as they would in person.
  • A neutral background (i.e. white) helps to focus on the details while font type and size affects readability.


  • Every product is properly categorized/labeled.
  • Basic information (color, size, material) comes with other relevant details. It goes the extra mile to specify shoe type, bag style and even the appropriate occasion (casual, formal, etc.)!
  • Expectation vs. reality. How clothes and shoes bought online fit is a common issue. This is why size charts (with notes from the seller) are a must.
  • Inventory availability. The customer knows immediately when a product or speficic size is currently on stock or not.

Hassle free

  • Get exactly what you’re looking for. No irrelevant recommendations when an app has good search functionality and filtering.
  • Independent fashion marketplace. Discover and purchase from indie labels, local designers, international and celebrity brands in South East Asia.
  • Shop anywhere. Zilingo has a website plus Android and iOS apps.


  • Keep them coming back. Everyone loves a good rewards program (earn points), promos, and, best of all, free shipping!

What the app needs to improve on is the ability to leave feedback on purchased product for other customers’ reference.

Zilingo was founded in 2015 in Singapore and was launched in the Philippines last March 2019.

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