Why your e-commerce & retail business needs a mobile app
E-commerce websites have been met with tremendous success in the last decade and lately, due to the Coronavirus developments, demand for online shopping has skyrocketed to new levels, rendering a retail business without an online presence completely irrelevant.
Why mobile apps are critical for e-commerce stores
Studies have shown that nearly 90% of prospect customers use the mobile app of their favorite store when shopping online. Mobile has permanently changed the shopping and retail landscape and the ways customers can interact with brands online. Retail industry aside, nearly 50% of all small businesses have a mobile presence — that’s one out of every two businesses regardless of the industry they’re active in.
But why do mobile apps perform so much better than e-commerce websites? Surely when you have thousands upon thousands of product listings to offer to your clients, then a website is superior, is it not? — No!
The key reasons why apps perform better than websites are personalization and intuitiveness. Retail apps are one of the top 4 most frequently used types of apps used on users’ devices.
As the needs of customers evolve, so does technology. Customers have all the power today. Internet has democratized the entire customer journey as transparency now characterizes every step of the process. Users demand more from the brands they love, they demand more from the purchasing experience — they want to be engaged, they want to be part of the brand, they want to become an active player in the brand’s world.
6 Reasons why your e-commerce business needs a mobile app
Smartphone penetration has been increasing at an alarmingly fast rate and in 2020 it has reached shy of 50% of the global population.
There’s no substitute for mobile consumption. According to a recent study, 96% of adults in the US own a mobile phone. 81% of the population owns a smartphone and the majority of those use mobile apps to shop online.
As such, the need for mobile apps can’t be overlooked. The latest covid-19 developments have only emphasized and clearly highlighted the importance of having an online presence, be that a website or a mobile app – or both. Brick and mortar stores that don’t have a website or a mobile app and rely solely on physical foot traffic are under extreme financial strain at the moment and there’s a high chance they won’t survive the pandemic.
People are shopping online today, more than ever and this statement holds true across a wide range of industries.
Business owners who don’t recognize this need and adapt will have to face huge challenges that may not be able to overcome.
Let’s look at the key reasons why your business needs a mobile app:
1) Mobile e-commerce is on the rise
It is projected that within the next two years, mobile e-commerce will control over 73% of all sales online globally:
As we discussed earlier, smartphones have become a critical component of our everyday life and people are used to shopping online. Coronavirus has only made online shopping more relevant so the demand for companies to have an online storefront is only going to keep on rising.
By 2022 over 80% of e-commerce sales will be done through mobile apps — if you haven’t joined the mobile revolution, now it’s the time to secure your share of the pie with a mobile app.
2) Mobile apps allow for advanced personalization
Consumers demand more from their shopping experiences; they want to feel engaged; they want to feel that they matter and that they are an integral part of the entire purchasing journey. They don’t want to feel like “just another customer”.
Mobile apps allow for a much higher degree of personalization compared to websites or mobile versions of e-commerce websites. Through personalization comes engagement and engagement is key to e-commerce success.
Apps can custom tailor the browsing, shopping, and checkout experience perfectly around the user’s needs, preferences, likes and dislikes.
The leader of e-commerce, Amazon, has understood the need for mobile apps very well for a long time now. Once you open the app you’re greeted with a “homepage” environment that changes dynamically based on your preferences, past purchases and browsing habits. You are only shown products that you are highly likely to be of interest to you and provide value. You don’t need to go through endless of irrelevant and useless product pages until you find what you need.
Mobile apps also offer the ability of geotargeting much more efficiently. Using the smartphone’s built-in GPS function, you can target users based on their location on a hyperlocal level – something that’s not possible with websites. You can target users who are in the vicinity of one of your physical stores with push notifications and other alerts, show them relevant ads, and product recommendations.
Fashion retailers are pushing the personalization element of their mobile apps even further, offering custom avatars for each user with their measurements and an augmented reality option where you can try on the clothes so you know exactly what you’ll look like when you receive it at your doorstep. This is only the beginning of retail companies unlocking the power of mobile and as technology further evolved and advances, we’re going to see even more innovative features that will change online shopping forever.
3) Better user interface
Mobile apps provide a much better user environment that offers a more intuitive and streamlined user experience. As developers have to work with limited space in mind (mobile phone screens), compared to a full-blown desktop website, they need to make the best use of space they have available to them.
Mobile apps offer consumers a much more convenient way to browse, shop and interact with your brand. All the information and customizable options are within a finger’s reach and the mobile user journey is much shorter than the website equivalent.
As such, users feel that it’s “easier” to shop using a mobile app; everything is neatly organized and easy to find, they don’t need to waste time to find what they’re looking for and you can always provide useful and helpful tips through tooltips and smart wizards.
4) Higher retention rates
Based on a recent study by ComScore, iOS and Androids users spend 86% of the time they interact with their smartphones on mobile apps:
There are many more repeat customers on mobile apps than there are on websites — and repeat customers are extremely important to your business. Did you know that attracting new customers can be up to 25 times more expensive than selling to an existing one, but increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%?
With a mobile app you can improve your retention rate and increase revenue from repeat customers, at a much lower cost than having to always attract and convert new ones.
5) Increases brand awareness & builds brand loyalty
As we highlighted earlier, smartphones have penetrated into our daily life and become an important part of it. A mobile app provides an environment where your existing and prospect customers can interact with your brand which in turn will foster brand loyalty and trust.
A mobile app will also put your brand in front of the eyes of the users every time they unlock their phones and browse through the app menu. The more often they use their phones (and they do a lot), the more your brand colors and logo get imprinted in their brains, and the mere app icon functions as a free, evergreen ad for your business.
Mobile apps, through the personalization, also offer the ideal ground to promote and encourage brand loyalty with your audience. Provide a level of value that they can’t find anywhere else through personalized offers, bonus rewards and tailored deals to encourage return customers and converts new ones.
6) Enhance your mobile marketing channel
In-app marketing is an extremely cost-effective and efficient way to target prospect and existing clients. Don’t forget, your mobile app is its own ecosystem, its own environment. In-app ads allows for better engagement through customized content and higher retention levels. The user feels that they are engaged throughout their purchasing journey which results in higher conversion rates, lower cart abandonment rate and a stronger brand loyalty.
Additionally, in-app marketing is much more cost-efficient compared with other marketing channels that can cost a fortune and bring in similar, if not worse, results.
The world has clearly gone mobile and now it’s too late to turn back. Regardless of the industry you’re in, your business needs a mobile app. All the surveys and stats speak for themselves. A mobile app will:
- Bring in more customers
- Increase repeat customers
- Increase conversions
- Boost brand equity
That being said, the e-commerce sector is the most benefited from this and a mobile app can make or break your business. Consumers prefer apps to full blown websites, they crave the engagement and the personalization apps can offer. If your e-commerce brand doesn’t have a mobile app, we’d be happy to work with you, learn about your business, your requirements, your needs and pain points and create a completely custom-tailored solution that will be designed with your customers in mind.