(This is a guest post from our friends over at X-Cart, a popular eCommerce platform.)
It is 2018. And mobile apps continue to reign supreme, accounting for a staggering 92% of the total mobile time. Considering that U.S. consumers time-spent on mobile crosses 5 hours a day, apps eat up to 4 hours and 36 minutes every single day.
No wonder. People carry their mobile phones everywhere… even to the bathroom.
But there’s more. According to Statista research, consumers downloaded a whopping 205.4 billion mobile apps to their mobile devices this year. And this figure is growing. In just four years the number of app downloads is expected to level up to 258.2 billion.
Can you believe that? It looks like eCommerce apps have become a new kind of addiction for the modern society, that is probably as harmful as alcohol and drugs.
Good news is that you can use this ‘addiction’ to your advantage. And if you already created an online store and your mobile website looks perfect on any device, it’s the right time to move forward and build a mobile app.
Still not sure whether you need it or not? I’ve put together a few reasons why you need a mobile application for your eCommerce business in 2019.
Reason #1: Stand out from the competition
Creating eCommerce applications is not what online business owners puzzle themselves with first thing.
And it’s likely that your competitors haven’t even thought about it yet. You may be the first to react to the new tendency and get your business noticed online.
Ability to contact businesses directly through an app is highly prized these days. Don’t miss the chance to impress your customers with a state-of-the-art level of customer care.
Even a simple app will make your business unique, as 91% of small & medium businesses are not yet optimized for mobile, let alone having a mobile app.
Reason #2: Improve online shopping experience for mobile users
Using a mobile app is a way handier than opening your browser and typing a link character by character to start shopping online.
For instance, I use the ASOS app on a regular basis, as it doesn’t make me log in to the site all the time (agggrh!).
It gives me quick access to my shopping information. And I can check my trackings on the go. Plus, there’s no need to open my Safari browser and scroll down to find this eCommerce marketplace in my bookmarks.
This way this simple application saves me loads of time. Moreover, it keeps my credit cards all in one place so that I could use them later, to say nothing of push notifications that let me opt-in to timely updates on the status of my purchases.
Whenever a sale is completed, I receive a pop-up notification that looks like an emergency message, with slight use of humor and short, punchy sentences.
Done right, eCommerce apps can significantly boost user experience and conversion rates.
Reason #3: Increase your brand awareness and recognition
You’ll be surprised, but an average mobile phone user checks content on their phone as many as 150 times a day.
Being addicted to my smartphone, I make as much as 56 pickups per day on average, which is quite a lot, I think. However, it looks like I’m not a typical mobile phone owner.
The total number of phone checks per day made by the U.S. citizens, according to Deloitte Analytics, is even higher. They make 245 mobile pickups times a day, which runs up to a mind-blowing 80 billion in total.
What does that all mean to you, as an online retailer? It means you can use your customers’ mobile moments to boost your brand awareness. Every time your potential customers unlock their smartphones, they see your app.
Your company logo is as good as gold on your customers’ home screens. It lets them access your store in a single click and makes them remember you, thus increasing customers retention and sales.
Here’re a couple of tips that you should take into account while creating an eCommerce app for your online business:
- Eye-catching smartphone icons help your brand stand out and become more recognizable.
- Relevant app store description will persuade mobile customers to download the app.
- Convenient UI design will help your customers easier navigate and find the things they are looking for.
- Helpful content will increase app retention rates and can be a part of your content marketing strategy.
The last point deserves special attention. Read on to find out how you can use your mobile app to boost your mobile eCommerce sales and grow revenue.
Reason #4: Add a new marketing channel
Some marketers are sure that the era of social media is due to сome to an end. And I agree with them.
Yes, social media marketing drives some traffic. But, let’s face it. Neither Facebook nor Twitter does not work as well as it used to a couple of years ago. And it seemed only to grow worse after Zuckerberg had made up his mind to kill his own creation for businesses, that dramatically reduced organic reach on Facebook.
Luckily, there are lots of marketing channels at hand that can stimulate mobile shopping.
For example, uploading your eCommerce app to Apple App Store and Google Play, you introduce your business to 1.28 Bn of active mobile users. That’s a pretty formidable group of people that is worth your attention. And that’s where you should focus your marketing efforts in 2019.
Here’re a few ideas for you:
- Location-specific offers, like GPS coupons, will allow mobile users to get a discount coupon in real time if they check in when at your location. It makes it fun to use your app, and it increases your sales.
- Push-notification promos will refresh your marketing strategy and provide your mobile shoppers with timely, contextual, personalized and relevant information, that will definitely improve your customer experience and boost sales.
- Other mobile-based campaigns, like mobile ads or banners, are less effective, but, anyway, they will let you increase the number of returning customers and boost conversions.
Reason #5: Make every client a returning client
A mobile application is a perfect tool to increase the number of returning customers.
Once installed, your eCommerce application will always be at your customers’ fingerprints. They will stumble upon your brand staggering 150 times a day, which means they will keep you in mind all the time.
And the more they think about your brand, the more purchases they are likely to make in the nearest future.
A well-thought-out mobile app, built with all the latest tendencies in mind, is sure to increase customer retention and reactivate lapsed shoppers.
But remember that even creating a simple application requires a bit of testing.
Think through what your potential customers are trying to achieve using your app and try various marketing tools one by one to see which works best for your business.
Have you built a mobile app before and have some tips on what not to do? Feel free to share them in comments.
About the Author
Helen Golubeva, a storyteller at X-Cart eCommerce shopping cart. Addicted to yoga, interested in philosophy, and totally mad about copywriting. She loves using the power of words to inspire people and help them grow their eCommerce businesses.