Most customers nowadays prefer eCommerce websites to brick and mortar stores. But a very large percentage of modern customers access eCommerce websites on their mobile devices. As highlighted by several studies, customers spend over two-third of their digital time on mobile apps. The mobile apps have completely changed the way customers perform pre-purchase research and internet shopping. Hence, a business can no longer increase sales revenue by optimizing its eCommerce website for mobile devices. Its very important to have a mobile strategy during the eCommerce application development phase. The businesses must use mobile apps as a powerful tool to stay connected with customers, promote its products/services, and increase conversion rate. The businesses should analyze the impact of mobile apps in eCommerce and create intuitive mobile apps to stay popular, profitable, and competitive in the long run.
Impact of Mobile Apps in eCommerce Industry
Mobile Commerce Exceeds eCommerce
As mentioned earlier, most customers nowadays access eCommerce websites on their mobile devices. A number of studies suggest that mobile retail sales have already desktop retail sales in several countries including UK and Japan. The steady increase in mobile eCommerce sales make it essential for enterprises to focus extensively on their web store’s mobile user experience. At the same time, they need to complement the mobile-friendly eCommerce websites with robust mobile apps to improve customer experience and increase conversion rate.
Make Shopping Experience Faster and Simpler
Enterprises have to explore ways to speed up and simplify shopping experience to keep customers engaged and persuade them to buy. Both website and mobile apps need to have responsive design. An enterprise can use its mobile app to automate key aspects of online shopping experience like checkout process and payment processing. The mobile app will further help the enterprise to prevent shopping cart abandonment by allowing customers to use mobile wallets and avoid submitting additional information.
Enhance Customer Experience
The customer experience delivered by a web store directly impacts its popularity and profitability in the long run. Most users nowadays opt for eCommerce portals that deliver personalised customer experience. The mobile apps are more responsive and flexible and they can deliver contextual information and personalised customer experience by taking advantage of the native features of the underlying mobile platforms and devices. When the customers access the mobile app with a stable internet connection, they can navigate through the web store, place orders, and make payment quickly. Website owners should take note of these key elements to an eCommerce personalization strategy.
Accelerate Market Research
Unlike eCommerce websites, mobile apps are effective in tracking behaviour, habits, and preferences of individual customers. An enterprise can use its mobile app as a robust market research tool to gather real-time customer experience consistently. The customer data collected through the app will help the enterprise to identify customer expectations, demands, and behaviour. Enterprises can take advantage of customer data to make digital marketing strategies more effective and explore new marketing opportunities.
Deliver More Relevant Ads and Offers
In addition to gathering real-time customer data, the mobile apps further help enterprises to boost sales by localizing ads and promotions. An app can use the GPS or geolocation features of the mobile device to identify the current location of customers. It can even use the information to deliver localized search results and offer local deals to the customer. This information helps mobile apps to increase conversion rate by displaying location-based ads and providing local deals to the customer based their current location.
Boost Sales through Social Media
The mobile apps also help enterprises to sell their products and services through innovative sales channels like social media. Several studies show that most customers nowadays use social networking platforms to perform pre-purchase research. Likewise, social sales have been increasing steadily and consistently. The mobile apps make it easier for enterprises to connect customers with their social media profiles. Businesses can enable customers to access its social media profiles directly through the mobile app. They can include specific features in app to sell products or services through popular social networking platforms. Here is some interesting information on social commerce.
Take Advantage of App-Only Approach
Several large retailers have proved the effectiveness of app only approach. These retailers believe in using their mobile apps as a robust alternative to eCommerce websites. Some of these retailers even persuade customers to use their mobile apps instead of eCommerce websites. The app-only approach helps small businesses and start-ups to drive online sales without developing and maintaining a fully functional website. Also, the retailers can focus extensively on the customer experience delivered by their mobile commerce apps to acquire new customers, retain existing customers, and increase conversion rate.
On the whole, each enterprise nowadays needs a robust mobile app to improve customer experience and drive online sales. But the trends in mobile app development and mobile commerce keep changing from time to time. An enterprise must update its mobile app regularly to meet the changing shopping habits and preferences of customers. Also, it needs to focus extensively on the app’s user experience to keep customers engaged and persuade them to purchase.