It’s not that long ago that everyone was fixated with the dot com boom and how we thought it would put conventional businesses on the back foot. Well, that was indeed the case and the businesses that refused to change with the times were dealt a harsh reality check.
The Age of Mobile Apps
Well, that was roughly about the 2000s. Now, we’re on the verge of another paradigm shift with the increasing impact mobile applications have on our lives. In this day and age, if you are unfamiliar with “Google Play Store” or “iOS” then you might as well be speaking another language. These days we have an app for just about everything, from calling a cab to ordering our food online along with countless other services. The point is, mobile apps now dominate our lives; whether as a consumer or a business entity, this trend is here to stay.
E-Commerce Startups Can Have a Valuable Edge
As an existing business owner, you might have evolved with the times and integrated a mobile app for your business, or you might have learnt the hard way through loss of market share or other setbacks. In this regard, startups can gain significant benefits if they invest in a custom mobile app to streamline their business.
1. Consumer preference and awareness
Although it has been discussed, I cannot stress enough the sheer number of mobile tech savvy consumers out there. It’s a fast-paced life and mobile apps make everything quicker and more efficient. The average consumer has realized this and now relies on mobile apps for a much better shopping experience.
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2. Your brand, your rules
With no benchmarks come no responsibilities. Although you can audience reach is much higher with Tv ads, you try to follow a certain trend and pay huge sums to secure a prime time television spot. But with an app, you can use whatever strategy you like to enhance your brand visibility. It could be informative, filled with buying stimuli or simply something to show off your brand, it is entirely up to you. This app by Audi is a basically a car-manual with augmented reality features. This shows that the possibilities for creativity are limitless. Hence, startups can get creative with their brand without having to break the bank trying to get television spots.
3. Hassle free digital payments
With physical money becoming less and less relevant, digital payments such as android pay and apple pay seem to go hand in hand with mobile applications. Who wants to divulge their credit card information to so many different websites if they have the option of keeping it all secure in a single location: their phone. E-commerce startups can get a leg up on the competition if they develop a mobile app with this feature. The convenience would definitely be a crowd pleaser, and that can’t hurt your brand, can it?
4. Enhanced Function and Aesthetics
As a new business, the level of personalization that you can offer your consumers with a mobile app is unmatched. You can simply edit out the unnecessary details and focus on your product. This results in a streamlined user experience where you can get your point across without any distractions. Along with that, you can have aesthetically pleasing app interfaces to improve browsing experience.
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5. Ease of Access and Maintenance
Suppose you are using an external application for some of your day-to-day business needs; including interactions with customers. What if one day the developer decides to cease support for that particular application? What if that application shuts down for good? You will be left with the headache of finding a new application while your current actions will suffer, affecting your customer relationships and brand image. A custom-mobile app on the other hand allows you to control most of your interactions from day one. No dependence on external apps and you can personally oversee the maintenance.
Websites Yesterday, Mobile Apps Today
In addition to the aforementioned reasons for creating an app for your startup business, business owners should know that mobile app users spend 18x more time on mobile apps than website users. A good business website may have served you well in the past, but it is definitely time to seriously look into mobile application development possibilities for your business- if you don’t already have one!
I would just like to reiterate to budding entrepreneurs that these are exciting times to start an e-commerce business. With the digital solutions available today, finding, targeting and converting a market segment has never been so accessible. A custom built mobile app increases your chances of success manifold. You do not have to over-analyze the differences between two separate marketing eras, you just need to follow the guidelines and take advantage of the unique e-commerce solutions you have at your disposal.
“If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
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