Google first announced back in 2015 that mobile searches in 10 countries, including the U.S., officially out-numbered traditional Google searches on desktops. As a result, mobile commerce (called m-commerce) has been a growing force. And businesses, large and small, followed suit.
Now, in the year 2017, having a website that isn’t mobile-friendly means kissing leads and customers goodbye. In order to stay competitive in the current market, businesses need to create user-friendly purchasing journeys and tailor user engagement based on what device is being used. If a certain company doesn’t follow this golden rule, then its competitor will, while taking customers with it.
Not only are people using their smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet, but they’re commonly on apps. In 2015, Yahoo developers put out a report showing that 90 percent of people’s time spent on their mobile device is spent utilizing apps.
While it’s necessary to make sure your company’s website is mobile-friendly, it’s equally important to ask your team if your business could benefit from a mobile app.
Mobile Site Versus Mobile App
A mobile-friendly website is a website that is coded and constructed in such a way that automatically alters the layout to maximize user-friendliness and navigation, depending on the device used to view the website.
A mobile app is a program downloaded onto a mobile device that lives on that device, making it easily-accessible, and serves some sort of entertainment, shopping or customer service function for a certain audience.
(Still don’t understand the difference? Read more here.)
Even though the majority of time people spend on mobile devices is in apps, most mobile users are consistently downloading new apps they find interesting or helpful. There were more than 90 billion app downloads worldwide in 2016 – a large increase from 77 billion app downloads from the year before.
Mobile apps are like the new mobile website: to stay relevant, all businesses need one.
Constructing a mobile strategy is a necessity and building an app for your business is on the same path of importance. If you feel as though the mobile app idea is all too new, note that in 2015, 90 percent of companies in a 200-company survey planned to increase their mobile app investments in 2016. Considering a mobile app isn’t a suggestion – it’s imperative.
You might be wondering: Why would my business need or benefit from a mobile app?
Thirty-eight percent of marketers asked in a mobile marketing survey said “their primary purpose in creating an app was improving customer service” and 24% said it is to increase revenue. Here are our top 10 reasons why you must consider building a mobile app for your company:
1) Everyone’s doing it.
And you don’t want to be left behind. A 2017 mobile app survey shows that 2/3 of small businesses have plans to develop a mobile app by the end of 2017 and 42 percent of small businesses have already built a mobile app. Like the previous survey mentioned, this survey also found that the top two reasons why small businesses built their mobile apps was for increasing sales and enhancing customer service. What better reasons are there?
2) It increases sales.
A great example of this is Domino’s Pizza. The pizza giant saw a 28 percent increase in UK online sales in just the first six months after creating a mobile app and now more than half of the company’s online orders are from mobile devices. If you build a mobile app that makes the buying experience easier than before, your customers will use it.
3) It establishes you as a leader in your industry.
Constructing a mobile app helps your company stand out from your competition, especially if you’re the first in your industry to build one. Investing in innovation always looks good, no matter what kind of business you have.
4) Provides a superior user experience.
Your app will be constructed in such a way that users can easily do common, desired functions, without the messiness of a website. The app will seamlessly guide them where to go and what to do, and they can have a much more personalized experience (without having to log into a website first). Think saved shopping lists, personalized rewards, easier navigation. Benefits of a superior user experience include more positive reviews, more followers on social media, more brand loyalists and, most importantly, more repeat customers.
5) Enhances communication.
An app provides a direct communication channel to customers, as well as push notifications that can easily inform users of abandoned shopping carts, new products, special offers and upcoming events.
6) Makes the purchase process easier.
An integrated electronic payment system will streamline checkout, making it easier for customers to buy from you while minimizing customer service staff.
7) Allows for easy access to a loyalty or rewards program.
Make it easier to have a built-in loyalty or rewards program to encourage repeat customers by building an app. Users could use this feature to monitor and redeem their rewards or points. By making this type of program easier for customers to access, it greatly increases the likelihood that people will use it.
8) Helps your company built a stronger brand.
Since a mobile app is downloaded onto a mobile device and thus lives on that device, it becomes easily-accessible and consistently reminds the user of the brand, since it can be seen on the mobile screen.
9) Permits social integration and increases customer engagement.
Having an app maximizes customer engagement with your brand and allows users to easily connect with your company on social media, as well as easily share your content on social media. This will help expand your social media reach and get new followers.
10) It opens the doors for the next technological trend.
It’s very critical for your business to stay up-to-date with technology, not only internally (such as software your company uses in its day-to-day), but also externally, such as mobile sites and mobile apps. With virtual reality gaining speed, who knows, your mobile app could be used as the gateway to your VR shopping experience in 2020. Keep with the times and your customers will like you for it.
Does your small business already have a mobile app? Let us know the top 3 ways the mobile app has benefited your company in the comments below!
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