In fact, if you’re in the eCommerce space (where mobile drives 62% of all mobile traffic), you probably know all about mobile-first strategy and how mobile shopping apps are the best-performing eCommerce channel. You’ve heard (and seen) it a hundred times.
That’s why we’ll take this post in a different direction. We won’t bore you with any by reiterating how important shopping apps are – instead, we’ll look at 5 real, practical ways businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from e-commerce apps.
We’ll start with…
1. Shopping Apps Maximize the Number of People You Engage with
If you were opening a real-life retail store, where would you want to be: in uptown Manhattan or Wharton, New Jersey (population 6,577)?
The answer’s obvious. You want to be where your potential customers are – so, Manhattan.
Now let’s take that comparison and apply it to eCommerce. As of right now, 62% of all traffic comes from mobile devices. And from all the time spent on mobile devices, 90% is spent within apps (another 10% is spent browsing the internet).
In fact, apps are now so popular that Americans spend more time using them than they do watching television (198 vs. 168 minutes/day). That’s right: mobile apps are now bigger than TV programming!
But that’s not all.
This means that apps trump both digital entertainment and TV programming in terms of viewing time. Having a shopping app is like opening a store on LA’s world-famous Rodeo Drive: even if your offer is awful, armies of consumers will engage with it.
Conversely, not having an app is like opening in some unknown, semi-deserted town – or inviting users to a store with empty shelves. You’re just not going to attract much business that way.
The second way apps benefit eCommerce firms is by…
2. Improving User Experiences (and Conversions)
How important are customer experiences?
Obvious answers range from “pretty” to “extremely” important… But those words don’t express the full magnitude of your UX’s (User Experience) importance.
In the B2B space, 89% of all decisions are based on customer experience. In the B2C space, the ROI on investing in customer experiences is 300%. This means that user experiences are one of, if not the, surest way to sell more in eCommerce.
And that’s where shopping apps come in. 85% of all eCommerce customers prefer them to mobile web stores for reasons that include:
- Convenience (63%)
- Speed (57%)
- Better deals (20%)
- Stored settings (41%)
Of course, you can offer some of these benefits with mobile-optimized webstores (that are accessed via mobile browsers like Safari).
But in an era when getting a native app in hours only costs a few hundred euros, why would not use both channels? Mobile webstores are great for attracting new customers, because mobile sites are accessible by anyone on the internet. Native shopping apps are just plain better at driving repeat purchases, brand prestige and even customer loyalty.
Just go the extra mile for your customers and give them a downloadable app that’s on their homescreen 24/7.
3. Customers Buy More (And More Often) When You’ve Got an App
A Bain & Co found that only 1 in 9 companies achieve sustainable, profitable growth – and that these companies allocate double the resources to customer advocacy and retention.
This means that customer retention is arguably the single most important factor in winning as a business. Apps are an excellent way to succeed at this, and the 2 stats below show why:
- The average new user returns to your store 2x faster when shopping through a mobile app.
- Mobile app store shoppers go through the customer journey 3x faster and see 4.2x as many products as other users. This leads to a significant increase in sales (and purchase frequency).
Why are apps so much better at getting users to return to your store and buy stuff? Here are 3 key reasons:
- Advanced features; e.g. push message marketing has open rates of up to 90%, which makes it easy to re-target customers;
- Downloadable app icons organically appear as users go throughout their day. The average consumer checks their phone 110 times per day, creating hundreds of free engagement opportunities for you;
- In eCommerce, 85% users prefer apps to mobile websites, which – again – means that having an app helps drive business.
On top of all these benefits, it’s been proven that apps drive more sales by just being there. That sounds unusual, but check out the point below to see what it means.
4. Shopping Apps Drive More Sales by Just Being There
A study of 46,000 shoppers found that 73% of all respondents used multiple channels to make a purchase.
This means that very few people buy a product after just visiting a store or just using a mobile app. Instead, users combine different channels to create the optimal buying experience. This might involve:
- Using a desktop PC to research
- Using a mobile device to compare online prices
- Going to a brick-and-mortar store to try the product
- Finalizing the purchase using the desktop device used earlier
This means that a user might go to 4 different stores at different points in the customer journey. This is a problem you risk losing a user’s attention (and business) whenever they disengage with you.
Having an app solves this problem by allowing you to be a part of the customer journey on multiple levels. In the same study mentioned above, this increased customer spending by 13% on average. That’s roughly equivalent to getting your V.A.T. back (in most countries), and is reason #4 e-retailers need apps.
Last but not least, there’s the matter of…
5. Keeping Up with The Competition
By now, it should be clear that shopping apps are a must-have for eCommerce businesses – which is why 2 in 3 SMBs will have one before 2017’s over.
This means that users will soon expect their favorite store to have an app. If there’s no app, they will start looking at e-retailers who provide the customer experience they want.
In this sense, the whole situation is reminiscent of Amazon’s emergence. Back when Jeff Bezos founded the company, most brick-and-mortar bookstores resisted entering the eCommerce space. The rest, of course, is history: Amazon’s business model won, and all those stubborn store owners lost.
The same thing is now happening with mobile commerce. 62% of all eCommerce traffic is mobile, and users prefer buying through shopping apps. Those who adapt to this trend will win (like Amazon); those that don’t will go the way of the physical book store.
(That is, down.)
Good news is, getting an app for your store doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. In fact, our platform turns your eCommerce website into a retail app in a few days. This service is free to try, and it’s the single fastest way to get an eCommerce app that’s 100% integrated with your existing store back end.
Launch your app with JMango360 and get support
At JMango360 your mobile success is our responsibility. In just 4 weeks time, we’ll design and launch a PWA or native app that reflects your brand and puts your customers first. But adding an app as extra revenue channel is not a ‘launch and they will find me’ project. That’s why we continue where others stop. Our app marketing support team will make your app results their priority. With best practices, templates, full support of experts and monthly app marketing calls you’ll be maximizing your app results in no time!
Plan a strategy call to discuss your goals and needs.