Why Your Ecommerce Business Should Develop a Mobile Application

Businesses that don’t have a mobile application for their brand should start thinking about how they can leverage it to their benefit. Today, you can run your business with the help of mobile apps—but did you know you could build an app to help grow it? While many business owners feel that a responsive WordPress website is enough to satiate the growing need for mobile access, the reality is that native applications can help fill in many gaps in the e-commerce industry, and help companies capture a bigger percentage of their market.

Many businesses are starting to realize this. Just six months after Dominos launched their mobile app in the United Kingdom, sales increased by 20% and mobile orders comprised 52% of their business.

Another study conducted by market research firm Red Hat found that 90% of the 2,500 surveyed businesses across the US and UK had plans to invest in mobile apps during the upcoming year. Seventy-four percent of businesses using KPIs to track success saw a positive ROI on mobile development.

Ecommerce businesses that don’t stay in line with today’s mobile trends will quickly find themselves falling behind their competition. A mobile app puts your logo directly in the pockets of your target market, getting you one step closer to solidifying your share of the market.

Leverage Push Notifications

Mobile applications allow you to give your customers important information that could lead to a sale. Push notifications are alerts sent directly from an app to a person’s device, and are an important part of the app experience. This type of power is even more effective than, say, email marketing. After all, people are spending a lot of time looking at their screens. According to comScore, the average American adult spends nearly three hours per day looking at their smartphones. Other studies have pegged this figure around the 4-5 hour mark. And the majority of time users spend on their phone is comprised of app usage.

Every mobile user sees their notifications, and this is a great way to re-engage users, stimulate engagement, and retain loyalty. In fact, according to Urban Airship, push notifications can help increase app retention by 3-4x. Use push notifications to achieve a variety of your marketing and sales goals by gently encouraging them to take action. Here are a few ideas:

●      Let users know when there’s a sale or discounts available

●      Remind them that there’s items still in their cart

●      Nudge them if an item that’s in their wish list is almost sold out

●      Give them free shipping

●      Remind them that they’re close to redeeming a reward based on your loyalty program

Get More Data

Data, data, data: it’s is everything in business today. Mobile applications allow you to make data-driven decisions for your campaigns and strategies. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to target the right people. For example, the ability to analyze location data can open up a wealth of possibilities. The Pew Research Center learned that 90% of mobile users keep their location services switched on—creating more opportunity for businesses. You’ll understand where the majority of your active users are, as well as where there’s potential.

You can track actionable metrics with push notifications, too. Glean insights into open rates, open times, engagement, and delivery receipts. Understanding these numbers helps you send push notifications at times when engagement is higher and more likely to be opened.

Increase Customer Loyalty

Every day, the average American is bombarded with ads. Digital marketing experts estimate that, on a daily basis, a person sees anywhere between 4,000 to 10,000 ads. Advertising possibilities are endless: from TV to social media to radio, ads are all around us. Cutting through the noise and making a sincere connection—rather an intrusive connection—is simpler with a mobile application.

Customer loyalty is critical for businesses today. You may have already heard of the age-old advice, “It’s more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing customers.” This has been proven true time and time again. And yet, not many businesses are prioritizing retention in their marketing efforts.

The Harvard Business Review found that American businesses lose roughly half of their entire customer base every five years. On a yearly basis, they lose anywhere between 10% to 25%. Roughly 65% of business comes from current customers, and, on average 80% of future profits from 20% of your existing customer base. When you don’t put your existing customers first, you lose out on significant revenue gains.

Mobile applications can increase customer loyalty through the implementation of managed rewards programs. Nearly 70% of consumers agree that their choice of retailer is influenced by loyalty rewards programs. Apps make it easier than ever for customers to manage points and build purchases towards a concrete goal.

The Starbucks rewards program is a great example of what works. Starbucks CFO Scott Maw said at a JPMorgan Forum, “Almost all of our same-store sales growth [comes from] from those customers that we have digital relationships with and those that are in our Starbucks Rewards program.”

The Starbucks app’s highly engaging loyalty program helped fuel the company’s growth, and for good reason. It’s user-friendly, innovative, and most importantly, beneficial for the customer. It’s easy to earn points and exchange them for rewards, and this is the crux of any successful loyalty program.

Better Manage Customer Support

Poor customer service costs business millions annually, and customer service has become a key differentiator for brands today. Consumers expect stellar support from every company they engage with, and are quick to move on if those expectations aren’t met. In fact, by 2020, companies can expect the customer experience to be even more important than the product itself. Furthermore, nearly 90% of businesses compete through the level of service they’re able to offer.

The convenience of in-app customer support can allow you to create a much more seamless customer service experience. Make it easy for customers to view tracking information, submit tickets, and chat online with a representative during business hours (one in five consumers prefer online chat over other communication channels).

You can also house an FAQ section on your app, allowing customers to figure out solutions on their own and saving your customer service team time. Ninety-one percent of consumers would rather consult a knowledge base to find quick answers than contact customer service at all.