How to Get a Slice of the M-Commerce Pie
Mobile apps have changed the way we do pretty much everything, from making dinner reservations to killing free time. For a few years after apps became available, only the most successful companies could afford to develop the apps for consumers. As the technology has become more readily available, more new and small businesses have begun to explore the possibilities that apps can provide.
Many companies still question the need for a mobile app, especially if they have already spent the money on responsive design for mobile websites. These sites are easier to read on mobile devices, and they aren’t cheap when done correctly. Still, waiting for a website to load after fumbling through typing the address in a tiny address bar—these are complications that might turn a customer off. An app would solve those problems.
If you’re considering a mobile app for your business, you should be aware that mobile orders are expected to make up nearly 14% of ecommerce purchases in 2014. M-commerce sales in the United States will hit an estimated $108 billion by 2017. So, how can you expect your new mobile app to boost your business? Here are 5 ways.
After downloading an app, customers never need to wait for that app to load. No other resource for your company will be as convenient as your mobile app. If consumers see your QR code and use it to visit your app, the information will load more quickly than a website. If they use your app to make reservations for your restaurant, they’ll receive real-time notifications instead of waiting for the website to load. Text is easier to read, images easier to see, and choices clearly defined. All of these things make mobile apps more accessible than even mobile designs and inspire greater interaction with your company. Because of this, you can advertise almost anywhere and receive actual results for your investment.
Apps make constant contact easy for your customers. That’s why companies use them to offer reservations, customer service, and answers to questions. When you develop a mobile app, you can be certain your customers would rather use that app than visit your website every time. Use the app to reach out with push notifications, make redeeming coupons and discounts easy through the programming, and be sure everything is updated in real time so as not to bring about confusion. When you can promise these things, your app is ready to use for marketing.
While websites can certainly include geo-targeted information, this technology is much more easily accessed on mobile devices. You can target the customers in your general location instead of wasting money and effort on reaching the world at large. Let your buyers know about special offers, new products, and company expansion through your app. Because they’re only consumers in your area, you’ll receive a higher percentage of responses than you would for a widely available website.
Building upon geo-targeting, push notifications allow you to reach out to buyers in your area exactly when you need to. As long as app users allow notifications on their smartphones and tablets, they’ll receive real-time information from your company’s app. When you do send out geo-targeted information, buyers will see it right away. Imagine how many more sales you could make if buyers received information about sales at your place of business when they came within a mile of your location.
Push notifications are fantastic for keeping your local customers informed of offers taking place nearby. Without the immediacy inspired by local deals, you need another reason to inspire purchases. Time-sensitive offers are a great way to get buyers to your app ready to make purchases. These work beautifully for any company with a significant ecommerce presence, but they can also be used with businesses that have multiple locations.
Believe it or not, there are programs that will walk you through developing your own app. Of course, if you hope to employ a mobile app with many working parts, finding a professional for a customized and personalized app is the wisest way to go. Consider focusing on iPhone apps before Android, as 67.5% of iPhone users access apps, while only 43.9% of Android users do. While you’ll need to shell out more money in the beginning, the return on your investment will be well worth the initial cost.