In the 1800s, everyone had a horse. In the 1900s, everyone owned a wristwatch. These days, everyone has a mobile phone.
Mobile phones have become an extension of the human body — we never leave our homes without them.
The most important use of phones is not communication, it is access to the internet.
When people use their phones, I have seen that over 90% of the time they are using apps, and the remaining 10% of their on-screen time is split between calls and alarms.
In my 10+ years of experience in mobile and web development, I have seen businesses take off solely on the basis of their mobile applications.
Many business owners miss out on the gold mine that is m-commerce just because they shy away from development costs on mobile-based applications.
There is nothing further from the truth — these days app development is a fraction of the price it used to be even as recently as 5 years ago.
Until recently, app development was something impressive, distant, and alluring. The people who made and designed apps were wizards; people who had massive brainpower.
With the digitization of almost everything on the planet, from bill payments to e-retail, app development has come a long way.
If applications like “remember to drink water” exist, there is absolutely no reason your business shouldn’t have its own.
Below, I’ve outlined a few key points on why your business (e-commerce or not) NEEDS
It’s own bespoke mobile application.
Reasons Your Business NEEDS Its Own Mobile Application
- They are now inexpensive to build. There was once a time when mobile applications were exclusively the domain of huge MNC’s like Amazon, Facebook, eBay, Wish, Alibaba, and Etsy.
Well, this is now a thing of the past, thankfully. The boom of digitization that has swept the globe has slashed prices as more and more people are getting qualified to build mobile applications.
This, combined with the staggering amount of layoffs in recent years has pushed app development prices to an all-time low. You can save a lot of money simply by hiring a professional app development agency from a site like ComHQ who does in depth research and evaluation to assess app developers from across the globe on various parameters.
Outsourcing your app design modules can lower the cost of your overall app development significantly. For example, you could have one freelance team working on the UI, one team on the dependencies, one team on tables, one on application files, and maybe a few dedicated individuals who manage the integrations aspect of your app.
Outsourcing your app 100% will be costlier than if you did some elements yourself, but it would free up your time to focus on the actual content going into the app itself.
Put simply; the relationship between outsourced parts of your app and the amount of
The time that you have freed up, is proportional.
- Apps Open Up A Whole New Stream Of Revenue. Consider the shopping giant Walmart. Extremely popular due to its affordable prices, it is a hot favorite among consumers.
Walmart is a hybrid model as far as retail shopping is concerned — this simply means that Walmart has both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores where consumers can buy things.
According to VertoAnalytics, Walmart reaches double the number of people online than it does in-store. To put that into context, in 2019, Walmart made a whopping $500 Billion worth of sales, out of which about 38% was generated via its app and website alone.
Many people don’t want to or simply cannot go to physical stores for various limitations: distance, transport, cartage of goods, prices, etc. This is where your app can jump in with home delivery or in-store pick-ups.
Another nifty feature you might want to incorporate into your app is an employee area. You can do all sorts of things here, from logging leaves and attendance to even paying salaries and keeping accounts.
- The M-Commerce Industry Is Only Going Up. Forbes Magazine estimates that the e-commerce industry will grow to around $845 billion by the year 2022.
Conservative estimates put that number at $666 Billion — but given Forbes’ track record, I think that it is safe to say that they are pretty much accurate with this figure.
These numbers should make it abundantly clear that it is a smart idea to hop on the m-commerce bandwagon before it’s too late to make a decent profit.
No time like the present, as the old adage goes. So why should retailers and business owners care about this number in the first place?
According to a gentleman named Andrew Lipsman, chief analyst, eMarketer, m-commerce will drive about 50% of these transactions. Now that’s one giant chunk of change that you do not want to miss out on.
Now that we’ve gotten the why out of the way, let’s focus on the perks and benefits of having a mobile-based application for your business.
- It integrates Your Website And Store Into A Single Interface. Not having a website should not even be an option in 2021, so if you don’t have one, stop reading this right here and go and make a website for your business.
Having a seamless and smooth layout across devices such as a desktop, tablet, mobile, and browser has multiple benefits.
Aside from the “aesthetically pleasing” standpoint, this offers a unique feature — being able to pick up where you left off. For example, a customer could add something to their “cart” on the desktop, and come back to that item later, on mobile!
But if a customer has to rush away for some work, and can only access the site from mobile, he/she should not have to go through the rigmarole of adding that product to the cart all over again.
This could result in the worst thing for a business — the loss of a potential sale.
- With An App, Your Business Is Accessible To Customers At All Times. Brick-and-mortar stores are operated by humans, hence they function according to a set timing bracket.
That means a customer cannot possibly visit or order anything from your physical store should it be closed. Using your app, however, a customer can order, browse, and checkout 24/7/365.
The average human spends at least two hours a day on their mobile phones — and if your app is staring them in the face each time they look at their application index menus on their devices, it is more likely that they will use your app.
The more they use your app, the more likely a consumer is to make a purchase — and who doesn’t want more sales?
- It Improves The Overall Customer Experience. Your mobile application does so much more than just provide another avenue of purchase for your products; it is actually a wealth of resources should you utilize it properly.
Your mobile application…
- Supports Faster Purchases. Phone-based applications don’t need to fetch data or relay information via a server, making all related processes up to 1.5 times faster if done properly.
Yes, desktop websites almost always have mobile-friendly apps, but these are websites nonetheless, and do need to communicate with the host servers.
- Connects With Customers Better. Because apps have the ability to save data locally (on devices themselves), they can log data without eating up much space, as cookies do.
This means that you can offer tailored and personalized experiences to your customers by logging their search activity.
However, it is very important to remember to never overdo this, as even a few irritated customers on the internet can bring down your entire brand.
- Cuts Overall Costs. There are many areas you can save on with an app, but the most important among these is the marketing expense.
For example, if you integrate social media apps with your app, satisfied users will do their part in sharing your app with their peers, increasing your reach tenfold.
Alternatively, you could include a discount for people who share your app to their social media handles or even include flat-rate prices for people who bring in referrals using a code or other such instrument.
Bonus Section: Tips To Make Your App Stand Out And Improve Its Reach.
- Include a loyalty or referral program. Having a loyalty or referral program not only builds reliability but also increases the amount of returning customers that you get all while bringing new customers on board.
The smartest business owners will have a linked loyalty AND referral program, with “rewards” being given to people who bring in a certain amount of new members, or who make a certain amount of purchases each month.
These rewards are mostly in the form of discounts, premium service upgrades, or priority support and shopping.
Offering exclusive deals to people who use the app also does wonders to increase its customer base.
- Make your push notification game as strong as possible. People often install an app on the spur of the moment and then forget about it.
Push notifications remind the consumer of the presence of your app, driving them to make a purchase.
Using push notifications whenever a deal is coming up also creates a sense of urgency, pushing customers to make a purchase “before the time runs out.”
- Include a “help desk” feature within your app. The primary function of this help desk would be to engage with customers on any queries they might have.
This can include anything under the sun from billing to product information. Be warned though, that this help desk more often than not just ends up being a grievance cell for faulty orders.
Not having this feature would put your app at serious risk of bad reviews on customer experience, and all it takes is a few of those to ruin your brand image.
Deciding whether to have a mobile application for your business should not be an option — the only question you should ask is when should I build my app.
Interesting Related Article: “5 Activities Revolutionized by Apps“