Mobile applications in e-commerce
It will not be a secret for anyone that retail is evolving according to the requirements of modern customers. Until a few years ago, the development of the e-commerce industry was a huge leap forward. Today, however, we cannot imagine the lack of purchases using a smartphone. Does this state of affairs mean that we should invest in the mobile application of our store? Let's check it out!
Is a mobile application the right step in the development of an online store?
The ability to shop online is a requirement for the retail industry, without which it is difficult to talk about any development. With the advent of smartphones, however, more and more users are switching from laptops to smartphones and tablets to shop in their favorite stores on the go, from anywhere in the world at any time.
A few years ago, many companies realized this fact and decided to use the potential of mobile shopping by implementing mobile applications. This solution does not seem to have any disadvantages. But is it really so? The global trend of publishing mobile applications dedicated to each service means that today the consumer does not want to waste time downloading applications - he prefers to make his purchases online, without unnecessary obligations.
Mobile applications in e-commerce, however, can bring a lot of good, if you use the potential of this sales channel with due attention and an analytical approach to the topic.
Advantages of implementing a mobile application
To encourage you to think about the implementation of your own mobile application for customers, let's present the basic advantages of such a solution. First of all, it is a new, different sales channel for its services and products. Although the potential of the e-commerce industry seems almost endless, every online store will sooner or later encounter the problem of increasing the number of buyers. The mobile application may turn out to be a great alternative that will attract new customers to us.
The mobile application is also a great helper in the process of building relationships with our clients. Push notifications, temporary promotions available only from the level of the mobile application or the ability to personalize the appearance of the application on a smartphone are just a few of the many solutions how the customer can like us.
Mobile applications in e-commerce can also be a field of experiments for us, which, depending on their effectiveness, will be implemented on a larger scale. Modern technologies, alternative marketing campaigns or popular chatbots can constitute additional functionalities of the application, which will significantly enrich it.
Disadvantages of implementing a mobile application
Let's move on to the disadvantages of mobile applications and the idea of their implementation. The first and most important disadvantage that can effectively discourage us from delving into this topic is market oversaturation. A simple experiment is enough. Let's visit 10 online stores where we often shop. Probably most of them will attack us with notifications about the possibility of downloading the mobile application. Do we actually choose to install all of these applications? Usually not. Especially when we make purchases in a given store relatively rarely. Therefore, if we are going towards the implementation of a mobile application, we must seriously consider how to encourage potential visitors to download it to their smartphone.
Other disadvantages of implementing a mobile application? Relatively long writing time and costs, which in extreme cases may exceed potential profits. If a company decides to write and release a mobile application for the very idea of owning it, it will quickly find out how much such an ill-considered business decision can hurt.
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How to create a mobile application and encourage its installation?
Designing, writing and implementing a mobile application is associated with considerable costs. Of course, if we have an appropriate group of programmers familiar with the secrets of building mobile applications, a very large part of the costs will go away. However, if we manage an online store without appropriate IT support, we will have to outsource the task of building a mobile application to an external company. The total cost of developing such software depends on many factors, such as the number of functionalities, the design taking into account the graphic design or the operating systems on which the application will run.
When designing a mobile application, we should pay special attention to its functionality. Nobody decides to install an application that is only a showcase of our website. The application must bring some benefits - faster shopping, cheaper delivery, the ability to personalize your order and many more. It is at the application design stage that we must ask ourselves what will attract customers to our new software. One of the proven ways is to offer additional discounts and rebates to users of the mobile application. However, if the tool does not turn out to be very functional, the profit from such a procedure will be short-term.
Why is it worth investing in Mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce, which is a continuation of the e-commerce industry, is developing, and despite the potential threats, it is this direction of development that has the greatest potential. Why is it like that? Just look at the latest reports from the largest consulting companies that have conducted thorough research related to the e-commerce industry.
Already over 70% of smartphone users admit to using shopping apps. As many as 96% of users declaring using the Internet have their own smartphone with Internet access. It is this data that should open our eyes and convince us that m-commerce is the natural path for the industry's development. If we add to this information that in the e-commerce industry over 65% of transactions are carried out with the use of smartphones, it is easy to deduce that this indicator will increase every year.