The proliferation of mobile and internet technologies has made it possible for a large chunk of population across the world to own smart phones. With massive computing power and fast internet connectivity at the disposal, there are opportunities for businesses to reach out to customers directly, intimately, and anywhere through mobile applications. The latest mobile development platform stacks have further revolutionized the mobile apps space. Read on to know more about the benefits of mobile apps…
1) Fast Offline Access Any Time
Before the emergence of the mobile applications, one needed to log on to a laptop or desktop to access the ecommerce sites. A limited mobility was possible through laptops and tablets but a less than desirable speed of internet on mobile devices made it a herculin task to accomplish anything other than a quick exchange of email or an instant chat. A leisurely experience of browsing the web on the move was a dream. However, with the modern-day mobile apps on smart devices such experience and beyond has become a reality. You may be commuting to office in a train or just taking a coffee break or just about to drop into sweet slumber, just fish out a mobile device from the pocket and open your favourite application. Boom! your virtual world is alive with your subscribed content. It is all pervasive It’s just there, you may choose to look at the news updates and check what transpired since you last glanced-in or checkout the latest fashion trends and discounts on the app of a store selling apparels. The mobile apps are way too fast as compared to the mobile websites because of the underlying framework of apps design. These apps are designed to cache data locally thus best utilizing the internet bandwidth by allowing customers to consume the content offline. For customers the content is readily available irrespective of the internet connectivity.
2) Direct Communication
The mobile apps provide for means of direct interactions with the customer. It facilitates the process of establishing who your customer is and what is their interests through the browsing behavioural patterns and demographic specific browsing patterns. But for the mobile applications, your business would otherwise be paying hefty fees for the data analytics. Once an application is downloaded from a store, the customer shares some of their personal information such as their email, cell phone number and other contacts explicitly. This ascertains the identity of the customer. Further, their actions while using the app provide a lot of information about their preferences. You have first-hand, accurate and succinct information about the customer which you can use to send the context-based messages. This is a very powerful aspect which could be harnessed to make business gains.
3) Personalized Marketing
The traditional marketing models using Information Technology where one relied on bulk broadcasting media such as emails or SMS involved a lot of waste. A one size fit all approach was partially effective, the customers who would find the content useful may see it through, but others would simply trash it. The targeted and contextual ads are a step beyond, but it has its own complexities, costs, and dependencies on external entities like data analytics companies. The mobile apps provide luxury of establishing customer’s location through the GPS. The location in conjunction with the customer’s identity and swiping patterns provides valuable information about the demographics and behaviours. These insights could be put to the advantage of your business by putting together individual campaigns targeted for individuals. This eliminates waste and hence adds value to the business.
Once downloaded, your application is effectively visible to the customer on the device. Whenever the customer swipe through the apps, the app representing your business appears there by reminding the customer of your store and their association with the business. It’s simply in the sight in the mind kind of scenario. Your brand reiterates its presence thereby helping the customer recognize, identify and recall the same.
The mobile apps make great tool for customer engagement by providing a great experience using rich features and functionality. The application is always available after the download, the customers need not log in time and again. These apps provide for two-way communication, users may request services, provide suggestions and feedback or raise concerns. The customer experience further gets exceptional using device features such as the camera or video thereby enhancing the customer’s expression through Audio Visual communication.
6) Effective Loyalty Program
Your business may deploy a loyalty program for customer retention, the mobile apps can be used to effectively manage such programs. You can prominently display the loyalty points by showing updates which are usually numbers in the icon of an application. The push notifications could be used effectively to send messages to customers specifying how they can redeem their loyalty points. You can engineer exiting customized offers instigating users to spend a small amount and obtain a great buy by combining it with the loyalty points.
7) Proactive and Fast Notifications for the changes in Products and Services
Do you run a business which involves frequent updates to your product catalogue that may be something which is seasonal or its focused on local festivals or it just changes every day? If the answer to all the above questions is a yes, then the use of mobile apps may be just the thing you need to include in your marketing and business plans. These apps could be used to provide context sensitive updated to the customer in almost real time through push notifications. As an instance if you are selling apparels and jewellery, you will have great deal of information to share with your customers about the new arrivals and discounts on offers.
With a lot of companies jostling for a pie in the competitive consumer marketplace, the relationship between the businesses and customers has become more transactional in nature. Customers like to review the market at a granular level and compare businesses for best terms and offers, the use of mobile apps to communicate about the wares being sold could be a winner for your business as compared to the businesses having just an eCommerce enabled storefront but not any app.
9) Choice of an Effective Platform
The mobile apps development is platform dependent. The iOS and Android are the most widely used platform for mobile apps. There are others like Windows and Blackberry, but they are due to reach their own end and are not in contention. You would need to decide a platform for which an app needs to be developed. Be aware, there are different application development frameworks for both Android and iOS. So, developing an app for example for Android platform will need one framework and developers working on that framework to develop Android applications. If you need the apps to be developed for both Android and iOS, the efforts will have to be duplicated starting from the framework to the technical expertise and finally to the choice of the app store and data extraction methods. Which app platform is suitable for you? Do some reading around the number of the mobile devices sold in your locality, state, or country. If there is a clear winner in either Android or iOS devices, make a call to go ahead with the development of app on that device. Otherwise you need to do undertake a bit more of concentrated study to make such decision. The worst-case scenario for investment is you ending up getting apps developed for both platforms, but it may result in windfall sales…
10. SEO Advantages
An app hosted in the Google Play store has the SEO benefits of generating traffic to the eCommerce website. Placing apps in Google Play places your brand in the Google’s app indexing library. The advantage is the conversion of apps views in the Google Play to your website views. Hence mobile apps indirectly driving sales through the eCommerce sites.
11. Monetize iOS Apps
Apple is the marketplace leader in the App Store Revenues. You have greater opportunities of making money if done smartly.
12. Lower Shopping Cart Abort Rates
Mobile apps provides for easy and efficient checkout process. The shipping and payment information is usually stored in the app making the buying process a play of a few clicks. There by improving on the shopping cart abort rates prior to the sale using the eCommerce sites.
13. Higher Order Value
The average order value of the apps is known to be much better than that of desktop and eCommerce-based sites. This is owing to the simplified design and customers being able to concentrate more on what to buy rather how to buy.
14. Exclusive Offers
Attract customers to buy your wares using apps only exclusive offers. Customers may find such offers as special, flattering (being treated as a privileged one) and too good to ignore. Thereby adding to the sales.