Having a mobile application dedicated to your business can be a real asset to your business. The digital boom is now largely driven by mobile. Applications play a central role: smartphone users concentrate 90% of the time spent on smartphones.
In this context, more and more brands and eCommerce app developer are launching mobile applications. Are you thinking of creating one? We explain why and when to develop a mobile application for your business.
Reasons why you need a mobile app for your business
Position yourself in the purchase journey
Mobile is very often used at the start of the purchasing journey. In certain sectors such as fashion, there is a ROPO phenomenon (Research Online Purchase Offline): consumers do online research on their mobile and then buy in stores.
Mobile content thus helps to position oneself better in the purchase journey. This can go through product visualization, a free demonstration, advice, or product comparisons. Mobile is, therefore, a customer acquisition tool. It is also a great tool for up-selling and cross-selling.
Offer a new experience to its users
The multiple possibilities and functionalities of smartphones and tablets make it possible to offer new experiences to its customers. It is possible to imagine new services based on push notifications, the camera, geolocation, consultation without an internet connection, etc. These services can feed your cross-channel, drive-to-store, or other brand strategies.
Offering services in push mode is also a way to remember the good memories of its users via a direct communication channel. Mobile is also a customer loyalty tool. However, be careful not to overdo it: if your communication becomes intrusive, users could quickly delete your application.
Trigger purchases and impulse actions
In a mobile environment, users use their phones to meet their immediate needs. Mobile applications encourage spontaneously and impulse purchases.
A large number of consumers buy items on mobile that they would not have bought in stores. Amazon thus provides a super-fast purchase button in its application. Thanks to the 1-click order, consumers can buy a product in record time, without going through the shopping cart.
Other brands are adopting similar approaches to encourage impulse purchases. The Tommy Hilfiger application offers to view the brand’s Instagram feed. It is possible to instantly buy a garment thanks to a “buy button.”
Strengthen brand image
Creating a mobile application is a good way to strengthen your brand image and differentiate yourself from the competition. Many companies now have a responsive website that automatically adapts to the size of the screen on which it is viewed. Other brands have mobile sites specially designed for mobile screens, although this format is less and less used. Far fewer companies have an application.
With an app, your brand becomes mobile. Your prospects and customers are exposed to your brand on a daily basis. You accompany them everywhere and throughout the day. The tactile dimension of smartphones and tablets also establishes a stronger and more personal bond. By touching their screen, your prospects and customers also touch your brand.
A mobile application significantly increases online visibility. According to App Annie, almost 70% of smartphone users install at least one new app per month. In addition, the launch of a mobile application is an opportunity for communication. The content and articles generated by the launch of an application contribute to better visibility and better referencing by search engines.
Collecting additional data
Mobile apps are also a great way to collect data about your users. This can generate new insights into the use of your product or service in real life. These insights are important to improve your offer and feed your future developments.
The data collected can also help provide more personalization. Users today are in demand for personalized experiences. By collecting the personal preferences or opinions of your users, it is possible to better anticipate their needs.
Things to consider before developing a mobile app
The application target
It is essential to think carefully about the target of your mobile application. The people who may use your application may not be the same as those who use your website.
To ensure the success of your application, define the buyers to whom it is addressed. Identify their interest and design an app that meets their specific needs. A mobile application should not be a copy and paste from your website. It must offer real added value to your client.
The level of digitization of your business
Before embarking on the creation of a mobile application, think about the level of digitalization of your business. The more mature it is, the easier it will be for you to develop a mobile app and mobilize the entire company. A mobile application is a complex project, which can have significant impacts on internal organization, sales processes, customer service, etc.
From a technical point of view, it is essential to ensure that your application can communicate with all of the data in your information system (web services, API, data exchange in real-time).
The format of your mobile application
A mobile application is a software that can be downloaded to your smartphone via an App Store (Google Play, Apple Store, etc.). An application is not accessible from a browser.
There are three types of mobile applications
The first is the native mobile application. It is developed for a particular operating system and usable offline. It is the most complex and expensive application to develop.
The second type of application is the web application, which adapts to different operating systems but cannot be used offline. Less complex to develop, it is, however, not optimized for all screens.
The third type of mobile application is the hybrid application, which is developed using standard market technologies. Its development is simplified. Hybrid applications cannot be used offline, and the display is not optimal on all smartphones.
It is important to determine the most suitable format for your project according to your objectives and your budget.
Harnil Oza is CEO of Hyperlink InfoSystem, one of the leading app development companies in New York and India, having a team of the best app developers who deliver the best mobile solutions mainly on Android and iOS platforms. He regularly contributes his knowledge on leading blogging sites.