E-COM: 10 reasons why you need an app!
People are shopping online now more than ever before! The power of the internet has made it possible for merchants to reach consumers anytime, anywhere, from any device. It’s no secret that mobile consumption has taken over our lives. According to a recent study, 96% of adults in the United States own a mobile phone. 81% of the population owns a smartphone. If you look around, everyone has these devices glued to their hands nearly 24/7. As a business owner, you need to recognize this and adapt. Here’s why you could really use an own branded app. Your eCommerce store, if you already have one, will never reach its full potential with a website alone.
1. Mobile Commerce is Trending!
Sales from mobile devices have completely taken over the eCommerce industry. Take a look at your sales metrics and see what devices your customers are shopping from. There’s a good chance that a large chunk of those people are browsing and buying using smartphones and tablets.
In fact, 67% of all eCommerce sales worldwide now come from mobile devices.
Within the next two years, mobile commerce will control 73% of all eCommerce sales across the globe.
People are already used to shop from mobile devices. It’s just so much more convenient than waiting to get on a computer. Our phones are always just an arm’s reach away, which isn’t always the case with a laptop or desktop computer.
Mobile commerce makes it possible for people to buy on the bus, train, or Uber, they shop online during their lunch break or while they’re having a coffee walking down the street. It’s just so easy!
But why do you need an app when people could shop on their phone through a browser?, That is, only if your website is mobile friendly or better yet, has been developed using a mobile first approach.
Well, mobile shopping apps are growing at a rate of 54% year-over-year. Can’t really beat these figures, do you? That’s even the highest rate compared to any other app category.
Don’t really think an app would make your customers buy more than they would on your website? Let me put these numbers into perspective for you. The average year-over-year growth rate of mobile app usage across all industries is 6%. So shopping is a whopping 48% higher than average.
Mobile sales are dominating the eCommerce world. The usage of shopping apps is growing faster than every other type of app on the market. So by default, you’ll know that an own branded eCommerce apps will contribute to sales better than any other type of app or website could do for you.
2. Consumers Prefer Mobile Apps
Some of you may look at the data and be satisfied knowing that you’re reaching smartphone and tablet users with your mobile website. But you’re just barely scratching the surface. Don’t get us wrong. Whether you have an app or not, a mobile-friendly website is absolutely necessary! It obviously is the first digital touchpoint between a company and a customer so it better look good to give customers a good first impression about the company. But it’s not just looks, it’s the whole experience that matters.
In fact, 85% of people say that a website should look as good or look even better than its desktop version. Furthermore, 88% of consumers are less likely to return to a mobile site after a bad experience. And 47% of people expect a mobile site to load in 2 seconds or less. So having a mobile-friendly website is definitely the first step towards generating eCommerce sales from mobile users. But at the end of the day, the following statistic is what matters most: 78% of consumers would rather use an app to buy from an eCommerce shop than a mobile website. That’s right—78%!
Let that sink in. This means that if you’re currently getting 100 mobile transactions per week, roughly 80 of those people would rather buy from your mobile app. And those are your existing customers. Imagine how many people would have bought something from you but just didn’t because you don’t have an app.
Here are the top reasons why people prefer mobile apps over mobile websites.
Convenience and speed are the top two reasons. Overall, mobile apps just offer a better shopping experience. No matter how fast or responsive a mobile website might be, an app will always provide a more optimized user experience.
So if your eCommerce website doesn’t have a matching mobile app, you’re neglecting the majority of the market while providing a less than optimal experience for your existing customers.
3. A Competitive Advantage
Right now, without a mobile app, your eCommerce website is at a disadvantage.
Customers would rather shop from mobile apps, so it’s only a matter of time before they stop buying from your mobile site and shift towards your competitor’s app. It might still take a while but the process has already started and the reason for that is that large players have been spoiling consumers with a better shopping experience through their app for a couple of years already.
Also being an early bird and building an eCommerce mobile app will give you an advantage over other websites without one.
You’re feeling safe because your biggest competitors don’t have a mobile app, so there’s no reason for you to rush into getting one. You’ll just focus on making a better website than the competition for now. Good effort, but why do you want to make it harder on yourself?
Also, thinking that your competition doesn’t have a mobile app is a little naive. Right now, every eCommerce site on the planet is somehow competing with Amazon. You can basically buy everything from them. In the United States alone, 95 million people have an Amazon Prime membership. And Amazon for instance, does have an app. And for good reason.
Sure, Amazon might not carry your branded products. But how unique are you? Can a customer get something similar from another brand on Amazon’s app? Probably. The good news is that, by getting people to download your app, you’ll be able to reach them much more efficiëntly and you get customer loyalty tools that will prevent customers from snooping around too much as they do so easily on websites.
Here’s something else to keep in mind. A mobile app will give you a competitive advantage today, but that won’t be the case forever. In the coming years, everyone will have a mobile commerce app. So it’s best to create one now, that way you’ll have a head start on everyone else who was late to the party.
4. Higher Conversion Rates
It is very important to boost your most important KPI (Key Performance Indicator). A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets. High-level KPIs may focus on the overall performance of the business, while low-level KPIs may focus on processes in departments such as sales, marketing, HR, support and others.
Tracking conversions is a great place to start. Let’s take a look at the difference between mobile app conversion rates vs. mobile website conversions.
As we can see apps are clearly winning! Consumers view 286% more products and add items to their shopping cart at an 85% higher rate when they’re shopping from an app as opposed to a mobile browser.
Well, as you can see from the graphic, mobile apps convert at a 130% higher conversion rate than mobile websites.
Imagine how much more money you can make by instantly increasing conversion rates by 130%. That doesn’t even include how many more customers you’ll have once your app is live. The bottom line is simple. More conversions translate to more turnover, and mobile apps drive higher conversion rates.
5. Improve your Marketing Communication
Mobile apps are a dream for marketers. They have so many options to connect with customers.
Without a mobile app, you need to rely on your customers navigating directly to your website in order to have any chance of driving conversions.
But how often does the same person really need to come back to your website? And how to you get customers to think about coming back?
So you spend marketing dollars on email communication and social media campaigns to try and reach your customer base on other channels, but what’s the return?
With a mobile app, you’ll have a much better way to communicate with customers: push notifications.
Take a look at the engagement rates of push notifications compared to traditional email marketing.
60% of users open a push notification, compared to just 20% of emails. Once the message is opened, 40% of people click or have an interaction with a push notification compared to just 5.4% of emails. Clearly, push notifications are a better way to connect with your customers. That’s because the user doesn’t have to do anything. If it didn’t yield any direct action from the mobile app user, at least he will subconsciously be reminded about your brand. You just planted a little seed in all of your customers’ heads.
To reach a customer through social media, they need to be using that social platform and see your post or advertisement, then navigate to your website, and then get them to convert from there. It’s just too many steps.
The same goes for email communication. A person must sign up to receive emails from you, then open your message, consume the content and click a link just to get to your website. With a push notification, your logo and a short message will appear directly on a user’s home screen, just like a text message does. When that message gets opened, the user will be directed straight to the app, so it’s much easier for them to buy.
Have you ever thought about the comparison in time spent to make an e-mail campaign vs time spent on a push notification campaign? Creating a push notification and sending it to all of you customers takes just as long as texting your friend. It’s a couple of words. No need for images, a catchy e-mail topic, call to actions, formatting, linking landing pages or anything like that. Just send a quick text to all of your customers, including a promo code or something and let the orders come in.
So the last question you might have is whether or not your customers will accept push notifications? Well, some consumers don’t hesitate and just do it because it’s the obvious thing to do. The others will need some convincing. That’s why it’s important to remind them about the reason(s) why they should accept push notifications. Here are some examples:
After having placed an order, you can ask customers to turn on push notifications to get updates about their order status
You can send some promotion codes, which a customer can only see by accepting push notifications
You can organize a contest and inform the participants that the winner will be contacted by push notification
6. Increase Average Order Value
We’ve already said that a mobile app improves the user experience as well as increasing conversion rates. But those aren’t the only benefits of building an app for your eCommerce site.
A mobile app will also boost your average order value (AOV).
Considering we’ve previously talked about how more products are viewed per session on mobile apps, this makes sense.
It’s easier for people to browse when they are shopping from a mobile app. This gives them more of an opportunity to see what you’re offering.
Mobile apps have a higher average order value than both mobile browsers and desktop screens.
Increasing your AOV by $10 is a lot! Let’s just say you currently have 1,000 mobile transactions per month.
Increasing your AOV by $10 would translate to an additional $10,000 per month and $120,000 per year. Add this to the additional transactions you’ll have and the decision of getting your own branded app becomes a no brainer!
7.Increase Your Customer Loyalty
A great way to get your customers to spend more money is by implementing a customer loyalty program. By having an eCommerce mobile app, it increases the chances that your customers will participate in this type of program. The app becomes the digital version of your loyalty card. That’s something we all know from bigger brands that have launched a loyalty program through their app in recent years. Why should you offer some kind of loyalty rewards to your customers? Because consumers are 82% more likely to shop from sites that offer loyalty programs, those are the facts.
A loyalty program gives your customers an incentive to spend more money to reach their next reward. Psychologically, this encourages people to increase their average order value as well as their purchase frequency in order to reach the next spending tier.
Some of you might already have a loyalty program on your website. Running the same promotion through a mobile app will be even more effective or better yet, give customers an additional reason to download your app and make the loyalty program only available for app users. That way, you’ll be able to reach more of your customers when sending push notifications.
8. Reduce Cart Abandonment Rates
Shopping cart abandonment is a major problem for eCommerce businesses. It’s one of the most important KPIs that you should be tracking.
The reason why cart abandonment is so frustrating is because the customer is usually just one or two clicks away from finalizing the purchase. So what went wrong?
These are some of the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment.
Extra costs like shipping and taxes — 60%
Being forced to create an account — 37%
Long and complicated checkout process — 28%
Couldn’t see or calculate the total cost — 23%
Website crashed or had errors — 20%
Didn’t trust site with credit card information — 19%
Aside from money, the most common reasons for cart abandonment are related to user experience. But mobile apps eliminate those problems.
As you can see, mobile apps have the lowest cart abandonment rate compared to mobile websites and desktop sites. Ecommerce mobile apps reduce friction in the checkout process. Once a customer buys something, all of their preferences are saved in the settings of the app.
So when times comes to buy something again, they won’t have to manually type in their name, shipping address, and billing information. The entire purchase process can be completed in just a couple of clicks. Mobile apps make it easier for you to accept alternative payment methods as well, like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal. If you integrate these methods into your checkout page, a user can buy something just by scanning their fingerprint. Each additional step in the checkout process gives the customer a chance to abandon their cart. By reducing the number of steps with a mobile app, you’ll keep abandonment rates low.
9. Customer Service Is Important
People will spend more money on better customer service. In fact, 73% of retail consumers say they are encouraged to shop longer and spend more money after a good customer service experience. So make it easy for customers to find your contact information. Rather than forcing them to navigate to your website or search for you on Google, offer a simple “call us” button directly in the app.
You could even implement live chat support directly through the app as well.
Allow your customers to track their orders, from the moment something is purchased until the second it’s delivered to their front door.
While this could also be done through a mobile website, the UX will be significantly better if it’s facilitated in an app. A mobile site won’t be as responsive to something this resource-intensive. Besides, after having paid an order, consumers will want to close the website. Same goes for a purchase through an app but even after users have closed the app, they’ll get updated about the status of their order through push notifications or they’ll quickly open the app to know what’s happening.
10. Increase Retention Rates
How many of your sales come from regular customers? Studies show that attracting new customers can be up to 25 times more expensive than selling to an existing one. But increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.
38% of users return to an eCommerce app 11 times or more after they download it. There’s a good chance that they’ll be buying on multiple occasions during those 11+ visits.
In fact, there is a 50% chance that a mobile user will return to an eCommerce mobile app within 30 days of buying something.
Even if a user isn’t coming back to the app as much as you’d like to see, you can always use push notifications to bring them back. And the best thing is that this is 100% free. Offer a flash sale or exclusive deal to encourage users to buy from your app. You won’t have these same success with another e-mailing campaign.
The numbers speak for themselves. I’ve given you enough reasons why an own branded app needs to be a priority for a good eCommerce business. Here’s a recap of some of the most important KPIs.
Higher average order value
Reduced abandonment rates
Higher retention rates
We don’t know one eCommerce store owner that doesn’t want to improve these metrics.
Consumers just prefer mobile apps. This is a reality that can no longer be ignored.
Now that you understand why an app is so important for your eCommerce business, it’s time to take action. If you’ve never built an app before, this might sound a little intimidating.
But you can create an eCommerce mobile app using Easyorder without writing any code. Our platform makes it easy for anyone to build an app, regardless of their technical skill level. And we are always happy to help you with building your shop. Just contact us!
We’ll be happy to offer you as much assistance as you need.