As mobile devices continue to be the largest source of internet users every passing day, mobile applications have become seemingly very significant for the businesses. Mobile applications were considered as a luxury for most business, but now the dynamics of the internet users have changed and they have become necessary to engage with the users and the shopper community that any e-commerce business has.
The e-commerce industry is the one that has benefitted the most from the development of the mobile apps as apps allow the business to constantly keep in touch with the users. According to Tech Crunch, e-commerce giant Alibaba saw an increase of 76% in sales after the launch of their app. In addition to increasing the conversion rates and ratios, there are several other reasons that an e-commerce business needs an application:
User Preference and Convenience
76% of the mobile users say that they prefer to use a mobile app to receive information or to connect with the business instead of using a mobile browser. With every passing day, mobile apps are becoming more intuitive and this number would continue to grow. By offering the customers an option to download the application directly on their mobile devices, it saves them the hassle of opening up a browser, finding the desired website and then navigating it before finally making a purchase. With the provision of a mobile app, the users have an option to open up the app directly from their home screens and all the necessary information that they require being displayed to them without changing the program or involvement of third-party applications.
Apps Give SEO Boost
Modern search engines index the content from the website as well as the mobile app to determine the page ranking on the SERP. Having an e-commerce app and syncing it with your website gives you a strong SEO boost. If the SEO strategy is implemented in a right way, this can double your SEO and App store rankings even if you are a small business.
The results obtained by indexing the website as well as the app are prioritized by Google and Apple over the websites that do not have an app. The indexing of apps is available for both Android and iOS applications. Google recently made an announcement regarding the indexing of the blocked content within the app. This opens up great SEO opportunities for the businesses especially e-commerce business that relies heavily on the SEO and the traffic that it brings.
The idea of push notifications has been implemented by the web-based business by introducing browser notifications. I, for one, think it is a terrible idea and hinders my user experience. This is, however, different when it comes to mobile-based apps. Push notifications are more likely to be read and acted upon when delivered through the mobile app. E-commerce businesses can implement this in a great way by implementing few of the following:
- Promotion Notifications
- Sales notifications
- Upcoming Event notifications
- Flash Sale notifications
- Abandoned carts notifications
- New arrivals notifications
- Blog post notifications
With the developments in the mobile industry, the users can even be prompted to initiate check-out after engaging with the push notification that the app has delivered. This reduces the multiple steps involved in the sale process and helps achieve a faster conversion.
More and Some More User Engagement
If you have a website or an app or a social media page but your users aren’t engaging with it, the asset is doing nothing for you. Mobile applications are not only superior but also necessary to drive engagement. Only 10% of the mobile up time on the internet is spent on browsing, the rest of the time is spent using the mobile applications. This implies that you can’t really have engagement without having a mobile app.
According to Localytics, e-commerce apps or the retail apps average 17.5 launches a month. The stats are sometimes misleading but this stat proves that users love using and returning to the retail applications. Not only do the mobile users love returning to the app at two times faster rate but also spend 30% more than the other users. Mobile app users view 4 times more products. Push notifications are certainly helpful in this matter as the open rate for them is almost 4 times as much as the emails, depending on the industry.
Easier, Faster and More Secure Payments
When you are developing a mobile application, you can (I mean you seriously should, it is 2018!!) include secure payment options. The apps can be programmed to remember the payment option for future purchases. This eliminates the process of entering the payment information over and over again and helps facilitate the check-out process.
Simplifying the user shopping experience for your e-commerce customers is a key to develop greater brand loyalty and generate repeat orders. There is an option to simplify the process even further by integrating your application with payment systems such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet or Samsung pay. This way, the users can shop without having to carry their credit cards around.
We’ve seen 5 reasons why e-commerce business needs an app but the advantages of having an app are not limited to the ones stated above. Brand loyalty, geopositioning integration, caching heavy interface elements on your device and offline mode are few of the other advantages that app offers to the users. So when are you getting an app developed for your e-commerce business?
Sohail Rupani is a senior SEO strategist at PNC Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Orlando. He specializes in SEO and SEM techniques. He is passionate about technology and loves to analyze the tech industry in his spare time and stay in touch with the latest happenings. He also writes technical articles about SEO and digital marketing. Follow @sohailrupani for more updates.