Do You Need a Mobile App for Your E-Commerce Business? By James Tredwell on September 15, 2018 Thanks to technology, doing any sort of business has truly changed. Perhaps one of the biggest innovations in modern history are computers, and later on, the Internet. Through the Internet, borders have been blurred and various forms of businesses and industries were born. One of these industries is e-commerce, which, in its simplest form, is selling products online, be it goods or services. In addition, industries and businesses that were created from the internet are changing at a much faster pace. E-commerce itself has evolved over the years, with the introduction of various platforms for which e-commerce can be done. One of the newest additions is e-commerce through mobile applications, a way to keep up with a world that leans more on mobile devices compared rather than desktop computers. With over 53% of users now spending more time on handheld devices, coming up with your own mobile app sounds like a good idea. But, is having an e-commerce platform for your business the right decision? Why you need a mobile app for your e-commerce business While mobile apps undeniably came in as a game changer, it is not a platform that is used by all – or at least, not yet. The biggest factor that brought about the popularity of mobile apps is the surge of smartphones. With phones that are capable of doing almost all functions that computers can do, there’s not much reason to access the internet confined on a desk. Capability matched with mobility is what made handheld devices more worthwhile to use. E-commerce initially flourished through websites that are designed for desktop computers. With the proliferation of handheld devices, it just makes sense to create e-commerce platforms that are more compatible with them. And that’s exactly what mobile apps are meant to do, and what businesses who are looking into having an app of their own should consider. Better User Experience Because mobile apps are designed for mobile phones, it results in a generally better user experience. Mobile app developers have considered that while smartphones have better hardware than ever before, such devices still have limitations, particularly with regards to its screen size. Taking into consideration everything about handheld devices, mobile app developers are able to enhance the experience of its users. Specifically, mobile apps are able to provide the following: Mobile apps promote convenience Mobile apps help make customers’ lives a lot easier by making it a lot more convenient to do their online shopping. Almost everybody has their phone with them all the time and because mobile apps have helped do online shopping on one’s phone, there’s less hassle. There’s no more need to stop whatever it is you’re doing, go out of your way, head to a computer, and do your shopping from there. Mobile apps improve page loading speed Before mobile apps were a thing, online shopping can only be done through websites accessed on a phone’s web browser. This wasn’t very effective as sites are not easy to optimize for mobile phones because pages took longer to load. This is especially true for product pages because these contain a lot of objects such as product images. With mobile apps, the platform is specifically designed to work on a phone’s relatively limited capacity, making even product pages load a lot quicker than a website would. Mobile apps are easier to use While websites are reliant on the functionalities that a browser has, a mobile app can customize everything – buttons, menus, absolutely everything on the app. Apps are then made a lot easier for the user compared to visiting a mobile website. Think about it, a web browser is also an app in itself. You are running your e-commerce business on a platform that is open to everyone. Meanwhile, your very own mobile app is designed to work just for your own business, making your e-commerce site run on a dedicated platform. Mobile apps help securely store and use customer information Because it is less likely for users to share their phone with others, mobile apps provide an easy way to store information and use stored information later on. Users may choose not to store information, but manually keying in their credentials can be tedious for some. It makes payments easier, faster, and more secure Mobile apps are also designed to have an easier checkout process, especially if your customer information is stored. But even if not, mobile apps have forms that are made to be easier to fill up compared to filling up forms on a mobile website. Furthermore, there are payment options that some are native to mobile phones such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay. These payment options help provide more choices for completing a purchase. Built-in Features Impact Purchase Aside from additional payment options, there are also other features in phones that add value in the purchase process. These features include the use of GPS, camera, microphone, and even the calendar. For example, GPS helps identify your location to help personalize product offers. Meanwhile, cameras can help capture QR codes and even scan credit cards. It is expected that more features of a smartphone can be used in the future. All these integrations are best done through your own platform in which you have full control. Builds Brand Loyalty Having your own mobile brand also puts your name out there, and in the long run, can work towards an improvement in brand loyalty. Customers appreciate the effort of coming up with a dedicated app, and this is returned by downloading and using your app. If your app lives up to the expectations of your customers, then it can really help build a loyal following. Mobile Apps Encourage Social Sharing Finally, it is also allows for an easy integration of your users social media accounts. Again, apps provide you with control, something you can almost not do in mobile search engines. For having our own platform in the form of your app, it is a lot easier to promote all your pages to your customers, helping you boost your network, as well as your social media marketing initiatives. Does Your E-Commerce Business Really Need a Mobile App While it was already discussed what mobile apps can do for your e-commerce business, the decision still relies on you. Mobile apps pack a lot of benefits but it is a complicated service offering and would need your time and dedication to build a functional mobile app that can truly serve its purpose. So, does your app need a mobile app?