It is no secret that smartphones, tablets, and the like have begun to take over the United States. An iPhone or Android used to be a neat tool that few and the fortunate had and a hot commodity only some could afford. In less than a decade, there has been a complete turnaround in mobilization, with now over two-thirds of Americans making the switch. Smartphones now dominate online transactions – the UK, South Korea, and Japan in the lead, outnumbering the United States by a landslide. If you live in America and are able to see the commonality of it all, it may seem hard to believe that they are even more prominent in other corners of the world!
Advances in the Search Engine
In April 2015, many small business owners switched to a mobile-friendly website and/or a mobile application to maintain their rankings and ratings with Google’s new search engine standards. Despite mobile-friendly websites drifting to the top of a search, the extra step in investing in an app with a website engineer has proved exponentially more effective. Possibilities and therefore benefits are endless when a mobile app is customized to accommodate a business, small or big, and its customers.
Companies benefit from mobile apps in creating brand recognition, building loyalty, increasing visibility, accessibility, and overall sales. In turn, they have also completely transformed the average consumer experience.
Users can equally benefit from just a simple download by using it for appointments, easy-breezy browsing, and reliable customer support. It can also create a sense of membership or belonging for the customer, increasing overall satisfaction.
What to Avoid
A poorly designed app can quickly cause frustration for a customer. If it is very slow, glitchy, has distracting and unnecessary graphics, you can guarantee that it will not be long for it to become uninstalled. Furthermore, the app will then not be recommended to friends and fellow shoppers which can just create an overall bad reputation. Rest assured, this is not an investment a business owner can afford to cut corners on.
Productivity and profit is contingent on the overall quality and functionality of the program. The most important features an app can have are those which specifically cater to making the service or product more attainable for the user. For example, if it is for a restaurant, buttons may include “Make A Reservation”, “Write A Review”, or “Menu”. If it is for a retail shop, options like “My Rewards”, “Latest Items”, or “Layaway” would increase overall convenience. Designing an app specific to a company’s demand can indisputably improve ratings in the app and the establishment itself.
Think of not just the customer, but the workers that make the business function like a well-oiled machine. Not only can a mobile application improve a customer’s search and overall experience, but all employees can tap into it as well. Today’s society is always on the move and waits for no one. Whether you have three employees or thirty, having access to the company wherever they go is vital to a thorough operation of a company.
Since 2013, there has been a 90% user increase on apps – not time spent on a smartphone, but specifically mobile applications. This means that instead of a customer browsing for information on a search engine, they consulted a downloaded app. In total, the conversion rates from web browsers to apps have increased by 120%.
In the 2015 State of Mobile Commerce report, mobile shopping was observed at both a browser/search engine level and on apps as well. Out of all mobile transactions, 54% went through an application to complete their purchase whereas only 46% used a web browser. What is more, if a user selects “Yes” to receive push notifications upon downloading an app, this can also be dramatically more effective than a simple email. Note that on average only 4% of promotional emails are opened and read, verses a whopping 97% push notifications are opened and read. Mobile optimization engages consumers in a revolutionary new way.
“Retailers whose apps focus on providing shoppers relevant and useful products and remove barriers to purchase drive a higher share of transactions than mobile web.” – 2015 State of Mobile Commerce.
What Are You Waiting For?
When a mobile app is designed to be both efficient and specific to a business’ needs, knowledge of both the app and the company’s reputation can spread like wildfire. Furthermore, there is absolutely no reason why any business owner determined to expand and outshine its competition would not invest in one. Upgrade your website for the mobile world, and do not wait.