In our internet-based world, owning a website is a must for every business, big or small. And luckily, most do. It’s a place where companies can reach out to their regular/potential customers, allow them to know their brand better, update them on important information, and build a strong relationship with them. However, it might be worth asking if just owning a website is sufficient for your business’ online needs?
Customer behavior and expectations are changing, and as new technologies continue to set up higher standards, traditional methods might struggle to deliver the same results as they once did. Businesses need to recognize the power of mobile app development and need to leverage it to their advantage. More and more people today consider mobile phones as their preferred medium to access information rather than computers. Meaning smartphones are quickly becoming the best available channel for businesses to reach out to their customers.
And in terms of websites, this shift to mobile phones doesn’t simply imply the need for responsive, mobile-friendly websites. In fact, mobile-friendly websites only scratch the surface when it comes to unlocking smartphones’ true business potential. The real opportunity that businesses need to be taking advantage of lies within mobile apps. This can be confusing to most businesses; what can a mobile app do for you that a website can’t you might think?
Because of the way users use their phones, mobile apps are in a unique position to deliver almost everything a website does, but in a slightly better, faster, and more effective manner. Below is a list of way in which a mobile app can complement your website and help you grow your business:
Apps provide greater accessibility to your customers
Perhaps the biggest advantage an app has over a website is how accessible it is. Unlike a website that a user needs to search for (something people easily forget), an app is just a tap away. Once installed, it is always on the user’s phones whenever needed, and thus mobile apps are much more reliable compared to websites at ensuring that customers keep returning to your brand.
Add to that an app’s ability to work offline, and it gets even better. Granted, an app might need internet connectivity to exercise all of its functions, but it can still utilize offline features to deliver services and information to its users.
Apps sell better
According to Statista, around 80% of all the time consumers spent browsing major retailers like Amazon and eBay in the US is through mobile apps. Meaning users clearly prefer apps over websites when it comes to shopping.
Apps also help boost user conversion and retention, given that they allow businesses to deliver a better experience. This is reflected in the fact that 71% of all sales made via mobile phones in the US are made in-app. Mobile apps offer a 120% higher conversion rate than mobile web, and users view 286% more products on apps than mobile web. All this simply implies that apps are essential for retailers trying to target mobile shoppers. Mobile app development USA is thus a much-needed investment for small and large e-commerce ventures alike.
Unlock effective communication with your customer
Mobile applications present a fantastic opportunity to brands when it comes to communicating with their customers. Apps encourage users to set preferences that enlighten brands about how to communicate them. Apps also generate a ton of user data that allows for effective personalization and drives up engagement and loyalty.
But the best part comes with push notifications. Apps allow businesses to send direct offers, updates, and messages to their consumers via in-app and push notifications. While both are known to be effective, push notifications can reach users even when they aren’t using the app.
Add to that the fact that mobile push notifications enjoy arguably the highest open rates across all industries, and building a mobile app might just be worth it for the effective communication they make possible between brands and customers.
Apps allow for improved customer relationships
As we have seen, mobile apps can significantly improve user experience, boost buyer confidence and inspire customer loyalty. Basically, apps make customers happy. However, mobile apps can also come in handy when the customers aren’t exactly happy since they can be excellent tools for improving customer service and relationships.
Apps are a great medium for collecting customer feedback. Integrating direct feedback mechanisms with automated customer service systems (like chatbots, feedback forms, etc.) can enable brands to privately take note of feedback, issues, and complaints without them having to be posted online.
Mobile apps also make an excellent resource when it comes to keeping your customers updated and informed. Since most businesses cannot afford dedicated service teams and call centers, apps are their best options when it comes to providing 24/7 support. Mobile apps can also help companies build strong relationships with customers and boost brand loyalty by allowing loyalty programs and offering tailored incentives and personalized rewards.
Apps can utilize mobile hardware
Smartphones have become increasingly powerful over the years, and unlike websites, mobile apps can actually utilize the device’s hardware. Businesses can utilize additional mobile features like contacts, GPS location, camera, etc., to improve the app’s experience and services for the end-users.
That doesn’t mean your website is useless
As powerful and effective mobile apps might be, they still aren’t a complete replacement to websites. Instead, they both have their unique roles to play.
Users in general are very slow to adopt mobile apps, and many uninstall unused apps more frequently than you can imagine. This means that although apps are great overall for engaging customers that have already bought into your brand, websites are still the go-to marketing medium for reaching a more general, uninitiated audience.
Apps are also incredibly difficult to market and promote given the increasing competition in the mobile space. Websites can utilize search optimization to reach out to a large number of users, while mobile apps have a difficult time climbing the app store ranks, which again vastly limits their adoption.
Web development and website maintenance are also significantly cheaper compared to app development and maintenance. However, to make mobile app development more cost-effective, companies often outsource the app’s development to mobile app development companies in India or those based in other developing countries.
Despite their difference, both apps and websites have their unique roles to play when it comes to building your business. While websites are a far-reaching, low-commitment medium for users to know your brand better, mobile apps can be an excellent engagement tool to boost your relationship with existing customers.
While most businesses do have a website, many have failed to recognize the need for a custom mobile app. For those seeking to develop an app for their business but lacking the technical expertise to do the same, Goodfirms has curated a list of mobile app development companies that can help you develop your very own app.
Hopefully, this guide highlighted some of the reasons why having a mobile app can be beneficial to your business. What exciting possibilities do you plan to realize with your mobile app?