A majority of internet users have undoubtedly moved in a mobile-friendly direction. This trend has resulted in a mobile application over desktop usage. In the world of retail, these are quite interesting facts. The implication for retail markets is seen in the growth in multi-platform usage in retail above other industries.
Going mobile for retailers is no longer a question of when, but how well. An important decision in the quest to be mobile friendly is in deciding whether to go the way of a mobile website, or a mobile application.
In order to make the decision, it is important to understand how both work for a retailer. Being mobile friendly is not about either of them, but rather the combination of both in building a mobile presence that is impossible to ignore.
Making a case for mobile applications in retail is quite easy, as they have been successfully utilized in the retail industry. There was a 174% increase in mobile shopping apps two years ago; the highest in any category. It is projected that mobile commerce will make up about 45% of all e-commerce deals carried out by 2020, with a sales total worth of about $284billion. According to a survey carried out by Cisco (5th Annual Retail Survey), about 55% of all shoppers will make use of a retail app, either for shopping or while shopping. The retail mobile application market is a thriving venture and one which opens a whole number of benefits to retailers which can't be gotten from other channels. Some advantages of mobile retail applications include
Intense customer experience. Every retail venture is dependent on the satisfaction of the customer. Therefore, a fulfilling customer experience is essential for the successful use of any retail oriented mobile application. The Cisco above survey re-emphasizes this and suggests that hyper-relevance and context are necessary for acquiring digital consumers. A mobile app gives an improved customer experience, while being seen as an extension of the retail brand, and offering brand-specific features. Some examples of such incentives include;
• Special offers which are made known by push-notifications
• Personalized shopping experiences
• Mobile payments that can be made from the customer’s device.
With the use of mobile app development, you get to enable mobile payments and reward systems on one channel. Mobile loyalty systems give a highly personal reward system, basing the rewards on the customer’s personal details such as location, interests, and of course; past purchases.
Mobile applications offer a world of data analyzing capabilities, put to good use in helping analyze customer data. Mobile applications help to analyze a customer's data and give a deeper understanding of the customer’s needs and requirements. Decisions made with such analytics will improve the customer's shopping experience and overall sales.
Mobile apps also give you a permanent site in shopper’s mobile device, which goes practically everywhere they do. A retailer basically has an outlet on the customer’s device. This gives room for target marketing, unlike any other channel.
Mobile Web Pros
Shopping on mobiles has grown amazingly, with over 50% of e-commerce and 78% of local business searches resulting in an actual purchase. Given these statistics, there is no question as to the necessity of a mobile website. The advantages include;
Improved customer experience
With a multi-device, multichannel experience available to shoppers, lack of a website for a retailer may result in a loss of up to 50% of e-commerce.
Wider customer base
Even with increased in-app shoppers, most shoppers prefer the mobile web option, and customer loyalty is not assured. Having an easy option for mobile web customers will result in a wider customer base, including inconsistent shoppers.
Most websites cater to all screen sizes, making it easy for users to shop without the need for multiple websites for several devices.
Being mobile friendly improves search engine rankings, making mobile friendly websites rank higher than those not optimized for mobiles. This will translate to better or worse brand visibility for a retailer, and ultimately to sale numbers.
The really is no choice left to make between a website and an application. Both are needed to get the best of the mobile movement. Investing in Android app development will result in over 60% of mobile users being potential customers. Going into iPhone app development essentially takes care of the better part of the remaining chunk of mobile users.
So why not just invest in mobile app development and get access to a loyal customer base all over the modern world, while enabling your mobile friendly website for the majority of random shoppers. You have only better exposure and more satisfied customers to gain.