Most business owners are moving towards investing a part of their online budget into mobile apps, regardless of where they stand in the market. Multinational retail companies realised the importance of mobile apps before the concept became popular. Small scale businesses, however, were neither confident nor had big budget to capitalize their income on mobile apps.
With the advancement in technology, both small and mid-scale businesses can embark their journey towards converting their websites into a dynamic mobile app through mobile app builder. The expectation of customers from all over the world has led to this change.
While trying to understand the reasons why apps became so popular, we came across these benefits:
1. New target audience
There still exist businesses that solely rely on their e-commerce websites to generate sales, from both existing customers and new ones. In this case, businesses close doors to audiences who only prefers shopping on their smart phones. As a modern day business, it important to understand the relationship between customers and their mobile phones.
As a retail business owner, if you open your horizons to invest in a mobile application , you also increase the possibility of approaching new customers. This is because customers expect to find an app for every product and service they want to buy.
Some businesses have witnessed a whopping increase in the number of online orders, in the year they launched their apps. While some of these orders were placed from existing customers, it was also noticed that these businesses were able to acquire new customers with the help of an app. Imagine how an app can play a role of a loyalty program!
The good part is that these businesses also saw an upward trend months after months in the number of downloads of their apps, which clearly means that their growth graph will look good for years to come.
The bottom line is that you improve your online presence holistically and let your customers decide if they want to shop from the website or from the app. While it is important to build responsive websites, it is certainly not enough. The fact that apps are faster, more accessible and more personalised, inclines users to always choose them over responsive websites.
2. Lower operative cost
We know that mobile apps are helpful in effectively managing day-to-day operations. Can we also say that mobile apps can also assist businesses in reducing their operational cost? Apps can definitely go beyond retaining and acquiring customers. The elementary structure of mobile apps have a way of creating an efficient flow of operation that eventually helps in reducing the cost.
You can start by keeping records of your sales history, inventory, order management and receipt on your mobile app rather than using different mode of point of sales software. This can also put an end to paper receipt, if you are using any. If you have been maintaining your record manually on paper, you can relate to the pain of managing piles and piles of paper files. Not only is keeping a track of all the transaction be difficult, but it also costs a lot of money, which can easily be avoided.
If you simply choose to use your mobile app for all your day to day operations, including managing orders, recording e-receipts and communicating with your customers and your staff members, you can cut down on a substantial amount of budget.
We are not asking you to build the app for your business from scratch, just start by finding a good online app maker and simply register with them to convert your website into an app. Open doors to simplifying your operational process along with bringing down the cost of it by streamlining your operations. Some of these companies may offer an monthly/quarterly/yearly maintenance package.
3. Effective operation process
As an owner of small scale business, carrying out the daily operation in the most budget friendly manner can be very challenging. The most difficult period is end of the month when you are struggling to make ends meet. A few operational expenses here and there and you put your entire budget in shambles.
In the section, we will only talk about how mobile apps can help you lower down your operational expenses exponentially. The only way to cut down the budget on daily activities is to formulate an organised system, with no loopholes.
Modern day businesses are getting into the practice of hiring resources on either contract basis or on part time basis. Most employees either work from home or remotely, away from the office. Keeping in touch with these employees for coordination and a dozen other things can be very exhaustive as well as expensive.
Businesses who are looking for streamlining the process of improving their communication channels with employees from different departments can hugely benefit from building an app. This is a great way for employees to stay connected with one another, by developing an efficient channel of communication.
You can simply do away with hiring an extra set of staff to coordinate with employees who are working on the field and instead deploy them in places which will actually help boosting revenue. Your employees will be happier in doing a valuable job rather than answering phones and clearing little queries of their colleagues.
Additionally, managing orders that flow online will be easier on a single mobile platform.
4. Extemporize user experience
Online business came into existence to provide users a smooth shopping journey that is away from the hustle bustle of a market and from a tiring day from strolling down the streets. With the growth of new ideas, technology has taken a new turn and businesses are modifying their business model to make their products more accessible. The idea behind building an app too, revolves around making your products easily reachable for the customers. Now, there is no other device in the world that is more handy to a customer than their own mobile phones.
If you have an app that has all your products and offerings, buying your products will be at the hands of the customers. Think of an e-commerce store that has a zillion products on their website to offer to the customer. If this e-commerce store expects its patrons to fire up their laptops, especially to shop for their products, they will probably lose out to the ones who are too lazy to even get on it. However, the conversion rate will be much higher if you give them opportunity to shop from a dynamic mobile app.
Obviously, this e-commerce store should be perfectly structured with filters, spot on searches, a wish list or a favourite section and special offers on some products. How difficult will it be to tempt a customer to buy all the wonderful stuff in their own time? Your customers will surely be moved by the idea of lying in their bed and spending some money on good products while you make some too.
5. Make more money
The basic agenda of all business, regardless of the size and nature of the business, is to make money. You know what happens to businesses who are not increasing on their scale of growth. Let’s take example of Netflix that was already making a lot of money through its subscription model, but launching an app gave them a steady boost.
Now, we are not saying that your business can be as big as Netflix is but you can probably use some of these tips to effectively run your small business. As much as we understand that it is impractical for any business to dream about becoming as big as Netflix overnight, there business strategy has worked out a great deal for them.
Businesses that are based on a subscription model are always on a lookout for increasing their conversion rate through cost-effective channels that are easy on the pocket. In this case, having a dedicated app can work out very well for your business too. To kick start your sales, you can offer a trial period to the customers for a specific period, just what Netflix did.
The conversion rate will be much higher if you introduce this free trial on your app. It is has been proven that customers are more likely to choose your products if you ask them to try it out before buying them instantly.
Your app can do wonders if you let your customers download it for free and let them try it for a set period, also for free. If the customers like your service/product, they are certainly coming back for it.
6. Integrate on-demand marketplace
The all new on-demand marketplace is the new talk of the town. Businesses are excited to try out this new way of creating a platform that will attract both the buyer and the seller. A great means of doing this is to build an app to create an on-demand marketplace. You are not bound to forcefully follow this trend if your business model doesn’t allow it.
Zomato is the biggest example for creating on-demand marketplace for buyers and sellers. Businesses are earning on this platform by listing themselves down and customers are able buy the products they need. Initially Zomato launched its business only on web and was doing considerably well.
However, after the launch of their app, many restaurants approached their sales team to enrol themselves on Zomato. In the present day and time, this business is ruling the world of restaurant, pubs, café and hotels and giving great advantage to both the seller and the buyer.
Most of Zomato users prefer to use their app rather than using the website. Now, we are not asking you to build an entirely new business model that is based on on-demand marketplace but you can take lesson from them to improvise on your business app and adapt some ideas from them. By following popular business models and taking teaching from where they went wrong and what they did right, you will be surprised at what you can do with the mobile app that you own.
7. Improved Customer Loyalty
By now you understand why big conglomerates invested in the idea way before it became popular. In the same light, successful business owners claimed to have managed their customer support system better with the help of mobile apps. Customer satisfaction is based on their journey while they shop with you, their experience while buying your product. Naturally, if your customers are happy, they are bound to become loyal.
For instance: Amazon app is amongst the popular app amongst customers who are looking for anything and everything. Not only has amazon been able to create a wonderful user experience for their customers, they have also been to provide instant support to their customers through their app.
One of the greatest comfort that you can provide to your customer is the ease at which they make payments through your app and still be sure that it completely safe. Now, this may be hard to achieve but it is not the end of the world.
Simply making sure that your app has all popular channels of receiving payments can do the job. Include CC Avenue, PayPal, net banking and other reliable channels as part of your payment gateway. A very important thing to remember is that this process should be effortless.
Additionally, if you offer a personalised experience to your customer, other than the excellent user experience, there is a great possibility that you will be able to retain your customers for a long time. Let them see their recently bought products, their sales history, the relevant products and a profile which they can call their own.
If you have a website as good, then you can probably turn website into app and escape from investing in an app from scratch. You can find many options online that will help you build your mobile app within a week.
8. Increase shopping frequency
Acquiring a customer and selling your product for the first time can be the most difficult task for every business there is, and also the most expensive one. It is imperative for a business owner to realise that losing customers after they have purchased from your store can be very damaging, more detrimental if the customer never shows up again. So what is it the businesses can do to increase the frequency at which customers shop from their store?
Think of Tesco- the biggest supermarket in London. We all know that they are a big name which directly puts customer’s trust in them. Tesco currently has approximately 3500 stores in London and was still looking for ways to improve the frequency at which customers shop from its physical store. When Tesco launched its app in 2011, they idea was to provide more convenience to the customers so they shop more.
Their app went viral soon after it was launched and they received an overwhelming response from their customers who were excited with the idea of ordering groceries online. Most order that they received in a day started coming by online orders and they were successful in increasing the number of order substantially.
Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where people like to shop from places which are more accessible to them. If you can too, provide a platform for your customers where they can shop effortlessly, you will see regular customers and increased basked sizes.
While we know that Tesco is big name, it is important to understand they realised the importance of an app when it was new in the market. If budget is a constraint, you can always look for a woocommerce mobile app builder which can simply convert your e-commerce website into an app. This option is not only pocket friendly but also a good way for small businesses to launch themselves in the app market.
Big brands opened their arms to the app market because they knew it had potential. Businesses who have opted for mobile apps for their business have noticed improvement in their sales and also in their brand reputation. In the present time, there is no reason for a business, regardless of its size, to not indulge in the idea of developing an app, especially e-commerce.
We discussed an array of business types in this blog to help you understand that all businesses can hugely benefit from creating an app, in different ways but they all lead to one direction. By the end, we hope you understand that developing an app can have a significant effect on the growth of your business, irrespective of what industry you belong to.
App development can be an expensive affair but not if you choose to go with an online app builder. Look for app makers that offer you native app development and you are good to go. App My Site is a great option for all small scale and mid-size businesses who are exploring options to build an app online. You can choose to buy a monthly or a yearly plan for your launching your app in Google Play Store or App Store.