Why have a mobile app for eCommerce?

Because it’s the best way to up-sell. A mobile app for eCommerce opens up a direct communications channel to your most loyal customers. They are the ones that willingly gave up their valuable space on their precious phones to have your app installed. They are the ones that are most likely to buy again and again and again.

It’s kind of like when people go to the same store over and over again just to browse and see what’s new. In the online world this exponents, but it also becomes more fleeting. Everything moves faster online and that goes for your customers as well. They might love you one day, but go somewhere else the next day. It’s important to keep things fresh and to also have an effective way of reminding them that you are keeping things fresh.

So let’s take a look at what having a shopping app for your eCommerce store does and what the main benefits are:

1. Better UX means more satisfied customers

No doubt that it’s better UX to open up an app that is made for mobile use instead of going to a responsive website in your browser. There’s also no doubt that it’s way more user friendly to open up an app, clicking up the products you want to buy and ordering them with ease, then it is going to a website on your phone, logging in to a store or even if you are already logged in, typing in the URL first, then… I actually lost interest just thinking about it.

2. Squashing the need for research and binding your customers to you

The way returning customers return on their own is actually kinda interesting. We have so many different habits, it’s amazing. Some people bookmark links, some people type the brand name in search, some start typing in the search box and click the URL, some people revisit an old message from a friend over and over, etc. Human imagination knows no bounds when it comes to ways of returning to a website.

But as a store owner most of these ways of returning pose a problem. If someone returns via an organic brand search, they might also get ads from competitors and if a sale or some other thing catches their eye… you just lost a customer. Messages get erased and are now also seen in many platforms as ad placement space, so again, the same problem. Bookmarks are also forgotten eventually.

When you have an app, you basically bind your customer to yourself. They don’t need to search and be exposed to competitors. They can’t really lose or forget about it (next point). The convenience itself of being one click away from shopping at your favorite store can be the reason why you don’t even feel the need to search for an alternative. Establishing a presence on your customers phone basically makes them yours.

3. Effective communication channel for up-selling

There is no other way to communicate with your customers that is as effective as push notifications from a mobile app. Once you send one out, they are going to see it. If it’s well thought out and adds value, they will click on it. It’s not like a newsletter that gets lost in tons of other emails, or thrown into spam or promotions folder.

Effective communication is what leads to sales

Running a promotion and you want all your most loyal customers to see it? They will. Just added an amazing new product that you want to show to your loyal customers? You can. It’s super effective and doesn’t necessarily have to be complimented by remarketing ads to sell efficiently, unlike emailing and social posts. It’s reach is a 100 %, unless you abuse it and send them out too often or for no legitimate reason, then you might get some blocks or even uninstalls, so be careful. On the other hand, social organic reach is dropping and you need to spend more and more on ads to get the same effect.

Organic social reach is steadily dropping, Source: Neilpatel.com 

What kind of stores can benefit from having a shopping app?

Every online store can benefit at least a little. You get a link from the app stores and you’ll get some extra recognition for at least going with the times and offering purchases through an app. But there are some special types of stores that are just screaming for a mobile app.

1. (Personal) Brand stores

Influencers that sell their own merchandise already have a very loyal following and a mobile app represents the perfect way to up-sell and inform their loyal followers of new products that they add.

But shopping apps are great for brand stores in general. This especially goes for the fashion industry. They elevate browsing on a mobile phone on another level through enhanced UX.

2. Necessity stores that have repeat purchases

Groceries, proteins, baking supplies etc. Things that you buy on a regular basis. Why give your customers a chance to change their preferred store. By having a mobile app, you are always at their fingertips and the users won’t feel a need to even look for an alternative. Making their regular purchase was never easier and more convenient.

3. Online equivalents of thrift stores

By this I mostly mean online shops that sell cheap merchandise aimed at impulse purchases and have a high turnaround of items. Basically stores aimed at shopaholics who like to make regular online purchases.

An app gives these stores the perfect platform for their type of customer. It offers a great browsing experience and easy on-the-go way to purchase. It also gives a great way to inform existing customers of new products added.

APP PRO HINT: Combine multiple new products into one weekly or bi-weekly push notification. That way you don’t increase the frequency so much that you’d get a surge of people turning them off, or even worse, uninstalling the app, and you still inform all your customers of the new selection.

4. Niche stores

Stores selling specialized wares usually have regular customers and an app can give them that special edge over the competition by providing a more convenient way to order as well as diminishing the need of their customers to even look at what competitors are offering.

Finally… what to look for when deciding?

You might have noticed some words being repeated over and over in this blog post. Loyalty, returning customers and user experience. So basically, if you have a loyal customer base and /or a product that is meant for recurring purchases and/or you regularly change your inventory of products, an app is the right way to go. It’s also right for you, if you are looking to improve the user experience of your customers (who isn’t, right?).

But you know what they say, you never know until you try it. Luckily, there is a risk free way to try if a mobile shopping app is the right choice for your store coming very soon. Upsquare shopping app maker will be free to try and use. It will convert your online shop into a native shopping app and your monthly subscription will be a percentage of sales through your app. You don’t sell, you don’t pay, no high entrance costs.. A risk free way to give it a shot. If you want to sign up for alpha testing and get extra perks, register for Upsquare and choose the shopping app option.

Already have an app? Check out how to optimize it for the app stores.

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