Nowadays, when it comes to communication, online transactions and other forms of connectivity, mobile phones are clearly the method of choice. A few short years ago, phones were used for communication only but nowadays they have become a useful tool for many activities. They are a great tool for businesses.Customers can use them to buy goods at any time. Many companies have mobile apps where they sell their products directly to customers in a very streamlined, user-friendly way. The customer just has to open the companies’ mobile app and then buy the product right from the app.Additionally, mobile apps can also help customers locate a retail outlet where they can walk in and buy products in person. But mobile apps can do much more than this to help improve sales.
Use of smartphones
Smartphones are useful because they can be used to do almost anything that you want them to do,but at the same time, they generally fit in your pocket. Smartphones are outselling desktop and laptop computers because they are powerful, affordable, and portable. People can easily have their smartphone with them all the time. Ever since the release of smartphones, the use and sales of desktops and laptops have steadily declined.
In the US, over 30% of all online sales are transacted using mobile phones (Internet Retailer). Mobile commerce will outdo e-commerce in time because of the continued growth in smartphone sales and use. Over the past few years, businesses have been switching from the conventional means of trade to mobile commerce. If a consumer wants to buy anything, they just have to look for it on the internet or via mobile app and a delivery service will do the rest for them.
Analysis and statistics
In the United States,close to a third of all online transactions are done using smartphones. This is in part because nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone (Pew). In 2014, the number of downloads of mobile applications that are used in sales and purchasing of goods increased by a phenomenal 170% (Fierce). Cleary mobile commerce is popular with consumers and should be an important consideration for any business. It is also important that businesses consider the effect of mobile on their in-store sales. As it turns out, with most of the major purchases we make (80%), customers generally start with online searches and end with an in-store purchase (Synchrony). Synchrony also found that 73% of consumers will conduct research during their in-store visits.
Boost your omnichannel experience
Given the extensive prevalence of user research during the shopping process, you want to make sure you keep the experience and branding seamlessly regardless of how a customer is interacting with your brand. When your customers visit your mobile app and it feels out of sync with the in-store experience it creates confusion and reduces trust in your brand. But on the other hand, when they visit your app or mobile website and it provides a seamless experience with what they expect from your brand, they feel well catered to and it builds trust in your brand. The mobile experience should be optimized so that it takes care of the demands of your customers and provides a seamless experience with your brand.
Optimize your mobile app’s user experience
Your mobile app should be optimized so that it will not only impress and engage your existing customers but it should also be able to turn prospects into customers as well.Your app will not be able to do this unless it offers not only the utility that customers are looking for but the usability as well. In the diverse screens that you have in your mobile app, you should check your analytics and find the ones that users prefer most and make sure you are optimizing those screens for the best possible user experience. For instance, you can check the pages that have the most visits and study the content that is there. Does this screen make it easy for a customer to do their selected activity? Is it intuitive how to accomplish the given task? Make sure you focus on the user experience for key areas of your app and consider eliminating functions that are not used to streamline your app for the best possible experience.
Give consumers the tools they need
Clearly, consumers are turning to their smartphones prior and during making an in-store purchase. You will want to make sure you are giving these consumers the tools they need to be able to purchase your products. According to recent research done by Google, 81% of smartphone owners used their mobile device to find specific business or product related information, such as store hours or product availability. 82% of those in the same study used their smartphone to research products or services. Make sure that your app accommodates how users are shopping today and offers the type of information consumers are looking for on a daily basis.
Let customers order via mobile, pick-up in store
Give your customers the ultimate in convenience, let them purchase your products via mobile and allow them to pick the products up in your store.This gives them the best of both worlds. They can simply go to your mobile app, do the necessary research, order the products that they want, pay and then pick up them up at your store. This saves a lot of time for customers and it also prevents them from abandoning the purchase, or going somewhere else, between the research and purchase phases.
Utilize mobile gift cards
Mobile gift cards are beneficial to both customers and retailers. The convenience they offer is great for consumers. Remember, anything you can do to speed up their process and improve their experience is a plus. Having gift cards in your app is convenient and saves customers from having to keep track of plastic cards. Meanwhile, mobile gift cards can also save you money on your gift card program and provide a green alternative with reduced waste.
Integrate a loyalty program
Mobile apps allow you to integrate a loyalty program easily and at a lower cost of implementation than ever before. If you do not have a loyalty program as part of your mobile application now is the time to add one. Loyalty programs have been tested over and over and have consistently been proven to be successful. Improving customer loyalty is one of the easiest ways to create additional sales. Forbes found that keeping a customer is 7 times less expensive than acquiring a new one. The small expense you incur by implementing a mobile loyalty program will be more than offset by the additional business generated.