More and more, mobile apps are the preferred way to shop for millions of consumers worldwide.
According to Statista, the number of mobile devices operating worldwide in 2021 was nearly 15 billion, up from just over 14 billion in 2020.
And mobile device users spent an estimated $360 billion in mobile eCommerce (or “mCommerce”) retail sales.
By 2025, the number of mobile devices worldwide is expected to reach 18.22 billion, and mCommerce sales should hit $710 billion, Statista studies show.
Like websites, social media, and other marketing and branding tools, mobile apps offer you a highly effective way to build stronger relationships with your customers.
Building a mobile app for your business allows you to take advantage of low-cost marketing and higher customer engagement, while delivering better customer service and gaining deeper insights about the people who give you their business.
Let’s look at the four significant benefits of developing a mobile app for your company.
1. Low-Cost Marketing
No other form of marketing can get your brand in front of customers more often than having a presence on their mobile phones. Ads on TV, the radio, billboards, website banners, and every other form of marketing pale in comparison.
When customers install your app on their phone, they’re consistently reminded of your brand each time they look at the screen. And they look at that screen a lot.
And if your app sends them notifications, it gives a more considerable boost to your brand awareness.
The best part is the low cost of mobile marketing. Push app notifications to customers costs way less than traditional advertising and direct marketing.
Want to announce a sale or new promotion? Ping! Your customers just got an alert about it on their phones.
Your app increases customer loyalty, too. Apps stay visible on a phone home screen, unlike mobile websites. When customers need something you sell, they’re more likely to buy it from the company at their fingertips.
2. Higher Customer Engagement
Your customers don’t want to talk to you. They also don’t like to email you.
Don’t take it personally; they don’t want to talk or email anyone else, either.
What they want is to make a few taps on their screen to buy from you. Maybe text a customer service rep if they have a problem.
A vast segment of the market simply prefers to do business that way. And it’s not just young people, either; consumers in the 40s and 50s hate talking on the phone, too.
If your app makes it easy for your customers to buy from you, pay their bills, process a return, and so on, they’ll be less tempted to go to one of your competitors.
3. Better Customer Service
Again, customers don’t want to talk to you. And you probably don’t want to talk to them, either.
When it gets to the point that a customer is willing to pick up the phone and call you, they are likely frustrated or angry.
And if they’re not upset when they place the call, they probably will be after wading through your automated phone tree or waiting for “the next available customer service representative.”
Your app allows customers to contact you instantly. With one tap, they can report a problem or start a webchat to get help.
Not only does this give customers better and faster service, but it also reduces the burden on your call center staff. With fewer calls to answer, you may even be able to reduce call center costs.
More importantly, you’re giving customers a chance to interact with you the way they want to. And that just gives them one less reason to bounce to a competitor.
A survey by Hubspot found that half of customers purchase more from a brand after a positive customer service experience, and 67% would pay more to get better customer service.
When you approach mobile app development with a focus on customer preferences, your app will deliver the kind of service that breeds brand loyalty.
4. Deeper Customer Insights
Effective website analytics can give you tons of valuable data about your customers. But mobile apps deliver even deeper insights into their behavior.
Through mobile analytics, you can get actionable insights about your customers. Engagement metrics tell you how many active users you have, how often they use your app (and for how long), and what they’re doing.
And monetization metrics tell you the average revenue per user (ARPU) and each user’s lifetime value (LTV). You can also learn how much it costs to acquire new users. All this data feeds into making your marketing more effective.
You have a better chance of creating loyal customers if you know who they are, where they are, and how to reach them.
You can learn so much about your customers through your mobile app—their frequently asked questions, the stores they visit most, the app features they find most valuable, and more.
This data, in turn, can help you improve the app, develop more effective ads and outreach programs, and deliver the products and features your customers want.
Tomorrow’s Market Is Mobile
Everywhere you look, people are on their phones. And that’s driving mobile eCommerce ever upward.
Consumers increasingly avoid brick-and-mortar stores in favor of shopping online. Business Insider predicts mobile eCommerce (or “mCommerce”) will make up 42.9% of all eCommerce by 2024, with mobile shoppers spending an estimated $620.97 billion.
“As app usage continues to grow,” Business Insider says, “it will be a major contributor to sales growth, especially with Millennials and Gen Zers holding massive spending power. These tech-savvy users have the ability to boost volume, as they’re more likely to do a wider share of shopping on their smartphones.”
And as mobile shopping accelerates, mobile apps will become as necessary as your business’s website is today. Companies will consistently improve their apps to gain buyers’ attention and give them a satisfying user experience. As customer data accumulates, businesses will use that information to make more sales.
Not every business will benefit from building a mobile app, but for most, apps offer colossal appeal and a rapid return on investment.