Gone are the days of hype around mobile applications. Remember the days when every year was a “year of mobile”? Perhaps you can recall Andreessen Horowitz, the famous US-based VC, exclaiming that “mobile is eating the world”?
Today, mobile apps are entrepreneurs’ bread and butter. If you’re serious about doing business online, establishing a mobile presence is more than a must-have, rather than an option to consider.
- In 2018, 194 billion apps were downloaded, compared to 178.1 billion in 2017.
- Total app usage increased by 50% between 2016 and 2018 globally, taking the total to approximately 1.35 trillion hours.
- Retail apps are now the 4th most-used mobile apps.
The list of impressive mobile app statistics goes on, but I think you may already have the big picture – apps are an effective way to reach millions of customers worldwide, with the engagement of app usage growing.
In this article, I want to show you why you can’t afford to skip out on having a business mobile app, or any other form of mobile presence.
Join the growing community
Let’s start with realising the fact that no matter what business you’re in, your competition most probably wields some form of mobile-friendly solution.
According to Business of Apps, “downloads of top-five food delivery apps doubled between 2016 and 2018”. Personal finance apps increased their reach by 27.8%. Other hot applications are mobile games, messaging apps, and – of course – social media, ruling users’ attention and engagement.
Mobile apps are also vastly used by e-commerce and online marketplaces.
It that’s not convincing enough, your users will continue to favour apps over desktop experiences. Millennials and Generation Z are already very tech-savvy, mobile-centric generations, who demand easy access to your offers, and have no problems with mobile payments whatsoever.
In a recent study on mobile payments, PWC found out that around 30% of respondents plan to pay for products on mobile devices. What’s more, we can expect this number to grow.
Establish your mobile presence
Ok, without a doubt, there are people online willing to use your mobile app. Now, let’s get down to how it may affect your business. First of all, by having a mobile app, you can increase user engagement and connect with your customers.
“A mobile app can create a direct marketing channel between you and your customers”, says Jia Wertz, CEO of Studio 15, a socially responsible fashion brand. What’s important, is it’s a channel you can control, enabling the crafting of tailored messaging to your users.
Using push notifications, for example, you can inform users about new updates and offers, or use them to retain customers who haven’t visited your app for an extended time.
Mobile apps can increase customer loyalty and brand recognition. By adding a rewards system or coupons for mobile users, you can drive even more sales and increase their engagement in the future.
Make it easier to reach you
The reason mobile apps are effective is that they’re easy to use, with experiences personalised to users’ habits. Accessible with just a few taps to the screen, they can bring your business closer to the user.
With a native app, for example, users can access the content or some of its parts offline, with the overall speed of loading new text and media a world away from mobile browsers. Another benefit is access to a phone’s hardware, such as a camera, gyroscope, etc. to improve engagement.
I’ve already mentioned mobile payments – and the reason they are so convenient has been well explained by Entrepreneur contributor, Kate Kucherenko, who says: “Contactless payments are the most convenient transaction that can complete a lot quicker. Mobile payments, then, allow for lower wait times at checkout which, in turn, improves the customer experience.”
Apps also take advantage of different monetisation models – you don’t have to rely solely on selling your products or subscriptions, as you can also include mobile ads.
Business mobile app: how to do it?
Native mobile applications offer the best mobile experiences and can support mobile operating systems like iOS and Android exclusively. The benefits of choosing them is a possibility to create a consistent user device-compatible UI, a range of APIs to connect with third-party services, as well as the previously mentioned access to the hardware.
The downside of native apps is that they are still the most expensive ones to develop. They are not, however, the only option. You can also decide on a hybrid mobile application, which offers, interestingly, similar experiences to native ones. The difference is that hybrid apps are built with multi-web technologies, although they can use third-party services and device hardware.
The third option is a web application, which is basically an app running in a browser, that users can bookmark on a screen.
No matter which solution you’ll choose, we’re happy to help your business step up its game and join the mobile ecosystem. Let us know about your project!