Your website can have a sleek, appealing design, perfect performance, and an intuitive user interface, but you could still have a huge technological weak point: you have no app.
No matter how slick and well-designed your website it, there’s simply far more work involved for you customers to access it before they can start browsing through all of your many webpages of hard work and careful planning. If people are turned off using a site because it takes longer than a single second to load, then what’s going to stop them from not bothering to visit your site altogether?
You want it to be as straightforward as possible for your customers to find and purchase your products – an icon sat on the home screen of their phone is pretty much as convenient as it gets.
What will an app mean for your customers?
You likely use many apps on a day-to-day basis, with perhaps over a hundred on your phone that you occasionally check in on. So what would an app from your company mean for your consumers? Firstly, the experience doesn’t begin when they go on the app – it begins from when they start to consider using the app.
For instance, you want to buy a new shirt for an upcoming event. The web is filled to the brim with clothing stores, but without knowing the ins and outs of every single one, it might be hard to figure out where you want to look. Therefore, your process might look like this:
- Open your chosen browser
- Consider the search term you need to find a clothing retailer
- Open up a few websites, each with different interfaces
- Look at different product options
- Add the product to your cart
- Look at delivery times and costs
- Look at available payment options
- Input your personal details
- Input your delivery details
- Input your card details
- Open your emails
- Open your email confirmation
Alternatively, think about how this would look if you went on Amazon’s app:
- Open your Amazon app
- Search for the type of shirt you want
- Click ‘buy now’
Amazon probably don’t have the best selection of shirts, and you may have gotten a better deal on a better shirt elsewhere, but the convenience of this transaction is enough to win over millions of shoppers daily.
Customers want convenience, and if the app developer you work with can make your app a quick and simple option, it could have a huge impact on your sales.
Managing Customer Information
Oftentimes, customers will back out of making a purchase not because they don’t want a product, but because of the frustrations associated with the checkout process. It’s always a pain to have to manually enter your details, not to mention getting up from a comfy seat to find your card and enter a sixteen-digit number.
Autofill can help to an extent, but storing customer data like delivery addresses and card numbers on a dedicated app is far more convenient, as they remain permanently logged in. Customers are more than aware of this, and therefore most would much prefer to order from an app than to have to potentially go onto their laptop and face a world of awkward inputs and unknown delivery fees.
By providing an app, your business is a step closer to the quick, easy experience people have when buying a product from Amazon or a similarly large company. Customers are spared from having to hunt down the right store, find reviews for that store, and input endless details over and over again to finally complete their purchase.
Building Trust with Your Customers
This might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but working with a company to develop an app that constantly remains on a customer’s device removes an entire annoying element from the shopping experience for them: deciding if you’re a business that they can trust.
You may actually have a pretty sizable advantage over marketplace apps like eBay, Depop and Amazon in this regard – these apps make shoppers decide whether a certain seller is reputable, similarly to shopping on an unfamiliar website on a browser. As a single retailer, you’re presenting yourself as a trustworthy source simply by virtue of being available on the App Store, or on the user’s home screen. Studies have even suggested that many consumers consider an app to be a reliable indicator of an established business – after all, anyone can make a website and buy a domain name.
Similar studies have even indicated that, once customers have installed your app, just having it appear on their phone regularly makes your business more familiar and trustworthy, even if they have no prior experience with you. In short, an app makes your business seem immediately more reliable and legitimate, completely removing the need for customers to research and review other sites and taking your customers straight to the source.
Improving Customer Communication
While a customer might feel as though they’re the one who started the interaction with your business, much of the time this isn’t truly the case. Through means like PPC advertising, email marketing, or simply sponsored appearances that come up in their Facebook or Instagram news feed, you’re keeping them conscious of your brand – and an app just adds to this.
Push notifications are a fantastic way of keeping customers aware of your brand and encouraging regular interaction with your business. By using an email or PPC campaign, you might get a few click-throughs in the single digits – alternatively, making a couple of push notifications pop up onto their phone screen can easily triple or even quadruple this engagement rates!
Once again, simplicity is the key here – just one touch opens your app and takes your customer to the desired product, as opposed to an email campaign requiring your customer to check through their emails, find your email, and finally click through to your site before waiting for the right page to load.
This is all because the ease of shopping in the digital age has made customers more complacent. There are some hugely successful companies out their that are making interactions between company and customer increasingly simple, reducing the steps between considering a purchase and making that transaction. If you can blaze this trail alongside them, you could possibly get a slice of that financial success and brand recognition.
In terms of trust, you just can’t beat an app.