It goes without saying that not having a mobile app today means that your business might be missing out on additional revenue. Whether you’re SaaS company or operate in a retail market, having a dedicated app will boost your odds of converting more prospects and ultimately growing your business.
Apps are considered to be the best tools for retaining existing customers as well as attracting new ones. But with all these benefits there are a few caveats you should take into consideration before starting your shopping app development process.
There are multiple reasons why you should develop a proper shopping app for your business. The benefits are clear, yet, there are a few pros and cons you should be aware of. Knowing what lies ahead will allow you to assess issues before they become serious. We’ve outlined some of the most impactful areas to keep in mind.
The sole purpose of an app for a business is to generate a certain amount of revenue or extra awareness. Applications allow for all kinds of incomes. Be it in-app purchases or ads, business owners have many options to choose from.
You can also attach Stripe or PayPal to your application – this will allow users to buy products/services much faster. Last but not least, you can integrate a reliable invoicing system if you don’t want to deal with third-party solutions.
Apps are great for establishing relationships with customers. Using in-app functionality, you can notify your customers about new openings, discounts, and other changes which will keep your clients interested and your business relevant. Another key functionality of an app is that it has the ability to reward loyalty.
Yes, with an app you can provide your customers with exclusive discounts, access to new product lines earlier, and a few extra features that aren’t available to others. Lastly, you can send super-personalized messages to your install base which is always good.
When it comes to apps, owners have multiple options to keep their audience engaged. You can provide offline scrolling, the ability to create custom lists, and deliver personalized recommendations. Apps are about creating a pleasant experience in order to retain your old customers as well as attract new ones. Having a robust set of features within the ecosystem of your app will surely have a positive impact on customer retention.
While you might be missing out on things such as SEO in apps, there are a number of substitutes that will allow you to push your marketing activities to the next level. With apps, you have the ability to deliver both video and native ads. Another option is push notifications. This will allow you to present new stuff even if the user didn’t open the app. Indeed, one of the best parts of mobile advertising is that it works offline.
Similar to how websites use Google Analytics, apps have their own sets of tools that allow you to see what your customers like. There are a plethora of free options that have specifically tailored metrics for mobile apps such as retention rate, the number of active users, stability reports (i.e how many times the app crashed), and average session rate. And in case you still need Google Analytics, you can implement that into your app without requiring a lot of coding to get it working.
Although the pros are clear, developing a shopping app has its fair share of downsides. It’s important that you know what to expect as it will help you negate the effects far more effectively, and even avoid them.
As some of you might have guessed, creating a great app might cost you a penny – especially in the long run. Unlike shopping websites, you need to take care of the app all the time. It needs to be updated over and over, and not just pushed to a new version but presented with new features. You need to constantly keep your users’ interest. But as expensive as it might seem, the outcomes will be worth it.
As mentioned above, you need to constantly update your app. Even more, you need to have a support team for it. You as an owner need to ensure that your app is properly updated, has no bugs, and will work in multiple conditions. Your app is not a project, it’s a product that you need to take care of.
Bug tracking can take weeks and polishing features months, but all your competitors are in the same boat. You could accelerate the process but it’s best when it’s done right, not fast. Having a proper support team will ensure that your product is competitive and high-quality.
With apps getting more complex, the need for a dedicated support team has never been so high. Establishing a proper support team will require you to purchase hardware, pay man-hours, and fill up more office space. This will result in more expenses, but owners need to provide customer support to ensure excellent service. You could automate a few things using AI, but bear in mind that you can’t cover everything this way.
If there are many vendors on a platform it may be hard to manage QA and monitor proper delivery of products
With more people on-board, it can be difficult to manage everything at once. Leaving everything as is will result in huge losses and your app might even be excluded from the app store. You need to make sure that your Quality Assurance team is up to the task and that your DevOps are ready to deploy everything.
The more vendors you have, the harder it gets. Investing more money into qualifying existing personnel will eventually solve the issue but it will take some time before they are able to fully cover their duties. Planning is key in these cases.
As you can see, there are a few cons to consider along the way, but the pros far outweigh the challenges. App development is an investment of time and money, but once the app is released, you will see a huge difference.
While the above-mentioned pros and cons might help you, it’s important that you also understand the following when planning for shopping app development:
- Shopping app competitors on the market. As you might have noticed already, you aren’t the only one who is trying to push a mobile shopping app. It’s best that you explore every nook and cranny of your competitors’ apps and compose good countermeasures. You need to stand out from the bunch, and this can be tough as the competition is extremely high.
- App/Google stores optimization strategies. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can make good use of App/Google store features. You’d be surprised how many options you have at your disposal – it’s like SEO for apps.
Try to push your app to appear in the “featured” list and aim for the Top Charts. This will boost traffic listings and accelerate conversion rates, which in turn will allow you to generate more organic downloads.
- A pre-launch marketing campaign is a must. Just like any product, for it to sell, you need to introduce it, and what better way to do so than through a well thought out marketing campaign. You can include the fact that you now have an app in your current marketing efforts, as well as promote the launch of a separate one. We suggest that you leverage the power of social media channels. Since this is a shopping app, any channel will do. Be it Facebook or Linkedin, people will notice it and might download it. You can also come up with a hashtag for your app to boost it even further and make it easier to search for.
All in all, we hope we managed to clear up some questions. App development takes effort and costs a lot of money but the results are totally worth it. If you plan to create a shopping app of your own, it’s better that you know all the challenges surrounding it beforehand as prevention is the best medicine. Good luck on building your own shopping app!