Should you design an ecommerce app to increase your mobile sales?

In our previous articles available for reading in this section, we have published more than one post analysing the impact of mobile marketing and strategy on ecommerce and how much mobile websites can grow conversions over time. Today we want to take a step further and weigh in on the question that many online entrepreneurs have been puzzled with: do I really need a mobile ecommerce app on top of having a mobile-optimised website?

Before venturing into mobile app designs and management, there are a few things to research in terms of mobile app cost effectiveness. I mean, don’t you want to know first if an app would make you some serious money before investing in its design and management?

Research says you don't really need an app

At this point, thank God for all the latest studies done in the field of ecommerce and mobile sales and marketing. RetailMeNot recently published a great research about mobile users and how often they buy stuff online through native apps. Now you may be very surprised with the results. In our previous articles we stressed out many times how online users use their smartphones to scour for products and services. However, when it comes to brand native apps, many do download these apps on their mobiles but use them quite rarely. Half of the users included in the research stated that they open retailer app once per month or even less. 10% of them admitted to using native apps at least once a day, and 10% isn’t much of a number.

retail mobile app

Now it’s all about perspective. If you think that a mobile app would enable your customers to browse and purchase products more easily than on your mobile website, you may still want to invest in an app. Also, if your mobile website’s conversion rates are high, there is something there and you should get into mobile marketing on a deeper level, testing an app.

But to give you a more comprehensive context on the usage of ecommerce mobile apps, lets look more closely to some additional recent data on the subject. When it comes to having retailer applications on their smartphones, 39% of users included in the above-mentioned research stated that they had one or two. However, a whooping 21% said they didn’t have one. And that is quite discouraging.

ecommerce app

So before deciding if an app would be advantageous, you should really think about whether your customers would consider your app really important to search for products or services. A good way to do that is by launching a small online survey which you could send out through a newsletter or through your social media. Even if you don’t have a lot of subscribers and the focus group is be rather small, loyal customers’ opinion is often a real game changer when making marketing and business strategy decisions.

Research all says mobile-friendy websites are a must

At this point, you may be discouraged into investing in a mobile app. However, we remind you that when it comes to mobile marketing in general, the numbers are all but discouraging. If just a few clients truly use native mobile apps on a daily basis, tons of them browse through ecommerce mobile websites every minute of the day.

mobile commerce spending

What this means is that unless you have done your client-based research properly and you are sure an app would bring in advantages in terms of growing your brand’s popularity and revenue, you should probably stick to making your mobile website the best version possible. Your customer should be able to access your website through their mobiles and find everything they look for right away. The website should be adapted to mobile technology and screen to the last detail and don’t forget to make the design as friendly as possible; I mean, don’t you get super annoyed when you’re browsing on your mobile and there is simply too much content displaced around anh hard to read on a smaller screen, or menus and search bars are hard to find? Even worse when key information such as prices, contact or delivery and shipping details are hardly visible. This is why you should invest time and money in your mobile website ASAP and make sure everything is user-friendly and user-oriented.

Time to reassess your mobile website design guys!


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