According to a recent report, mobiles and tablets now account for more than half of all online sales in the UK with a staggering 51% of UK online sales coming via mobile between November 2015 and January 2016.
Richard Tremellen from Capgemini believes that the figures reveal a significant shift for the online retail sector. “It reflects the work retailers have put into improving the customer experience on smartphones,” he said. “Not only have mobile platforms become more secure, but the payment process is also much slicker. The result is that smartphone conversion rates are 70-80 per cent higher than this time last year.”
Does your e-commerce store need an app?
With the rapid rise of mobile commerce, it’s crucial for e-commerce businesses to adapt to ensure that the needs of their mobile customers are taken into account. One of the best ways to do this is by launching a mobile app. However, apps aren’t for everyone so it’s important to consider the needs of your business and customers before you rush to develop an app for your store. To help you decide whether your e-commerce store needs an app, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons to help you gain a better understanding of what a mobile app could do for your business.
- Pro: Mobile sales are booming – In January 2016, mobile sales grew at over seven times the rate of those via tablets and mobile now accounts for two-thirds of internet traffic – an 11% rise on 2014. Launching an app is a brilliant way of actively promoting, accommodating and encouraging this growing market.
- Con: Maintenance – Mobile apps require a lot of TLC and maintenance and have to be built to accommodate each platform (iOS, Windows, Android). For many small business owners, this can prove to be too time consuming and costly.
- Pro: Improved user experience – Well-designed apps dramatically enhance the user experience by enabling users to connect with your services from any location. This helps to build relationships, reinforce your brand’s image and increase your brand’s overall exposure.
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- Con: High expectations – Competition in the app market is tough and even the major retailers struggle to keep up with the expectations of consumers. If you rush your app and roll it out before it’s perfect, people will not wait around for you to iron out the glitches, they will just leave a bad review and move on to a competitor’s app instead.
- Pro: Functions offline – Unlike mobile websites, your app will function offline, so your customers will have access to your app 24/7.
- Con: Low repeat use rate – With so many apps available, it can be difficult to create apps that engage users and encourage regular use.