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Revamping E-commerce One App At A Time
As online sales surge, companies need to maximize the ways they meet consumer needs. It’s no longer enough to sell merchandise on the internet; now for many organizations, it has become essential to offer a dedicated mobile app that makes the customer experience more effortless and rewarding.
The statistics are staggering: Pew Research indicates that 81% of Americans own smartphones, and they are increasingly using them to shop. In the third quarter of 2019, e-commerce sales topped $154 billion, 11.2% of total shopping in the U.S. Experts say that by 2021, over half of e-commerce purchases will be made on mobile devices. Meanwhile, 78% of users say that they prefer mobile apps over mobile sites.
“If your app is in customers’ phones, you are in customers’ minds,” says Ashwin Vairu, cofounder and Director at 9series Solutions, an end-to-end technology firm for businesses of all sizes. “If customers like your products, you are in customers’ hearts.”
Katalyst’s own Vivek Ghai, Senior Vice President of Digital and E-commerce agrees. “Companies leverage e-commerce marketing strategies in expanding their business footprint and increasing the business growth,” he says. “The business should have that long-term strategy and a vision that they have to go online.”
Advantages of Apps
Improved customer engagement
When design firm Method designed the McDonald’s app, they operated under the motto, “The ordering app must provide benefits that are higher than ordering in person.” A successful app will enhance the customer experience and not simply act as an alternative to current practices.
“The brand needs to understand its core values and what purpose [an app] would serve,” says Reema Pinto, Managing Director at Method. “It’s not like an ‘if you build it, they will come’ kind of nonsense. It must be purpose-driven.”
Her Method colleague and Chief Design Officer Álvaro Márquez agrees. “If you look at the products that we usually have at home, historically the most successful products are the ones that are always there but you barely notice,” he says. “[Apps] that you don’t even consider deleting are arguably more successful, so the question is not, how do you become more relevant, but how do you make sure that you are relevant at the right time?”
Better conversion rate
Research from Criteo indicates that app users are three times as likely to make a purchase than those using mobile websites. The optimized experience reduces the risk of cart abandonment.
Since apps generally rely on building a personalized experience, which customers greatly appreciate, they could be an organization’s greatest asset in building individual relationships with consumers. Keeping track of past orders and suggesting new products based on them, and even simple tactics like greeting a customer by name when they open the app, will increase the chances of them opening and using the app.
Customer journey insights
Any data an organization can collect from its customers can provide valuable insight and lead to increased sales. Knowing how frequently users open the app, the time of day they use it most often, and how long they spend on it can be just as important as knowing what they purchase.
Essential App Features
Modern consumers enjoy having options, and an app that offers multiple ways to pay (credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.) and stores payment information so that purchases involve as few clicks as possible makes them even more likely to buy. Of course, customers also hate forced registration—Baymard Institute research indicates that 31% of consumers have abandoned their cart because of it—so avoid this if possible.
Stability and integration across platforms
If you do require users to register, make sure their experience is consistent across platforms, maintaining their settings and shopping cart, and, if applicable, also integrates itself with brick and mortar retail locations. It goes without saying that the app must run technologically smoothly. Vairu points out that an app that works poorly is worse than no app at all and could ultimately damage a brand. “Sometimes we don’t need innovations and lot of technologies,” he says. “It may be a compact solution that can create wonders.”
An easy-to-use, aesthetically pleasing interface will make consumers much more likely to turn to the app. “If you are able to design something that serves a broad set of constituents, then you’ve done your job well,” says Pinto.
Push notifications and offers
65% of users consider promotions and deals the main appeal of e-commerce apps. Enable frequent push notifications to remind consumers to open your app and encourage repeat use. However, it is still crucial that the main draws of the app are its convenience and ease. No discount is worth a frustrating user experience.
A promo code may inspire someone to download an app but that won’t be enough for it to maintain valuable real estate on a customer’s phone. “You need to be the hero in the moments where that is least expected,” says Marquez. “It’s easier to compete for a certain thing in a certain moment when you are in known territory, but actually staying relevant throughout the rest of your relationship with the customer is the tricky part.”
Katalyst Can Help
Is an e-commerce app the right move for your organization? The experts at Katalyst can help you make that decision and implement it. Check out our e-commerce solutions Sales Katalyst and iDesigniBuy as potential steps in increasing your customer outreach.
Source Link –https://katalysttech.com/blog/revamping-e-commerce-one-app-at-a-time/
Katalyst Technologies Inc. is a best-in-class software, products, technology services, and solutions provider. The core areas of expertise are in ERP, supply chain and logistics, engineering & manufacturing, digital & e-commerce, professional services and publishing.
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