Even if you have a slick website with a professional look, speedy performance, and a solid user interface, if your business doesn’t have an app, you have a huge technological weak point. No matter how effectively designed your site is, your customers have to put in much more work to access it before they can click through your many beautifully crafted web pages. In a world where people will avoid using a site just because it takes more than a few seconds to load, they’re likely to not bother visiting your site altogether!
Every business owner wants their company to be as accessible as possible for customers so that they can purchase your products, and it doesn’t get much more accessible than an icon sat on their phone screen.
Increasing Customer Trust in Your Business
Though your mind might first go to more technical elements, it’s worth considering the level of trust you can build with customers through an app – after all, if you’re always sat on their phone, they don’t need to consider whether you’re a company they can trust to make a purchase from.
In fact, you can even have an advantage here over companies like Amazon, Depop and eBay that are essentially marketplaces; with them, customers have to make decisions within the app about whether they can trust the sellers that use them, which places them in a similar situation to using an unfamiliar browser website. If you’re a single retailer, the fact that you’re on the app store means that you come across as a trustworthy business, and some studies suggest that consumers will consider an app to be an indicator of quality and reliability in a business, especially as anybody can buy a domain name and make a website.
Other studies have suggested that after a customer downloads your app, even just the appearance of your business on their phone on a regular basis makes you seem more trustworthy from familiarity – even if they haven’t made a purchase! Essentially, an app can immediately legitimise your business in the eyes of customers – a valuable tool when so many sites on the internet are so unreliable.
Improving Communication With Customers
Although a customer may feel as though they’re the one who decided to begin interacting with your business, this often isn’t really the case – through personalized advertisements, sponsored appearances on their social media feeds, and email marketing, you’re keeping them quietly conscious of your company, and making an app available is another great way to achieve this effect.
A brilliant way of keeping your customers up to date on your company is through push notifications that pop up on their home screen. This is reflected in statistics – while email marketing or personalised ads might result in a couple clicks through to your site, push notifications can triple or even quadruple these engagement levels with ease!
This can be put down to simplicity; a single touch of the app takes your customer to the product, whereas an email campaign requires your customers to check through their emails, locate the one from you, read through it, and finally click your link (not including the loading time for your site!).
For better or worse, the ease of online shopping has given customers a higher expectation of convenience – if a company can reduce the number of steps between a customer being aware of their company and buying one of their products, they’ll almost definitely see better sales figures. If you can pull off a similar tactic, then you might also be able to achieve a similar level of brand recognition.
Keeping Track of Customer Information
It’s not uncommon for customers to avoid making a purchase not because they are no longer interested in the product, but because they understandably don’t want to mess around with an awkward checkout page. Having to manually enter your name, address, email address and more can be annoying enough, let alone getting up from your comfy seat to find your credit card details and slowly input a sixteen digit number!
While innovations like autofill settings can assist you to an extent, apps that store delivery and payment details are typically far more convenient as they let you remain logged in all the time. Customers know this – most would much prefer to use their fingerprint to make a purchase through an app than pull out their laptop to search through endless menus and forms.
If you provide an app, you’re also providing a quicker and simpler experience for your customers, similar to what companies like Amazon can provide. By doing this, you’re sparing them the irritation of combing through the internet for the best store, looking up their reviews, finding the product, and spending minutes upon minutes inputting details.
How An App Can Work For Your Customers
Most people are expert consumers nowadays when it comes to apps, with many having over a hundred on their phone that they regularly check in on. How does an app from your company fit into this ecosystem? Contrary to what you might assume, the experience doesn’t start when they click on the app, but when they think about clicking on it. For example, consider that you want to buy a new office chair. You can find furniture and office stores all over the internet, but if you don’t know every single one, you might not know where to search. Your process might look something like this:
- Open up your browser
- Think about the best search term to find a furniture store
- Open up a range of websites with different structures and interfaces
- Check out the different products on each site
- Add the product to your craft
- Look at possible delivery times and costs
- Look at the possible payment options
- Input your personal details
- Input your delivery details
- Input your payment details
- Open up your emails
- Click on the email confirmation
Now think about how much easier this is through an app:
- Open up the Amazon app
- Search for an office chair you like
- Click the ‘buy now’ option
Amazon might not have the highest quality or best value office chairs, but this level of convenience regularly wins over hundreds of thousands, if not millions of customers every single day.
Right now, customers prioritize convenience, and if you can work with an app developer who can make an appealing app, you could see a major increase in sales.