The last few years have seen an increasing number of ecommerce ventures turning to native mobile apps in order to reach out to a fast-growing mobile audience.
Thanks to the popularity of mobile apps, traditional ecommerce web stores are adapting to the market by transforming themselves into mobile commerce apps. In fact, many ecommerce websites have stopped catering through websites altogether for mobile users, making their mobile ecommerce apps the only way users can access their store on mobile devices.
An increasing number of offline businesses are also turning to ecommerce to grow thier business. Since most ecommerce businesses are giving priority to mobile apps instead of websites, it is high time to evaluate how the move to mobile commerce apps is transforming the industry.
What Statistics Say About Mobile Commerce
Since 2016 there has been a leap in mobile commerce apps, and a corresponding popularity of these apps over ecommerce websites. Numerous statistics confirm this trend.
According to a report from TechCrunch, back in 2016 sales through mobile apps broke the record for the leading online retailers (including Amazon, Target, and Walmart) on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. The latest data shows that sales through mobile apps has surpassed website sales mainly thanks to exclusive deals and offers targeted for mobile app users.
For mobile app developers, this invigorated emphasis on mobile commerce apps for shopping has opened a new vista of opportunities.
As per Statista, the global mobile app revenue, which was $69.7 billion in 2015, will reach a whopping $188.9 billion in 2020. This obviously includes all the business conversion through on-demand apps and mobile commerce apps.
The Transformation from Web to Mobile App Commerce
When India’s leading ecommerce store Flipkart decided in 2015 that their mobile app would be their only store-front, it drew a lot of mixed reactions and a noticeable negative toll on their revenue. Its American rival Amazon raced ahead to become India’s most-visited ecommerce site.
Back then such a move to mobile-only app stores had mixed results. The move worked well for some ecommerce stores, while for others the outcome was not so good. But if recent trends are to be believed, apps are now a hot favourite for online shoppers in India and across the world.
All over the globe, offering both web and mobile app store interfaces has emerged as an effective strategy for boosting ecommerce sales. The move to offer a native mobile shopping experience through an app has become a necessary prerogative for most ecommerce brands now.
While there are pros and cons for both web-only and mobile-only app store interfaces for ecommerce stores, brands cannot do away with the regular web store. They also can't help but give priority to mobile app storefront to adapt to the realities of today’s ecommerce landscape.
A mobile app storefront is convenient for mobile users, helping them stay connected, boosting engagement, footfall, sales and brand loyalty. Studies actually show that shoppers on mobile apps browse 286% more items compared to shoppers on a web store.
Rise of On-demand Economy and Mobile App Commerce
Mobile shopping apps offer users exactly what they want, at the time they want it, and the way they want it. This commitment to fulfil consumers' demands via immediate access to goods and services, including doorstep delivery, has helped the ecommerce industry as a whole to flourish.
Taking this further, a fully-fledged on-demand economy driven by mobile apps that can deliver a variety of services in the exact time and place we want them, and in the exact way we want them has revolutionized other industries, as well. For example, on-demand apps ranging from ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber to food ordering apps like Zomato and doorstep grocery delivery app like Big Basket have become very popular. They are hard to ignore in our current world.
Many on-demand platforms are available simultaneously on the web, but they are mainly accessed and known for their branded mobile apps. Thus, savvy ecommerce stores taking a cue from the popularity of on-demand apps are switching focus to a native mobile experience.
Truth is, we use mobile devices everywhere and without any constraints of time and place. This allows a mobile commerce app to remain constantly in touch with its audience. In other words, a mobile commerce app works like an always open store, ready to cater to customers’ demands.
Compared to web stores, mobile commerce apps are generally faster loading with a smoother native user experience that can delight users more easily. With push notifications, a mobile commerce app can also boost engagement with promotional offers, discounts and freebies.
Key Things to Remember When Switching to a Mobile Commerce App
If you’re considering switching to a mobile commerce app from your default ecommerce web store, you need to keep few things in mind:
- Identify the Right Technology: To build a high-performance mobile commerce app, you should always use the right CMS solution and frameworks that easily allows you to create a mobile app version of the web store. Both Magento and Woocommerce come as great CMS choices for building a scalable, versatile and feature rich ecommerce app.
- Ensure a Consistent Design: When building a mobile commerce app version of your web store, it is important to maintain the design consistency and ensure a similar brand-specific look and feel of your store.
- API integration: A solid integration of the API generated from the earlier web store is crucial for smooth performance and glitch-free output. A robust and faultless integration will not only help to sync the dynamic information between frontend and the backend, but this will also secure the app data.
- Testing: You need to have a robust and dedicated QA team to conduct testing of the app across platforms and devices. Achieving standard quality certification like ISO 9001 is also important as a mark of evaluation. From time to time, you should also conduct A/B testing to evaluate any design changes that are deemed necessary.
Remember, the primary emphasis when switching to mobile commerce apps should be on improving user experience and ensuring more engagement and a smooth conversion.
Since mobile commerce apps are surpassing web stores in every parameter of success, and becoming primary storefronts for modern ecommerce brands, the positive outcome of this change will be visible in overall growth spikes in terms of revenue, audience engagement and conversions.