Mobile commerce increases at an exponential amount every year. Mobile sales in 2020 are expected to reach $2.91 trillion—a 25% increase from $2.32 trillion in 2019. This shows the importance of creating a quality mobile website, or at least having a responsive website.
The continued growth of mobile commerce isn’t anything new. Businesses of all sizes understand the importance of having a mobile presence. However, not many businesses consider creating an app to boost their mobile sales. This is often due to the following reasons:
- Business owners don’t believe an app will increase mobile sales
- They don’t have the resources to build an app
- They don’t have the technical expertise to build an app
- A mobile app can feel pointless when facing an already competitive market full of well established competitors
These are all partially valid thoughts, but it’s important you compare them with the following reasons you should consider creating an app for your eCommerce store:
- Mobile and web apps account for 70% of mobile sales
- Mobile apps have a conversion rate that’s three times higher than a mobile browser
- 89% of user mobile media time is spent on apps
- Mobile apps open up new opportunities for content marketing
The benefits are great for creating a mobile app, and many of the obstacles business owners perceive in creating an app can be overcome rather easily. The solution? No code app development (We’ll get into this later in the article). Any eCommerce store can create an app for their business that improves user experience and therefore increases sales. It’s not about competing with industry leaders either, it’s about giving your users the most convenient, memorable and satisfying experience possible.
The Importance of Improving Your Mobile Presence
Your store is selling great and is the driving force behind the majority of your revenue. Your store is mobile friendly, but you haven’t done much other mobile optimizations external to basic responsiveness or perhaps if you’re using Shopify your store will automatically be mobile responsive.
Mobile sales are increasing and it’s a trend you can’t ignore if you want to continue to increase your sales, you need to optimize specifically for mobile users, just have a responsive website. Mobile sales are slowly overtaking traditional web sales and if you don’t join the trend, you will slowly get left behind.
Modern customers want a shopping experience that is fast, smooth, and predictable. Users enter a mobile app because of an invested interest. The transition from your app to checkout is much closer compared to that of users visiting your website.
How Mobile Apps Create Sales and Encourage Customer Loyalty
Industry leaders have a mobile app because it creates a user experience and apps have a high conversion rate. Businesses have chosen to create apps or are planning to create one because it has become a standard. Therefore customer loyalty and the future of your eCommerce store has more dependence on creating a mobile app.
How apps increase sales:
Push Notifications: App notifications are intriguing, emails are annoying! Compared to emails, push notifications have a much greater click-through rate and are 50% more likely to be opened. The big advantage of push notifications is often time, they’re likely to be opened within a few hours of sending them. Emails can sit there for a couple weeks before a user opens it, your promotion is likely over by that point. Push notifications are also low cost and the receiver knows exactly where they’re coming from.
Smoother User Experience: The creation of your app itself should represent an improvement in user experience. Take instagram for example, viewing instagram on a browser only allows users to view content, with the app they can upload their own. This is business dependent, but the ability for apps to make use of your camera and location can vastly improve user experience. The interface is usually more intuitive, apps are smaller so the most valuable aspects of your store have been condensed for the user, compared to a website where there are many more navigation pathways.
How apps increase customer loyalty:
Ease: Returning to an app is much quicker than going back to your web store. Every time a potential return customer Googles your products or scrolls their social media feed, there is the opportunity for your competitors to get their attention. With an app, the only window they open is your store’s.
Personalization: Apps provide an opportunity to run messages that cater to the specific interests of the user. If you are a subscription business, you can design app notifications to solve any concerns users have with renewing their subscription. Personalization encourages users to slowly engage with more of your app. Think of any music streaming app—the app will suggest you to listen to similar artists, so you discover more and engage with more of the app.
Loyalty Programs: It’s possible to run a loyalty program through your app, increasing the value of your business to the user. For example, starbucks allows users to load money onto their app, which they can then use to quickly pay for things, build up points and receive free products. An app makes it easy to run loyalty programs and keep users updated on their progress.
However, all these app benefits dissolve to nil if you don’t know how to build your own app or find the right services that are both affordable and build quality apps that can compete with leading iOS and Android apps.
The Solution? No Code App Development
There are plenty of obstacles a business owner has to overcome to build an app for their store: money, expertise and time are the main problems, especially for small businesses. The solution is no code app development.
What are No Code App Development Platforms?
It is self explanatory in the name but for clarity’s sake… No code app development platforms feature drag-and-drop tools that allow businesses to quickly create apps without having any coding knowledge. These platforms provide templates for workflows, elements and your user interface, the user simply needs to fill the gaps. These apps aren’t just useful for small businesses that lack technical expertise, they’re good for enterprise level businesses that want to quickly create large scale apps.
Recommended No Code App Development Platforms:
Before You Use A No Code App Development Platform
When using one of these platforms, it can feel that the creation of your app is only a few movements away. But, there are still a few preparation steps you should take to make an app that best suits your business.
Sketch a Wireframe
A wireframe is 2D illustration of what you want your app to look like. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy (considering you’re likely not a designer as well), it’s just a rough blueprint for what you’re looking for when you use a development platform.
Your wireframe should give you an idea of the following:
- Which app do elements you want to include? Which elements do you want to be most pronounced? How big should your logo be compared to other elements?
- Which pieces of content should be prioritized? The most important information should be displayed top left, think of the way you read a book
- What do you want the user to do once they land on your app menu? What forms of navigation pathways will serve them best? What icons will you use?
- How can you align any visual elements to match the branding of your eCommerce store?
Understand User Experience Recommendations
Inform yourself on the smaller details
- Controls need to be able to accurately touched with an app, Apple describes this any app button should be at least 44 x 44 points
- Keep high contrasting colors, black and white is the default and is also the ideal. Consider how you can implement high contrasting colors that keep things clear, within your branding
- All text should be at least size 11
- Only use high resolution images
Remember, You Still Have to Test
Just because no coding from you is involved, you still are responsible for checking if the app works and functions smoothly, as well as checking that any elements or other visuals aren’t clashing. Further, you have to check that all your content is concise, free of grammar issues and any dummy text has been replaced or removed.
Here are the main aspects you’re testing for:
- How fast is your app? If it takes more than three seconds to load, this needs to be lessened!
- Does the app perform when a user has slow wifi? Users should be able to report any crashes so they can be fixed asap
- How easy was your app to navigate? How comfortable was the design?
- User intuition: Can a user accurately assume what is in the rest of the app without having to visit it
Especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur or small business, ensure testing goes beyond yourselves. Ideally, feedback can be given by early adopters within your target demographic or loyal customers who use your website.
Easily Create an App for Your ECommerce Store
The importance of having an app for your business raises every year, fortunately the accessibility to create functional and appealing apps also improves every year. No code app development gives entrepreneurs who lack resources or expertise opportunities to grow and establish a stronger customer base.
With eCommerce platforms like Shopify that allow users to create eCommerce stores without any technical expertise, seperate no code app development platforms were only a matter of time. GoodBarber or Appery.io are two popular platforms, but there are plenty more.
A Final Note: Limitations
Of course apps that have been created through a no code development platform have some limitations. They are limited to the framework, design elements, and interface customizations that the platform allows. If your app needs a custom plugin, this will likely be incompatible with the app. Upon business growth you may find that there isn’t a no code development solution for the direction of your app, in this case you will have to hire adequate expertise in-staff or outsource app development.
If you ever need professional app development, CodeClouds’ app specialists are one choice. They are a large development team with experts, and many entrepreneurs look to them to hire android and iOS app developers.