3 major ways mobile apps help business grow

A few years back, mobile applications were a privilege only meant to be enjoyed by large multinational corporations and businesses.  But, that ace in the hole for these big guys is beginning to change as the smaller companies start following the mobile app trends and investing in powerful mobile apps for purposes of serving their customers better and increasing their sales and revenue.

No matter where you go nowadays, you will notice that almost every business you interact with has invested in their own customized or dedicated mobile app. This is because these apps afford the businesses an opportunity to augment their brand’s presence at the same time make customer communication and interaction much easier. It is through these regular interactions that business owners are able to develop customized products and services for their target audience. It shouldn’t then come as a surprise that every business is on the rush to hire Ionic developers to help build apps that improve the user experience.

An Overview of Mobile App Development and the Impact on mCommerce

According to a report by Statista.com, approximately 61.2% of the internet traffic emanated from mobile phones in 2018. Of this number, more than 50% of their time was spent on mobile apps. Moreover, in 2016, the mobile application market generated more than $108,440 million, with the number expected to grow at a 19.2% CAGR by 2023.

In terms of the number of apps available on the App stores, there were more than 2.6 million mobile apps at Google Play Store in 2018 compared to 1 million in 2013. During the same period, more than 197 billion mobile apps have been downloaded with the number expected to reach 352 billion by the year 2021.

With regard to the impact of mobile apps’ impact on commerce, the possibilities have proven to be endless. Yet another report by Statista has indicated that in 2017, mobile accounted for more than 34.5%  of all the digital sales in the US raking in more than $208.1 billion. This number is expected to reach 53.9% of all the retail e-commerce sales generated through m-commerce by the year 2021 as buyers continue becoming digitally mature.

Although smartphone sales continue to surpass those made on tablets, tablets are seeing higher converting rates. For instance, in the US alone, 185.5 million mobile users researched and compared products using smartphones in 2017, only 53.7% ended up purchasing. However, this behavior is slowly changing as smartphone oriented purchases are slowly gaining tract. According to 2017 Mobile Consuer Index, smartphone purchases roughly accounted for a third of all M-commerce dollars. This success has been attributed to super-responsive mobile apps and streamlined mobile checkouts.

Comparison of Different Mobile App Development Technologies

In terms of different types of apps, there are three major categories.

Native Apps

Native applications are software programs that are developed for specific platforms or devices. And since they are built to work on particular devices and OS, they are able to utilize device-specific software and hardware.

One of the unique selling points of these types of apps is the fact that they allow for performance optimizations and the capability to leverage on the latest technologies, such as a GPS as opposed to generic web apps. Examples of native apps include Android (Kotlin or Java), iOS (Swift or Objective-C), and Windows Phone (C# .NET).

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are developed via web technologies although they are wrapped inside native apps. This means that the base code can be used and reused across various platforms. They are also able to access native APIs, camera, and geolocation.

With that said, hybrid app development has had to live with WebView limitations which essentially means their performance is a bit wanting. For instance, some of the newest native capabilities are still missing unless major platforms like Ionic step up to try and catch up with the changes within the space. To help overcome these stinging performance issues, platforms such as React Native (JavaScript), Appcelerator Titanium (JavaScript), Xamarin (C#), and NativeScript are taking a different approach whereby apps are built using a different language then compiled to access native APIs.

Cross-platform Apps

Cross-platform mobile app development allows for the creation of software apps that are congruent with multiple mobile operating systems. Initially, developing mobile apps was complex and always marred with difficulties in building backends that work across multiple platforms. Although it proved to be expensive and time-consuming, this process particularly made it easier to build native apps for respective mobile operating systems. The only problem was in the fact that these codes couldn’t be repurposed for other OS.

How to Choose the Best Platform for your Mobile App

Instead of dwelling on issues like comparing native vs hybrid app when trying to choose the best platform, your best bet would be looking for a mobile app development company with skilled developers in all the platforms to advise you accordingly. This is because each platform requires a different skill set.

If you are looking for an app that will help you reach a larger audience across multiple platforms, a hybrid or cross-platform apps must be your preferred choice. They allow you to reuse the code across platforms which helps in reducing the mobile app development cost.

3 Important Benefits of Having a Business App

Apps have become the new normal digital interaction for almost every business irrespective of the industry. Customers are gravitating towards business that is able to offer interaction platforms whereby the can use mobile apps to buy or compare products or services while on the move. And whether they are using mobile phones, tablets or any other smart mobile device- the bottom line remains they need to have all the information almost instantaneously.

Here are some of the benefits of having a business app:

Enhance your Business Visibility

Statistics have shown that an average American spends two or more hours a day on their mobile devices. While it’s possible that some of these devices have limited apps usage, the fact still remains that each mobile users are always on the lookout for great apps. Being visible in this manner can be beneficial to any business, as the human mind is programmed to unconsciously record images and texts— having a well-designed application icon may as well catch their eye.

As such, once they are able to download your app, the continuous interaction improves customer experience allowing them to build trust in your business over time making it easier for them to fall for your marketing and sales caduceus. Moreover, apps also allow you to demonstrate why your customers should sign the dotted lines rather than telling them what your business stands for.

Lastly, mobile apps with the best UI designs serve as an advertisement just the same way as calendars, fridge magnets, and other memorabilia containing your company logo. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that businesses are looking for any software development company capable of building a mobile app user interface that enhances visibility and improves customer experience.

It should then come as a surprise that “how to hire a mobile app developer” is one of the widely discussed topics on the internet.

More Value for your Customers

Business is entirely pegged on reciprocation. You develop a product, while the customers open their wallets to purchase it. However, nailing down the best carrot that compels more wallet-opening from your customers can be like a jigsaw puzzle. To be successful, you need to devise ways of increasing business-customer interaction to promote sales, at the same time provide value to your customers which your competitors can’t provide.

One of the best ways of doing so is using a business app to create a customer loyalty program. Typically, such a program should gravitate towards rewarding the loyal customers once they interact with your products or services by allowing them to accumulate points which can be redeemed at a later date. One of the best examples of such an app is the Starbucks mobile app. The company offers exclusive rewards to app subscribers motivating them to buy more coffee and snacks. Even better, the app allows users to directly pay from the app, which in turn speed up the entire transaction process.

Create a Direct Marketing Channel

Apps have multivariate functionality: you can use them as a personal assistant to communicate your prices, avail booking forms, provide newsfeed, and even augment customer support.

The biggest win in having such a platform is that you are able to reach your customers and even tell them about special sales and various promotions. Using push notifications, you’re able to offer direct interaction by reminding them about your products and services whenever they make sense.

The Take Home

Most businesses have indicated that they will be increasing investment in mobile applications in the next decade. If your business isn’t part of this equation, chances are high that you will be left lagging by your competitors. Needless to say, mobile apps are not the magic bullet to saving your business. However, they are a foolproof way of securing and maintaining a strong presence in the industry your business is operating in. Instead of your brand appearing to be some abstract concept that customers appreciate, you will always be right inside their pockets and your business logo illuminating their mobile screens by default.

With the rapidly evolving technology landscape whereby artificial intelligence integration, voice control, and augmented reality begin to make headway in business apps, you will be launching your company to the forefront of your industry.

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