Mobile Shopping Apps: How are they Different from eCommerce and Why Retailers Need Them?

Here's why your retail business needs a mobile app, even if you already have eCommerce...

Retailers today need an easier way to reach and market to customers, and allow them to access and purchase products from wherever they are. In the past, eCommerce websites may have been enough, but that is no longer the case. Now, it is more important than ever to expand your retail business with a mobile app.

Blog Mobile Apps vs eCommerce in 2021

In this blog, we will explore the benefits of mobile apps, the difference between apps and websites, and how to get started with your own mobile app.

What Is an eCommerce App?

An eCommerce app is a software program that allows consumers to shop and make purchases on their mobile phone or other smart device without crawling through a website. They are designed to help retailers offer products and services in the most convenient way possible; and that's exactly what consumers want today. With more consumers shopping online and at home, mobile apps have increased in popularity; in fact, 47% of consumers now do the bulk of their shopping on mobile apps.

If you're not selling on a mobile app, you're potentially missing out on a lot of sales.

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Mobile Apps vs. eCommerce Websites: How They Differ

If you aren’t sure exactly how eCommerce apps differ from eCommerce websites, don't worry- you're not alone! After all, websites have been around for a lot longer, and share similarities with mobile apps. Here is a summary of the main differences between eCommerce apps and websites:

Access: Apps are easier to access since they are downloaded right to your customer's phone, which they carry around all the time; they're even easier to access than 'bookmarked' websites.

Speed: Apps typically perform quicker than eCommerce websites- they can be accessed quicker, load pages faster, and utilize other mobile features, such as text messaging/notifications and digital wallets, which speeds up the shopping process.

Customer Experience: Apps are easier to use since they display only what the user needs to see on any given screen, and provides simplified navigation from page to page with buttons that are front and center. Let's face it, apps are fun to use too!

Personalization: Mobile apps can send personalized push notifications and reminders to customers, increasing the likelihood of clicks and sales, while reducing the chances of getting traditional emails caught by spam filters, and therefore not even delivered to your customers.

Maintenance: Most eCommerce apps require retailers to update products in their app separately from their website; that's double the work. BUT WAIT.... Celerant's mobile app integrates with the back-office software, seamlessly, providing retailers with a central location to keep their app and eCommerce website in sync without additional effort.

Considering all these benefits, it's no surprise eCommerce apps have 3x higher conversion rates than eCommerce websites!

Key Benefits of eCommerce Apps

So what are the benefits of a mobile app? Maybe a better question is... "what new features do you want to offer for your customer's benefit?" Of course you want your app to look sleek, and offer an experience that is easy, fast and even fun. But most importantly, your app MUST increase customer loyalty and conversions.

Increased Loyalty: eCommerce apps tend to have a positive impact on customer loyalty (assuming they didn't delete or uninstall it). This is partially because apps feel more personal and are more engaging than eCommerce sites. One of the most important features that contribute to customer loyalty is push notifications. Similar to a text message, push notifications deliver personalized content directly to your customers' phones. They are more effective than emails, which often get filtered into spam or junk folders where they sit forever. In addition, as soon as a customer downloads your app, they also opt-in to receive these push notifications. Customers often need regular interaction in order to continue using the same app, and push notifications is a great way to accomplish that.

Increased Conversions: eCommerce apps also have better conversion rates. One of the main reasons is apps are installed on mobile phones- it's like walking around with your favorite brick-and-mortar store in your pocket (that sounds a bit sci-fi). Everything a customer needs is on their phone- the app, digital wallet, push notifications that link back to the app, etc. And if your app offers 'Buy Online, Pickup In Store' (BOPIS), you can further increase loyalty and sales by getting face-time with your customers. The app is also a great way to strategically focus and market more to your local customers, using the BOPIS and/or curbside pickup as an attractive option for these customers.

When launching an app, it's also important to consider the amount of time and effort it will take to maintain. If you're app displays old products, inaccurate inventory or expired promotions- customers will uninstall your app just as quick as it takes to download.

Launching an App Developed and Designed by Celerant

Celerant develops mobile apps for retailers from start to finish. With seamless integration to Celerant's back-office software, you can manage all channels- point of saleeCommerce website and the app- from a central location with NO extra maintenance. Once your product updates are completed in the back office software, all your channels are automatically updated at once. Celerant's apps are iOS and Android compatible, with options for either standard apps or custom apps, so you can select the app that best suites the needs of your business and your budget.

Ready to Learn More?
Click below to learn more about each app, and choose the one that's right for your business!

Ready to Learn More?
Click below to learn more about each app, and choose the one that's right for your business!


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