Mobile App Development - 15 Oct 2021
Is Mobile App Development Worth the Cost for Your Small Business?
Mobile apps are everywhere these days; just about every business you interact with online has one. From Amazon to your local grocery store, mobile apps make it easier for customers to access the products and services they need, while giving businesses an additional avenue to engage.
How App Development Benefits Your Business
You may be wondering how mobile app development in Vancouver benefits your small or medium business, especially if you already have a mobile-optimized website.
Apps offer mobile users the most convenient way to browse and shop your products from their mobile devices anywhere at any time. Responsive web design comes close to replicating the functionality of a mobile app, however in terms of features, design, performance, and personalization, nothing can truly replace a native app.
Still not quite sure if you need a mobile app development for your Vancouver business? Let’s dive a little deeper into how mobile apps differ from mobile or responsive websites and how that benefits your customers – and your bottom line.
Unlike a mobile website, mobile apps are downloaded onto a user’s device. This allows for a high degree of customization based on user preferences, the information they provide, and their browsing behaviour, location, and app usage.
These powerful tools enable an app to tailor notifications and promotions based on specific user interests, demographics, and real-time geographic location. And this personalization will directly influence user engagement and conversion rates.
In-App and Push Notifications
Businesses have long relied on email marketing as a way to reach out to customers. However, mobile apps offer companies another marketing opportunity – one the yields higher click-through rates.
Mobile apps support two types of notifications. In-app notifications are sent to users actively engaging with an app. These could be used to advise users of a limited-time offer, give product suggestions, or ask for feedback. Push notifications get sent to a user’s device even if they are not actively using the app.
Like in-app notifications, push notifications can be used to entice users with a limited-time deal or promotional offer, but they can also re-engage inactive users.
Ability to Use a Mobile Device’s Other Features
Once a mobile app is installed, it has access to other features like the camera, microphone, contacts, GPS, and other apps. This adds another layer of functionality to mobile apps, enhancing the overall user experience and increasing user interaction.
While some mobile websites can work with mobile device features like the camera or contact list, many users are wary of sharing that kind of access with an online platform.
Mobile apps really allow for browsing anytime – including offline. In what may be the most significant advantage for users, many mobile apps have features that can work even if there is no WiFi or data connection.
Apps like Netflix, Kindle, and Spotify allow users to download content and access it anytime. Many gaming apps don’t need a connection, and even apps that require data or WiFi for full functionality offer some features that can work offline. This opens businesses up to users of mobile devices that may not have data plans or depend on WiFi for internet use.
Enhanced UI and UX
Mobile app development gives businesses the design freedom to do what they want with their app. Mobile websites, if designed right, have the features necessary to provide a great user experience; however, they are still reliant on web browsers for certain basic functions like the back or refresh buttons. That limits a web designer’s ability to incorporate convenience navigation features like tap, drag, pinch, and swipe that make navigational tasks quicker and easier to accomplish from small, handled devices.
Studies have shown that a webpage has as little as 5 seconds to make a good first impression and that even a three-second delay in load time could be driving away as much as 40% of web traffic.
Thanks to locally stored data, mobile apps can perform tasks quicker than mobile webpages. And when every second counts, that performance edge could have a major impact on a business’s bottom line. Slow page load times are highly correlated with greater bounce rates, increased cart abandonment, and lower conversions.
Mobile apps can also store user information and preferences settings which reduces the amount of time spent entering and re-entering information, helping to get users from cart through checkout faster and drastically reducing abandonment.
So, is a mobile app worth the investment for an SME? Ultimately, the choice of whether to invest in mobile app development for your Vancouver business will be dependent on your long-term goals and based on several factors, including budget, design, desired features, and function.
However, in a world where mobile or responsive websites are the norm, mobile web apps take online shopping to the next level, which could be the difference between winning and losing sales.