This is a guest article from Marowitz Manifesto, I (Justin) really enjoyed reading it and thought you would as well.

Have you considered getting an app developed for your business? When considering that roughly 90% of mobile usage is spent on apps, it sounds enticing. Getting one up and running takes some time and capital, so let’s discuss the benefits of having one.

Mobile App Advantages

Some unique features that mobile apps have can give you a huge advantage over just having a mobile e-commerce site.

First, let’s talk notifications. Not only do they act as reminders for the user to open the app, but they are also a great tool for promotions and sales. A short and easy call to action can have users opening your app and browsing your products within seconds; let users know you have a limited-offer sale going or remind them their shopping cart is full. Don’t overdo it though, as smartphone users can always opt out of notifications—be helpful, not annoying.

Second, it’s free real estate. If you really have a decent app and products the customer likes, there’s a good chance your app stays on their phone. That means for every thousand times a day a smartphone user checks their phone there’s a chance they see your app and your brand. That’s free relevant, retargeted advertising towards your customer.

Thirdly, the App Store and Google Play are essentially entirely new search engines for you to be on. Granted getting to the top of the app charts will be different than standard SEO practice, you’re still entering a whole new platform for people to discover you. It might not be as powerful as a search engine, but it could still help you reach a new audience in a completely unique way.

Consider these stats:

  • 58% of smartphone users use a shopping app at least once a month.
  • 50% of active smartphone users look up new apps weekly.
  • 65% of Apple App Store downloads come from users just browsing.
  • Deals & Discounts are the top motivating factors for users installing shopping apps.

There are some downsides though.

The big one is the development price. Developing a great app could cost you anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000. That’s steep, but depending on your marketing goals and budget, it could pay off. I didn’t include conservative numbers for the reason below.

Seventy percent of users are concerned about personal information being shared without their permission and 81% would find another vendor and uninstall the app if they became concerned about their security.

Consider everything above when deciding whether a mobile app could help your e-commerce business. Think about your target audience: are they young? Think about your budget: can you afford to develop a functional and safe application while keeping it updated?

It’s an investment, but one that could pay off especially with trends only showing growth for mobile app usage since the creation of the smartphone.

Comment your thoughts below!