Why retailers should have a mobile app
Smartphones have become the remote to our everyday lives. They're easy to use and keep consumers connected to the world around them. In today's information age, consumers can access just about whatever they want, whenever they desire. Recent comScore statistics found 166 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones as recent as March 2014, or a nearly 69 mobile market penetration rate. That figure grew 6 percent between December 2013 and March 2014.
Those figures have likely inflated since then.
Smartphones are now the gateway to the consumer. Many shoppers carry their phones with them, and since these devices are inherently interactive, businesses have a golden opportunity to improve the bottom line with mobile apps.
Mobilizing the merchant landscape
Mobile and smartphone technology is changing the paradigm of how consumers make payments for goods they shop for. As adoption for these devices continues to grow, so too will the volume of mobile transactions. According to Juniper Research, more than 2 billion smartphone or tablet users will make some form of mobile transaction by 2017, a 25 percent increase from 2014. Mobile transactions are on the rise, which highlights the importance for local merchants to consider creating a custom app consumers can download and interact with.
Most people think of apps as games and social media, but that's not necessarily the case. The consumerization of smartphone technology has allowed other verticals to make their way into the space. As a result, many merchants have been developing shopping apps that allow customers to browse and make in-application purchases, which are then sent to the buyer's home after the transaction is completed.
Now is a great time for merchants to weigh the benefits and costs to developing a mobile app. Not only does it provide an alternative, albeit direct, channel for the customer to purchase products and services, it's also another way for a company to interact with its clients. Consumers enjoy alternative means of payment, and they're willing to spend money in these channels.
Mobile app developer Flurry® found consumer time spent in retailer apps in December 2012 grew 525 percent year over year, demonstrating the correlation between shopping and mobile commerce growth. Given that, merchants can not only solicit products through a mobile app, they can also send relevant offers and promotions through an application as well. Businesses can connect with customers directly through mobile apps; now is a great time to consider developing an mcommerce platform while the industry is still growing.