There’s no denying that millions of people every day are relying on their mobile devices to help them accomplish their daily needs — whether that be ordering dinner, picking up dry-cleaning or checking their bank account. Is developing a native mobile application really necessary if you already have a mobile site?…
1. Gain control over user experience
A native mobile application allows users to deliberately design their experience around mobile and create a stronger relationship with your business. By using your native applications, you can better code your users experience with gestures, features and behaviors that may lead to better conversions or an experience. For example, swipes and pinching can make navigating much more useful and convenient. Beyond the user interface, a native application allows you to make more use of APIs designed specifically for the experience you’re trying to accomplish for your customers. When done correctly, a user understands the value of using your application and adopts the use of your native application as a central part of the experience.
2. Access customer data
Mobile applications provide a plethora of valuable data that you can leverage and monetize, from phone numbers, location data, demographic info, contacts, social profiles, etc. You might be surprised what it tells you and what it is worth.
Google now often displays applications among its first results when search is conducted via a mobile device. Being ranked high on the first page has become extremely important as mobile users rarely go past the first couple results (as compared to computer users who will venture deeper). As such, an application is likely to be a very powerful SEO weapon to add to your arsenal.
4. Access phone features
A mobile application is typically faster, more interactive and can work with a number of phone features (alerts, push notifications, phonebook, the camera) that a website might not be able to access. A user can also use a mobile app without having to be connected to the internet.
5. Increase conversion rates
Our experience has shown that with a native application, you are more likely to obtain a much higher conversion rate. This higher conversion rate is crucial to all types of business and organization, and can make the difference between staying ahead of the competition or falling behind. Whether we like it or not, technology is continually advancing along with consumer expectations. If these expectation are met and exceeded, you will quickly realize that your sales conversions will increase rapidly.
Smartphones and tablets are used to search the Internet much of the time, so it is important to expose your business, your products and your services right at their fingertips. With a native application, you will be providing a convenience and usefulness value to your customers by making your product/service even easier to use. In the very soon future, most all businesses will have an application, so it is important to stay ahead of the curve and start now, or you will lose your marketshare to your competitors who do offer their customers.
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7. Better customer engagement
Mobile websites are great for serving basic static content, but they struggle to offer any further interaction with your customers. Mobile apps can politely interrupt your customers to create an engaging two-way communication channel that’s extremely laser-focused on the specific customer. Mobile websites require the customer to make the first step in initiating contact. With a mobile app, the company can proactively reach out to a customer or group of customers and begin a dialogue. Further, mobile apps can leverage geo-based triggers to offer even more of a custom experience for your customer — something mobile apps cannot.
8. Improve value and functionality
Unless an app can add value or functionality beyond your mobile website, it’s a myth that all brands need to have native apps. Start first with your customer experience and a deep analysis of your mobile site visitors to make sure you’ve clearly defined the need and market opportunity before investing in building an app. Given the high rates of app abandonment, it can be more damaging to launch an unnecessary app or apps without incremental utility for your customers.
If your mobile website is ill-equipped to solve a specific business problem, you should consider native. For example, if your hotel guests frequently forget their room keys, you can improve their stay by enabling room access via smartphones and/or wearables. When evaluating native, align your investment to the following business drivers: revenue, productivity and quality of life. Ask yourself, “How will native functionality significantly impact one (or several) of these value categories?” If you can quantify the business opportunity, it may be time to pull the trigger. Always start with the business problem and then seek out the most effective technology for the job.
10. Become more convenient
As technology advances, the way people interact and shop changes as well. In today’s day and age, the general population spends a great deal of time on their smartphones. Furthermore, the amount of information presented to consumers on a daily basis is astronomical. That being said, having a native app for your business is a smart move for two reasons:
- User convenience: People don’t like to have to work for their information. An app, developed by great mobile app development companies allow your customer base to easily find information on your company or products.
- Staying top of mind: Having your company’s app on a users smartphone will serve as a constant reminder of your brand. Even if the consumer may not be using the app frequently, they are still seeing the icon and thinking about your company. Staying top of mind is key.
11. Consider the value for customers first
It depends on your business model and traffic flow. If you’re an active marketplace (offering products or services), then you need to have an app readily available for all your customers. If you’re a professional, resource/informational (one-time) use guide, having an app will be pointless for you. The bottom line is, consider the value your app will bring to your target audience and actually ask them if they would use it on a regular basis.
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