million apps available on Android devices around the world. Meanwhile, the Apple App Store is home to almost 2 million apps as of the third quarter of 2018. This incredible growth in the number of apps could be due to several reasons, with the main one being that apps are now easier to build than ever. Really, all you need to build a top-notch app is an idea, a wireframe website or specialised developer and the time to actually put it all together.
Still, despite how easy apps are to build now, a report published by Clutch back in February 2018 found that only 42% of small businesses had a mobile app – the same results the business-to-business research company received in a similar study a year before. With app development in the small business sector remaining stagnant, why should companies without a mobile app consider building one?
Boost Sales with Convenience
When asked to rank the most valuable mobile app features for the Clutch survey, 26% of small businesses chose mobile payment. Of all the results this was perhaps the most surprising, especially due to the fact in-store mobile payments are predominantly made on Google Pay and Apple Pay. That said, there are ways for companies to create and incorporate their own in-store payment methods on their own app.
For instance, mobile payment platform LevelUp offers a mobile software development kit (SDK) to app developers working in the restaurant industry. The SDK allows app creators to incorporate LevelUp’s in-store payment functions in their restaurant app, allowing users to pay on their phone. Hugely successful apps that use LevelUp’s tech include Pret A Manger, Sweetgreen and Portbelly, just to name a few. With in-app payment methods, the customer experience will be significantly more streamlined, quick and enjoyable, leading to a boost in sales.
Improve Customer Experience, Communication and Loyalty
Although customers have been able to communicate with brands using mobile browsers and websites for some time now, having an app on customers’ phones creates a whole new level of accessibility, experience, communication and loyalty. There’s only a limited amount of storage and space available on smartphones, and so to have a constant presence on anyone’s mobile is a huge privilege.
This is perhaps one of the main reasons why online-centric businesses have been investing more in apps over the last few years. Take for example the iGaming industry and well-established companies such as Mr Green. The company already has a large number of loyal users on the internet, but there is also a Mr Green app that provides particularly loyal customers with instant access to all the same games and offers with the simple tap of a button. The app’s existence rewards both sides by providing Mr Green with a loyal customer base as well as easy access and an improved experience for those loyal customers.
Arguably, the fact that a mobile app is completely different to a mobile-friendly website is the main lesson you should take away from this piece. Apps provide a much more tailored experience, with unique, engaging features specifically tailored to your customers. By creating a mobile app, you are not only going to boost your sales and engagement but it will also show customers that they are being considered.