As smartphones continue to become the largest medium for viewing and receiving information in the world today, mobile apps become increasingly important for businesses. While previously considered to be an additional luxury for a web-based company, apps are now becoming a necessity to engage users constantly and stay ahead of the competition.

One of the sectors that benefit the most from building mobile apps is e-commerce, as the apps allow them to consistently be right at the fingertips of customers when they are ready to make a purchase. Alibaba, one of the largest B2B commerce platforms in the world, saw an incredible 76% increase in total sales when it implemented its mobile application.

In addition to immediately increasing conversion ratios, there are a variety of reasons why e-commerce companies need to build custom mobile applications for today’s mobile device driven technological landscape.

1. Apps Are Preferred By Users Over Mobile Browsing

By offering users an application that is installed directly on their device, it removes the need for them to open a browser, find the website and then begin to navigate. A mobile app simply lets your customers open the app from their home screen and have all the information instantly in front of them, without a need to change programs. 78% of all smartphone users say they prefer to use a mobile app to receive their information than using a mobile browser, a number that continues to grow as apps become more intuitive.

2. Apps Offer An Optimal User Experience

Once a user has an app installed on their phone, pertinent information such as a username, password, and payment information is already stored. This is especially important for E-commerce businesses, as it makes it extremely efficient for them to place an order through the app. All they need to do is open the app, find the product they are looking for and submit the purchase. With a majority of abandoned purchases occurring at the payment stage on E-commerce websites, the natively stored payment information makes it simple for users to complete the purchase, increasing conversion rates.

3. Push Notifications & Constant Contact

Every e-commerce business knows how important it is to be able to connect with clients to share promotions, sales and any other information that will help entice buyers to make a purchase. Push notifications are messages that are sent through the app and are displayed directly on the phone’s notification system itself, meaning the user will always see them. The perfect way to communicate a promotion or sale, the user simply taps the notification and can be taken directly to the purchase page on the app. Fast, effective and totally free marketing at its finest!

4. Offline Availability

Once an application is downloaded to a mobile device, it will always be accessible even if the user does not have an internet connection. This provides a major advantage as it allows customers to view your products no matter where they are, increasing the opportunity for them to make purchases. Even if they are unable to finalise a purchase without a data or internet connection, allowing users to create wishlists or fill their cart with products sets them up for an easy purchase in the immediate future.

5. Brand Visibility & Building A Connection

Having a native app on the smartphone or tablet of a customer keeps you directly in front of them without having to spend any money on advertising. Every time users open their phone (an average of 2,617 per day according to a recent Dscout study) they potentially view your company’s logo or app icon, creating a stronger bond with your brand. By always keeping your company connected to users, they will immediately think of using your business to make their next purchase, as well as being more likely to recommend your app or website to friends and family who are looking to make a relevant purchase.

When you decide to create a mobile app for your business, it is imperative that you work with a professional and experienced development company that can offer you a wide range of functions that are necessary to maximise usability and sales.