As mobile devices have come to dominate the digital landscape, there’s been a proliferation of apps for just about every need. Right now, there are more than 1.8 million apps on the Apple App Store. Other platforms boast even higher numbers — like the Google Play Store, which is home to nearly 3 million apps. You may have also noticed some of your favorite businesses have developed apps of their own.
However, you may not have plans to create an app for your company. Having an app may seem like overkill — or a time-intensive technological investment that you don’t want to commit to. Any B2C business, however, can benefit from developing an app. With the right features in place, you can reap a variety of advantages.
Here are six reasons your B2C business should have a mobile app.
1. Consumers Spend Most of Their Phone Time Using Apps
According to Comscore’s Global State of Mobile Report, we spend around 70% of our screen time on smartphones — more than three times as much as we spend on desktop computers and other devices. We spend approximately 90% of that time on apps.
Even if you already have a pretty sophisticated web presence, you are still missing out on a significant chunk of consumer time by not having an app. Developing an app for your business will ensure you still have access to your customers when they’re using smartphone apps rather than browsing the web.
2. Improved Mobility and Customer Experience
You may be reluctant to go all-in on app development if you already have a robust web presence. What you should know, however, is that apps provide a range of unique features you can’t get with even the most advanced websites.
You can optimize mobile UIs for customer experience in ways that may not be possible or straightforward on websites — especially if your web builder service only lets you choose from prebuilt menus and UIs. Mobile apps can also be faster than many websites, because you can have the app designed top to bottom with performance in mind. That’s especially true the more complicated your site becomes and the more APIs, plugins and tools you must use to provide an outstanding user experience.
With mobile gestures, you can take advantage of touchscreens to provide the most efficient and streamlined navigation possible. These features can be ideal for retaining customers who love to quickly scan storefronts or browse a website, but traditional navigation can slow them down.
Apps allow customers to use mobile-exclusive features like FaceID and TouchID to log in more quickly. You’ll also have access to several attention-grabbing features, like customizable push notifications, that you can’t approximate with web-based apps or emails.
3. App Builders Can Make It Easy
Tools can streamline the app-building process in the same way that utilities — like Squarespace or Wix — demystify the process of building websites from scratch.
Using these tools, you can choose from fundamental features and design templates, then build your app using a simple drag-and-drop editor. With one utility, you can quickly put together an app for your business — within just a few minutes to hours of work — even if you have little or no app design or development experience.
Many of these tools will also help you publish your app directly to the app store and ensure that you have an app version for both Android and iPhone.
4. Improved Brand Image
Apps can help you better oversee or improve your brand. Unlike with a prebuilt website or social media presence, you’ll have full control over the design and experience of your app, which can help you better communicate your brand’s image.
Offering a mobile app that’s easier to navigate and more streamlined than a website can also help improve your brand’s reputation.
5. Better Analytics and Access to Customer Data
Because you’re not relying on cookies, you can also more closely personalize user experience. You can track user activity and tailor the content they see to their app usage — like, for example, matching search recommendations to preferences or offering deals relevant to user interests.
You can also use this improved access to data to boost your analytics. With this information, you can develop a better understanding of what your customers like best and what new products, features or services they may want from your business.
Many analytics platforms, like Google Analytics, even offer built-in software developer kits and reports that make it easy to integrate app analytics into your business’ overall analytics strategy.
You can also take advantage of contextual information — like time or location — to send ads or highlight deals that are likely to be relevant to users.
6. Streamlined Customer Loyalty Programs
Apps can also streamline customer loyalty programs. If you have a customer loyalty program that relies on cards, you can run it through the app instead. The app can keep track of rewards, purchases and points and make it a snap for both you and your customers to benefit from the program.
Customers won’t have to worry about keeping track of cards and will have instant access to point totals, deals and other information directly from their phone. You won’t need to worry about managing the physical side of the customer loyalty program, and can instead focus on features and customer experience.
Developing an App for Your B2C Business
Customers spend more time on their phones than ever before — and they do so using apps, rather than browsing the web. This trend is likely to continue. Smartphone usage overall has only gone up in the past few years, and younger generations tend to spend more time on their phones than others.
If you don’t have an app for your business, you could be missing out on a significant chunk of consumer attention. You also lose out on critical mobile-only features — like gestures, push notifications and frictionless loyalty programs.
Want to start building an app? You have options. There are a few different efficient app builders available, as well as a robust freelance app design market if you want to work with a professional.