While enterprise apps reach specific segments of the market, consumer apps have changed commerce completely. Every industry is impacted by the mobile app usage of its target consumers. According to Statista, consumers downloaded 178 billion apps in 2017, and this will rise to 258 billion in 2022. This means a 45% increase in 5 years!
While consumers benefit enormously from these apps, mobile app development also positively impact suppliers and retailers, creating entire sub-ecosystems. An app like Club Factory, for example, connected Chinese suppliers to Indian customers. An app like Doodhwala helps fruit, vegetable, milk, and organic food vendors to reach their customers in many ways. Amazon and AliExpress are market leaders in online shopping and global electronic marketplaces. They bring suppliers, vendors, and retailers into the chain and pump money into all businesses. Making purchases on the go, going hyperlocal in their searches, connecting customers to niche products and services, and using voice search are all possible now thanks to the amazing development of the mobile app industry.
How consumers benefit from these apps
There’s no doubt that consumer industry applications have changed the way consumers buy and view their products. The mobile and web-based app industry have changed consumers benefit enormously from the convenience, superior user experience, and the variety of choices that these apps afford them. It has changed how they spend their money, but more importantly, it has changed how they interact with the sellers, distributors, and vendors. The social media world has exploded, and customers demand quicker service, greater hyper-localization, and more astonishing online user experiences.
How these apps benefit sellers, vendors, and retailers
Retailers, vendors, and distributors find that apps reach consumers in new ways and engage them. The simple truth is that they will find almost all their customers online and on mobile apps.
With mobile app development, businesses can amass a lot of data on the purchasing profiles of their users, their preferences and even bring in predictive analysis into the way they redesign the app or add new features to it. With so much data, businesses can customize the user experience and respond to their particular problems. These help in forging valuable digital identities that will become indispensable to sellers.
As the mobile and web app industries explode, apps that can plug with one another or integrate successfully will become the top-selling ones. An excellent example of this is Paytm, which is digitizing India and revolutionizing the way its people are using the money.
Users use shopping apps even when they are not urgently looking for products to purchase and e-commerce companies can bring a gamut of choices before them. Coupons, loyalty programs, and promotional deals also help sellers connect and retain their customers.
Costs and customer service
Apps can also cut costs drastically and ensure quicker and better customer service experiences. Using chatbots, for example, cuts down the money that you would use to hire call center executives who have limited time, and retailers can opt for the customer service of the app that they supply to, without any huge investment. The beauty of commercial apps is that both big and small players can benefit from varying sizes of the market pie. Apps help you understand your users deeply and communicate to them regularly about new products and features, apart from tracking and targeting them according to their behavior and location.
Building the best consumer industry applications
If you want to develop a consumer-based web or mobile app, you need to get your strategy clear. Why the need for this app? Is it to drive sales, increase brand awareness or both? Do you want to inform your users about new products or stay in touch with them regularly? Here are some important points to consider when building mobile or web apps for consumers.
Research and address customer pain points
Research as much as possible and address specific customer pain points. A good example is Starbucks, which enables you to place a delivery or even add your name to a waitlist, and earn points by doing so. Apps also allow you to build your brand, retain customers, ensure loyalty, and reach different customer segments.
Use features like push notifications and clicks to call
According to this survey, 46% of users want to push notifications because they like personalized alerts. This survey also mentions that unlike a link, a click to call button achieves 30% to 50% conversion rates. Online payments, shipment tracking, appointment booking and connecting to social media platforms are necessities and not features if you want to build mobile apps for consumers.
Design it right and test it
This quote by Steve Jobs underpins the purpose of good design. “Design is not just what it looks and feels like. The design is how it works.” A report by Fortune says that 75% of users open an app but lose interest and don’t come back. Design and user experience determine the success of your app. From fast loading time and customer experience to ease of use and the right amount of content, design matters immensely. User experience testing is also important, and testing for technical glitches or bugs is also crucial. Remember, a slow loading time or error pages can put a user off completely. UI and UX richness, as well as usability, will determine the success of your app.
Developing apps like shopping carts
Apart from the features mentioned above, shopping, e-commerce, and consumer apps should have facilities like shipping, multiple payment gateways, OTP generation, customer support services like chatbots and the ability to work in the offline mode. Synchronization between the store and the app, voice search, a rich and interactive design, multilingual support, push notifications, social media/mobile logins and integrating GPS or features like maps also adds to a great shopping experience. A perfectly designed app which brings all these features to the table will be an instant success. For more information on e-commerce apps, you can check out our article on how to build one.
Interestingly, statistics show that while gaming apps are most commonly created apps, web apps for the consumer industry and apps that are used for shopping are the most commonly used apps. Developing applications for consumer services? You’ve entered the hottest mobile and web app market!
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