Just as the shopping experience from brick and mortar stores has evolved, so has digital commerce. Retail giant Amazon paved the way for a mobile shopping experience that many brands would like to emulate. If you’re like me, and the millions of others who’ve used Amazon Prime, you’ve seen their push notifications regarding items in the cart, and suggestions based on past purchases.
Yes, you can shop on Amazon’s website, but the mobile experience is far superior, in terms of convenience, and the aforementioned notifications. That shopping experience has created customer expectations for brands to have mobile apps. 2019 marks the first year that mobile commerce outpaces desktop e-commerce.
Enhanced Customer Engagement
Native apps are specifically designed for a particular device. This means it has the ability (given permission) to access the phone’s camera, GPS, etc. While this may sound intrusive, it does create benefits for mobile shoppers, by allowing brands and retailers to use geolocation, for example, to send targeted promotions if you’re near their store. Push notifications allow you to reach customers with a message that has a significantly higher open rate than e-mails, and is viewed almost instantly, in most cases, upon alert. Brands like Ikea, leverage the power of augmented reality (AR) to allow customers to view how an item will look in their home by viewing an image of that item through their phone screen, overlayed onto their actual home or office.
Omni-Channel Shopping Experience
Creating an omni-channel shopping experience means unifying your customer’s shopping experience across multiple devices. Picture a customer visiting your e-commerce site from their desktop and adding items to their cart. They get an important phone call, and have to put the purchase on hold. Now imagine they pick up right where they left off, on their mobile device.
In the same vein as omni-channel shopping, social selling through apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat is extending the reach of brands to increase conversions and better engage their most loyal customers. Instagram recently launched a feature that allows users to tag items in their curated feed that their customers can purchase from, directly through the app. Sandbox Commerce takes this a step further, and allows brands and retailers to take that same shoppable Instagram content and place it on their websites, blogs, and e-mails to increase conversion rates, and track where purchases are coming from.
Native App Development
If you’ve thought about developing an app for your store, you probably realized it’s often cost-prohibitive, and requires a lot of time and development effort. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Sandbox Commerce recognized that not every company has an Amazon-size budget to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars developing a shopping app. If you’re a Shopify, BigCommerce, or 3dcart customer, you can simply connect your store to the Sandbox Commerce platform, to quickly create a native mobile app, using drag-and-drop functionality. You’re then able to launch to Android and iOS in a fraction of the time and cost it typically would take.
If you’ve considered a native mobile app for your e-commerce store, and weren’t sure where to start, hopefully now the process doesn’t seem as intimidating.
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