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Is Your Mobile Platform getting enough resources?
18 Jun 2021
There are still way more resources allocated to maintaining and developing websites than native mobile apps despite the fact that mobile traffic accounts for more than half of all internet traffic in 2021 (source: Statista). Now, most sites are responsive to mobile browsers and the underlying CMS increasingly “headless” but if you look at mobile usage then approximately 90% of mobile time is spent in native apps (source: Comscore).
In E-commerce, native apps also enjoy significantly higher conversion rates: 1,5 x higher than desktop sites and 2 x higher than mobile sites (source: Criteo research) and mobile commerce is growing rapidly. In Denmark, more than half of the consumers (54%) used mobiles or tablets when shopping (source: Nets). A figure that indicates web shops might benefit from thinking mobile before their website.
However, to be successful in this space, two things need to happen:
Users need to download your app.
Users need to use your app.
Which is also why industry insiders often mention mobile apps as “digital products”. You have to actively go to a store like App Store or Google Play and pick up the “product” just like you need to go back for upgraded versions which makes product development in native apps absolutely key for repeated use.
Staying competitive means allocating more resources to mobile
The competition is absolutely fierce: There are almost 2 million apps available in App Store and almost 3 million apps available in Google Play where the vast majority can be downloaded for free. Which brings us back to the main point: resources seem to be severely skewed towards being used on web platforms in terms of both time and money if you want to achieve a competitive edge for your native app.
Now, we won’t be advocating that native app development should take more resources than web development as there is bigger limit to how many apps any consumer will use vs. the number of sites they will visit. We do propose, though, that the balance need to be re-evaluated and there is a major need to redistribute more resources to mobile app development as an increasing number of brands could find that a digital product might have the potential to become their most business-critical platform towards consumers. At that point, it’ll really become a battle where the apps are competing products that need to be strongly positioned in order to get chosen and picked up regularly at the store compared with just battling for web traffic. Increasing web traffic is a different game where e.g. SEO can play a huge role but there also has to be an equivalent strategy for how to make sure that your digital product becomes the product of choice in the mobile ecosystem.
Digital Products should be native
To become a winner in this ecosystem, it’s crucial that you don’t just look to make and push an app as just an app but as a real customer product with a range of unique benefits and as an equal channel in your digital ecosystem. That could prove a real challenge if you’re still very web-centric and might not be able to take full advantage of certain smartphone features and their operating systems. In general, mobile apps are much faster than mobile sites, and more advanced in features and functionality – and to deliver an attractive mobile experience, you will want to take full advantage of these features. Here are a few inspirational examples where a native app platform provides you with a great digital value proposition and a superior customer experience for customers with repeating buying behaviour; i.e.:
To provide sticky login
Use of GPS for delivery options
Smooth payment options for 3rd party payment providers etc.
Enriched product information while browsing, i.e. with video, augmented reality etc.
Stronger omni-channel offerings, data collection of in-store customers for further follow up i.e. with push notifications and personalization of offers
If you would like to hear more about what Shape can do strengthen your mobile presence in improving and differentiating your digital product, making something new or just get back on track, you’re more than welcome to reach out. More than USD 4 billion is channeled through our award-winning and business-critical products today, and we’re proudly being considered one of the market leaders in rethinking, reshaping and redoing the mobile experience.