In this article, we’re going to look at the main benefits of mobile apps for businesses today.
Mobile app development can be costly and time-consuming. If you're going to set out to develop an app for your business, you need to know that the potential benefits will be worth it.
Every legitimate business has a website, but relatively few have their own mobile applications. Read on and we'll explain why developing mobile apps can be a huge boost for your business, and the best way to do it without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Smartphone users prefer mobile apps over mobile websites. Offering a better user experience to these people is important, as more people today access the internet via mobile devices than desktop.
Apps are built for loyalty, retention and customer satisfaction, are more effective for mobile commerce, and offer more monetization potential. They also let you get into the app stores, which is a show of legitimacy for your brand.
7 Benefits of Mobile Apps for Businesses Today
There are a number of big benefits to launching a mobile app for your business. These benefits apply to businesses in almost all industries, from publishers, to eCommerce sites, to online courses and even physical retail.
Here's a summary of the seven benefits we're going to discuss:
- A Better Mobile User Experience
- A Platform Built for Loyalty and Retention
- Mobile Push Notifications
- Higher Conversion Rates & Retail Metrics
- Getting Around Ad Blockers
- Potential for Additional Revenue Streams
- App Store Presence
Let's jump right in.
1: A Better Mobile User Experience
While almost every website today is responsive and optimized for smartphones, there’s only so far you can go to optimize the user experience while staying inside the browser.
Even with the significant advancements in mobile UX from modern websites, accessing a mobile website always gives the feeling that the site was made for desktop first.
The mobile web is a clunky experience. It’s harder and slower to navigate, and doesn't always work well with touchscreens. This is a big reason why over 90% of mobile time is devoted to apps.
Mobile holds approximately 60% market share today over desktop (and tablet). So, for most businesses, mobile users make up the majority of your customers. Providing an optimal user experience for these people is a must.
With a mobile app, you make it easier to engage users on mobile devices. Increased user engagement leads to more sessions, more time in-app, and more revenue compared to your mobile website.
2: A Platform Built for Loyalty and Retention
App users tend to be hyper loyal and engaged compared to the web. This is for two main reasons.
The first is that apps self-select for your most loyal customers and fans. To download the app is an act of loyalty in the first place. Secondly, once they are in the mobile app, you have more opportunities to deepen that loyalty further with the superior UX and communication options.
Chartbeat confirmed this in some interesting research on user behavior.
“When looking at weekly visits by traffic sources across mobile and desktop experiences, we saw that app direct visitors are nearly 6x more loyal than platform visitors.” - Chartbeat
Compared to all the other channels – apps are king for loyalty and engagement.
We have seen this demonstrated time and time again by our own customers that used MobiLoud to build mobile apps for their businesses.
Take Simple Flying, who used MobiLoud News to build mobile apps for their site. Founder Arran Rice knew that apps were a natural progression from a popular site, and realized that a certain portion of the audience (the most loyal), really wanted apps.
The results were impressive.
“We’ve only got around 17,000 users, but those users read on average 94 articles per month. So the app is doing about 1.6 million screen views for them from 17,000 people. Compared to the website, where the average number of articles read per month is around two, the app users are hyper engaged. I think on average, people spend like four minutes per article versus the main website, probably like one or two minutes. So it’s at least double. Huge” - Arran Rice
This isn’t just a publisher thing. The same holds true for eCommerce. Amazon’s website gets more unique visitors, but 84.5% of total mobile time is spent in the apps.
There’s a reason that huge brands and smaller operations alike are always pushing you to download their apps. They know that when they do your LTV shoots up along with their chances of retaining you as a customer.
You can achieve this same effect, fostering deeper customer relationships and holding on to more customers long-term, by building your own mobile apps for your business.
3: Mobile Push Notifications
Another one of the key benefits of mobile apps is having push notifications available to you, no matter the platform or operating system.
Push notifications are the best way to communicate with your users, bar none.
Perhaps now you use email, social channels, or even web notifications. Native push is better than all of them combined. Native push notifications have a 5X higher engagement rate than email, no reach restrictions like social media, and allow you to target Android and iOS users unlike web push.
You can use push notifications for all kinds of purposes depending on your business. Here are a few examples:
- Digital publishers can inform users about new articles and breaking news that they might be interested in.
- eCommerce stores can notify customers on new offers and promotions, send app only coupons, and keep customers updated on shipping and delivery.
- eLearning sites can remind and encourage students to study, pulling them back into the courses like the (in)famous Duolingo owl.
- Membership sites and communities can boost engagement by using push notifications to notify members when they get friend requests, when someone replies to one of their posts, or when they receive a private message.
These notifications are direct and convenient. They arrive right on the screen of your user's mobile device, and allows them to get where you want them to go (e.g. a news article or a product page) in just a few taps.
Perhaps you have a website, and you already utilize some kind of notifications or direct communication tool to get in touch with your users.
Only by converting that website to mobile apps can you leverage unlimited push notifications on mobile devices. For many of our customers, they are the main reason for building apps with our platform.
Our apps integrate with OneSignal – the best push platform on the market. If you build a mobile app with MobiLoud, you can send highly-targeted, personalized push notifications to iOS and Android devices. Even better, you can send them straight from the WordPress dashboard.
Want to know how you can turn your site into a mobile app, in less than a month and at a fraction of the cost of native app development? Book a free demo with our team to see the process in action.
4: Higher Conversion Rates & Retail Metrics
If you sell things on your website, the data shows you’ll make more from your mobile users if you have an app.
Apps beat mobile websites in a number of key eCommerce metrics, such as:
- 3 to 4 times longer spent in apps
- 286% the number of products viewed per session
- 85% higher add to cart rate
- 130% higher conversion rate
- 140% higher average order value
[Data from Ruby Garage and Skift]
You can put this down to the better mobile user experience offered by mobile applications.
Enhancing the UX for your mobile shoppers incentivizes them to come back more often, as well as to spend more time in your store, which will invariably lead to higher sales. There are also fewer distractions (such as other browser tabs) which can cause shoppers to leave without making a purchase.
5: Getting Around Ad Blockers
Ads are an important source of revenue for most publishers. Unfortunately, ad blockers are also extremely prevalent today, and cut out a lot of potential earnings.
30-40% of the population uses ad blockers, depending on the location (US vs UK). That’s a staggering amount of lost revenue if this is your primary earning mechanism.
But ad blockers don’t work in mobile apps. Building your own mobile application allows you to show ads within your content, without worrying about how many people have these ads blocked.
Of course, people do use ad blockers for a reason. Many ads are intrusive, distract from the user experience, or just are not relevant to the reader.
So you want to ensure your ads don’t force people to close and delete your app out of frustration. But the good news is that mobile apps give you more control over the ads you show. You can ensure that they don’t get in the way of the user experience, and that they’re highly relevant and convert better than ads on your website.
6: Potential for Additional Revenue Streams
Aside from making it easier to monetize via ads, mobile apps open up a number of other monetization possibilities.
You can offer paid subscriptions that allow ad-free access to your app. You could also extend subscriptions to provide access to premium, subscriber-only content.
Another option is to make the app itself paid. Require users to pay to download it, or require a subscription to access the app.
You can also go with a “freemium” model, where the app is free to use up until a point, and for any more the user has to purchase a subscription.
In-app purchases provide a variety of ways to monetize your app as well. And if your business has a physical presence, you can even use your app to create a loyalty program, like how Starbucks and other coffee shops use their customer loyalty programs to boost customer.
There are many ways that a mobile app helps you make more money. And best of all, this is an owned channel. You’re not reliant on Google rankings, social media, or a marketplace and its search algorithm to deliver users. Your users are your users, and a third-party platform can’t touch that.
7: App Store Presence
An App Store presence alone is a benefit. Brands with apps on the the iOS App Store and Google Play Store look more established and serious about user experience. This makes a great impression on potential customers, partners and investors.
An App Store presence can also be an acquisition channel. Lots of people search there for solutions to their problems – much like how they use Google on the web.
If you optimize well for the right keywords, you can pick up new users of your Android app and iOS app, directly from the app stores.
Getting in the App Stores also gives you multiple high-authority, 95+ DR backlinks, which a big benefit in and of itself, helping you build your website’s domain authority and rank higher in Google search.
How to Build Mobile Apps for Your Business With Little Investment
So there are all these benefits which, you might agree, sound very enticing. But don’t mobile apps take a ton of money to build?
Building from scratch, yes. A standard mobile app development project, building using native app development frameworks, can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity of the project.
In 2023, you can do it a little differently though, saving more than 90% of this cost, going to market much faster, and making it much easier to maintain your mobile apps, without losing out on quality.
If you already have a well-optimized mobile website, you can easily convert this to mobile apps using MobiLoud. You'll keep everything that already works well on your website, yet add the benefits of having your own mobile apps.
Custom mobile apps are simply too costly, take too long to develop, and are not that much better than what MobiLoud does. Certainly not enough to justify the extra investment.
Native mobile app development also requires a significant expense to maintain. Since you build natively, you need to keep developers on staff for updates, changes, bug fixes and support, which is not cheap.
David Cost from Rainbow Shops is one who found the ongoing cost of custom mobile apps simply unrealistic for their business.
"If we had unlimited time and money, we would probably go for a custom native app, but that is half a million to a million a year to maintain.”
The beauty of MobiLoud is that your mobile apps are synced with your website. To update your apps, simply make changes in your website as you usually do.
All the technical updates to your mobile apps are handled by our team, for much less than it would cost to keep developers on staff. This is the way to do mobile app development if you're a small business, and can't justify the insane costs of building a native app from the ground up.
You can start with a personalized demo with one of our app experts to run through the platform and all its capabilities.
All that you need to do is configure a few things – navigation, menus, and other minor touches to make your app look great on mobile phones and touchscreens.
Once that’s done, our team does all the heavy lifting under the hood, building fully-functional mobile apps that utilize WebViews to show, live, the content from your website inside your apps.
What you get is 95% of what a native app would give you. But you get it much faster, at a much lower investment, and with much less work going forward (as you don’t need to manage multiple platforms separately).
With the experience of building over 1200 mobile apps, we have all the expertise to make your mobile application a success.
Click here to learn more about converting your site to mobile apps using MobiLoud.
Build Mobile Applications for Your Website with MobiLoud
More businesses are learning about the big benefits of mobile apps. More people than ever use their cell phones to go online, and a mobile application lets you craft the perfect user experience for these people.
A mobile app is the perfect tool to engage customers, foster loyalty, and retain your most valuable users.
You may have a responsive website - and if not, get this done right away. But to take your business to the next step in 2023, you need a mobile app.
Your business can still be ahead of the curve by launching your own mobile app. If you’ve already got a website that makes money, it’s simple to convert that website to mobile apps with MobiLoud.
Get on a call with our team to discuss more about how it works, and how you can reap the benefits of mobile apps for your business.