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5 Reasons Why Your Shopify Store Needs a Mobile App

why your ecommerce store needs a mobile app

When Goose Creek, a bath, body, and home goods company launched a mobile app, its average order value shot up by 56% and the company started making 60%+ more month-on-month sales. 

When Hobbiesville, a hobby and collectibles store partnered with Plobal Apps to launch a mobile app, it made a whopping 40% more sales. 

When most apparel brands suffered a decline in sales in 2020, Nike’s digital revenue skyrocketed by a staggering 84% in the third quarter. The main driver for these incredible numbers? An app-based, direct-to-consumer strategy that garnered record-breaking engagement.

If you’re wondering if your brand will be able to be a mobile commerce success story too, and if you REALLY should invest in an app commerce strategy, read on. 

Top 5 reasons why your Shopify store needs a mobile app

The greatest advantage of having an online store is that you can be available to your customers on their favorite platforms and get maximum engagement.  We’re sure this is no surprise to you, but most modern buyers use native mobile apps for shopping (57%)

The roughly 40% of shoppers that maybe don’t use mobile apps still prefer mobile devices to shop. Shopify reports say that since the third quarter of 2019, 81% of traffic has been coming from mobile devices. Reaching your customers and engaging them enough to turn them into high LTV (lifetime value)customers is, no lie, very easy with the right app and the right mobile app builder. 

Let us break it down some more and explore how getting a mobile app and having a successful mobile commerce journey impacts five key aspects of your business, in order of importance – retention, engagement, conversions, data collection, and customer communication. 

Your customers keep coming back for purchases 

Mobile apps offer shopping experiences that are miles ahead of traditional, mobile web shopping experiences. 

Why you need a mobile app

Does this sound familiar – your customers love your brand. You get decent online traffic. You see items being added to the cart. But too many of those carts are abandoned at checkout, only to be never recovered again. 

If you don’t have a mobile app and are relying only on your website as an online sales channel, you’re losing customers at the following stages in the buyer journey – 

A] Customers get tired of slow page loading speeds and abandon shopping or move to a brand that has a mobile app. You miss out on 7% of all conversions, just because of slow page loading speeds.

B] Customers can’t find their buyer preferences saved and need to spend signing up or logging in, curating the search results to find what they’re looking for, every time they visit your online store.

C] Customers get lost in complex checkout flows and abandon their carts at the last minute.

D] Customers aren’t shown smart recommendations or given exclusive member discounts because of which they’ll not return to shop again.

E] There’s no sure shot way to effectively retarget these customers and you lose those sales forever.

Mobile app push notifications to increase retention


Mobile apps alleviate all the issues in a mobile web-based customer journey. First off, since apps are native, they’re much faster than mobile web. Data transmission is as much as 10x lesser between a server and a mobile app than between a server and a browser, so native apps fetch data faster than websites. 

Secondly, native apps save buyer data, app interaction data, and app performance data, which bring about a highly personalized shopping experience. Because now your customers can pick up where they left off easily, browse from items they are more likely to purchase, buy more in the app, and be satisfied with their purchase and your brand.  

Your customers don’t have time to spend on mediocre shopping experiences. With a mobile app, you can have optimized one-click checkouts that take only about 5 – 8 seconds to complete.

For the customers that still abandon carts, you can send highly personalized abandoned cart push notifications and remind them of their favorite items left in their carts. You can also run push notification campaigns for abandoned browsing and abandoned wishlists, and get an extremely effective way of remarketing. 

The smart product recommendations that you can show in your mobile app increase your chances of repurchases and impulse buys and ultimately, boost your sales. 

You get a direct, owned marketing & sales channel

The advantage of an owned marketing & sales channel is that you gain complete control of when to send what message, and to which specific, carefully categorized subset of your target audience. A mobile app is a channel that you completely own and independently are in charge of.  

With mobile app push notifications, you can reach out to your customers at just the right time – when buying intent is high. You can send super-relevant push notifications based on user behavior and app performance, geographical location, buying history, and more. 

When you’re not left at the mercy of unreliable algorithms of third-party channels, you can be confident in the accuracy of your messaging and provide genuine value to your customers. Mobile web, email, or social media does not allow you to do this; only a mobile app allows you such efficient customer communication where push notifications come as welcome surprises rather than annoying interruptions. 

push notification

Your conversion rates go up 

Apps are designed to deliver mobile shopping experiences that convert. Picture this: A customer walks into your store. As you interact with them, you get to know them and understand what they want. You then use this information to make product recommendations and can guide them to purchase an item they’re satisfied with. When a customer becomes a regular, you’ve retained their information and are able to provide quick and efficient service that almost always converts.

Apps work in the same way. Once you collect user and app interaction data the first time a customer interacts with your app, you can leverage this data to mimic the efficiency of an expert personal shopping assistant. You can have your app integrate with a full suite of popular payment options like Apple Pay that securely saves payment information and streamline the checkout process too. Such seamless one-click check-outs guarantee purchases. 

But with mobile web, getting your customers to check out is like asking them to walk on hot coals through a maze. Mobile web lacks the mobility and convenience that apps offer. This leads to products being added to carts and wishlists but not being purchased.

The biggest factor to consider is the poor checkout experience. There are so many form fields to fill, (filling credit card information over and over again is such a pain!), so many login attempts and password changes to make that customers abandon purchases and most likely get annoyed at your brand’s online shopping experience. 

You don’t need to depend on third parties for your buyer data

Without an app partner, you have to be heavily reliant on third parties for how you maintain and update your site, how you collect and process customer information, and how you reach out to customers. The reigns are no longer in your hands. But you still have to drive sales and scale a successful business. 

With a mobile app and the right mobile app builder, you get first-party data on every app user and detailed insights on every sale. Except for your mobile app builder, you don’t have to rely on any entities outside of your Shopify store. 

Good mobile app builders help you leverage this data by recognizing patterns and trends and providing you with niche user behavior insights so that you make data-backed decisions that result in more conversions, increases in sales, and higher AOVs (Average Order Values)

You get great returns on your investment

If there’s one irrefutable truth, it’s this – a mobile app is the sales and marketing channel with the most ROI. You automate marketing, you automate customer research and data analysis, and you also automate content optimization. But more importantly, the guesswork’s out the window and you have accurate data analysis without spending a single cent on separate agencies for each aspect of your Shopify store’s growth journey. 

A common myth we usually bust is that SMS is the most effective channel for customer communication. Sure, SMS is highly effective, and a vital part of your omnichannel communication and marketing strategy, but it is expensive. 

Unlike mobile app push notifications, SMS campaigns are NEVER free. Sending one SMS in the US is roughly $0.0070. Say you have to send SMSs to 100,000 people. An SMS campaign with just one message to all 100,000 people can cost you $700. To top it all off, you risk turning your customer off from your brand; if your customer does not have an unlimited SMS plan, they can be penalized for it. The fact that different countries charge SMS differently adds another layer of cost complexity. Depending on where your customers are located, you may have to pay hidden carrier fees. 

Push notifications, on the other hand, are ALWAYS free, no matter how many you send. They also have incredibly high visibility and high deliverability rates. 

The last two years have emphasized the importance of going mobile with your ecommerce strategy. If you’re still not sure whether you should opt for a mobile app, or if you are considering a mobile commerce strategy, talk to our experts for free, and get one tailored to suit your Shopify store’s needs perfectly. 

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