Mobile applications are implemented by delivery services, fast food chains, real estate agencies, construction companies, etc. Sometimes the development of their own applications for smartphones and order online stores, although this step is not justified in all cases. In this article, we will understand what advantages and disadvantages have mobile applications for online stores, and find out why most of them should not spend money on such development.
Let’s consider the basic lacks which do the development of personal app an inexpedient capital investment in most cases.
Visitors will not install the application to make a purchase only once
A significant part of your customers are people who came to the site for a one-time purchase. Maybe after a while, they will come back to buy something else, or maybe they won’t. In any case, they won’t waste their smartphone’s time and memory looking for your application and installing it, clogging the desktop with an unnecessary label. That is, in the case of such customers, your investment in the development of the application will be absolutely useless.
Development costs a lot of money
A quality smartphone program, which is not ashamed to be shown to customers, should include the following features:
- Synchronization with the catalog of goods presented on the site;
- Preservation of corporate identity;
- the ability to place orders;
- The ability to pay for purchases with a bank card;
- periodic generation of push notifications.
- Such an application can cost about $5000 (maybe even more). It is not necessary to believe advertising about the creation of the app for 500 $ — for such money, you receive the elementary program, and at the addition of useful functions its cost will increase in some times.
You need to develop at least 2 versions for iOS and Android
The financial issue is all the more acute given that the introduction of a mobile application is only worthwhile if it is available in both Google Play and the App Store.
It is necessary to maintain and test the application on a regular basis
It is not enough just to pay for a mobile application once and then use it for years. There are failures and errors in any program. In addition, the operating systems Android and iOS are constantly evolving to more and more versions, on which your application can work incorrectly. Therefore, you will have to spend money regularly to support and test your application, as well as to fix the detected bugs.
You need to promote the application separately
Even if your online store is popular and successful, users won’t start lining up to download your application metaphorically. In order for it to also become popular, and the money invested in its development and support paid off, you will have to start a new marketing campaign to promote the application.
It is also a waste of time, effort and money (on the services of a marketer and, for example, on gifts that will be provided to customers who place an order through the application). It is quite possible that you even have to hire an additional advertiser for these purposes because not every SEO- or SMM-specialist will cope with the promotion of mobile programs.
If it is necessary additional functions, completions, they will manage expensively
Over time, you will no longer be happy with the functionality of your smartphone software, and you will want to introduce some new features into it. You’ll also have to pay a lot of money for this, which can be comparable to the price you paid to develop the application in the first place.
Limited web analytics
Modern mobile phones are very high-tech devices, but still, they are far from being fully functional computers. In the case of the Magento platform site, you can get the most detailed analytics presented in the form of charts, graphs, and tables with the help of Mageworx and use it to develop your business. In the case of a mobile application, you can only dream about such tools, as there are practically no opportunities for a detailed analysis of the audience.
It is unlikely that your mobile application will be as convenient as a full-fledged site. In other words, the potential customer is more likely to make a purchase on the site than in the application. However, the development and promotion of the latter will invariably lead to the spraying of traffic, and a significant part of buyers will be not on the site, but in the application. In order for this situation to lead to an increase in sales, your mobile program must be incredibly functional, and, preferably, also offer some discounts or gifts.