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Why Every Brand Needs a Mobile App

Learn the three key benefits of having a mobile app for your eCommerce store and how to leverage push notifications to effectively reach customers on their mobile devices.

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Sarah Toth Headshot
Tapcart logo Sarah Toth
Head of Partner Marketing

Mobile apps are the new eCommerce imperative.

If you’re running an eCommerce store and you’ve spent some time looking at your conversion data, you’ve probably found that mobile purchases are a big piece of that pie.

But are you doing enough to engage and capitalize on your mobile audience? If you don’t have a mobile eCommerce app for your store, the answer is probably “no.”

Own Your Marketing Channel

As we enter a world of more privacy, not less, a lot of “traditional” digital marketing tactics aren’t working as well anymore.

And even if they were, you shouldn’t have to go through third-party advertisers to reach your audience. And you shouldn’t have to pay copious amounts to participate in their fickle pay-to-play game.

All of this uncertainty is also obscuring the more important questions for sellers and marketers today, such as:

  • How do I get and keep the attention of my customers?
  • How do I grow my brand and my audience across channels?
  • How do I get opens, clicks, and conversions with my content?

That’s why Tapcart champions owned marketing channels which, in addition to email, include SMS and push notifications. With a mobile app, you no longer have to worry about paying third-party platforms for your customers’ attention. Instead, your eCommerce app is both a marketing and end-to-end sales channel in itself, driving high intent, lucrative traffic, and converting mobile users 2.3x higher than your responsive website.

Why Do Brands Need Mobile eCommerce Apps?

More buyers than ever are making their purchases on mobile. Oberlo reported that the share of mobile eCommerce sales has increased from 52.4% of all eCommerce in 2016 to 72.9% in 2021. In other words, almost three out of every four dollars spent online today are spent through a mobile device.

Mobile apps give your shoppers a seamless experience with features like one-click checkout, time-sensitive push notifications (more on that later), and in-app exclusives. Tapcart merchants see an average 40%+ conversion rate increase and a 2.4x lift in customer lifetime value.

Also, when you have a mobile app for your eCommerce store, you can drive additional revenue easily while also improving your relationships with your most loyal customers. Nothing puts your brand and products front and center like a mobile app that the customer can easily access anytime they use their phone. Apps become like the virtual eyes, ears, and arms of the shopper — these tools are with them everywhere, always. That makes mobile apps a powerful tool for building and nurturing loyal customers.

By offering discounts, early access, or fresh content only available to app users, you can create a sense of exclusivity and give users a reason to keep coming back. Plus, you can use your app as a hub for your community of loyal customers who love your brand enough to give it valuable real estate on their home screen. Take advantage of that by making the experience feel seamless, special, and exclusive. And once your app is set up, it serves as an entirely new revenue channel. It takes very minimal upkeep while serving as a consistent source for conversions.

3 Benefits of Creating Your Own App

Custom mobile apps aren’t just for massive eCommerce brands anymore, and they aren’t as difficult to set up or manage as you might think. In less than two weeks, your brand can create and launch an app for your Shopify store and make it a critical component of your omnichannel mix. These mobile eCommerce apps offer a wealth of benefits for growing your business, but here are a few of the most important ones.

1. More Effective Personalization Through First-Party Data

When users download your app, you’ll get a lot more information about what they’re interested in through metrics like clicks and pageview times.

As iOS 15 and other privacy regulations continue to throttle third-party data collection, this first-party data will be crucial to learning about your audience and increasing AOV and revenue.

In 2023 and beyond, it’s more important than ever to own your marketing channels. Don’t rely exclusively on social platforms and third-party data to generate leads and drive sales.

2. From “Mobile-First” to “Mobile-Only”

Marketers and sellers who have been in the digital marketing or eCommerce space for a while might remember when the term “mobile-friendly” entered the lexicon. Web developers, for example, had to ensure that all of the design elements they put on a website also worked on mobile devices.

Before long, “mobile-friendly” became “mobile-first” as smartphones became the primary means for browsing and making purchases online.

Today, however, “mobile-first” is table stakes. The new imperative is “mobile-only.”

Instead of designing a store or website for mobile and desktop experiences, mobile-only eCommerce empowers buyers to do anything and everything related to your store from their devices — no desktop computers necessary.

By creating your own mobile app, you can reach these audiences where they are and nudge them to convert without opening a mobile browser tab.

3. Leverage Push Notifications

Email and SMS are truly effective tools for driving awareness and traffic to your mobile store, and have consistently impressive open rates and conversion rates. But if you’re not leveraging push notifications — which are free to send to app users and hard to ignore when they appear on a smartphone user’s main screen — you’re missing out on one of the key ingredients to driving revenue with mobile eCommerce apps.

Push Notifications: The New Way to Reach Your Customers

Push notifications receive 50% more opens than traditional email and have 10x better conversion rates when compared to email and SMS. When combined with these two top channels, push notifications form a marketer’s dream trifecta.

Make them a consistent part of your overall marketing strategy, especially if you’re employing a mobile shopping app, to keep engagement and revenue flowing.

These real-time notifications are easy to implement and powerful, because they immediately capture your users’ attention and can create a heightened sense of urgency or scarcity that other channels no longer generate effectively.

For example, you can keep customers coming back by coupling push notifications with a back-in-stock process. This increases customer lifetime value and creates a hedge against rising lead generation and acquisition expenses.

eCommerce Mobile Apps are Here to Stay

Genuinely engaging customers is a struggle for many eCommerce brands, on Shopify and elsewhere. More and more brands are finding it difficult to re-engage one-time customers and secure brand loyalty. Attention spans are short and customers are looking to the next best deal.

With a mobile app, you can alleviate friction, making shopping more accessible and engaging, and create a premium experience geared toward top shoppers. Convert browsers into loyal buyers with personalized shopping, real-time updates, one-click checkout, and saved and secure payment options.

You’ll also have the ability to showcase products and content with exciting features, including videos, lookbooks, tutorials, recipes, and more to streamline the buying process. So if you’re looking for the perfect retention strategy to continually engage with your customers in this new age of mobile commerce, look no further.

About Tapcart

Tapcart is a mobile app platform that helps Shopify eCommerce stores transform their website into a mobile app with zero coding skills required. With the same drag & drop interface as Shopify’s eCommerce website builder, Tapcart enables you to create an app and send free push notifications in just a few short weeks vs. months of custom coding. We partner with tech solutions like Yotpo to provide best in class experiences for brands around the world. www.tapcart.com

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