Web App or Mobile App – What is better to start eCommerce?

Do you want to create an online business or startup? You are probably wondering which platform is best suited to your project: launch an e-commerce site, develop an e-commerce mobile application, or a web application.

With the observation that purchasing behavior is moving more and more towards the mobile and that a multichannel marketing strategy is now almost essential to cover its market, the uses and the profiles of your prospects / customers… where to start?

1. E-commerce and m-commerce: what are the uses?

The uses are multiple and very scalable! Some consumers are informed in store before buying online, others do the opposite. The purchase from a mobile convinces more and more users but some do not feel confident enough elsewhere than from a computer for that. And yet: the tablet is the ideal support for consulting the catalog of a commercial site and the smartphone is widely preferred for tracking the delivery of a package.

2. What technology to launch your online store?

The technology allowing to have the greatest possible radiation is the e-commerce website. Even if you have the idea of ​​creating a dedicated mobile interface with content, uses, functionalities and services specific to smartphones and tablets, we recommend that you start with a website because:

  • it corresponds to the most widespread uses since online consumers are more comfortable at a computer to make a purchase;
  • you can work on its referencing on search engines to increase your visibility (purchase of keywords, inbound marketing, animation of social networks to attract people to your site, blogging, etc.);
  • your e-commerce site will allow you, in parallel with your shop, to present your brand universe and your objectives / values ​​(content which will also be referenced by search engines!);
  • development costs are generally more affordable than for a native mobile application. As well as maintenance, which will allow you to more easily adjust your digital offer based on user feedback and purchasing behavior of your target.

NB: avoid choosing the development of a mobile site, this technology generates too many disadvantages to be interesting:

  • duplication of content is harmful to SEO;
  • annoying pop-in when opening the site to redirect or not the user to the site;
  • a design and ergonomics that are not very customizable and therefore not very pleasant.

Indispensable: responsive design

Our advice: your website must have responsive design; that is to say that its content must be able to adapt dynamically to the size and resolution of the screen used by your target audience.

Ensuring that your site is suitable for the most commonly used devices is quite delicate. Because it is not enough to plan a smartphone, tablet and computer adaptation! Indeed, your site must be able to adapt to old devices, to the latest innovations (there are some every year), to excellent display quality as at least good and to many different screen sizes. Similarly, the browser used has an impact in terms of display: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari… knowing that each of them has several versions and that not all Internet users necessarily make the latest updates.

That’s a lot of parameters to take into account, but it is essential to guarantee a smooth and pleasant navigation for people who will consult your merchant site from a mobile.

The limit of design

A responsive design site will guarantee that you will reach the target audience that is browsing your interface from a mobile. This will allow them to browse your articles and go as far as payment. Mail, keep in mind that this is a “suitable” mobile solution and not a “dedicated” solution, which brings its small share of friction in terms of navigation…

3. Why supplement your e-commerce website with a mobile application?

As we could see with the statistics above, each device has different uses and commercial and strategic opportunities. This is why the giants of online sales have implemented broad multichannel digital marketing strategies.

This is the case of Amazon which surfs for example on web-to-store, store-to-web and mobile uses by offering an application allowing to scan the barcode of any product (or to take it in Photo). If it is available in the Amazon catalog, the user can then order it with an immediate reduction of 5% and delivery within 24 hours!

Adding a mobile application to your e-commerce site in your marketing strategy allows you to add an additional dimension to your consumers’ experience:

Build customer loyalty and strengthen

If you can convince your consumers to download your mobile app, they’ll always have it in your pocket! Offer them a different experience from that of your web store with relevant content and / or activities (games, private sales, preview preview) that will bring real added value to your application and will, by extension, strengthen your relationship customer and their loyalty.

For this, you should know that mobile devices bring a lot of technical opportunities and uses that can be useful in your marketing strategy! Here are some examples:

  • Push notifications: notify your consumers of a flash promotion, the upcoming delivery of their order, etc.
  • Bluetooth connection: precision geolocation in store to study the purchasing process, etc.
  • Connection to the camera: possibility to scan a product or a communication medium (flyer, poster) for more information (product characteristics, available quantity, colors, additional guarantees, etc.) or to buy it online and benefit from home delivery, etc.
  • Advanced geolocation: store locator, sending notifications to consumers near a shop, etc.
  • Social networks: permanently connected to their favorite networks, you can encourage your consumers to share your content or their purchases, to comment and rate a service in exchange for an advantage;
  • Loyalty account: create a secure user account allowing you to accumulate advantages with each shop purchase and which your consumers can spend on your online shop;
  • Gaming: the games applications are the most downloaded on the stores, you can offer them a daily game for example which will make them gain advantages or participate in contests;

To conclude, if you want to get started in online commerce, we advise you to start by developing your e-commerce website while ensuring that it is perfectly responsive design. Then in a second step, after having well established your activity on the market and creating your target, you can complete it with a native mobile application which will bring a multichannel dimension to your marketing strategy and new functionalities to fuel the interest of your customers to your brand.

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