Mobile devices are completely woven into the fabric of modern society. So, it’s no surprise that they have become a valuable shopping tool for consumers and e-merchants alike. But what should really grab your attention is how popular mobile shopping apps are becoming. In 2021, consumers spent a whopping 100 billion hours in these apps - an 18% increase YOY.
As the holiday season peaks its head around the corner, you’re sure to be considering all the opportunities you have to maximize sales.
Get ready to dig into all the ways a mobile app can be the perfect companion in boosting holiday sales alongside how mobile app builders like Vajro can effortlessly transform your Shopify store into a shopping app.
Why Do I Need A Mobile Shopping App For The Holidays?
We know that time spent shopping on mobile devices and apps is on the rise, but how does this translate during the holiday season? Studies show that these trends are just as, if not more, applicable when consumers are getting ready for the holidays.
Time spent in apps globally is on the rise (Source: Tech Crunch)
A survey by Google found that 61% of shoppers’ online purchases were made on a smartphone over the holiday season.
When it comes to mobile apps, they also experience high favor as the holidays approach. 55% of mobile shoppers downloaded at least one new shopping app before the holiday season. Moreover, engagement in shopping apps is on the rise. In 2020, engagement in shopping apps soared by 40%, and 2021 saw US consumers alone spending over 900 million hours on them.
Numbers aside, there are also some other key benefits of utilizing a mobile app for the sales season.
Firstly, it’s a great way to keep your brand at the front of shoppers' minds. Whenever they’re scrolling through their phone, your logo is right there in front of their eyes. Considering that the average person spends 4.8 hours on their phones per day, you’ve got a great opportunity to be the first brand that comes to mind when it’s time to shop.
Additionally, having your app installed on a customer’s mobile device gives you a whole new avenue to reach them throughout the shopping journey. How? Through push notifications.
Using the data you’ve gathered on your customers, as holiday sales approach, you can alert them of the savings and deals they’ll love. If they’ve abandoned their cart, you can give them a gentle nudge towards returning to complete their purchase. All of this helps to drive engagement and thereby boost sales.
Finally, you can give the awareness of your brand and its deals over the holidays a knee up. With your mobile app integrated with social media, users can share their favorite products and offers with their followers. Which means more eyes on your brand.
Mobile Shopping App Checklist: The Key Steps To Build An App In Time For Holiday Season
We’re sure your interest in building a mobile shopping app has been ignited! To get you on your way to creating one in time for the holiday sales season, look no further than our handy last-minute checklist.
Do some research
The first step in any new venture is of course research. This will help you define the goals of your app and develop a unique proposition for it.
A good starting point here is to take a look at your existing customer personas. What’s the reason for them using your mobile shopping app? Evaluate their shopping habits and desires then decide how they can be reflected in a shopping app. This will direct the goals of your app.
Next, see what your competitors are doing. Pay attention to the features that are built into their apps. How do these features address the needs of your customer base? What needs are they failing to meet? Figuring this out will give you the basics of your USP and fill a niche that is yet to be met.
Decide on important functionalities
Now that you have an idea of what your app needs to provide to your customers, you can nail down the vital functionalities that will help you achieve this. Search, filtering, product reviews, customer support options, scalability, analytics, payment options, and social commerce are some of the capabilities you should be considering.
Decide which functionalities are essential and which ones are nice to have. Also, you’ll need to carry over capabilities found on your website to the app so that there is familiarity with it. Make a note of what these are and add them to your essential list.
Come up with a budget and financial expectations
Another important consideration you’ll need to take into account is how much money you are willing to put behind building an app.
If you’re a Shopify merchant and you want your app to be ready in time for the holiday sales shopping season, it’s best to invest in a mobile building app rather than a developer. It can take months for a developer to build a bespoke app from scratch and cost you a pretty penny.
Most apps in the app store will provide monthly tiered pricing plans that are a lot more pocket-friendly. Figure out how much money you can dedicate per month as well as the amount of revenue the app will need to bring to make it viable.
Design the look and feel of your app
With the goals and capabilities of your app decided, you can now start planning how your app will look and be laid out.
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Define the visual components such as the color scheme and fonts that complement your existing website. Think about how you will structure each page and condense your content for smaller screens. How will your decided functionalities surface within the app? For instance, if you’ve decided on a live chat feature, will you use a floating chat icon on each page or a static button at the bottom?
You should also think about the navigation of your mobile app. Is an expandable hamburger menu sufficient enough for navigating through your store? Do you need to use top and/or bottom navigation to help users access core functions such as their account or shopping cart?
Foreverkidzz opts for top, bottom, and a hamburger menu to facilitate navigation
Whatever you decide, the key thing is that it’s intuitive and seamless to complete tasks within the app.
Choose a mobile app builder
In an ideal world, the mobile app builder you choose should allow you to have the precise look and feel you want, enable you to include all your functionalities, and be within budget. However, ticking all the boxes can be quite tough. You’ll need to weigh up your options and decide which capabilities you’re willing to sacrifice as you get started.
Refer back to your budget and essential features to guide your decision-making process. It’s wise to find a mobile app builder that will give you access to all the capabilities you need as you upgrade through its plans. That way you can gradually provide your customers with the experience you set out to bring them as your app brings in more revenue.
Be on the lookout for apps that come with free trials so you can test out how well-suited each one is before you make a financial commitment.
Mobile App Builder - Vajro
Price: $99/month to $399/month with a 30-day free trial
Rating: 5 stars
When it comes to mobile app builders, Vajro is our top pick. This app is trusted by thousands of merchants and has a proven track record of success.
Beauty Box achieved some impressive numbers in the first half of 2022. Upon installing Vajro, the brand was able to increase their overall revenue by 86% and lift their total orders by 80%. Itsy Bitsy also had similar successes. Between March and June 2022, its revenue increased by 15% and they were able to convert 18% more visitors.
Layout and design option on Vajro (Source: Vajro)
Rather than fiddling around with code, Vajro lets you choose from 4 pre-built, customizable themes which will automatically sync all your products and pages in your Shopify store.
Whatsmore, if you want to take the driving seat and let your creative juices run wild, Vajro’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface lets you craft the exact layout you desire with ease.
Vajro gives you the power to build a fully comprehensive app chock full of conversion-boosting features.
Notifications can be scheduled to remind shoppers of your offers at the right time, and you can even set up behavior-based ones to provide a more personalized touch.
They can be enriched with visuals like images, videos, emojis, and GIFs, giving them more pizzazz. Notifications can also be targeted, helping you bring personalized, holiday-themed messages to your customers’ screens.
Once shoppers are in your app, they’ll have no trouble finding their perfect sale items. Vajro integrates with Boost Product Filter and Search, bringing smart site search and advanced filtering to your customers' fingertips. Vajro also uses AI to power personalized product recommendations, and has an image search feature.
Itsy Bitsy adds a countdown timer to its homepage to build a sense of urgency around sales
Another noteworthy feature that’s perfect for the sales season is the countdown timer. You can effortlessly drive a sense of urgency or build anticipation for your sale by adding the countdown timer widget to your homepage.
Vajro makes using your mobile shopping app a convenient experience for your customers. To get started on using the app, your customers don’t need to spend heaps of time filling in their information. Instead, they can log in via their Google account, Apple account, Facebook account, and more.
The same is true for the checkout experience. Customer details are pre-filled for a seamless experience, and there are a number of payment options including the increasingly popular buy-now-pay-later.
Find out more about Vajro: Partner Introduction: Mobile App Builder ‑ Vajro
Market your mobile shopping app
With your shiny new shopping app now built, it’s time to tell the world about it.
Start off by alerting your existing customers. Send out targeted emails to customers that have purchased on mobile and lure them to download the app with the promise of a discount. Make sure you include a link to download the app from the Apple app store and Android’s Play store.
Social media is another good place to promote your app as more often than not these users are already on their phones. You could also consider enticing shoppers to download your app with an exclusive loyalty program that promises even more savings during the holiday season or priority access to the sale.
Are You Ready To Leverage The Power Of Mobile Shopping Apps?
Mobile shopping apps are proving to be useful tools for both shoppers and store owners thanks to their unparalleled convenience and engaging nature. These apps carry even more favor over the holidays, making them a top consideration for savvy e-merchants.
Fortunately, getting your foot in the mobile app door is no longer a time-consuming, coding-enthralled task. You can trust Vajro to get your mobile app up and running in no time, so give it a try.