If you have an eCommerce store and are wondering what you can do to improve sales, then it may be time to consider expanding your business with a mobile app.

Contrary to what many people believe, an eCommerce website and a mobile commerce app are not an either/or choice, but rather two tools that can work together to improve both customer experience and sales. Both play specific roles in the customer journey and appeal to different audiences, so you need to take each one into consideration when building your business strategy.

In a time where smartphones are practically stuck to our hands, not leveraging mobile traffic results makes your business missing out on valuable conversions, especially since more and more consumers have started using mobile apps for their shopping.

If this does not convince you, below are some more compelling reasons that should prove your eCommerce business needs a mobile app right away.

Mobile commerce is very popular

Sales for mobile devices are shortly going to take over the entire eCommerce industry. According to research, 67% of all eCommerce sales in the world come from mobile devices, so you need to be where your consumers are.

Mobile shopping apps usage is growing at an impressive rate of 54% year-over-year, and if you don’t find that impressive hear us out. In general, the average year-over-year growth rate of mobile app usage is 6% for most industries, so when a type of app grows 48% faster than others, it’s worth giving it a try.

People simply find it much more convenient to shop on the go and make use for the time they spend commuting, on a lunch break or in line to get coffee. We live busy lives, so when there is a chance to make the most out of those 10 minutes lost while waiting in line somewhere, then consumers are going to take it.

Because of the increasing popularity of mobile apps, you also get exposure to a wide range of consumers and can even get the opportunity to turn your business international. Just take Shopify Plus, for example, which allows sellers to reach customers in no less than 175 countries all over the world. This makes for a tremendous opportunity to grow your business and gain a loyal global customer base.

Improved user experience

Even if you have the most responsive and fast-loading website, consumers still need to log onto it and sign in to the account before continuing their shopping. With mobile apps, user details are already stored in after the initial signup, so all your consumers need to do to start shopping is open the app.

Not having to log in every time you want to shop provides a much more appealing experience to users, which translates into higher satisfaction and more chances of them becoming loyal customers. Many mobile apps also allow users to switch between tabs seamlessly, which makes it much more enjoyable than using a traditional website.

A new marketing channel to leverage

Mobile apps give you the opportunity to deliver a complex and complete experience to users. They can be easily integrated with social media, allowing you to combine different channels to increase and nurture customer engagement. The app can save customer preferences, allowing you to tailor content that they receive and provide relevant information to each and every consumer.

Push notifications are yet another benefit of using an app, as they can be sent to the users’ device on various occasions such as when new products or sales are in. Push notifications can also be used together with geofencing if you also have a physical store so that customers are alerted when they are in the proximity of your location.

Access to phone-native features

You may be thinking that optimizing your website and making it mobile-friendly is enough to please smartphone users, but there are so many native capabilities of phones that can only be leveraged through apps. Think of GPS, camera access and other built-in smartphone features that can enhance consumer experience and make online shopping more interactive.

Another great advantage is that consumers can use apps even if they are not connected to the internet – an option that is not available for websites. Even though they would have to be connected to the internet to finalize the order, their shopping experience is still much less restricted than with a traditional website.

Seamless checkout experience

One of the biggest issues eCommerce businesses face is shopping cart abandonment. If the checkout process is not as seamless as possible, consumers are likely to give up on their shopping and search for a better place to complete the order.

Mobile apps can be used to make the checkout process more interactive, especially since the appearance of the very popular mobile wallets. They allow transactions to be processed fast and make the experience painless for both users and businesses by using features such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning. This way, consumers won’t have to fill in their card information every time they need to purchase a new gadget or piece of clothing.

Interactive experiences for users

It’s no secret that technology and mobile apps go together like bread and butter, and give how fast technology is evolving, you can truly create stellar experiences for users with the simple use of a mobile app. Think augmented reality for a second – a trend some of the biggest companies in the world, such as IKEA and Sephora, are using to keep customers engaged. Incorporating AR in apps can result in a more interactive experience for users, as they can get more valuable information about a product they are looking for.

Artificial intelligence is yet another tool your eCommerce business can benefit from. Chatbots, for example, can be included in the app to facilitate customer service and make it easier for users to search for their preferred items. Think of it as a personalized shopping assistant that is available to help customers at any given moment.