E-commerce has hit critical mass and with mobile saturation in most developed countries also hitting its peak, getting a brand or shop online is well, a bit 1998. Getting an app into the hands of customers is a good way of increasing awareness and rewarding loyal customers.
M-commerce app builder Mobicart, has been working on creating apps for stores and making it a simple process. Recently the company launched two additional platforms for Android and iPad, making it more accessible to a much wider market.
The Android release offers the same features and is just as easy to use as the iPhone app. The updated iPad app builder was created to work with the new iPad. It has been designed to present a magazine-style experience, or if you prefer, it’s like a catalogue but without the added bulk.
The idea of a digital catalogue is a good one. It bridges a gap in design between an e-commerce site where people might just shop and the large catalogues that shoppers might spend more time with while they browse the pages.
The new version of the iPad app also offers improved graphics, higher speed performance and Retina display to enhance the user experience through sharper text and richer colours.
The idea of having to work on an online shop and turn it into a mobile app that works across platforms is a headache for most retailers. MobiCart has a really simple way of making it work and a stepped price plan that offers different levels of functionality.
For independent shops, this is a cheap and simple way to go mobile and taking the free version looks like a neat way to dip a toe in the water without committing to the format if they’re not quite ready.
MobiCart’s services are also attracting the attention of investors who can see the value in making the mobile leap a bit easier for retailers. This year, the company secured an additional $150,000 investment from Northstar Venture to fund future development and is currently closing another round of funding.
A mobile app for your favourite stores will doubtless provide a way for us to while away time on bus journeys and in quiet moments, for retailers, let’s hope that apps like these can grab enough attention to be front page material on people’s phones. MobiCart is not the only company working to make mobile optimized shopping an option for stores and this area looks as though it’s ripe for more options and innovation.
With a good design and enough in the way of updates, a store-front app should have consumers returning fairly frequently. As with all technologies for marketing and retail though, the brand will get out what they put in, so although keeping app content fresh might seem like another thing for the to-do list, it’s going to be an important area for a bit of extra time and effort.