WooCommerce is an ideal eCommerce solution for WordPress website owners. You can scale a simple WordPress website to create an online store in minutes with WooCommerce.
While it may be packaged as a simple plugin, WooCommerce is an extremely powerful tool to create an online eCommerce brand.
If you already have a WooCommerce store, you probably understand the simplicity and convenience it offers. However, other problems are facing website-based online retail when it comes to mobile optimization.
Based on an Invespcro report, the conversion rate of mobile websites stands at 1.82%, This is lower than the industry average of 2.7%. Ecommerce website conversions on desktops and tablets are 3.9% and 3.49% respectively.
This is a little difficult to digest. The general perception of late is that people prefer doing online shopping on their smartphones. So why is the conversion rate of desktops better?
For this, we have to understand the rise of mobile apps.
How have mobile apps taken over online retail?
Every major online retail brand has made a concerted effort in the last few years to migrate mobile website users to their apps.
There are many reasons behind this. Apps offer a faster experience, not to mention they’re built to perform on native devices.
Perhaps the most telling shift is visible in the numbers
According to a 2019 report from Button, mobile apps outperform mobile websites in terms of conversions by 157%. This marks a huge shift in customer experience and preferences.
We know mobile apps are fast, offer a more personalized experience, and are instantly accessible on a smartphone. These factors add up to a 157% advantage in conversions to mobile websites.
As a WooCommerce site owner, you can build a highly optimized mobile website. However, it may still not be enough. Customers are moving towards instantly accessible, device-powered apps.
How do I start a mobile app for my WooCommerce store?
Before getting into the advantages of making an app for your WooCommerce store, let’s address the elephant in the room.
How do you create a mobile app?
If you’ve talked to agencies before or know someone who has developed an app, you must understand the challenges involved.
Put simply, app development is expensive, tedious, and time-consuming. It is nowhere near as simple as setting up a WooCommerce store. If you’re a small business, you should be ready to make a big investment in app development.
Or should you?
Yes, app development is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several platforms that allow users to build apps without coding.
More specifically, you can use powerful platforms to create apps for your WooCommerce store. This means automatically syncing your store’s products, categories, and other data to the app.
DIY app builder software allows you to convert your WooCommerce store to an app in minutes. You can then proceed to submit the app to app stores like Google Play and Apple App Store. In essence, you can have a mobile app for your WooCommerce without the complexity of app development.
How to Use DIY App Builders
There are many app builders you can use to create an app for your WooCommerce store. For the sake of simplicity, we will use AppMySite to explain how to build an app. In short, here are the steps:
Onboarding: Sign up for an AppMySite account and enter your app name and WooCommerce store URL to get started.
Design: Design various app elements and screens. This includes your app icon, splash screen, log-in & sign-up screens, and the home screen.
Connect: Connect your WooCommerce store with the app. You can simply install the AppMySite plugin on your WordPress website. Once the connection is established, your app will be populated with your WooCommerce store’s products, categories, menus, and other data.
Settings: You can then configure other settings related to your app. This includes settings related to your app menu, bottom navigation, product display, and checkout.
Preview: See how your app looks and works in both Android and iOS emulators.
Download: Download the APK or AAB file of your Android app and IPA file for the iOS app. You can then proceed to submit the app to the app stores.
Now that we know how to make an app, let’s see how an app can directly help your WooCommerce store.
How can a mobile app help your WooCommerce store?
A mobile app can help you gain more conversions and attract a mobile-focused audience. How can it help grow your WooCommerce website specifically? Here are five ways apps can help boost your WooCommerce sales:
#1: Additional channel for marketing your app
How do you currently market your WooCommerce store? You possibly use a combination of Google and Facebook ads along with email marketing for your existing customers.
Customer acquisition through outbound channels like social media and search ads is not sustainable in the long run. Product SEO is not a very reliable choice if you have a reasonably large volume of products.
This is where an app can help. Many new brands these days are discovered through app stores and not websites. As your app gains traction on the app stores, your WooCommerce store will naturally get more hits.
Your WooCommerce store will thus start receiving more traffic thanks to your app acting as an additional marketing outlet.
#2: Enhance WooCommerce store’s brand identity
Websites that have a live mobile app on Google Play and App Store generally have a bigger brand name. There are many reasons for this:
Having a mobile app allows you to offer a native mobile experience to users, which is much more seamless compared to mobile websites.
Apps are more exclusive. If you make a list of your immediate competitors, you’ll find that only a few, if any, would have a live app on the app stores.
Apps offer a more personalized experience from a UX standpoint. Your recommendations and engagement with customers can be much more personalized over apps.
Reaching app customers is easier with features like push notifications and in-app messaging. This allows businesses to cultivate a deep connection with customers, making it an exciting branding tool.
The growth of your brand will naturally impact your website too. Having a live app can augment your ability to enhance the brand identity and authority of your website.
#3: Establish trust with customers
Companies with a mobile app are often more trusted compared to the ones that don’t. There are many reasons for this.
Apps signal competence. While there are hundreds of millions of websites online, the number of live apps on Google Play and App Store total around 5 million. This is partly because it takes a lot of technical expertise to build and launch an app.
As mentioned earlier, you can bypass the technical nature of development completely with a code-free mobile app maker and launch an app.
When you offer website visitors a chance to download your app from the app stores, you essentially signal competence and brand worth. This can work well for your website. Through apps, customers get more attached to your business and the products you have to offer.
#4: Grow customer retention
App customers are easier to retain because once you make a purchase on an app, it doesn’t go anywhere. You’re thus very likely to get recurring orders from app customers.
Website customer retention is more challenging because customers cannot access your store directly. They need to open a browser and navigate to your website.
Having an app allows you to permanently make a place on your customer’s device. This powers you to become instantly accessible to your customers.
With increased customer retention through an app, you can direct more people to your website. The customers you retain on your app are consequently more likely to choose your store when they browse online.
Customers generally relate to brands, not mediums. If you can retain customers on your app, the same customers would choose to shop on your online store as well.
As a WooCommerce store owner, you must have gone over a ton of literature on bringing more traffic to your website. One unique way of growing your eCommerce store is by launching an app for it.
Apps are fast, accessible, and user-friendly. They help your customers have a better shopping experience. This can translate into growth for your WooCommerce store.